Our History
History - by the Chairman

Our company was formed 30 years ago, at a time when large scale equity-based remuneration was in its infancy, with the aim of helping corporate clients deal with the new and unfamiliar administration requirements of share schemes.

Our role was not to sell a product but rather to identify difficult problems and to solve them; and this has remained our approach over more than two decades – to work with our clients to help them achieve their objectives and to ensure that they follow 'best practice' processes in their administration, no matter what their needs.

This can be a tough route to follow for a service provider because, instead of selling a standard product to clients, adjusted with workarounds to cope with differences, Howells have always taken the more difficult route of providing specialist software and services individually tailored to meet each client’s own particular needs. But although this approach means harder work, it also leads to innovation. Our philosophy of putting a client’s needs first and of solving new problems has meant we have consistently led the market in developing effective solutions in a changing world.

In achieving – and maintaining – this position, we have always followed a steady and reliable growth pattern. Rather than seek sales for sales sake to try and be the biggest, we have always sought to be the best, and to achieve that aim quietly and effectively. In the world market as a whole we are, frankly, not well known. But among the larger companies, those for whom best practice and effective compliance is a priority, among the leading service providers in related fields, the lawyers, the accountants, brokers and trustees, among all these we are proud to find our name is respected and our leading position in our own field acknowledged.

Through this quiet, steady approach our company now provides administration and compliance services either through in-house admin software and admin support or through full admin outsourcing to many of the FTSE 100 leaders and to a large number of different smaller companies; additionally the company provides a wide range of specialist reporting (including IFRS 2) and participant communication facilities, mainly web-based.

We provide these services both for our own corporate clients and also as a specialist integrated resource in cooperation with other mainstream service providers to supplement or to aggregate their particular brand services. We are again proud of the fact that we are trusted to work in close cooperation with these other leading service providers.


Respected in the industry, we pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity and professionalism.

Quality Service

Market leadership


Fair and open dealing

Value for money

Dedicated support

Quality service is key to our work and to our continuing growth and development. We seek, and achieve, long term business relationships with our clients and this can only come about through making quality, high value service our first priority.

We believe that by selecting market leaders as their service providers our clients give themselves a powerful advantage. We lead in the number of major clients for whom we provide specialist services and in the range and quality of these services. Through our close relationships with other leading service providers (for example lawyers, accountants, brokers and trustees), with politicians, HMRC and with industry regulators we are better informed than most on the ways in which share-based remuneration practice is developing. 

Share scheme administration has seen significant changes over recent years and the demands of new legislation, changing global compliance requirements together with new accounting and taxation practices means that service providers must be flexible. We have followed a policy of continuous development of resources for clients, ensuring they are well placed to respond to changing needs.

We have a strong ethical emphasis in our work, whereby we enjoy the benefits that come from ensuring that we and our clients deal fairly with each other, conducting our business in a transparent and open way.

Whatever the financial limitations, Howells will work within the budget to maximise value for money and create a successful share scheme administration facility that will remain a cost-effective investment for years to come.

With extensive internal resources, Howells’ dedicated consultants are on hand to provide clients with all the assistance you require. These highly experienced individuals are skilled in the complexities of modern share schemes as well as fully conversant with current business software and systems. Similarly, Howells’ IT developers and analysts are well-versed in the business needs of share scheme administration, which allows them to create software solutions that are not just effective, but user-friendly too.

Leadership Team
Peter Howells, Chairman

Peter formed Howells Associates Ltd in 1991. He has 40 years’ experience of share-based remuneration; as a benefit consultant, as a stockbroker and 21 years as an administration specialist.

After starting his career in accountancy, followed by a short service commission in the Royal Engineers, Peter was a consultant with WM Mercer from 1973 to 1986 and a director of stockbrokers Wise Speke (now Brewin Dolphin) from 1986 to 1991.

He is a founder member of the UK Share Schemes Advanced Studies Group and also of the Global Group.

Alastair Hall, Managing Director

Alastair joined Howells in 1999 as a Client Services Consultant. 

Providing account management on key client accounts, he has worked in a number of roles helping Howells to earn our reputation for providing bespoke and flexible solutions for our clients.

In January 2009, Alastair was appointed Managing Director of Howells Associates Ltd with overall responsibility for the strategic development and delivery of our extensive range of services.