New York, NY – Ownership Works, a new nonprofit with a mission to increase prosperity through shared ownership at work, launched today with the support of 60 partners across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Ownership Works will develop and help implement broad-based employee ownership programs to create better work environments and financial opportunities for employees, and to help businesses improve their performance by attracting and retaining engaged employees who are invested in their company’s success. This new movement is particularly timely as many Americans are leaving jobs to seek better pay, benefits and corporate cultures.
Ownership Works is supported by an unprecedented consortium of corporations, foundations, investors, labor advocates and pension funds that recognize the power of employee ownership to unlock new levels of success for companies while creating a pathway to wealth creation for workers. This approach can play a role in helping to address the lack of stock ownership among the bottom 50% of households and by people of color.
Ownership Works aims to catalyze a groundswell of interest in employee ownership across corporate America, and to provide private and public companies with practical models and tools to support program implementation. By 2030, the nonprofit anticipates that the shared ownership movement will:
- Create hundreds of thousands of new employee-owners
- Generate at least $20 billion of wealth for working families
At scale, this movement has the potential to extend ownership to millions of lower-income workers and people of color who have been excluded from this wealth-building opportunity for generations.
“This movement is about working in concert to create a future of work where employers and employees can win together,” said Anna-Lisa Miller, Executive Director of Ownership Works. “We believe broadbased employee ownership should be an important pillar of stakeholder capitalism and of an inclusive, equitable and resilient economy. We’re grateful to our partners for helping us create new models of shared ownership that can generate superior financial returns for businesses, investors and employees alike.”
Ownership Works’ founding partners have made a range of commitments including contributions from:
- Financial services firms and pension funds to elevate shared ownership as a leading ESG strategy;
- Public companies with employee ownership to share their knowledge and expertise;
- Labor advocates to advance shared ownership as one core pillar of a quality job; and
- Nineteen investment firms to co-create replicable models of shared ownership for implementation at over 50 companies by the end of 2023.
Ownership Works is advancing employee ownership programs with four components:
- Structuring & Implementing Broad-Based Ownership Programs that provide every employee with the opportunity to participate in the value they help create. Ownership participation should be meaningful – providing the potential to earn at least six months of an employee’s annual earnings – offered at no cost to employees earning under $100,000 annually, and may range from tradable shares to options, restricted stock units, or other forms of actual or synthetic equity.
- Developing a Culture of Ownership that addresses long standing employee engagement issues by aligning an entire workforce around a common purpose, values and goals to maximize shared wealth creation and foster work environments where employees feel respected and engaged.
- Creating a Financially Inclusive & Resilient Workforce through programs that address the widespread lack of financial literacy in America by providing employees with access to personal financial education and coaching, along with access to cost-effective financial services.
- Sharing Data, Best Practices & Insight on the impact of shared ownership on employee financial wellbeing and corporate performance.
The need to improve engagement, economic opportunity and financial capability among employees is well documented:
- According to the Federal Reserve, the bottom 50% of households own less than 1% of the roughly $40 trillion in directly held stocks and mutual funds held by individuals, and more than a quarter of American workers (26%) have no money saved for retirement.
- Wealth and financial security are also highly concentrated by race and ethnicity. Black and Latino households own only 2% of directly held stock and mutual funds, while almost half of Black families and nearly two-thirds of Latino families have no retirement plan.
- According to Gallup, 66% of employees describe themselves as "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" at work.
- According to the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 66% of Americans are unable to correctly answer more than three of five questions covering aspects of economics and finance encountered in everyday life.
Eighteen asset management and financial services firms have committed to providing Ownership Works with charitable donations as well as a range of programmatic support, from encouraging their institutional clients to explore the benefits of employee ownership, to integrating shared ownership into their ESG strategies and products, to developing personal financial education programs for employee-owners.
- Bank of America
- BNP Paribas
- Credit Suisse
- Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- Hamilton Lane
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Mizuho Americas
- Morgan Stanley
- Wells Fargo
- William Blair
“Financial institutions have an important role to play in advancing new approaches to business that leverage the power of investing to create a better world – and we’re proud to partner with Ownership Works on exactly this,” said Ralph Hamers, Group Chief Executive Officer of UBS. “We firmly believe that employee participation programs can help more employees grow their wealth, reducing wealth inequalities in society while also enabling firms to prosper. Through this important movement, we can help create a brighter future, together.”
The following foundations and nonprofits have committed to providing thought partnership and resources to help Ownership Works deliver on shared goals of creating greater financial opportunity for working families and increasing racial equity.
- Credit Suisse Americas Foundation
- Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
- Ford Foundation
- Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream
- Omidyar Network
- Rockefeller Foundation
- UBS Optimus Foundation
“We are proud to support Ownership Works and their efforts to create a more inclusive, worker-centric business model that incorporates the needs of all stakeholders alongside shareholders,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. “Creating an economic system that works for all will require new models for business, including employee ownership, that generate wealth for all.”
