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Europe – USA and the hedge funds
USA: Some days ago, we got the "Statistical Profile of Employee Ownership" from the National Center for Employee Ownership in the USA. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are the most popular employee ownership scheme in the US – they have now 9.774 ESOPs, with 11.2 millions employee owners, holding 630 billions Euro in assets. Looking at all other employee ownership schemes besides ESOPs, they have some 25 millions employee owners, holding more than 1.000 billions Euro in assets.
Europe: Considering the 2.500 largest European companies, we have now 8.2 millions employee owners across Europe, holding 260 billions Euro (see our first "Annual Economic Survey of Employee Ownership" will be soon made public).
Europe and USA: Employee owners hold now some 1.260 billions Euro, quite similar to the global capitalisation of all hedge funds across the world in 2007 (US$ 1.700 billions = 1.160 billions Euro).

New legislation in Slovenia
On February 29, the Slovenian Parliament voted a new legislation for employee share ownership and financial participation. This is a first major change in the new Member States of the European Union. Most of them promoted  employee ownership when they privatised, 15 years ago, but nothing was done to support employee ownership in the longer term. Hence this strange situation, employee share ownership expanding in the first 15 countries of the European Union, while declining in the new ones.

Brussels, 23 May 2008 – Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership
Employee ownership is developing faster and stronger across Europe than anyone could expect. This is the main conclusion of the first "Annual Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in the European Countries" which will be made public during the Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership. Also at the agenda: Political roundtable with high representatives of Slovenia, Germany, Austria, France, UK, Spain and others. And the ranking of the European Employee Ownership Top 100 companies in 2007. Would you like to attend – get detailed information here

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in February 2008, with 1.436 articles in this press review (on which 683 involving stock options and 212 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of  39 remarkable articles in 11 countries: Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Mali, Senegal, Sri Lanka, UK, USA.
Germany: 73% of companies call for more employee share ownership.
Spain: The legislation for employee-owned companies (sociedades laborales) will be renewed.
France: Contradictions. Government will develop employee financial participation in SMEs, while President Sarkozy will unblock employee savings to boost the private consumption. French business organisation MEDEF will organize a "Tour de France" to promote employee share ownership. Some typical cases: France Telecom, Société Générale, Essilor, Saint-Gobain.
Ireland: Employee share ownership has to face strategic choices for Eircom. State-owned gas supplier Bord Gais's 900 workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of setting up an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Italy: Employee share ownership seems still absent from political debates, so compared to many other European countries, Italy seems becoming marginalized.
United Kingdom: Still questions about the new Capital Gains Tax: will employee share ownership be damaged or not? According to David Erdal of The Baxi Partnership Ltd, employees in employee-owned businesses whistle on their way home from work.
USA: Employee Stock Ownership Plans get more and more attention. Full pages of articles in the Wall Street Journal and a related  Web page with a terrific podcast of interviews. "Diversification is definitely an issue ESOPs have to think about and educate their employees about," says Michael Keeling, president of the ESOP Association.

The press review is available on:

This is how much an employee held in 2006, in average, in shares of:

UBS  87.000 €
Total 47.000 €
Novartis 48.000 €
Mondragon 54.000 €
DeutscheBank 61.000 €
SocGen 38.000 €
BNPParibas 30.000 €
CréditAgricole 48.000 €
AXA 27.000 €
Bouygues 23.000 €

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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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