More than 500 employees at Halifax's Admiral Insurance office are receiving about $1,880 each from the company's retiring founder.

Henry Engelhardt, who started the UK-based company in 1991, announced this week he'll personally spend more than $13 million to reward his company's workers as he steps down from his role as CEO.

"We are making this gift in recognition of the hard work and team spirit that has underpinned Admiral's success as we've grown from a startup with value of £0 to a FTSE 100 company with a value of £5 billion today," Engelhardt told BBC News Thursday.

He announced the gift at a company meeting in Cardiff, Wales, Thursday. 

"I'll miss you a lot more than you'll miss me," Engelhardt posted in his presentation.

Admiral Insurance

CEO Henry Engelhardt's message to employees at a meeting in Cardiff, Wales, earlier this week. (Admiral Insurance/Facebook)

'We're very thankful'

In Halifax, the gift has created "a huge buzz," people services manager Jen Gilbert said Friday. 

"All of us were very humbled by the generous gift that caught all of us a bit off guard, but we're very thankful," she said.

"Definitely not something we expect, but those of us who have had the pleasure of getting to know Henry in his visits here to Halifax could see him doing something like this because of just how great of a guy he is."

'Goodness of their hearts'

Jen Gilbert, Admiral Insurance

Jen Gilbert, people services manager with Halifax's Admiral Insurance branch, says the surprise gift will help with her summer wedding plans. (Rachel Ward/CBC)

Gilbert is getting married this summer near Peggys Cove, so the "significant parting gift" will be very helpful, she said.

"It's his personal money. He and his wife Diane have done this from the goodness of their hearts to all the staff," she said.

All of Admiral's employees around the world will receive the gift, Gilbert said. The bonus will be taxed as salary.