Nineteen investors have each committed to collaborating with Ownership Works to advance shared ownership within their portfolios. Partners with an emphasis on control investments will implement new models of shared ownership within at least three of their portfolio companies by the end of 2023, while also sharing data and insights from their experience so that these models can be evaluated and improved over time.
- Altamont Capital Partners
- Apollo Global Management
- Arcline Investment Management
- Ares Management
- Berkshire Partners
- Blue Wolf Capital Partners
- Capitol Meridian
- Goldman Sachs Asset Management
- Harvest Partners
- L Catterton
- Leonard Green & Partners
- Oak Hill Capital
- Providence Equity Partners
- Shamrock Capital
- Silver Lake
- Tailwind Capital
- Warburg Pincus
“Simply put, shared ownership is good for business and the right thing to do for employees,” said Ownership Works’ Consortium of founding investors. “We know that companies grow and generate sustainable value when employees are engaged in their work and optimistic about the future – and that’s exactly what shared ownership will help accomplish. We are proud to be founding partners of Ownership Works – a coalition that is empowering working families and making companies more competitive.”
The following labor advocates have committed to helping Ownership Works and the companies it supports to develop innovative approaches to elevating worker voice, empowering employees and establishing shared ownership as one of the pillars of a quality job.
- Andrea Dehlendorf, Executive Director, United for Respect
- Keith Mestrich, Retired Chief Executive Officer and President of Amalgamated Bank
- Wilma Liebman, Former Chair, National Labor Relations Board under President Obama
“Employee Ownership is built on a simple premise: when workers prosper, our economy prospers,” said Wilma Liebman, Former Chair of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama. “The staggering rise in economic insecurity among working families is one of the deeply troubling issues of our time – and it’ll take a collective effort to solve it. I’m thrilled to join Ownership Works in its commitment to empower employees and build an inclusive economy that truly values the contributions of workers across America.”
The following pension fund leaders and experts have committed to lending their time and expertise to help establish shared ownership as a leading ESG strategy that generates both strong investment returns and significant social benefit.
- Jon Braeutigam, Chief Investment Officer, State of Michigan Retirement System
- Greg Durst, Managing Director, Corporate Development, Institutional Limited Partners Association
- Alison Hirsh, Assistant Comptroller for Pensions and Senior Advisor, Office of the New York City Comptroller
- Yup Kim, Head of Investment, CalPERS Private Equity
- Gianna McCarthy, Director of Corporate Governance, New York State Common Retirement Fund
- Allyson Tucker, Chief Executive Officer, Washington State Investment Board
“This is about smart and responsible investing. When companies share ownership, it helps families, communities and society,” said Allyson Tucker, CEO at the Washington State Investment Board. “Asset owners and managers all have a role to play here, and Ownership Works can help us promote shared ownership as a societal benefit that also yields strong returns for investors.”
The following professional services providers have supported Ownership Works by providing counsel on the technology, tax, financial, accounting, and legal implications of establishing the nonprofit, as well as tools and analyses to support its operations and the design of new models of shared ownership.
- Kirkland & Ellis
- McKinsey & Company
“We are excited for the launch of Ownership Works and proud to help support the organization through strategic advisement and services, said Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO, Deloitte US. “Now more than ever, companies are focused on broadening the ways in which they empower and support employees, and Ownership Works provides an innovative roadmap for how to encourage economic equity for both the organization and its employees.”
“Shared ownership has the power to be a significant driver of inclusive growth for companies, for workers and for the economy as a whole,” said Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and CEO of EY. “Ownership Works is helping pioneer the future of equity ownership – one that is as beneficial to employees as it is to companies – and EY is proud to partner with them on this mission.”
The following public companies with broad-based employee ownership have committed to sharing their knowledge and experience to help others adopt the model.
- Ingersoll Rand
Employees rise to the next level of accountability when we provide them with the opportunity to participate in their company’s growth and to benefit from future value creation,” said Vicente Reynal, Chairman, President and CEO of Ingersoll Rand and Board Member of Ownership Works. “Ownership creates a culture where employees can benefit both financially and professionally as they contribute to the success of their company. As a founding partner of Ownership Works, Ingersoll Rand hopes our experience can inspire other companies to implement shared ownership programs that enhance employee engagement, improve company profitability and benefit all shareholders, including employees.”
About Ownership Works
Founded in 2021, Ownership Works is a nonprofit organization on a mission to increase prosperity through shared ownership at work. We partner with business leaders and investors to provide all employees with the opportunity to participate in the success they help create. Our shared ownership approach improves employees’ financial security, helps them build wealth and increases their on-the job engagement. By creating stronger workplace cultures, our model also sets the stage for businesses to enhance performance and competitiveness. To learn more, please visit ownershipworks.org.