Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Share-Based Compensation

Share-Based Compensation
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2015
Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Abstract]  
Share-Based Compensation
Share-Based Compensation
Performance Share Units (“PSUs”)
On March 5, 2015, our Board of Trustees granted 45,656 PSUs with an aggregate grant date fair value of $1.7 million to executives.  The PSUs have a performance period beginning on January 1, 2015 and concluding on the earlier of December 31, 2017 or the date of: (1) termination by us without cause, death or disability of the executive or constructive discharge of the executive (collectively, “qualified termination”); or (2) a sale event.  The number of PSUs earned (“earned PSUs”) at the end of the performance period will be determined based on the percentile rank of COPT’s total shareholder return relative to a peer group of companies, as set forth in the following schedule:
Percentile Rank
Earned PSUs Payout %
75th or greater
200% of PSUs granted
50th or greater
100% of PSUs granted
50% of PSUs granted
Below 25th
0% of PSUs granted

If the percentile rank exceeds the 25th percentile and is between two of the percentile ranks set forth in the table above, then the percentage of the earned PSUs will be interpolated between the ranges set forth in the table above to reflect any performance between the listed percentiles.  At the end of the performance period, we, in settlement of the award, will issue a number of fully-vested COPT common shares equal to the sum of:

the number of earned PSUs in settlement of the award plan; plus
the aggregate dividends that would have been paid with respect to the common shares issued in settlement of the earned PSUs through the date of settlement had such shares been issued on the grant date, divided by the share price on such settlement date, as defined under the terms of the agreement.
If a service period ends due to a sale event or qualified termination, the number of earned PSUs is prorated based on the portion of the service period that has elapsed.  If employment is terminated by the employee or by us for cause, all PSUs are forfeited.  PSUs do not carry voting rights.
We computed a grant date fair value of $36.76 per PSU using a Monte Carlo model, which included assumptions of, among other things, the following: baseline common share value of $29.28; expected volatility for COPT common shares of 19.9%; and a risk-free interest rate of 0.99%.  We are recognizing the grant date fair value in connection with these PSU awards over the period commencing on March 6, 2015 and ending on December 31, 2017.
With regard to the PSUs granted to our executives in prior years that were outstanding as of December 31, 2014 as described in our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K:

the performance period for the PSUs granted to executives on March 1, 2012 ended on December 31, 2014. Based on COPT’s total shareholder return during the performance period relative to its peer group of companies, we issued 40,309 common shares in settlement of the PSUs on March 5, 2015; and
we issued 15,289 common shares on March 5, 2015 to Mr. Stephen E. Riffee, our former Chief Financial Officer, upon his departure on February 3, 2015, in settlement of PSUs granted on March 1, 2013 and March 6, 2014.

Restricted Shares
During the three months ended March 31, 2015, certain employees were granted a total of 177,674 restricted common shares with an aggregate grant date fair value of $5.2 million (weighted average of $29.46 per share).  Restricted shares granted to employees vest based on increments and over periods of time set forth under the terms of the respective awards provided that the employees remain employed by us.  During the three months ended March 31, 2015, forfeiture restrictions lapsed on 127,444 previously issued common shares; these shares had a weighted average grant date fair value of $26.01 per share, and the aggregate intrinsic value of the shares on the vesting dates was $3.7 million.
During the three months ended March 31, 2015, 70,374 options to purchase common shares (“options”) were exercised.  The weighted average exercise price of these options was $26.23 per share, and the aggregate intrinsic value of the options exercised was $291,000.