Faced with increasing pressure from regulators and shareholders to manage costs and align pay with performance, companies are revamping their executive long-term incentive awards, according to research by human resources services firm Hewitt Associates.

A Hewitt survey of 117 U.S. companies with a median market cap of more than $11 billion revealed that 71 percent are revising, or plan to revise, their long-term incentive program design in anticipation of mandatory stock option expensing. Under Financial Accounting Standards Board rules, public companies are required to expense options by the start of their 2006 fiscal year.

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