IIFL Finance’s frontline staff to get ESOPs


Non-banking finance company IIFL Finance has launched an employee stock ownership plan (Esop) worth ₹180 crore for 4,000 of its frontline sales employees, one of the largest such schemes for junior employees in the banking, financial services and insurance sector, IIFL Group founder Nirmal Jain told ET.

The retail-focused NBFC will issue shares to its call centre executives, gold-loan appraisers, branch managers and other zonal sales staff at ₹10 each. The company’s stock closed at ₹595.50 on Friday on the BSE.

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“This Esop allotment scheme is to enable wealth creation opportunities even for the junior frontline employees,” said Jain. “The Esops will be given to employees with at least two years of experience and meeting the highest performance ratings,” he added. IIFL aims to use it as a retention tool.

The NBFC sector has seen average annual attrition rise to about 50% during FY21 and FY22 when several people were lured by huge jumps in salaries and other perks by fintechs and other startups. Since the middle of last year, though the attrition level has reduced a tad to 35-40% – due to opportunities drying up startups that are facing a funding winter – the number remains high. “During the Covid period, firms like us have been competing with new-age young companies for talent and this scheme is aimed at retention of our high potentials at the frontline as we don’t want to upset our current growth curve,” said Jain.

The Esops are valued at around 100% cost-to-company. For example, a branch employee earning ₹4 lakh a year will be rewarded Esops worth ₹4 lakh.

“This is a recognition of the owner mindset of the employees at the front level who stayed loyal and performed exceptionally contributing to the growth of the company,” said Jain.

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