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Is there any evidence to suggest that having access to a share plan during the pandemic has given participants a greater sense of security/financial wellbeing.

Computershare recently surveyed nearly 400 share plan participants around the world to understand the impact of the pandemic on their decision to sell shares. While the survey was conducted by a European affiliate and centred around the European market, we believe there is still a lot of relevance to the Australian market.

Our objective was to learn more about why participants recently sold their shares and whether the pandemic had affected this decision, with a focus on understanding participants' sense of financial wellbeing during this time and their engagement as a shareholder. We provided two related statements and asked participants to what extent they agreed.

  • Statement 1: "Having employee shares has provided me with a sense of security and increased financial diversification and wellbeing during the pandemic."
  • Statement 2: "I feel more engaged with my company because I am a shareholder."

The good news is that in both scenarios more than half of participants said they agreed (55% of respondents said having employee shares has provided them with a sense of security, and increased financial diversification and wellbeing during the pandemic). These results are consistent with other similar Computershare and industry-wide studies, which consistently show that participants that take part in an Employee Share Purchase Plan (ESPP) or other equity plan have a greater sense of financial well-being. They also speak to why companies need to have these plans in place and the importance they take during a crisis.

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