Mitsubishi UFJ touts trust options

JIJI

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp. hopes to increase its sales of a new trust product designed to work as a more convenient stock option plan for domestic firms with overseas offices.

Unlike conventional stock options, the new trust-based plan doesn’t require employees to open an account at a securities firm in Japan, making it easier for locally hired workers at overseas offices to receive their remuneration.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust, a unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., expects the plan to help domestic companies recruit better talent in the increasingly competitive global market in such areas as information technology and manufacturing.

Stock options are a common remuneration package in the United States and other countries. In Japan, 40 percent of listed companies have introduced the incentive mechanism. Yet due to constraints, such as the need for a securities account, the domestic version appears less attractive to local employees at overseas offices.

Under the new program at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust, companies conclude a trust contract with their employees designated as the beneficiaries.

The bank manages their stocks on behalf of the employees regardless of their place of residence.

Employees receive their retirement benefits and bonuses in the form of equities or cash equivalent to the value of the stocks. If they choose to receive cash, there is no need for a securities account.

So far, the program has been introduced at three companies that operate in a combined 12 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and other parts of world.