Making employee share plans work with Liquidise.

June 14, 2024

Employee share plans are great – if you work for a listed company. While it’s nice to dream of being a founding employee of a company like Canva or Apple and becoming rich along with the founders, the reality is that getting money out of a private company and into the hands of its employees is actually very difficult.

Without listing – which most companies will never want to do – there are three options. A private share sale, which is costly and complex and unsuitable for most small to medium enterprises (SMEs); a merger or acquisition (which may not necessarily even involve cash); or a capital raise, which may not be suitable for many businesses, especially if they are profitable.

Private markets – essentially exchanges for private companies – are not a new concept, but they come with a big problem: liquidity. Public markets work because they have market makers – institutions mandated to ensure there are shares available to buy and sell in the most traded stocks. No private market around today has a market-making mechanism, so they’re essentially empty swimming pools, reliant upon buyers turning up to trade but unable to guarantee they will do so. A planned liquidity event for employees to realise the value of their shares could be a wild success – or a complete flop.

Liquidise is different. It offers guaranteed liquidity, because Liquidise buys the agreed parcel of shares before the sale. This means the equity has already been realised, and employees are guaranteed to able to sell their shares at an agreed time and date.

This is a huge win for employees, and possibly an even bigger one for employers. Being able to guarantee that your people will be able to exchange their shares for cash on a regular basis makes employee share plans infinitely more meaningful and attractive. When employees know they’ll be able to sell their shares in a year, for example, it’s much more tangible, and reinforces the role each person has to play in growing the value of the company.

From a practical perspective it’s also a huge bonus to be able to guarantee to employees that they’ll be able to cash in their shares at regular intervals. Life is unpredictable, and the certainty that an employee will be able to tap an additional income stream may be the difference between choosing to work for one company over another.

This goes for business owners too – being able to unlock value and put it to work can help develop and grow a business faster, without having to take on debt. This is especially helpful in a high interest rate environment where lenders are even more cautious about lending to SMEs.

To find out more about what Liquidise can do for your business, visit

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