Blake Eisenberg, Associate Partner, AON
Stephen Popowski, CEP, Interim Head of European Equity Services, AON
Throughout the pandemic, Aon has been publishing pulse survey results, meant to “take the pulse” of roughly 2,000 firms on various total rewards topics and equity compensation topics in 2- to 3- week increments. The goal of this discussion is to review how responses have been evolving since the start of the pandemic period, with specific focus on the equity compensation component of the survey. The discussion will include information on and considerations associated with managing equity in a down or sideways market, communication strategies in light of the recent market volatility, along with some considerations around global equity programs in this current environment.
Blake is an associate partner in Aon's Chicago office where he serves as the Midwest Practice Leader of the Equity Services group, which is part of Aon’s Rewards Solutions business. He has nearly 10 years of experience providing assistance to multinational and midsize corporations with the design, implementation and maintenance of domestic and international equity compensation programs, including the execution of tax-qualified plans and corporate chargeback arrangements. Blake also specializes in advising clients on the tax and regulatory requirements, securities, and foreign exchange controls associated with the implementation and ongoing maintenance of a global equity program. He regularly assists clients on the employer withholding and reporting compliance and employee tax liability for employees who are working in various foreign jurisdictions during the life of an equity award.
In his current role, Blake oversees the design and technical matters surrounding equity compensation for a wide variety of companies. Blake specifically assists companies with plan design considerations, valuation and financial reporting requirements under ASC 718, and more. He also frequently works with his clients to create global communication strategies and support, including the preparation of employee communications outlining the country-specific taxation consequences of participating in an equity plan along with communications designed to educate employees about their equity compensation.
Blake received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Business and Entrepreneurship from Indiana University – Kelley School of Business. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois.
Stephen Popowski, CEP
Stephen Popowski is the Interim Head of European Equity Services in Aon’s equity valuation practice. In his current role, Stephen works directly with global clients to analyze stock option data, perform statistical analyses, and produce financial reporting information for a broad range of equity-based compensation instruments, especially employee stock options, stock appreciation rights, and performance shares. Stephen frequently performs valuations under International Financial Reporting Standard 2 (“IFRS 2”) as well as under Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 (“Topic 718”) using Monte Carlo simulation.
Stephen previously served as the Associate Practice Leader for Aon’s US CEO Pay Ratio market offering where he advised over 100 US-based clients on compliance, modeling, statistical sampling, and communications relating to CEO Pay Ratio. He currently supports the UK CEO Pay Ratio market offering as well.
Stephen is on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (“NASPP”) chapter, serving as the Treasurer. Additionally, Stephen is a frequent speaker at regional meetings, national conferences, and international events on IFRS 2, Topic 718, and CEO Pay Ratio. Stephen received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and received his master’s degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Stephen is a Certified Equity Professional and is primarily based in Chicago and London.
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