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ESOP Governance and their Ownership Culture

ESOP / Culture
by Jack Veale

Governance in the Dictionary means: “to Govern.”  The Dictionary term for Govern is: “to direct the actions and behaviors of others.”  With the stories of Enron and others relating to bad governance and Sarbanes Oxley impacting public companies, what should an ESOP company board do with potential liabilities involving the DOL?   My answer is: “if you have a functioning board including committees, composed of at least one independent director with deep experience in board governa

Transition from Family Business to 100% ESOP

by Email From Joseph, Chair and former CEO, of a 100% ESOP-Owned Company

"Jack, you and your team lit a fire with me and motivated me to get this CEO Succession done….  and done right.  However I did not want my fingerprints on the selection because I wanted to preserve the family relationships in the event my son was not successful.

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  • Case Study 14

    The owners are children of the founder, and are taking over management since their father became severely disabled or passed away.  The Sisters, early in their careers, were not allowed or encouraged to work in the business by their father, and due to his problems, began trying to manage a business they have little knowledge of.  As Time went on, power plays between the sisters and their brother (who lived far away), resulted in loss of sales, employee theft & defection, and financial losses.  The new owners wanted to turn the business around with a management tea

    Case Study 12

    The Children of the Owners are at odds with their parents in what direction the company should go.  Sales have been fairly flat for the past few years, or the company is at a strategic crossroad, where critical decisions are needed.  The parents appear unreasonable, risk adverse, and unwilling to try new things.  The Owners are frustrated that the Next Generation has no appreciation for the knowledge and experience they have, and they feel the children have no understanding on making a profit.  The Children resent the parents meddling in business details, and are

    Case Study 11

    The owners/partners continually argue with each other over how the business is to be run. One, the marketing manager wants to expand the market as well as provide improved customer service. The second, an operations/financial person, is concerned that the profits are not there to support the growth. Another wants a new computer to get inventories under control and give timelier management information to reduce costs.

    Case Study 10

    A formerly profitable business has turned unprofitable due to competition and difficult market conditions. Margins are dropping, key employees have left, sales are down, and the vendors are wanting faster payment. The bank is concerned and wants more information faster. Some family and non family members are viewed as not bringing value to the firm anymore.

    Case Study 7

    Business has been growing rapidly. The CEO's short temper is  caused by frustration with his management team, who are working very hard but not getting enough done.

    Case Study 1

    CEO of a growing company is nearing retirement.  The management team is not deep or ready to take over.  There are no family members active in the company, and there is talk of selling to an ESOP.  We assessed the organization with a SWOT analysis and long term financial forecasts to position the management team for the buy-out.  In addition, we assisted the organization with team building, process mapping, and value stream mapping systems.  Additionally, the owner began to develop a board of directors, using the advisory board process to eventually convert t

    Homepage Services

    • Strategic and succession planning for closely- held, or family owned business organizations Including ESOPS and Non-Profits
    • Governance board/advisory board development, including roles and responsibilities for shareholders, beneficiaries, trustees, directors, officers and chair/CEO.
    • Retreats for Key Managers, Family or Boards (One day or Multi-day)
    • Mergers & Acquisitions: Pre- & Post Transaction- Organizational Integration Assessments
    • Family or partnership conflict resolution and goverance systems (family councils)

    What We Do : ESOPs

    Statistically, nearly half of the ESOPS will not survive the next 10 years due to many factors.  Our distinction within the ESOP community is our ability to integrate ownership culture initiatives, with succession, governance and improved shareholder value. During this same 10 years, about 20% of the workforce will be retiring, leaving huge gaps of institutional knowledge and leadership experience.  In the last 5 years, over 1,000 esops changed their CEO or CFO, causing challenges in leadership experience. Is your company at risk with these issues?