BT switches share scheme administrators

British Telecom (BT) has switched providers for the administration of its employee share plans including the management of the 100,000 UK and 10,000 international employees in its sharesave and share incentive plans (Sips).

The company has moved from Computershare (formerly HBOS Employer Equity Solutions) to Equiniti. The latter has had a relationship with with BT for more than 20 years as the manager of its share registration service.

BT will be working closely with its new provider to enhance its online services, allowing employees to view all of their plan information securely online including where to apply, exercise and sell, cancel and amend instructions and view a real-time dealing facility.

Francis O’Mahoney, head of employee share plans and share registration at BT, said: “We went through a full tender, considered the commercial and non-commercial aspects, and we decided the synergies between Equiniti on the share plan and share registration side gave us the flexibility and the agility in the way we wanted to move forward. Equiniti decided to enhance its online offering in partnership with BT to give BT what it wanted.”

BT currently operates a fair amount of its share plans through the company intranet, so was looking for a provider that would offer similar solutions. Employees can now access the system through an Equiniti ‘Share View’ internal site.

O’Mahoney added: “We are also developing a single log-on through BT’s intranet site. [Staff] will be able to log-on to Equiniti’s secure systems through BT’s intranet site, so there is no need for a separate user ID and password.”

BT has transferred records for approximately 120,000 past and present employees to Equiniti, which represents more than 80% participation in employee plans.

Employees were kept fully informed of the changes from the time the move was decided in order to give them an expectation of what communications they were going to receive and what benefits it would bring. This took place primarily through emails and BT’s intranet news desk.

In February, BT added a bespoke share price tracker fund to its offering with the expectation that staff would fold the proceeds of their share option plans directly into their pension funds.

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