The new benefits package starting this month will allow employees across the world to own shares in the 274-year-old company. Those working in areas of the world where the company is prohibited from issuing equity on this basis will receive compensation in cash.
Sotheby’s has 1662 employees in total based in 80 different locations and all of those eligible will be automatically enrolled on the scheme. In the UK, it has 533 staff and the company confirmed that all permanent employees who have not already received stock grants this year will be awarded restricted stock units as part of this programme.
The company operated an equity programme for senior executives for many years and said it is now “very pleased to now offer this benefit to our broader population”.
Each year, Sotheby’s board of directors will review company performance and assess whether these ‘restricted stock units’ will be granted. In a press release, the firm described the initiative as a “savings and investment programme for employees” thanks to the share price appreciation and accumulation of future potential grants.
Sotheby’s chief executive Tad Smith said: “Whenever a client is dealing with a member of the Sotheby’s team, they will be dealing with an owner of our firm.”
He added: “Engaging and rewarding employees with a stock award is part of the company’s commitment to our team and a key differentiator for us as an employer.”