409A Déjà Vu All Over Again
June 19, 2012
With apologies to my favorite American philosopher, last week I participated as a panelist in a webinar on the topic of 409A. The panel was sponsored by the good folks at Corporate Focus (which provides a great service that many law firms and companies use) for tracking stock and options. They asked me along with Channing Hamlet from the appraisal firm of Cabrillo Advisors and Ed Sullivan from KPMG to talk briefly on a couple of 409A topics. In addition, there was some Q and A at the end. Below is a video of the webinar.
Aside from yet again reviewing the significance of 409A and why startups should care about it, this webinar brought together a variety of perspectives on 409A in one place. So, for example, by listening to it you can get a good sense of how the apraisal process works, how often you have to do it and so on.
My favorite moment came in the Q&A when someone asked what to do if they had been issuing large numbers of options with exercise prices far below market over long periods of time. I suspect that this situation may not be so uncommon.
Anyway here is the video: