Oxford Symposium on Employee Ownership

Agenda

The 2024 Oxford Symposium agenda will be released in the spring. For reference, the 2023 agenda is below.


Tentative Schedule


29 August, 2023

Government Official Pre-conference Session

LocationFieldFisher London Office

A Pre-conference working session for government officials only will be provided at the London offices of FieldFisher. During this day experts and practitioners will provide key briefings to ensure strong participant facility with different models of employee ownership, structures, regulation, and best practices. Following the pre-conference, participants will be transported to Oxford University.

30 August, 2023

Registration

LocationExamination Schools

Coffee, tea, and pastries.

Symposium Convenes

LocationExamination Schools

Welcome to the Symposium and an explanation of the importance of the Symposium, its goals, and purpose in a global context of public policy, non-governmental organisations and the private economy.

Speakers
Jonathan Michie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford, President of Kellogg College and Director of the University of Oxford's Centre for Mutual and Co-owned Businesses
James (Jim) Bonham, President, Employee Ownership Foundation

Talk on The Building Blocks of Good Employee Ownership

LocationExamination Schools

An exploration of the essential elements necessary for employee ownership to take root and flourish.

Speakers
Graeme Nuttall, Partner, Fieldfisher

Break

LocationExamination Schools

Coffee, tea, and pastries.

Panel on The Best Uses of Profits in 100% Employee-Owned Companies

LocationExamination Schools

Without external shareholders, what opportunities and obligations are there regarding the use of a company's profits, after providing for working capital and maintaining reserves? The panel will discuss different perspectives and priorities especially regarding profit-sharing among employees.

Speakers
Daniel Goldstein, President and Chief Executive Officer, Folience, a highly diversified company owned 100% by an employee stock ownership plan
Johnny Aisher, Manager, Partnership Council and Trustee Director, John Lewis Partnership, the well-known U.K. 100% employee trust owned company
Tej Gonza, Director, Inštitut za Ekonomsko Demokracijo, the Slovenian Institute for Economic Democracy

Lunch including talks on Ensuring Employee Ownership Rules Can Apply Internationally

LocationExamination Schools

Many employee-owned companies have employees in more than one country. Each speaker will outline what can be done to reduce the obstacles to extending employee ownership models beyond a company's home jurisdiction.

Speakers
David (Dave) Fitz-Gerald, Chief Financial Officer, Carris Reels, a company operating internationally and owned 100% by an employee stock ownership plan
Jon Shell, Managing Director, Social Capital Partners

Response from: Janet Cooper, Co-Founder and Vice Chair, Global Equity Organisation

Panel on The Importance of Government-Supported Regional Employee Ownership Centres

LocationExamination Schools

A growing number of Government-supported regional and municipal centres promote employee ownership in the U.S.A. and U.K. The panel will examine what their vital contribution is to promoting employee ownership.

Speakers
Cindy Turcot, Founding Board Member, Vermont Center for Employee Ownership
James de le Vingne, Chief Executive Officer, Employee Ownership Association
Irune Yarza, Director of Public Revenue , Gipuzkoa Tax Authority

Also available to contribute: Iñigo Balerdi, Head of Fiscal Regulation and Legal Advice Service, Gipuzkoa Tax Authority

Break

LocationExamination Schools

Coffee, tea, and pastries.

Panel on The Role of Tax Legislation in Supporting the Growth of Employee Ownership

LocationExamination Schools

Tax laws may be essential to remove obstacles to implementing employee ownership models, especially direct employee share ownership plans. The U.K. has seen how codifying the employee ownership trust model in tax law has boosted U.K. employee ownership. Our panellists will discuss what tax law can and should do to promote employee ownership.

Speakers
Sarah Anderson, Business Development Manager, RM2 Partnership
David Binns, Senior Consultant, ESOP Services

Day One Review and Learnings

LocationExamination Schools

by Graeme Nuttall, partner, Fieldfisher including contributions from the floor.

Facilitated meeting of Government Officials

LocationExamination Schools

Share best practices, discuss obstacles and collaboration.

Around the World of Employee Ownership in 80 Minutes

LocationExamination Schools

Brief histories of employee ownership in various countries.

Chair
Andrew Pendleton, Professor of Employee Ownership and Reward, University of New South Wales

Venue Transfer to Divinity School

LocationDivinity School

10 minutes walk

Reception and Dinner

LocationDivinity School

Talk on A Philosophical Look at Employee Ownership

Speaker
John Hoffmire, Director, Carmen Porco Chair in Sustainable Business, Center on Business and Poverty

31 August, 2023

Registration

LocationExamination Schools

Coffee, tea, and pastries.

