Argentum established a co-investment scheme for its employees through the company Bradbenken Partner AS in 2003. The co-investment scheme was established in order to align the interest of the employees and the company. It provides employees with a long-term view by ensuring that they risk their own funds alongside Argentum.
The scheme entails that all investments made by Argentum are distributed so that Argentum invests 99 percent and Bradbenken invests 1 percent. This signifies that if a commitment of NOK 100 million is made to a fund, Argentum will invest NOK 99 million and Bradbenken Partner will invest NOK 1 million.
Bradbenken Partner is a separate company in which there are two different share classes. The A-shares, which constitute 10 percent of the paid-in capital, are owned by Argentum and Argentum’s employees, while the B-shares are owned by Argentum. The B-shares are entitled to a preferential rate of return regardless of the performance of the company, while the A-shares are entitled to a return only after the preferential capital has been paid. This means that potential loss must be covered by the A-shares.
Argentum’s employees had up until 2011 a right to participate in the scheme, whilst the CEO is obliged to participate. 35 percent of the A-shares are owned by the CEO while the remaining 65 percent is divided between other employees and Argentum.
All employees taking part in the co-investment scheme had to buy the shares at market price. The share price was determined based on valuations of the funds that Argentum and Bradbenken Partners had invested in, and had to be approved by the company’s auditors.
As of 2011 the co-investment scheme was closed for new participants. Should an employee wish to resign, he or she must sell their shares at market valuation to Argentum within a 6 month period.