Announcing our AESOP scheme – a new flexible ownership option scheme for all staff

08.04.24 Studio News

As part of the Aukett Swanke Group, Veretec is delighted to announce its participation in the AESOP scheme, creating a more collaborative and inclusive business ownership model for  the long-term benefit of all staff.

The All Employee Share Ownership Plan (AESOP) sits somewhere between the traditional ‘buy-in’ partnership model for senior staff, usually requiring a lump sum and unaffordable for many, and the EOT model, an increasingly popular succession vehicle for practices which creates a level ownership for all staff as long as they remain with the company.

ASG’s AESOP plan entitles all employees to invest between £10 and £150 per month in purchasing shares in the Group from their pre-tax salary. The Group matches this contribution pound-for-pound on the first £50 per month by purchasing matching shares for the relevant employee. Employees who leave will only forfeit the matching shares they have acquired within the last three years of their employment (with some exceptions reacting to redundancy or ill health). In this way the scheme opens up ownership to a much wider staff base, and allows them to retain continuity of investment beyond their employment period.

In common with an EOT, the AESOP scheme democratises ownership: (post probation) employment being the only criteria to fulfil in order to participate. But the AESOP scheme overcomes one of the major drawbacks of EOTs for senior staff, giving them a tax efficient route to building larger ownership stakes without affecting their take home pay.

The scheme also offers a far greater degree of flexibility: ownership can be reduced at any time should an employee’s circumstances change and, critically, can be retained even after an employee leaves the company

The scheme has already proved very successful with 40% of group employees taking up the share options within the first month.