(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Inc. plans to share ownership of companies it buys with a broader swath of workers, according to an investor memo reviewed by Bloomberg.

Blackstone is launching an equity-linked incentive program that touches roughly 18,000 employees at climate technology company Copeland. 

The firm will expand the effort and “provide broad-based worker eligibility for equity-linked bonuses at our new large-scale, US private equity control investments,” private equity head Joe Baratta said in the memo to investors. 

The firm has backed companies that provided wide equity ownership to workers in the past. This marks a more systematic effort by the world’s largest alternative asset manager to give more workers a shot at equity. 

As private equity has become a bigger force in society, how the industry treats and retains its workforce has come under more scrutiny. KKR & Co. Inc. was an early proponent of extending equity to workers at the companies it buys, and other firms have seen it as a way to boost morale and quell unrest at workforces. 

In the memo, Baratta said Blackstone sees the effort as a way to draw top talent and match the interests of Blackstone with portfolio company employees — “consistent with our fiduciary duty as responsible stewards of capital.” 

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

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