Learning from Esops' fables

France's SNCF is concentrating on the risks, particularly the operational ones, associated with its new employee savings programme. Duncan Wood reports on its progress, and throws light on the various other Esop-type products on the market.

It is normally possible to go about your work without being buttonholed by complete strangers who want to quiz you on the financial benefits offered by your employer. French rail workers may currently be an exception to that rule.

SNCF, the company that runs France’s trains (and, with 220,000 staff, the country’s biggest employer) set up a new savings programme for its employees last year that incorporated some unusual features. Bankers from SG, who structured the deal, have been looking for

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