Alex Beidas is a newly elected employment and incentives partner at Linklaters.
Why did you enter your current profession?
I became an Incentives lawyer so I could get involved in a wide range of issues – corporate governance, financial regulation, employment law, tax, trusts law etc. It keeps my mind busy and I enjoy the human aspect.
What are the best features of your job?
Being part of an energetic team of enquiring minds who keep me on my toes. Since becoming a partner it’s the added responsibility, particularly having influence over the strategic direction of the team.
In what ways does employee share ownership serve a useful purpose?
I think it’s the key to employee engagement, it focuses employees’ minds.
How can we widen and deepen the adoption and use of employee share ownership?
By offering tax breaks, demonstrating to companies how employee share ownership can have a transformative effect, and engaging employees to show them the benefits.
What is the greatest obstacle to wider and deeper employee share ownership?
The perception of some employees that they won’t have influence over the share price.
What has been the most important development in employee share ownership during your career?
There’s been a lot of new regulation affecting material risk takers at banks and asset managers amongst others. They are now required to hold 50 per cent of their variable pay in shares, that’s certainly been a development that has increased employee share ownership.
Which change to share plans regulation, in the UK or elsewhere, would you most like to see?
No one would thank me for suggesting we should roll the 50 per cent requirement out to other sectors…
Which book has most changed your life?
A book on mindfulness. Planning for the future is important but we shouldn’t forget to enjoy the present.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Need to think about that one. I think balancing having two boys with my career.
Which living person would you most like to meet?
Kevin Spacey, I could ask him what will happen in the 4th series of House of Cards.
Do you have a favourite sport?
I’ve done some marathons, but I think probably climbing.
How do you relax?
Reading non-employee incentives related stuff; I don’t have a copy of Pett’s employee share schemes by my bed.