Esop Centre’s Newspad All-Employee Share Plan Awards 2023 Results

Monday, 29 April 2024
newspad awards 2023-congratulations to shortlisted

On Thursday, 25 April 2024, at the Esop Centre’s Seventh British Isles Share Plan Symposium, hosted by White & Case and co-sponsored by Vestd, Centre President and Founder, Malcolm Hurlston CBE announced the results of the Annual newspad All-Employee Share Plan Awards for 2023.

He thanked our judges: Damian Carnell, of CORPGRO, Anna Watch of BT, and Ann Tyler who chairs Ownership at Work, and has worked for founder member of the Centre, New Bridge Street Consultants, for dedicating their time and unique expertise to judging the entries.

We had four categories this year. Overall, the quality of the entries was excellent. The Judges were encouraged by drives for greater diversity in share plan take up, with higher numbers of female and younger employees taking part; and linking employee share plans to ESG goals.

For the Esop Centre’s 2023 newspad All-Employee Share Plan Awards there were four categories:

  1. Best all-employee share plan
  2. Best share plan communications
  3. Best use of technology, AI or behavioural science in employee share plans
  4. Best share plan response to significant changes or challenges

From all entries, 10 companies’ plans were shortlisted:


CVS Group plc





LEO Pharma

Secure Trust Bank



In recognition each will receive a newspad star which they will be free to display.

The results

Category 1 – Best All-Employee Plan

All-employee share plans help spread the wages of capital and boost company productivity and can be a particularly effective way for a large, or multinational company to bring together a diverse workforce to help achieve key corporate goals. Employee engagement can be vital to a small or fledgling businesses too and employee share plans give employees a stake in the company. Applications to this award category will be judged on how successfully the share plan meets the company’s objectives, for example: in inclusivity within the workforce as a whole; or in light of the complexities of cross-border arrangements; or in how the share scheme has been used to benefit employee and business alike.

Shortlisted for this award were Drax; Generali; LEO Pharma; Secure Trust Bank; and Vestd.

Overall winner of best all-employee plan is Drax.

Drax’s Deputy Conmpany Secretary, Nigel Youds asked Equiniti and Wealth at Work to represent the company at the awards presentations. Jennifer Rudman and Sarah Long accepted the award.

And because standards were high in this closely contended category, the judges Highly Commended LEO Pharma’s ESPP. Darren Smith of nominator Global Shares accepted the award on LEO Pharma’s behalf.

Secure Trust Bank’s entry received a special mention – it was notable for its emphasis on financial education and its “Worriers’ Guide”.

Category 2 – Best Share Plan Communications

Communication is key to the success or failure of an all-employee share scheme. This award category highlights the need for communications programmes that are sensitive to the circumstances of an individual company and the make-up of its workforce.

Shortlisted for this award were CM.com; CVS Group; Diageo; Drax; EasyJet; Generali; and SThree

Overall winner of best share plan communications 2023 was Diageo. Diageo’s Ceri Newby and Lindsey Spencer accepted their award.

Generali was commended for its communications around its ESPP scheme.

There was a notable mention for easyJet’s communications.

Category 3 - Best Use Of Technology, AI Or Behavioural Science In Employee Share Plans

Without effective technological solutions, all-employee share plans would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming for many companies. This award category recognises innovative uses of technology.

Shortlisted for this award were Diageo; and Vestd

Overall Winner of best use of technology, AI or behavioural science was Vestd, whose CEO, Ifty Nasir accepted the award.

Commended in this category was Diageo - Ceri Newby and Lindsey Spencer accepted their commendation.

Category 4 - Best share plan response to significant changes or challenges

Since 2020, the pandemic, global crises, rising inflation and the cost of living have brought many challenges to business, not least of which is the change to working life and finances. All-employee share plans can play a key part in rising to such challenges by contributing to employees’ savings, morale and engagement. This award is designed to recognise ingenuity in either adapting a share plan or creating a special plan to fit the rapidly shifting landscape or help alleviate some of the pressures that arise from extraordinary situations.

Shortlisted for this award were Drax and Generali - both close contenders in this category.

Overall winner of best share plan response to significant changes or challenges was Generali

Highly Commended in this category was Drax’s Sharesave plan.

A full report including judges’ comments will be published in newspad.