London, 1 March 2021 – The winners of the 2020 ProShare Awards were announced by celebrity host Alan ‘voice of the balls’ Dedicoat at an online awards ceremony on 25 February, with household names such as Ocado, Rolls-Royce and Sky recognised for their creativity and innovation in employee share ownership.
Each year 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. This year ten companies and one individual took home coveted awards for their exceptional work. Louise Drake, who recently announced her early retirement from her role as National Sales Manager at YBS was commended for Services to Employee Share Ownership, following a 20-year career in which she has made a significant contribution to the share plans industry and employee share ownership as a whole.
The winning companies are as follows:
Best Employee Share Plan Outcome Following a Major Corporate Change
Winner – Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
The judges felt that Rolls-Royce deserved to be recognised for ‘A terrific effort in such challenging circumstances’. With the recent Shareholder Rights issue a tricky concept, they were impressed with the company’s communication – ‘Genuine corporate change, and the first-class participants’ comms were aligned with shareholders’.
Best International Share Plan
Winner – Danone S.A.
The judges praised Danone for having very clear objectives and communications that were translated into 30 different languages to drive understanding and maximise take-up – ‘A highly commendable approach the certainly makes a statement. Free shares for all, in 57 countries is very impressive’.
Best New Share Plan
Winner – Ocado Group plc
The judges were impressed with the free shares concept, a good, clear brochure and great take-up – ‘Share awards flying off the shelf with 62% take-up at launch’. In one country take-up was 100%.
Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan 501 - 5,000 employees
Winner – St. Modwen Properties PLC
The judges considered this to be a really strong entry and praised the ‘great comms which led to increased participation and an increase in savings amounts this year.’
Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan 5,001 - 50,000 employees
Winner – William Hill Plc
The judges really liked the targeted communications campaign where William Hill combined with financial wellbeing company nudge. They considered it a thoroughly innovative entry and a worthy winner in this category.
Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan 50,000+ employees
Winner – BT
The judges felt that BT set the right (ring)tone from the start with the CEO being firmly behind the new plan and included in the communications. All felt that it was a very strong submission – ‘A big bold plan with a good central message, well communicated across multiple countries and with free shares to enable more employees around the world to benefit’.
Best Overall Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership Up to 500 employees
Joint winners – Apache Corporation and Croda International Plc
The judges liked that Apache Corporation operates a Share Incentive Plan (SIP), which demonstrates 'real' ownership, has a massive 99% participation, and employees purchase shares with their own money over a number of years. The ‘2 for 1’ match and limited bad leaver reclaims are good incentives to encourage ownership.
The judges also felt that Croda International PLC has a strong history of share ownership and has been operating Sharesave for 30 years which shows real commitment. The company also has an impressive 82% of employees taking part in the plan.
Best Overall Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership 5,001 to 50,000 employees
Winner - Sky
The judges were impressed with the easy-to-understand communications, which had great branding and resulted in excellent take-up rates amongst employees – ‘An impressive suite of resources and very much up to the standard expected from a global media company.’
Best Overall Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership 50,000+ employees
Winner - BAE Systems
The judges commended ‘BAE's commitment to employee share ownership over 30 years is excellent, and 50,000 employee shareholders is a fantastic achievement’.
Sponsored by Computershare, the 2020 Awards were judged by Chris Mowatt, a seasoned share plan professional with over 20 years’ experience; Janet Cooper OBE, Deputy Chair of RNLI (Lifeboats) and Vice Chair of Roehampton University; and Jeremy Mindell, Director of Primondell Ltd. All three of the judges are also members of ProShare’s advisory panel.
The awards also saw £20,000 of charity donations provided as prizes by ShareGift, the UK share donation charity.
Murray Tompsett, Head of ProShare said:
“Winning a ProShare award is a real achievement given the challenging circumstances throughout 2020, and many of our winners demonstrated innovation and were able to adapt and develop to deliver great results for their participants. There were some highly impressive take-up rates for new plans, and existing plans were refreshed to achieve enhanced participation. Employees who had never been offered a share plan before became new shareholders, and free share awards increased inclusivity and enhanced the ethos of shared goals and targets. All of our award-winners should be extremely proud of what they have achieved; their success benefits not only their companies and their colleagues, but their broader communities as well.”
For further information & photos please contact:
Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143
Notes to Editors:
ProShare is a part of The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland.
ProShare is the voice of the employee share ownership industry in the UK. It was established in 1992 by the Government, the 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.
More information: www.proshare.org