UK companies lauded for contribution to employee share ownership

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Several long-established UK organisations, along with many younger companies, were among the big winners at the 2018 Annual ProShare Awards.

Held each year to recognise and celebrate the best companies and individuals involved in employee share ownership, the awards receive entries from organisations large and small, representing almost every sector of the business world, from retail and banking to telecommunications and the media.

Scottish homebuilders Springfield Properties won the coveted “Best New Share Plan” award for launching their Sharesave plan when they listed on the AIM, achieving an industry-average beating 69% take-up. Skyscanner, easyJet and Royal Mail won in the “Best Overall Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership” category for companies of different sizes.

CVS Group won the award for “Best Financial Education Initiative for Employees”, as they set employee share ownership within the context of a clear and compelling vision of financial wellbeing and its benefits for all staff.

Rolls-Royce and Skyscanner each walked away with two awards apiece, such was the outstanding quality of their nominations. Rolls-Royce won “Best International Plan” and “Most Effective Communication (5,001-50,000 employees)” and Skyscanner won “Best Employee Share Plan Outcome following a Major Corporate Change” and “Best Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership (up to 5,000 employees)”, respectively.

The awards also celebrated the contributions of two share plans professionals who have gone over and above what is expected of them in their roles to promote employee share ownership. Winning the Employee Share Plans of the Year Award was Elena Petrou, from Aviva, while Robin Kerner received the Services to Employee Share Ownership prize.

Chris Mowatt, Director, Barclays Global Stock & Reward Services, said:

“It was a great honour for Barclays to be the major sponsor for the first time at this year’s Annual ProShare Awards. As an administrator, we are now six years into our partnership with Solium and, as we both grow, we continue to see the benefits this provides to our clients. This was highlighted in Aviva’s win for Most Effective Use of Technology, which showcased our new fully transactional mobile app. As Gabbi Stopp, Executive Director of ProShare, said in her speech, our industry is constantly moving forward and the ProShare Awards provide an excellent way to showcase the breadth of innovation within the industry. The diverse range of companies who were shortlisted and won awards on the night showed how strongly employee share ownership is being championed across the board. It was also great to see Elena Petrou and Robin Kerner honoured for their immense contributions to our industry.

As always, the ProShare team organised a fantastic evening. With hosting by Vernon Kay and a virtuoso performance from the Magnets, it was a truly memorable occasion.”

Gabbi Stopp, Executive Director of ProShare, added:

“After nearly four years running ProShare, I have had the pleasure and privilege of having a bird’s eye view of the industry for some time now. It is very clear to me that we have a wealth of talent, professionalism and expertise in our industry. It remains the highlight of my every year at ProShare to help shine the spotlight on those individuals, teams and companies whose hard work, dedication and inspiration deserves to be recognised and celebrated.

“Employee share ownership is one of Great Britain’s finest and yet relatively unsung exports. Our tax advantaged plans are the envy of the rest of the world and many countries are emulating our varied employee share ownership models. ProShare and its members speak for the 2.5 million UK employees who participate currently in an employee share ownership plan and for those millions who haven’t yet joined a plan. We speak also for those who are currently denied the opportunity to become an employee shareholder by arcane, outdated and unfair legislation.

If or when the UK leaves the European Union, it will be ever more reliant on the skills and efforts of its workforces. Employee share ownership helps to ensure that there is an incentive for everyone to perform to the best of their ability and the opportunity to share in the fruits of their hard work.”

The 2018 ProShare Awards were held at the London Hilton Bankside on Wednesday 5th December 2018, hosted by TV presenter Vernon Kay.

The full list of winners is as follows:
Best new share plan:
Winner: Springfield Properties
Highly commended: Skyscanner
Best international share plan:
Winner: Rolls-Royce
Most effective communication of an employee share plan (up to 5,000 employees):
Winner: The Vitec Group
Highly commended: Smiths Group
Most effective communication of an employee share plan (5,001-50,000 employees):
Winner: RBS
Most effective communication of an employee share plan (50,001+ employees):
Winner: Rolls-Royce
Highly commended: Asda
Best employee share plan outcome following a major corporate change:
Winner: Skyscanner
Most effective use of technology:
Winner: Aviva
Highly commended: Novartis International
Best financial education initiative for employees:
Winner: CVS Group
Best overall performance in fostering employee share ownership (up to 5,000 employees):
Winner: Skyscanner
Highly commended: Kainos Group
Best overall performance in fostering employee share ownership (5,001-50,000 employees):
Winner: easyJet
Best overall performance in fostering employee share ownership (50,001+ employees):
Winner: Royal Mail
Employee share plans champion of the year:
Elena Petrou
Award for services to employee share ownership:
Robin Kerner

Images of the winners are available at 
For more information on the benefits of employee share ownership, please visit: 


Notes to editors:
ProShare is a part of ICSA: The Governance Institute, the professional body for governance.

Maria Brookes, Media Relations  
Tel: +44 (0)20 7612 7072 Mob: +44 (0)7890 649 143

About ProShare
ProShare is the voice of the employee share ownership industry in the UK. It was established in 1992 by the Government, London Stock Exchange and a number of FTSE 100 companies to promote Employee Share Ownership. ProShare is an independent membership organisation, funded by its members and its commercial activities.

About ICSA: The Governance Institute
ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With over 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance.

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