The broad benefits of employee ownership have been well documented (eg by Cass Business School) and typically include better company performance and higher levels of job satisfaction amongst staff, including a greater sense of achievement and fulfilment.
Employee owned businesses are generally more resilient in economic downturns and recover faster, partly reflecting the employees’ sense of ownership and the fact that they are prepared to go “the extra mile” when needed to.
Around 20% of our global employees own shares in the company, and currently 22% of shares are held by an Employee Trust which provides a vehicle for trading.
Employees are typically invited to become shareholders after they have obtained a professional qualification and as they assume positions of responsibility in the firm. They then build up their shareholdings over the course of their careers, sharing in the profit the company makes. They sell their shares back to the Trust when they retire or leave the company and the Trust then sells them on to other employees.
The broad ethic of the business model is that each generation of shareholders acts as stewards of the company during the period they own shares and aims to pass the company onto the next generation in good shape. We believe this provides an incentive to deliver a better level of service to our customers as employees are motivated to enhance the reputation of the company in which they are part owners.
The directors firmly believe that employee ownership is beneficial to the performance of the company, to the motivation of our staff and to the service provided to our customers, and have no intention of changing that model.