Norilsk Nickel announced the launch of the Digital Investor corporate program: within its framework, the company’s employees will be financed the purchase of tokens pegged in value to the company’s assets. Norilsk Nickel President Vladimir Potanin calls this scheme “restoring historical justice”: before privatization, the company’s employees owned a quarter of its shares. Experts interviewed by the Company see the creation of an ecosystem of digital products from friendly companies in the new mechanism. And the launch of a program with digital financial assets is only the beginning, they believe.
Norilsk Nickel announced the launch of the Digital Investor corporate program, which will allow employees of the mining and metallurgical company to become its beneficiaries. The head of the industrial giant, Vladimir Potanin, has been nurturing such an idea for several years, and has already tested the scheme at Rosbank.
In September 2022, Rosbank announced that up to 10% of the shares of the financial structure would be transferred to employees in the form of digital financial assets (DFA). This approach allows you to create an environment inside the holding like in IT companies or start-ups, when employees are involved both in management and in generating ideas, Potanin explained his idea. Inside the company, this scheme was called “people’s capitalism”, and the entrepreneur then announced the launch of a similar program at Norilsk Nickel.
“The idea is to restore some historical justice in a sense: when Norilsk Nickel was privatized, about 25% of the shares belonged to employees,” he said in a conversation with RBC. At that time, many failed to take advantage of the situation sufficiently and sold their shares.
Now the scheme can be restored: according to Potanin’s plan, about a quarter of the company’s shares should return to people, including MMC employees. The businessman admitted that such a decision had matured in him for four years.
Top managers of Norilsk Nickel announced the launch of the Digital Investor program on March 16, during the annual direct line for employees. Each employee with at least one year of experience in the company will receive money from the company to purchase digital financial assets (tokens) pegged in value to Norilsk Nickel shares. Candidates with maximum experience will benefit the most: the higher the employee’s experience, the more CFA he will be able to receive.
In 2023, the Digital Investor will be held in pilot mode, which will demonstrate how convenient and in demand the new digital financial instrument is among employees. The program will be implemented in several stages, and will affect absolutely all regions where Norilsk Nickel operates, from the Murmansk Region to the Trans-Baikal Territory.
The project is being implemented on the Atomize blockchain platform. This is the first CFA information system operator in Russia licensed by the Central Bank. Rosbank acted as the bank-operator, the Digital Assets company acted as the issuer.
“This will allow us to better understand the users of the products”
Apparently, we are talking about the fact that Norilsk Nickel is making an additional issue of its shares, while not diluting those already traded on the stock exchange, crypto expert Evgeny Kaminsky noted in a conversation with the Company. “So they make a double of their shares. This double has a real monetary value, but the number of shares does not change,” he explained.
The expert drew attention to the fact that Potanin is one of the investors of Atomayza, and suggested that the sale of CFA would also be carried out with the help of one of the banks included in the entrepreneur’s orbit. “In fact, Norilsk Nickel is creating an ecosystem of digital products from friendly companies,” Kaminsky concluded. He calls the practical meaning of such a decision the involvement and encouragement of employees, the creation of additional incentives for them to work “longer and better.”
“I think this step is just the beginning, and more tools will be added to it soon. A loyalty system can be built around this: both within the company and within other assets. I see a way to combine human resources with the various services offered by these organizations. This will allow you to better understand the users of your products and improve the client experience for them, ”the cryptoexpert predicted.
10 year program
Potanin himself had previously stated that the employee motivation program would be a 10-year one. As part of it, individuals will increase their stake in the company from today’s 10 to 25% of the authorized capital. In addition to stimulating employees, Norilsk Nickel will support the trend of the availability of the company’s securities on the market, the businessman explained.
The advantages of the CFA mechanism, according to the entrepreneur, also lie in the ability to fragment the purchase of Norilsk Nickel shares. One paper can be purchased in parts (the market value of one Norilsk Nickel share is now about 14.3 thousand rubles, – Ed. note), thus, people who do not have large savings will be able to invest in the CFA.
Potanin also said that the program of “people’s capitalism” could help consolidate the interests of enterprise teams. According to him, this is an interesting direction in social terms, which in the future will slightly reduce the tension between employees and company owners.
Such an approach may also be useful for other enterprises, Dmitry Pumpyansky, member of the Bureau of the Board of the RSPP, commented on the initiative. And the modern digital platform makes this idea meet the realities of today, he stated.