The Australian Employee Ownership Index – Interview with Angela Perry, Chair, Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand (EOA)

by Employee Share Ownership on December 12, 2016

What does the head of EOA, Angela Perry, have to say about the new Australian EOI?

EOA staffer Antony McMullen recently interviewed her about the Index and this is what she said….

How does this Index work?  

For a company to form part of the EOA Index, it must have a broad-based employee ownership scheme that is available to all its workforce.  In addition, there is a requirement that at least 30% of the employees must participate in the plan, i.e. accept an offer or save some of their salary to buy shares.

Why have an Employee Ownership Index?

For me, it is really important that we are constantly seeing how employee owned companies perform against their peers.  I strongly believed they performed better, but we wanted to test that to see if it was the case.  I also knew that there was really no evidence until this index was launched – it clearly shows the connection between employee ownership and productivity, diversity and sustainability.

Has this happened anywhere else?

Yes, the UK was the real forerunner in this space and have 2 indices in place that track EO companies against the FTSE 200.

Why do you think employee share ownership is so low-profile in Australia?

I actually don’t think that it is low profile … owners get it, start-ups get it, SMEs, big business gets it, and co-ops get it.  It has been happening quietly and behind the scenes for many years.  Companies have been reluctant to talk about it because it has been misunderstood at many levels by some people.  That is changing now with bipartisan political support, media coverage and companies telling their stories openly.  I think that it is only going to get stronger as this area matures.

Do you think that more investors will be interested in monitoring whether company have employee share ownership in the future because of the Australian Employee Ownership Index?

Definitely.  Investors have a growing focus on sustainability, diversity and performance.  EO companies tick all those boxes.  I think there a growing tide of public support for performance being more than just profit – and this is reflected in the way investors are now rightly measuring companies on a number of things.  It is great to see.

Who funded the Index and who developed it?

EOA and it’s Board members produced the index, which was a lot of long hours and hard work.  We are also completely reliant on our members to help us keep this work going so they also played a key part.

Find out more about the Index here: Employee Ownership Index

Find out more about supporting the work of EOA by considering membership here:
Employee Ownership Member Benefits

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