Smith & Nephew, the FTSE 100 orthopaedic hip-maker, is expanding its employee incentive scheme to workers in Brazil, Russia, India and China as part of its emerging market growth strategy.
Chief executive Olivier Bohuon, who joined last year from French pharmaceuticals group Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, has been reshaping the business so it has greater focus on the fast-growing Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. At present, the company's sharesave scheme, which allows staff to put away up to £250 a month to buy discounted stock, is only available to employees in the UK and established markets such as Australia, Germany and South Africa.
Of the joint-maker's 11,000 worldwide employees, 2,500 use the sharesaves. However, another 5,000 employees are ineligible because they are based in America where the company runs an alternative scheme. The UK and international schemes reach the end of their 10-year lifespans this year, though shareholders are expected to pass a resolution this week to roll these over for another decade.
However, Mr Bohuon is also looking to attract and retain the best staff in the Bric countries, where he aims to treble sales to $500m (£315m) by 2016. Smith & Nephew currently has around 700 staff in China, where the roll-out of the scheme is likely to start.