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Agenda At-A-Glance

Event Schedule (Subject to change)


Tuesday, 25 May 2021

4:00pm-5:00pm AEST


Amanda Gore, CEO of The Joy Project, an author, speaker, Huffington Post columnist and business woman

Amanda Gore, one of Australia's and the USA's favourite conference keynote speakers is CEO of The Joy Project, an author, speaker, Huffington Post columnist and business woman. She is one of 4 Australians inducted into the USA Speaker Hall of Fame. She is a CSP and has won both Educator of the Year and Keynote Speaker of the Year awards from National Speakers Association. More info...

Sponsored by:
Shareworks by Morgan Stanley

5:00pm-5:10pm AEST


5:10pm-6:00pm AEST

EOA Employee Ownership Awards 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked a renewed focus on the development and management of employee share plans. The EOA Employee Ownership Awards will be showcasing the best and most innovative work undertaken in the employee share plan space in 2020.

The 2020 Award categories are:

  • Best International Employee Share Plan
  • Best New Employee Share Plan
  • Most Effective and Innovative Communications Program
  • Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Employee Share Ownership (Less than 1,000 employees)
  • Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Employee Share Ownership (More than 1,000 employees)
  • Best Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) / Succession Plan

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

9:30am-10:10am AEST

Session I: The State of Private Equity Compensation

Design and Strategy
In Morgan Stanley’s first-ever report on the State of Equity Plan Management at Private companies, we surveyed over 300 equity administration professionals to investigate how companies are implementing and managing their share plans, along with the challenges they face. Join this panel of experts as they unpack the findings and discuss their relevance to the APAC market with CultureAmp.

Damian Bourke, Shareworks by Morgan Stanley (UK)
Sarah Tinsley, Culture Amp (AU)
Jeremy Wright, Shareworks by Morgan Stanley (US)

10:10am-10:50am AEST

Session II: Empowering Participants or Asking for Trouble? The Pros and Cons of Choice in Remuneration Programs

Design and Strategy
We are accustomed to having a plethora of choices in our personal and professional lives, and, generally, having choices is seen as a thing of value. Some companies have started to recognize and implement this concept into their remuneration programs by giving participants a choice about their remuneration in some way. The element of choice can also provide companies with more flexibility in design features and can have other added benefits such as increased engagement from participants. There are also potential downsides to allowing participants choose between different components of remuneration.

This session explores the different ways companies have implemented the element of choice in their remuneration programs and will highlight the programs that particular companies have implemented (and in one case discontinued). Panelists will discuss the philosophy behind offering participants choice, education, and communication strategies when offering these types of programs, as well as practical tips on navigating the tax and legal challenges these programs can pose in Australia and around the world.

Micaela Costello, CSL Limited (US)
Denise Glagau, Baker McKenzie (US)
Rebecca Isakson, Oracle Corporation (US)
Erica Kidston, Baker McKenzie (AU)

10:50am-11:00am AEST


11:00am-11:40am AEST

Session III: The Future of Equity Plan Communications in a Post-Pandemic World

Join this session for insights into how best to communicate your equity plans to participants in today’s environment. Drawing upon real-world experience from hundreds of equity plans clients, you’ll learn new and creative ways to communicate the value of your plans, the channels to use and the message to convey to ensure your equity plans create that desperately needed employee engagement.

Nicole Contreras, Computershare (US)
Robyn Shutak, FGE, Computershare (US)

11:40am-12:20pm AEST

Session IV: Becoming Employee-Owned by Trust in Australia & EOA Advocacy Update

Trending Now
Join this session for a discussion of how Meld Studios Australian design consultancy went from three co-founders to Employee Ownership by Trust, for longevity and succession planning, and employee empowerment.Confronted with a lot of "that's not possible here," Meld was fortunate to connect and collaborate with Employee Ownership Australia and Graeme Nuttall OBE throughout 2020 to explore how to bring Employee Ownership by Trust to Australia. That collaboration has led to Meld Studios being the first Australian-headquartered company to become an EOT. This session will walk attendees through the enggagement model Meld took with employees in becoming employee-owned, the types of self-management changes Meld is taking on, bringing employees on to the company Board and the Trust board, and the impact this has had on the business to date.

