DAI’s Employee Ownership Initiative Wins Prestigious Award

April 22, 2016

DAI was yesterday named an award winner at the 17th annual conference of the Global Equity Organization (GEO), a professional membership organization dedicated to advancing understanding of employee share plans. DAI won in a new award category, Best Use of a Share Plan in a Private Company. “We are delighted to receive this honor,” said DAI Senior Vice President of Human Resources Laura Viehmyer, who accepted the award on DAI’s behalf at a gala event held at the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel.

“Many people worked hard to ensure that our employee ownership initiative is broad-based, global, and structured to drive DAI’s performance for our clients and their beneficiaries,” added Viehmyer. “It’s gratifying to see those efforts come together and win recognition from the professionals who know the most about employee equity plans.”

According to GEO, winning companies are recognized for designing, communicating, or offering programs that allow employees worldwide to participate in their company’s share plan. Last night’s winners include Google (Best in Financial Education), Unilever (Best Plan Communication), Siemens (Best Plan Effectiveness), and Amazon (Best Use of Technology). Previous years’ winners include Accenture, Cisco, Vodafone, and Starbucks.

The new award category for privately held firms focuses on how the plan advances the company’s mission, fosters participation, and offers “unique ways of involving employees in the successful operation of the company.” A panel of independent judges “found the DAI plan to be both creative and transformative,” GEO wrote. “DAI has raised the bar in achieving its corporate objectives and inclusively engaging its workforce as owners.”

DAI has been employee-owned since its inception in 1970, and over the years broad-based employee ownership has become fundamental to the firm’s culture. But until February, ownership was limited to U.S.-based employees via its Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP.

As DAI expanded its global footprint, the DAI Board and leadership team worked together to explore a new ownership structure that accommodates this increasingly global workforce. In the new, more inclusive framework, the ESOP is now complemented by an active ownership option available to all global corporate employees. Of the more than 500 employees eligible to participate in the new investment opportunity, 80 percent elected to do so.

“Employee ownership is an important part of the glue that holds a more global DAI together and has helped us become a leader in our field,” said DAI President and CEO James Boomgard. “By opening up new ownership options and bringing in new employee owners around the world, we will ensure that DAI remains a great place to work and a great partner for our clients in the international development community.”

DAI would like to acknowledge the professional contributions of ButcherJoseph & Co. and Global Shares to the creation and management of its new employee ownership program.

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