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Controversy about employee ownership in the UK
John Lewis Partnership was usually described as the best reference regarding employee ownership in the UK. How does it work really? Across government a siren call is sounding, promoting the John Lewis model of employee ownership as a way of modernising public services. "But John Lewis is not what it purports to be", an expert said. "It’s not an employee run company. The interesting thing when one looks carefully at the documents that lay behind that structure it is very difficult to discern who it is that has responsibility for the appointment and removal of directors of the trustee company. In a sense that is almost a self-serving oligarchy in that it’s the board of directors on the company that appear on the panel that appoint and remove the directors and the shareholders of the trust." More

New study shows broad-based Stock Option Plans improve performance

One of the most comprehensive and convincing studies to date on the effect of broad-based option plans on company performance was recently released. Looking at non-executive options and the subsequent firm operating performance as measured by the firm's industry adjusted ROA, the authors found that "both the existence of a broad based option plan and the implied incentives of an option plan exert a positive effect on firm performance..." By contrast, companies with grants focused on executives did worse. More

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in December 2010, with 1.163  articles in this press review (on which 397 involving stock options and 335 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of 38 remarkable articles in 12 countries: Arab Emirates, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, UK, USA, South Africa.
Canada: The last 15 years have seen more business owners using ESOPs to make a gradual exit. Global ground engineering and environmental services company Golder Associates employs 7.000 people. Employee ownership is one aspect of the Golder culture. The ownership mentality has been around since the company’s inception in 1960 and is one of its major strengths to this day.
Spain: Tax incentives 2011 for employee share ownership in Gipuzkoa.
France: New employee share plans for AXA, Vallourec and Vinci. Employee share ownership celebrates its annual "Grand Prix". Employee buyouts gaining in popularity, mostly through workers' cooperatives, and using new dedicated investment funds.
Ireland: It's not the 1,700 staff at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin that have seen surprising good financial news – it has now emerged that workers in Eircom, ESB (the state’s largest electricity provider), Aer Lingus and others are all to receive extra pay through share schemes and share options.
Kenya: In Kenya, most listed companies have formed ESOPs as a motivation for employees.
Pakistan: After the registration of seven new Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme (BESOS) Trusts, the Privatization Commission has so far registered 49 trusts in the State Owned Entities, which will benefit more than 200.000 workers.
Poland: The new privatisation programme seems to be a fiasco.
UK: Many comments about the John Lewis way. How does it work really? Across government a siren call is sounding, promoting the John Lewis model of employee ownership as a way of modernising public services. "But John Lewis is not what it purports to be. It’s not an employee run company…", says an expert.
USA: "Twelve Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP (and Seven Good Ones)" - One of the most popular articles about ESOPs, from the National Center for Employee Ownership… Joseph R. Blasi, the world's leading authority on employee ownership, has been named the inaugural holder of the Robert Beyster Professorship of Employee Ownership at Rutgers' School of Management.
New case studies highlighting employee-owned companies.
South Africa: The first of Gold Fields’ Black Economic Empowerment transactions will entail the establishment of an employee share ownership plan to transfer a 10,75% stake in the company to employees. In terms of South African legislation, mining companies are required to ensure at least a 26% BEE ownership level by 2014.

The full press review is available on:

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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel/fax: +32 (0)2 242 64 30
Web site:
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee ownership and participation in Europe.

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