Daily Management Review

Ownership Works: The Development of Corporate Value Sharing


Launched in 2022, Ownership Works is a non-profit organization committed helping employees and their families create wealth through employment ownership programs, advance equality at the workplace and encourage increased employee engagement. Its mission to create prosperity through value sharing is ambitious, and a multitude of private, public and non-profit partners have signed up to support the initiative. Some have experience in the shared ownership model…

Ownership Works is a US-based non-profit specializing in wealth creation for employees at work, helping workers become active economic stakeholders in the companies they work. They aim to achieve this via a plethora of international partnerships that support a broad-based equity plan that aims to provide all full-time employees with a pathway for sharing in the equity upside, an employee financial education program, and an employee engagement program. This strategy is focused on creating better work environments, racial equality and more engaged employees who are fully invested in their company’s success.
Simply put, shared ownership is good for business and the right thing to do for employees,” said  Ownership WorksConsortium of founding investors. We know that companies grow and generate sustainable value when employees are engaged in their work and optimistic about the future – and thats exactly what shared ownership will help accomplish. We are proud to be founding partners of Ownership Works – a coalition that is empowering working families and making companies more competitive.”
Creating value through engagement
The Covid-19 pandemic blew apart many long-standing traditions within corporate world regarding work culture, remuneration and employee benefits. Direct employee engagement and participation in decision-making processes has become a desired evolution in companies hoping to improve performance and generate wealth. Interest has therefore exploded in employee ownership models that aim to drive value creation by creating common goals for all employees, with benefits shared by all stakeholders, not just by executive committees.
This movement is about working in concert to create a future of work where employers and employees can win together,said  Anna-Lisa Miller, Executive Director of Ownership Works. We believe broad-based employee ownership should be an important pillar of stakeholder capitalism and of an inclusive, equitable and resilient economy. Were grateful to our partners for helping us create new models of shared ownership that can generate superior financial returns for businesses, investors and employees alike.”
A first objective of the initiative is to generate at least $20 billion of wealth for working families by creating hundreds of thousands of new employee-owners by 2030. The fundamental aim of this strategy is to extend ownership to millions of lower-income workers and people of color who have been excluded from this wealth-building opportunity for generations in America, driving economic equality. The association aims to achieve this by rolling out its shared ownership model. This includes structuring & implementing broad-based ownership programs, developing a culture of ownership, creating a financially Inclusive & resilient workforce and sharing data, best practices and insight. The project is relying on a multitude of partners from the private, public and non-profit spheres who share this common goal.
A team effort
The success of the association is in no small part to its multitude of partners, from asset management and financial service firms, foundations and non-profits, to state actors and labor advocates, Ownership Works can leverage a wealth of knowledge and expertise on an international scale to promote its unique model for value sharing and wealth creation. These include investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation, among many others.
And for some, this is answering a specific societal issue affecting millions today. Employee Ownership is built on a simple premise: when workers prosper, our economy prospers,” said  Wilma Liebman, Former Chair of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama. The staggering rise in economic insecurity among working families is one of the deeply troubling issues of our time – and itll take a collective effort to solve it. Im thrilled to join Ownership Works in its commitment to empower employees and build an inclusive economy that truly values the contributions of workers across America.”
The initiative even has a foothold in Europe thanks to its partnership with the renowned French investment house Ardian, which itself is no stranger to the employee ownership model. The film has been profit-sharing for over 15 years as part of its sustainability vision and long-standing focus on ESG principles as drivers of value creation, so joining the initiative certainly seems a no-brainer. The firm has a long-standing conviction that the success of its companies’ portfolio rests on the participation of all stakeholders, driving growth through share incentives that benefit everyone. Ardian has distributed a portion of capital gains at exit to more than 31,000 employees at 40 portfolio companies and assets through its Buyout, Expansion, and Infrastructure investments, representing between one to six months’ salary for each employee according to its website.
We are very proud to partner with Ownership Works and to implement shared ownership schemes in our portfolio. At Ardian, we believe that everyone who has contributed to a successful investment should be rewarded for their contribution. From Ardians perspective as a private investment house, we see our commitment to reward employees of portfolio companies as an important element of our license to operate. We are convinced Ownership Works will soon become a major movement in the private equity industry and we are proud to be its first European partner.” Said Thibault Basquin, Deputy Head of Buyout at Ardian.