Helen Hatton

Helen Hatton is MD of Sator Regulatory Consulting Limited and chairman KYC Worldwide Lmited.

In what ways does employee share ownership serve a useful purpose?

Although tax efficiency is increasingly a motivating factor for businesses participating in or establishing structures, I am a true believer in the social engineering objectives of employee share ownership. I completely believe that widening the ownership of British businesses – or indeed those in other countries – offers more sustainable engagement of the workforce, stronger longer lasting relationships based on mutuality rather than the conflict model all too often driven by the trades union movement. The notion that labour and management are opposing forces is arcane – businesses that operate that way are outmoded and outdated – inclusiveness, mutuality and sustainability are the watchwords of the future where relationships must embrace change and work collectively to secure business markets of the future, not battle terminally over declining market share.

How can we widen and deepen the adoption and use of employee share ownership?

By promulgating understanding of the above points.

What would you tell someone on the fence about introducing employee share ownership to their company?

That Employee ownership is about inclusion , engagement and mutuality, it is not about tax efficient monetising of “perks”.

What do you think will change about employee share ownership over the next five years?

The Brexit vote is a clear message and mandate for change. British business must find ways to galvanise its workforce, put the “Great” back into Britain and compete and win business on a different basis from previously. New ways forward have to be found. Securing the kinds of flexibility, quality control and price competitiveness in a business with a workforce which shares the vision of a sustainable future, must be more likely than striving for those objectives with a workforce that is committed to preserving historic rights, job descriptions, processes, demarcations and rates.

What has been the most important development in employee share ownership during your career?

Although I have been a keen observer in the industry – I have never worked directly in it – as my employers have been education authorities, international banks and regulatory authorities.

Why do you think employee share ownership has enjoyed cross-party support in the UK?

From a socialist point of view, increasing the “working man’s” wealth and his capacity to influence management decisions, are worthy goals and, at the same time, from a more capitalist point of view, a model which increases the number of wealth creators, increases self determination and reduces reliability on the state are also highly attractive.

Which aspect of the Esop Centre do you most value?

Charming, helpful people and extremely interesting and useful published resources.

Which aspect of the Esop Centre would you most like to change?

Nothing! Its an organisation which “aint broke”.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Lying in the arms of my love at the end of a productive and profitable day when I know my children are fine, animals fed and the cat has been put out.

What is your most marked characteristic?


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Work – obtaining the first free standing Mareva injunction in an offshore jurisdiction, fundamentally ending offshore secrecy.

Personal – staying alive.

What historical figure do you most identify with?

Duke of Wellington.

Which living person do you most admire?

Joy Bell. Joy is a 90 year old friend. She is enormous fun, intelligent, loving, kind – she still hikes, kayaks and gardens and, still studies. Joy is an inspiration of the power of quiet strength, the power of love, the steel of a life filled with love, service and humour.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My mother and father. Amazing people. They survived the war, a turbulent marriage, and brought four children up to have an appetite for life and to maintain integrity and self belief.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse?


What is your most treasured possession?

1900 edition of Mrs Beaton . It belonged to my great aunt who carried it to her first home as an 18 year old married to a young army officer in India. Its full of her annotations to recipes and first aid instructions, including gunshot wounds and snake bites. Its still the first cookery book or first aid manual I go to and seems to have got me through raising my children, wine making and interviewing cooks and maids. A true handbook for life!