Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Congratulates Clients Aon Hewitt, Microsoft, Siemens and Telefonica on Global Equity Organization Industry Awards

The 12th annual Global Equity Organization conference focuses on the equity compensation industry; awarding firms for plan design, employee communications and other categories

New York —

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is pleased to announce that four of its stock plan clients were awarded prestigious Global Equity Organization (GEO) Awards at the 2011 ceremony in Amsterdam on June 16, 2011.1

Founded in 1999, GEO is an international, not-for-profit organization designed to support equity compensation professionals.  Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joins over 1,500 companies and professional firms in 59 countries around the world to participate in this conference, as well as sponsoring the 2011 GEO Awards, which honor organizations that demonstrate excellence in leadership and dedication to their share plans.

Aon Hewitt, the global human resources outsourcing and consulting company of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON) won the GEO award for “Best use of Employee Share Plans in a Corporate Action.”  Aon Hewitt was selected by the judges for its strong commitment to its employees and equity plan during the merger between Aon Consulting and Hewitt Associates, Inc., which closed on October 1, 2010.  That merger created a high degree of complexity around the Hewitt Global Stock and Incentive Compensation Plan.  Legacy Hewitt worked with its stock plan service provider, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, on this complex merger consideration payout while deploying strategic and timely means of communication, including targeted email, immediate message posting and online progress reports.  The company’s collaborative partnership with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in delivering the merger consideration payout, along with its communication and frequent updates, helped the company maintain positive momentum around the merger and minimized the amount of questions from legacy Hewitt colleagues.

 

Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) was granted the GEO award for “Best Use of Technology: Back Office Solutions.”  The judges recognized Microsoft for its world-class internally created stock system that maximizes both the effectiveness of the stock plan administrator and the understanding of value of the stock plan by the participating employees.  The system is comprehensive, highly configurable and automates all standard administrative functions with a solution designed to manage broad based equity programs for over 90,000 Microsoft employees worldwide.

 

Siemens (NYSE: SI) was granted the GEO “Judges” award.  Siemens was recognized for its Share Matching Plan (SMP), a global equity benefit initiative that opens the door to all its employees worldwide (where local laws permit), giving every member of staff the opportunity to own a part of the company.  This innovative program forms the foundation of the distinctive Siemens Equity Culture and encourages active participation in the firm’s long-term future development.

 

Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) won the GEO award for the category of “Best Use of Technology: Employee Facing Solutions.”  Telefonica was selected by the judges for its innovative use of technology, in both the communication and delivery of their share plan to employees, across the globe.  A sophisticated multilingual enrollment website was simultaneously launched to over 120,000 eligible employees across four continents.  This process was supported through localized distribution of information via email and through Telefonica’s intranet sites – providing additional employee information and education.  The resulting take-up rates surpassed all expectations. Following the launch, employees have been able to access their web accounts, with information in local language and currency.

“As one of the founding sponsors of the Global Equity Organization, we are committed to supporting corporate executives and equity compensation professionals dealing with the challenges of creating, managing and administrating quality equity compensation plans.  We are delighted for Aon Hewitt, Microsoft, Siemens and Telefonica to join the previous winners of the esteemed GEO awards,” said Jay Foley, Managing Director in the London headquarters of Global Stock Plan Services at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Michael Bendorf, Executive Director of the Global Equity Organization complimented the winners, “For ten years now, GEO has annually recognized leaders in the design and implementation of employee share plans.  While we are naturally proud of all our winners, our judges found this year's applicants to be truly deserving of special recognition.  We applaud their commitment to sharing the proceeds of success with employees around the world.”

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, a global leader in wealth management, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, credit and lending, cash management, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services.  For further information about Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, please visit www.morganstanleysmithbarney.com.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services.  The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,300 offices in 42 countries.  For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

1 GEO is not affiliated with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. References to third parties should in no way be considered a solicitation by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for services on behalf of third parties listed, or an endorsement of those companies by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Investments and services offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC.

©2011 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.                                                              

Media Relations Contact: Christy Pollak, 914.225.6827