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2012 Private Company Equity Compensation Survey Results

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$150.00 for NCEO members; $250.00 for nonmembers
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While there are many surveys of equity compensation practices in publicly traded companies, there are almost none for closely held companies, and these focus just on executive equity in single industries or "pre-IPO" companies. The NCEO Private Company Equity Survey, which includes both an interactive database and a summary report, fills this gap.

This 2012 survey is based on 164 completed surveys from a diverse sample of private companies. The survey includes company characteristics such as number of employees, industry, region, and corporate structure. Respondents are then asked to describe their equity granting practices to C-level executives, other management, supervisory employees, and hourly/non-supervisory employees. A full list of the the fields included in the database is available in the instructions document (PDF format).

Purchasers of the survey receive:
  • A 13-page PDF report summarizing the data. The report includes charts and tables displaying the results, a description of the findings, and expert analysis on what the data mean in a practical sense. It covers the following topics:
    • Types of Awards
    • Satisfaction with Plan by Award Type
    • Granting and Vesting Conditions
    • How Exit Strategy Affects Equity Compensation
    • How Equity Is Distributed to Different Employee Groups
    • How Total Company Equity Is Held
    • Plan Administration
  • An interactive database in Excel spreadsheet form, containing all the questions and answers and allowing users to analyze the specific interaction of the variables. For instance, users could determine what percentage of software firms give what percentage of equity awards to each group, how often they receive it, what form the equity takes, and what triggers the awards. For each of these issues, the file allows users to automatically and simply generate tables with the specific responses.
  • A guide to understanding and using the data.

You will receive these files by email as soon as we process your order (generally within one day).

Contact Nancy Wiefek at the NCEO (, 510-208-1312) with questions or to request the guide to the data, which includes the complete list of survey items.

Terms of Use

By purchasing access rights to the NCEO's 2012 Private Company Equity Compensation Survey Results, you agree to the following terms of use:

Sharing data: If you buy the report, you can discuss its findings with others, and if you buy the database, you can use it to generate reports for others. However, you cannot give the report or database you buy from us to others unless (1) you are a member and the other person is covered by your NCEO membership, or (2) you have purchased a license from us. (If you are a service provider in this field, your membership belongs only to you unless you are at the Service Provider Directory level, in which case it extends to others at your location, but not other offices. If you are a company that is not a service provider, membership extends company-wide.) Contact Nancy Wiefek at or 510-208-1312 to purchase a license.

Acknowledging NCEO as the source: You will acknowledge the NCEO as the source of the information in all materials, speeches, presentations, or other forms of communication that draw on the data in the executive compensation database. The correct title is "2012 Private Company Equity Compensation Survey Results." The NCEO should be referred to as the National Center for Employee Ownership. When feasible, a link to our Web site ( should be provided.

Confidentiality: The NCEO made the following commitment to each participating company: "All of your answers to this questionnaire will be completely confidential. No specific information will be released to anyone outside the NCEO on a given company's practices." All identifying information (email address, individual names, IP addresses) has been removed from the database. You agree to respect the commitment that the NCEO has made, and specifically: (1) You will not attempt to identify in any public sphere any companies based on the answers to company background questions or any other data contained in the database. (2) You will only share analyses that aggregate data from multiple companies, rather than data from multiple questions for any individual company (i.e., you will not recreate a portion of the answers to the questionnaire for any one company).