2015 Award Winners
1. Best International Plan – WINNER Fletcher Building Limited
Fletcher Building Limited is the largest listed company in New Zealand. Its workforce consists of more than 19,000 people in 50 businesses across 40 countries. It is a significant player in the construction and building materials industries with a history dating back to 1909. In light of global acquisitions, Fletcher Building was concerned that their employees were lacking a sense of corporate identity. Faced with this challenge, they decided to implement and present a global share plan to their employees, thus providing them with the opportunity to own a part of their company and establish their sense of association. This led to the creation of FBuShare. To date, Fletcher Building is the first and only New Zealand-listed company to have launched a global share purchase plan on this scale. A significant undertaking for any company, but even more challenging in a country such as New Zealand where there isn’t a culture of employee ownership or considerable access to global share plan tax and legal experts. Fletcher Building matches every two shares purchased by participants with an additional one share purchased by the company. Dividends are reinvested to increase the level of employee ownership and participants receive voting rights to have their say in the company’s future. FBuShare is offered in 19 countries, contributing to an impressive 97% of employees being eligible to join. Of its approximately 18,700 eligible employees, 31 per cent have taken up the offer. Minimum and maximum contributions are set per jurisdiction to ensure compliance and best use of local regulations.
Highly commended in this category was Treasury Wines Estate.
2. Best New Employee Share Plan – WINNER Asaleo Care Ltd.
Asaleo Care is a leading personal care and hygiene company based in Victoria that manufactures, markets, distributes and sells essential everyday consumer products. It listed on the ASX in 2014. Some of the Company’s brands have been in the market for over 60 years and its products are used daily in households and businesses across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and a number of countries in the Pacific. Asaleo Care has twelve manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and employs approximately 1,100 people. Asaleo believes in strong employee ownership and engagement. During the IPO in 2014, Asaleo set aside a pool of shares for employee ownership. This allowed the company to begin life with a significant employee shareholder base, and created a strong future as an employee engaged company. 90% of eligible employees are now involved in the share ownership scheme, 547 in Australia and 299 in New Zealand.
Highly commended in this category was Genesis Energy and Treasury Wines Estate.
3. Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Share Ownership (Less than 1,000 employees) – WINNER Genesis Energy Ltd.
Genesis Energy Limited is New Zealand’s the largest energy retailer in New Zealand with over 500,000 electricity customers and the largest share of gas customers in New Zealand. Genesis Energy established an employee share plan to give its 900 employees the opportunity to share in the success of the company and have a stake in its future. The IPO in 2014 provided Genesis Energy with the opportunity to create it’s broad-based employee share plan, which has a participation rate already at 40% of all employees. This indicates that it has been successful in encouraging employees to make the long-term commitment to the company that it was seeking. Genesis Energy has a national presence in New Zealand and its employees are based in both city and rural locations. Staff at the company’s 10 sites nationwide can access all the required information about the employee share plan. The share plan has been successful in driving internal awareness of the company’s performance.
4. Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Share Ownership (More than 1,000 employees) – WINNER BP Australia
From a tight field of nominations, “BP Australia” was nominated as the winner. BP is one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemical products. BP Australia have been operating an employee share plan for over 12 years. The plan is committed to broad based employee ownership and is offered to all permanent full time and part time staff. It gives the employees the opportunity to acquire an interest in BP Plc and to be more closely involved in the performance of BP and its subsidiaries around the world, including BP Group in Australia. Employees can choose how much to invest up to the annual opportunity limits and, for every share employees buy, BP matches their investment with another share. The ongoing review process considers ways to improve employee communication and to maximise employee awareness, participation and engagement. All plan communication is sent electronically making the process more efficient and reducing environmental impact by printing less paper. 75% of the 2000 employees in Australia have taken up share ownership, with 5% of the company’s capital owned through the plan.
Highly commended in this category were Computershare, Fletcher Building and CSR Ltd.
5. Best SME/Succession Plan – WINNER Cooperative Home Care
Cooperative Home Care (CHC) is a Sydney-based employee owned home care cooperative trading since October, 2013. It provides across Sydney high quality aged, disability and respite care for families, including those with physical and multiple complex needs. It has 20 employees, 18 of whom are now members of the cooperative. Each employee becomes eligible to become a member of the cooperative after six months’ probation. Each member then has one vote in the affairs of the business, becomes involved in the decision-making of the organisation and can nominate for a Board position. Cooperative Home Care believes that poor service delivery and inadequate client care are directly related to the poor quality of the home care job. The employee owned co-operatives models operating in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States have proven it is possible to achieve consistent, reliable home care for clients by improving the terms and conditions of the aged care/community care workforce through training, increased wages, better work practices, a supportive working environment and a share in the ownership of the business.
6. Most Effective and Innovative Communications Program – WINNER Treasury Wines Estate
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is a global wine company with a long heritage and international portfolio of new world wines. With 11,000 hectares of vineyards, TWE employs 3,000 winemakers, viticulturists, sales, distribution and support staff across 16 countries, with the Company’s brands sold in more than 70 countries around the world. TWE wanted to align the interests of its employees with its shareholders to support improved performance, both at an individual business and at a broader group level. A post-tax, global employee share plan was viewed as a simple and fair way of doing this. To show that management believed in the value of the plan and to recognise the contributions of its employees, TWE proposed to fund a 2:1 share matching for participants who stayed with the company for the duration of the restriction period. TWE’s inaugural global employee share plan, “Share Cellar”, was launched in 2015, with an early take up of 25% amongst eligible employees. The plan was named this to align itself with both TWE’s brand and other internal programs the company operated, such as “Let’s Celebrate”, which is its reward and recognition program, and “Talent Cellar”, its employee referral program. To cater for TWE’s diverse workforce, all communications were provided in English, Spanish (South American dialect) and French. The communication strategy also took into consideration the relatively even split of employees with and without computer access at work. Building awareness and understanding about Share Cellar was a high priority in the time leading up to the offer opening. The awareness strategy focused not only on the eligible population, but other interested parties who would be valuable resources once the offer opened.
Highly commended in this category were Yum Restaurants and Lend Lease Corporation.