Global asset management organisation Janus Henderson Investors has 2,000 employees, 800 of which are in the UK, and offers eight share scheme options. These include a share incentive plan (Sip), a company share option plan (Csop), a sharesave scheme, a restricted share plan, a long-term incentive plan, a deferred equity plan, an international Sip and a joint ownership plan.
Its Sip, known internally as Buy As You Earn, was launched in August 2004 for all staff. It allows employees to save the maximum of £150 a month, and offers matching shares on a two-for-one basis, so employees can contribute £300 a month. Janus Henderson Investors also offers free shares in alignment with bonuses; employees can receive shares equivalent to between 10% and 20% of their bonus amount. In the UK, 86% of eligible employees participate in this scheme, with an average saving of £135.
The all-employee sharesave scheme, introduced in 2002, enables staff to purchase organisation shares at a 20% discount on the current share price at the conclusion of a three-year period. If employees do not wish to buy shares, they can receive back the money they have saved. Employees can contribute the maximum of £500 a month. Around 62% of eligible UK employees participate in the sharesave scheme, with an average saving of £227.
Shelly Ribbons, share plan manager at Janus Henderson Investors, says: “We’re offering the maximum discount in sharesave, we’re giving employees the maximum number of matching shares in respect of the Sip, so we’re actually giving employees the full benefit they can have. As soon as they’re investing, they’re making money straight away. That is part of our financial education strategy and wellbeing [strategy].”
This strategy also includes an annual financial education day in October, which has operated for the past eight to nine years. External providers deliver hour-long presentations for up to 60 employees per session on topics such as debt, credit scores, mortgages, pensions and individual savings accounts (Isas). Employees are also able to have one-to-one appointments with providers.
“[We] just need to think about the employee’s financial wellbeing,” Ribbons explains. “It’s all tied in together, so it’s not just the share plans that [we] have to communicate [about. We need to] make sure that [employees are] fully aware of what they’re signing up to, but [we] need to think outside of the share plans as well, [to employees’] overall financial wellbeing.”
The organisation regularly hosts presentations for the launch of new share plans, and also uses brochures, handouts and a canteen stand to communicate with employees. Information is also available via emails and messages from the chief executive officers, as well as a share plan portal and one-to-one meetings with HR team members.
Janus Henderson Investors hosts a birthday party, with cake and champagne, every August for employees who have remained in the Sip for five years. This includes a 10-minute presentation on what employees can consider now that their shares are tax-free.
“It’s all well and good getting them to put their money in, but [employers] need to give [staff] the information to be able to make the best decision when they’re coming out as well,” Ribbons concludes. “It’s giving them, not advice, but the information to make their own decision on what they need to do for their own personal circumstances.”