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It is usually considered in large European companies that employee share ownership has to be developed, leading to better performances and better governance. Top Executives are commonly the first employees to be encouraged in this way. More and more companies have "shareholding guidelines", requiring Top Executives to hold up to 100-300% of their annual salary in shares of the company, so as to align employees' and shareholders' interests. The 2.200 largest European companies employ some 8.800 Top Executives, each of them owning 13 million Euro on average in shares of his company. 77% of all large European companies are fully transparent about this (see graph). However, the lack of transparency is flagrant in a number of European countries: Greece, Luxemburg, Austria, Belgium, Germany and some others. A detailed chapter about this can be found in the European Survey of Employee Ownership in 2013.  More information

Press review
We have a selection of 33 remarkable articles in 7 countries in April 2014: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, UK, USA.
France: Steria and Sopra groups going to merge with the support of employee shareholders. New employee share plan for Atos. The French Federation of Employee Shareholders' Associations calls to go back to higher fiscal incentives. Successful employee buyouts as workers cooperatives.
Germany: Compared to other European countries, employee share ownership is still weak in Germany.
Italy: Missed opportunity for employee share ownership in Banca MPS. Telecom Italia should increase the employees' stake to 3-4%.
Poland: HSW employees invited to sell their shares before term.
Spain: New employee share plan for Telefonicá.

UK: Waitrose has released an advert highlighting the company's employee ownership structure and the benefits of its ethos to customers. The brave new world of “simplified” employee share plans.
USA: ESOP miracles. The most popular strategy in the United States for building employee ownership is called the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The tax advantages are pretty overwhelming.

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Marc Mathieu
Secretario General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
El objetivo de EFES es actuar como la organización federativa de los accionistas asalariados, de empresas y de todas las personas, sindicatos, expertos, investigadores o instituciones que actuan para promover el accionariado asalariado y la participación en Europa.

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