ProShare Membership Benefits 2023
ProShare was established in 1992 by HM Treasury, a group of FTSE 100 companies and the London Stock Exchange to promote wider share ownership. Today, we work with companies of all sizes and across all sectors, helping to promote employee share ownership in the UK, as the voice of employee share plan practitioners and professionals. ProShare is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation, and we are funded solely through membership and our events.
We offer a range of membership levels, designed to meet the needs and budgets of individuals and organisations involved in share plans – see the table on the last page. If you’re considering membership but are not sure which level would suit you best, do please contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liaison with HMRC, HM Treasury and fellow industry bodies
As a member-led organisation we are always keen to hear views from our members on all areas of employee share ownership. We meet regularly with HMRC – and are a member of the HMRC Share Schemes Forum – HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Members of Parliament, and other regulatory and industry bodies, to express our members’ views and to ensure that the benefits of employee share ownership are understood and appreciated by those in positions of influence.
We also campaign to protect, adapt, and improve share plans so that they keep pace with the changing expectations of employers and employees. ProShare is the principal lobbyist for employee share ownership in the UK and has a strong track record of influence at the heart of Government. We were one of the original lobbyists for the creation of a new form of all-employee share plan - the Share Incentive Plan (SIP) - which came into being in 2000/2001. We helped secure compensation guarantees from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for Save as You Earn (SAYE) option holders in 2008, and we led a five-year campaign to increase the maximum saving limits for participants. This resulted in a doubling of the SAYE savings limit from £250 a month to £500 a month in April 2014, as well as limit increases for SIP participants.
More recently, ProShare played key roles in gaining HM Treasury’s support for extending the SAYE contributions break period from 6 months to 12 months for all participants back in 2018 and, in July 2020, the extension of the ‘disqualifying event’ rule for EMI option holders who can no longer meet the relevant working time requirement because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also provided a full response, after speaking with our members, to the Chancellor’s Call for Evidence on Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) schemes and plans.
ProShare also campaigns for the modernisation of SAYE and the SIP, the UK’s flagship all-employee plans with more than 2.5m participants. In 2022 ProShare was instrumental in having the reform of employee share plans discussed in Parliament twice. Labour MP Sir George Howarth secured parliamentary time to introduce draft legislation designed to reform the UK’s all-employee share plans. His Ten-Minute Rule Bill - Employee Share Ownership (Reform) – which ProShare helped draft, calls for a number of specific changes to the current rules including introducing ‘a new employee share ownership scheme allowing preferential access for lower income workers’, and calls for the Share Incentive Plan (SIP) holding period to be reduced from five to three years. You can read the full text of the speech via Hansard here.
We were also successful at requiring the then Financial Secretary to the Treasury to address our case for reform in a debate on share plans in late Summer, 2022.
Focus groups and Forums
We run various free-to-attend members-only focus groups for core interest areas including:
- Global Issues
- Tax Advantage Share Plans
- Share Plans and Remuneration in Financial Services
- Share Plan Comms (new for 2023)
- Offshore Issues (new for 2024)
We also run additional focus groups where the need arises and last year we established an Administrator Forum, a unique environment in which our plan administrator members can discuss a wide range of issues of shared professional interest.
These groups enable plan issuer, provider, and advisor members to come together (online or in-person) to discuss issues in a confidential forum, to share best practice and to identify practical solutions. All focus group meetings and calls are conducted under the ‘Chatham House’ rule to ensure compliance with relevant competition law.
Member discounts and offers
Members receive substantial discounts when booking:
- Seminars, training courses and workshops
- Conference delegate places
- Tables at the Annual Awards
- Exclusive member-only events
Our members have the opportunity to post their share plans-related roles and vacancies on our website. We also promote our members’ events where these might be of interest to the wider membership through our newsletters, LinkedIn group and via our social media channels.
Our Gold level members each have a seat on our Advisory Panel, which advises ProShare on its strategy and policy asks. We are delighted that, over the years, a number of existing members have decided to upgrade to Gold membership.
Sponsorship opportunities for our flagship events are made available in Q1 each year and, in addition to significant discounts, our Gold level members have a priority booking period for these before they are offered to our other members.
As well as the member discounts and offers listed, each Gold Member also receive a complimentary ticket to Celebrating Excellence, which is considered a key event across the share plans industry.
Gold Members also receive one free attendee place at each of our Introduction to Employee Share Plans workshops which are led by industry experts and usually run three times each year.
Gold Members also have the opportunity to co-host a webinar with ProShare, covering an agreed topic on an annual basis. Each webinar session will be advertised and promoted in our monthly newsletter and on our social media channels.
Working in share plans
ProShare is committed to helping share plans professionals to develop their own skills and capabilities (and those of their workforces), and to advance their careers in share plans. Our close relationship with the Chartered Governance Institute training team means that members can also benefit from the Institute’s wider training and development programme.
ProShare offers bespoke, on-site training sessions which our members with larger workforces engaged in the operation or administration of share plans find especially useful. This is an extremely cost-effective and efficient way to train groups of employees whilst minimizing impact to ‘BAU’ operations.
Our members have the opportunity to attend free webinars and to get involved in speaking on hot topics. Previous webinars have included a Beginners Guide to IFRS2, a Participant Comms Masterclass, How to Set ESG Targets as well as many others.
All members receive a free copy of the annual ProShare SAYE & SIP Survey report. No other UK survey covers as much of the UK share plans market as this, which makes it an ideal tool for benchmarking plans against good practice and market trends. The 2022 Report is available now.
From time to time, we commission additional independent research, working with carefully selected partners and academics. In 2017 we undertook research focussed on Millennials and their engagement with all-employee share plans and share ownership; the ‘Attitudes to Employee Share Ownership’ report.
For 2020-21 ProShare commissioned the Social Market Forum to undertake research to support our lobbying objectives and to inform and support the Share Plan industry. In May 2021 ProShare launched the SMF report - “A stake in success - Re-imagining employee share plans for the 2020’s” - with recommendations for broadening the use of share plans as the UK focuses on the economic recovery post COVID.
Our monthly e-mail newsletter now reaches close to two thousand industry contacts and provides up-to-date information and opinions on hot topics and technical developments, including topical articles from members. It also helps members to engage with our events, know what’s coming up, and plan and book their attendance in advance. Within our newsletters we offer members the opportunity to feature resources they are offering in the ‘what our members are doing section’.
ProShare is very active on LinkedIn, helping to spread the word on employee share ownership and related topics. You can join us on LinkedIn here.
Our Twitter handle is @ProShareUK. We try to support members’ social media campaigns by sharing and liking posts.
To see how you can get the most of your ProShare membership please contact:
We offer a range of membership levels, designed to meet the needs and budgets of individuals and organisations involved in share plans. If you’re considering membership but are not sure which level would suit you best, do please contact us.