EOA will also be presenting an update on their current reform agenda.

Andrew Clements, Employee Ownership Australia (AU)
Janna DeVylder, Meld Studios (AU)


Thursday, 27 May 2021

12:30pm-1:10pm AEST

Session V: Woolworths Group Better Together Share Award—the Largest Employee Equity Plan in Australian History

In what was possibly the most significant year of our lifetime, the challenges presented to businesses and individuals alike during the global pandemic were enormous. Working continuously through national and statewide lockdowns would have no doubt taken a huge amount of hard work and dedication from Woolworths Group staff. To show their immense appreciation and gratitude of everyone's contribution, Woolworths saw an opportunity to say thanks to their staff and give them an opportunity to share in the future success of Woolworths Group. The recognition came in the form of up to $750 worth of Woolworths Group shares delivered to almost 100,000 team members across Australia and New Zealand under the "Better Together Share Award". The largest employee equity plan in Australia by some distance!Once the plan was confirmed, the next challenge presented itself; how to communicate with such a huge number of employees the benefits of the new plan, many of whom have never owned shares before, and who were based in every corner of Australia and also New Zealand. Not only to give them the opportunity to understand the plan and its benefits before accepting the shares, but the ongoing challenge of educating the team members on the benefits of being a Woolworths Group shareholder now and into the future.

Tom McCarty, Link Market Services (AU)
Phil Taylor, Woolworths Group Limited (AU)

1:10pm-1:50pm AEST

Session VI: Future Thinking—Executive Remuneration Design in Australia

Executive Pay
In a 2019 independent market study, it was concluded that deferred share models might be appropriate for 25% of UK companies. Only 5% used them at the time. A year-and-a-bit on, we are seeing a distinct trend towards restricted equity plans replacing traditional performance tested LTI plans. While becoming a design feature in the UK, the Australian market continues to be sceptical of awarding executives in restricted equity with no additional performance conditions. With setting of long-term targets becoming increasingly challenging against an uncertain post-COVID economic outlook, we have certainly been exposed to a number of Boards attracted to the concept of using restricted shares in their remuneration design, however external stakeholder opposition continues to be a blocker. Join this exciting presentation for an AGM-season market update, followed by a thought-provoking deep dive into the pros and cons of compensating leaders with restricted equity.

Maddy Dickson, SW Corporate (AU)
Thomas Laity, SW Corporate (AU)
Stephen Walmsley, SW Corporate (AU)

1:50pm-2:00pm AEST


2:00pm-2:40pm AEST

Session VII: Challenges with Taking Australian Plans Abroad in a Rapidly Changing World

Design and Strategy
Employee share scheme arrangements, and the types of awards offered to Australian participants, have been molded by Australia’s unique tax, regulatory, and corporate governance landscape. Even the terminology used is distinctive! As Australian companies expand their offerings to offshore employees, the need to maintain consistent plan arrangements for reward purposes and administrative simplicity must be balanced against the need for adaptability to accommodate the different equity compliance framework and potential favorable tax regimes in each country. And the challenges have only been increased by the rapid changes in business and employment environments around the world caused by the global pandemic. This session will consider some of the practical tax, legal, and administrative challenges Australian companies face when exporting their share plans to participants in today's market in some of the key countries around the world, with valuable insights provided by a panel of multinational issuers, including on approaches taken towards their share plans to weather recent changes.

Paul Baillie, Shareworks by Morgan Stanley (AU)
Kristy Jo, Aristocrat Leisure Limited (AU)
Sinead Kelly, Baker McKenzie (US)
Erica Kidston, Baker McKenzie (AU)
Joanna Mak, Brambles Limited (AU)

2:40pm-3:30pm AEST

Networking Event and Closing Remarks

The power of GEO lies within our broad network of local chapters which serve to bring our community together on a local basis for education and networking. Join your local chapter representatives to hear what is upcoming in your local market.