Absa Group reviews employee ownership programme

10 Aug 2018

Absa Group, formerly Barclays Africa is currently reviewing the ownership programme, following the downsizing of the shareholding by Barclays PLC from the Group which is also currently undergoing rebranding across the Africa continent.

Asked recently by The Telegragh if the group intends to have a strategy on employee share option scheme for the employees to have the sense of ownership into the group, Deputy CEO Peter Matlare said that “We are currently reviewing the ownership programme across the business as there are different tax regimes across the continent. There is an extensive work being undertaken in that regard.”

Matlare emphasised on the need to identify how meaningful it will be across all employees and bring all employees to the financial inclusion agenda and be part of the change.

The Johannesburg-based bank, will explore ways on how to create ownership opportunity, what works and doesn’t work well across all these markets. Pointing out in addition, “We have to think very carefully, considering that we are listed in other jurisdictions and not others and with different tax regimes. What does that mean to individual? When that colleague decides to sell the shares or is deemed to be a benefit, how does a tax authority treat that? How would it work in a meaningful manner for all colleagues across the business?”  All these questions are what the Bank’s executive management is considering to look as they review the programme.

Ownership does not refer to “just owning a share”, but how you show up and what you derive that ownership to deliver on it.

Previously, the ownership which was only limited to executive management, might have to allow every employee across board to own a slice of cake in Absa shares; from the front desk officer to the top executive. The Group is going to have to look at the model at which the share ownership will be applied. Often listed companies  when applying the models, they look at the ratio reserved to employees, discount prices, top performing staff amongst other criteria that they may agree is safe applicable.

The Barclays brand had become the fabric of the society; having existed in Botswana for approximately 100 years.