Henderson Global Investors has a take-up rate of between 70% and 80% across its sharesave scheme and share incentive plan (Sip), which is no mean feat given that the investment firm operates nine share plans.
Henderson operates a variation of plans across 20 countries, including: a UK and a US sharesave; a UK and an international Sip; an employee stock ownership plan; and a restricted share plan, which was launched in 2004 for senior employees and has performance conditions attached to it.
Henderson offers employees in the Sip two matching shares for every share they buy, as well as free shares.
Shelly Ribbons, share plan manager at Henderson, and her team manage the communications strategy for all share plans in-house. They produce a brochure for each plan and for each country, as well as running staff presentations. Video link presentations are used for expatriates.
Ribbons says: “We don’t just communicate at the launch of a plan, but through the lifecycle of the plan as well.”
Employees are also offered tax guidance when share plans mature, which Ribbons is well placed to do as a former tax manager.
Quirky initiatives to help promote the value of the share plans this year have included an Easter campaign that saw Ribbons and her team present employees with Easter eggs carrying stickers showing Henderson’s option price.
“We try to give as much information as possible to employees in simple terms, without overloading them,” says Ribbons.