Long-Term Incentives Granted to Key Persons – Equity Incentive Plan
Our Equity Incentive Plan providing for the granting of a mix of stock options and RSUs was approved by our Board of Directors on March 15, 2021, as subsequently amended on December 15, 2021. The aim of our Equity Incentive Plan is to encourage our senior management, directors, all other key employees, and key outside consultants and advisors to acquire an economic and beneficial ownership interest in our growth and performance, to increase their incentive to contribute to our value and to attract and retain key individuals.
Our Board of Directors has also established an equity incentive allocation scheme that contains (i) the dates on which stock options and RSUs are granted each year, which shall be the same date each year (other than for new hires) and (ii) the number of stock options and RSUs granted to each person or to each group of persons, which shall be based on objective criteria only.
Stock options granted pursuant to the Equity Incentive Plan shall vest with respect to one third of the shares upon the first anniversary of the date of grant, with the remaining two thirds vesting in twenty-four equal monthly instalments with the stock options fully vesting upon the third anniversary of the date of grant, subject, in each case, to the optionee’s continued status as a service provider. Stock options are exercisable when vested, and in any case not after the stock option expiration date included in each individual stock option grant, which is 10 years or in the case of Belgian tax resident employees, at their election either five years or ten years from the date of grant.
Each stock option shall be granted with an exercise price equal to the fair market value upon the date of grant and shall have a term equal to five or ten years from the date of grant. Optionees may prefer to elect the five-year period as this may limit their personal tax obligations in respect of the option in respect to the jurisdiction where options are taxed at grant, compared to a ten-year option. Stock options granted to Belgian tax resident beneficiaries (including our CEO) are not exercisable prior to the fourth year following the year of the grant. Stock options granted to non-executive directors vest at once on the third anniversary of the date of grant.
RSUs granted under the Equity Incentive Plan shall vest over a period of four years with respect to one fourth of the shares upon each anniversary of the date of grant. At the time of vesting, the holder of such RSUs receives our shares for free equal to the number equal of RSUs vested minus a certain number of shares required to cover employee taxes payable by us on behalf of the holder of RSUs, if applicable.
100% of any unvested equity incentives shall vest in the event of a (i) sale, merger, consolidation, tender offer or similar acquisition of shares or other transaction or series of related transactions as a result of which a change in control occurs, (ii) sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets or (iii) our dissolution and/or liquidation.
Our Board of Directors, upon approval of a majority of the non-executive directors, may amend or terminate the Equity Incentive Plan or may amend the terms of the Equity Incentive Plan, or any outstanding stock options or RSUs, provided that we will compensate any affected individual for any direct negative impact of such amendment.
In fiscal year 2022, no severance payments were granted to our senior management and non-executive directors.
In fiscal year 2022, no variable remuneration was clawed back and no variable remuneration was adjusted (retroactively).
In fiscal year 2022, no remuneration was granted and allocated by subsidiaries or other companies whose financials we consolidate, other than the regular remuneration payments made by the entities with whom our management members have their employment contracts.
In fiscal year 2022, no (personal) loans were granted to our senior management and non-executive directors and no guarantees or the like have been granted in favor of any of the senior management and the non-executive directors.
In 2022, we did not deviate from the decision-making process for the implementation of the remuneration policy for our senior management and non-executive directors and no temporary deviations took place from our remuneration policy.