Meeting of National Employee Ownership Bodies to Discuss Increased International Collaboration

LocationExamination Schools

Delegates representing national employee ownership organisations will meet.

Opening Remarks on the Fast-Growing U.K. Employee Ownership Sector

LocationExamination Schools

Speaker:
Graeme Nuttall, Partner, Fieldfisher LLP

Factoring Employee Ownership into Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Criteria

LocationExamination Schools

Why employee ownership represents the epitome of ESG goals yet can be penalised or ignored by those developing frameworks of recognition, to include a report on the ‘EO Knowledge Programme’ an unprecedented U.K. research programme to establish a baseline for the economic, social and environmental impact of employee ownership.

Speakers:
Cindy Turcot, Founding Board Member, Vermont Center for Employee Ownership
Campbell McDonald, Chief Executive, Ownership at Work

Break

LocationExamination Schools

Coffee, tea, and pastries.

Panel on Regulatory Side Winds That Can Knock Employee Ownership Off Track and Why Every Government Should Have a Minister for Employee Ownership

LocationExamination Schools

Distinctive features of the employee ownership business model mean it does not always fit neatly with other Government policies and special treatment may be needed. The panel will consider examples to illustrate and explore this issue and make the case for every country having a Minister for Employee Ownership to look after the employee ownership sector’s interests.

Speakers:
Camilla Bellamy, CSH Surrey on discrimination in U.K. National Health Service pay awards for employee-owned and other NHS care providers
Rick Pearl, Partner, Faegre Drinker on achieving regulatory clarity for employee stock ownership plans and conclusions from U.S. Supreme Court cases on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act 1974

Panel and contributions from the room on Making it Easier To Buy a Controlling Employee Ownership Stake.

LocationExamination Schools

Moves to employee ownership are typically funded by a company out of its own profits. What can ease this process? The American Employee Equity Investment Act is expected to accelerate the growth of employee ownership through an investment facility within the existing Small Business Administration, Small Business Investment Company programme designed to mobilise private investment towards creating, growing, and sustaining employee-owned businesses.

Speakers:
Regina Carls, Managing Director, ESOP Advisory Group Head, J.P. Morgan on financing employee stock ownership plans
John Shell, Managing Director, Social Capital Partners

Lunch

LocationExamination Schools

Senior politicians on Why Governments Support Employee Ownership

LocationExamination Schools

The benefits of employee ownership are many and diverse. We will hear from senior politicians why they chose to support employee ownership.

Speakers:
Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy, Welsh Government
Anas Sarwar, Member of Scottish Parliament for Glasgow. Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
Alistair Carmichael, Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland and former Secretary of State for Scotland, Coalition Government (2010-2015)
Luca Mesec, Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia

Break

LocationExamination Schools

Coffee, tea, and pastries.

Public Policy in the Context of Matured Employee Ownership: Life Cycles of the Ownership Model

LocationExamination Schools

Employee ownership is not just a successful business succession solution. It is a long-term business model that works at every stage in the business life cycle.

Speaker:
James Bonham, President, Employee Ownership Foundation

Panel and contributions from the room on Designing The Perfect Employee Ownership Business Succession Solution

LocationExamination Schools

There is a wide range of features to consider when designing an employee ownership model including ease of establishing and operating it, cost effectiveness and flexibility. This panel will identify and aim to prioritise the key features of the perfect employee ownership business succession solution.

Speakers:
Carole Leslie, Director, Ownership Associates
Ken Serwinski, Chairman and co-Founder of Prairie Capital Advisors

Venue Transfer to Sheldonian Theatre

LocationSheldonian Theatre

10 minutes walk

Closing Addresses on Growing Employee Ownership Globally

LocationSheldonian Theatre

Speakers:
James (Jim) Bonham, President, Employee Ownership Foundation
Graeme Nuttall, Partner, FieldFisher LLP

Reception

LocationSheldonian Theatre

Chatham House Rules and a Video


A product of the Symposium will be a video that records what we discuss. At the same time, there will be an assumption of Chatham House Rules, where people can talk about what they learned at the gathering. But no-one may quote another without their permission, unless the video, which would be accepted/edited by all those filmed, made public an individual's opinion.


The Symposium is organised by The Centre for Mutual and Co-owned Business with the support of The Employee Ownership Foundation and Fieldfisher, UK.