EFES NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2023
experts and practitioners gathered at Oxford University
on 30 and 31 August.
There, they discussed the tools of collective
employee ownership, the form of employee ownership
that enables SMEs to be transferred to employees on
a large scale.
When the owner of an SME wants to retire, the best option
is often to transfer the business on to employees. But
this is not just about a few shares, the sums involved
are much larger. This is not something individual employees
can take on. On the other hand, it is perfect for collective
The collective ownership approach avoids the need for
employees to invest, risk their own savings or go into
debt. Financing comes from outside, in the form of credit,
and employees do not bear the risk.
In the Anglo-Saxon world, trusts are used as the legal
vehicle for organising this effectively. In the United
States, they have used the Employee Stock Ownership
Plan (ESOP) since 1974. In the UK, the Employee Ownership
Trust option is becoming increasingly popular.
There are legal vehicles in many European countries
that can be used for the same collective employee ownership
process. Their names vary from country to country: private
foundation, fondation privée, fiducie, stichting administratiekantoor,
A first set of European countries has now been identified.
Currently, the aim is to draw up the model employee
ownership vehicle in line with the legislation of each
country. Calling all interested lawyers!
have a selection of 24 remarkable articles in 8 countries
in August 2023: Czech
Republic, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Great
Czech legislation is still an obstacle to the development
of employee share ownership. Some advocate a competing device,
Germany: Government agreement to encourage employee
Spain: New employee share plan for Axa.
Italy: There is little to say about employee share
ownership in Italy.
Japan: Japan to ease stock-option tax rules
to help startups gain talent.
Netherlands: An example of a Dutch-style employee ownership
UK: Thanks to the Employee Ownership Trust scheme,
every day a new SME is transferred to employees. This month,
among others, the case of: Scala Consultancy, Instinct Resourcing
recruitment, EA Collective Agency, Highland Fuels, Big Group,
WCF Limited. With over 13,000 employees, Churchill Group is
the largest ever transition to an Employee Ownership Trust.
USA: Growing attention for Employee Ownership Trusts.
Workers become millionaires in sale of employee-owned Philadelphia
insurance company. BDO to Establish Employee Stock Ownership
Plan. Teamshares represents employee ownership for SMEs in
private equity style.
The full press review is available
political roadmap for employee ownership in Europe
EFES needs more members. Download the EFES membership form
new on the EFES website?