ESOP Builders Inc. March 2016 Newsletter
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2016 Employee Ownership Conferences
The second annual Canadian Employee Ownership Conference - Where Success is Owned - is being held June 7 - 9, 2016 in Kelowna, BC.  Whether you’re an employee-owned company or interested learning about the model, this conference will create new connections, share best practices, and highlight the strength and diversity of employee ownership in Canada. This is an opportunity for Canadian business owners to learn how employee ownership can be used as a tool for business growth or as an exit strategy.  Find more information on speakers, sponsorship opportunities, and registration at  Early bird pricing ends March 31st.

The National Center for Employee Ownership Annual Conference is in Minneapolis, MN from April 12 to 14.  Last year this conference attracted 1,400 attendees.  More information at

Employee Ownership and an RRSP/TFSA: How do they fit together for you?
Within the next five years, tens of thousands of Canadian business owners will be retiring. The ownership of $3.7 trillion of business assets will be transferred.

Now you can take advantage of a 45-minute information seminar on March 9 in three locations in British Columbia:

  • Park Place Canadian Western Bank, 666 Burrard St., (22nd Floor), Vancouver,BC from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
  • Richmond Canadian Western Bank, 4991 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC from noon to 12:45 p.m.
  • Strawberry Hill Canadian Western Bank, 1-7548 – 120 Street, Surrey, BC from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

You will learn:
Why an owner explores using an ESOP; how the owner, company, and employees benefit; effective strategies for funding the purchase of shares, including RRSPs and TFSAs; and an effective process (with a proven track record) that provides a succession plan that meets both owner and employee goals.

Who should attend?:
Business owners, senior management and human resource specialists, wealth management specialists,commercial leaders and transition/succession planning consultants.

More information and contact details at .

Why your best employees leave for new opportunities
By Andre Lavoie,
Meet Mary. She’s a motivated, hardworking employee. Mary’s been with her current company for more than three years. She loves her job and her co-workers and feels like she’s paid fairly and receives great benefits. But Mary’s still looking for a new job with a new company.

What’s scary for a lot of employers is that Mary is not alone. An October 2015 Gallup poll of more than 13,000 employees found that the last time respondents changed roles in their career, 93 percent also changed employers. Considering this, many employers are desperately trying to figure out why so many employees are leaving... [More...]

How Well Do ESOP Acquisitions of Non-ESOP Companies Work?
By Suzanne Cromlish 
According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, in recent years ESOP companies have been acquiring other companies at a rapid rate. There are probably as many or more companies acquired by ESOP companies as there are new ESOPs in any year. Until now, there has been no data on how well these acquisitions work. Wharton professor Robert Holthausen notes that 50% to 80% of all mergers fail to deliver positive results... [More...]

Two Companies, Two Outcomes: The New York Times on Equity Compensation
In the last week of 2015, the New York Times ran two articles featuring the equity compensation plans at two very different companies. The first article noted that the company is aiming to take on Amazon, both by competing with it and by following a radically different employee relations strategy. While Amazon has a reputation for driving its employees hard,'s CEO Marc Loren says, "I'm constantly asking people at Jet if they are happy." Amazon once had a broad-based stock option plan, but it no longer does. provides options to all of its employees. Jet is also committed to measuring job satisfaction. Its first employee survey found that 87% of employees rated the company as a great place to work, an unusually high response for this kind of question (a recent Deloitte survey said half of employees would not even recommend their employer).

The second article told about the fate of employee stock holders at Good Company. Many employees there received stock grants of common shares. The company had planned an IPO, but ended up being bought by Blackberry for an amount that valued common shares at $0.44 per share, down from the prior year price of $4.32 per share. Although the specifics at Good Company are unclear, many experts recommend that private companies with equity compensation plans be designed to ensure that equity awards be liquid after exercise. 
 ~ From the NCEO Newsletter

Bits and Bites ~ From the NCEO Newsletter
Eureka! It’s an ESOP!
Eureka Casino Resort of Mesquite, Nevada, has had its ESOP proposal approved by the Nevada Gaming Board.  The plan has been in the works for two years as management looked for ways to encourage company growth.  “We think it’s the right platform to look forward to for the next 20 years,” said president and COO Andre Carrier. “It allows the Eureka to invest more. We hope the ESOP will benefit our employees for years to come and also be beneficial for the younger people, which can strengthen our community and company.” Eureka is now the second licensed gaming company ESOP in the U.S. 
An Apple A Day for Everyone
Technology behemoth Apple has announced that it will award restricted stock to all employees, including hourly paid store and customer service workers.  CEO Tim Cook wrote in a company wide email that the new program is “designed to reach employees who were not previously eligible [for company stock], including many in our amazing retail and AppleCare teams.”  Until now, the company offered stock to executives and Apple product groups, while extending shares to all employees at a discount through a stock-purchase plan.  The vast majority of employees will receive restricted stock award, an uncommon move for such a large company with a sizable retail workforce.

All the Canadian ESOP Guidance You Need in One New Book
ESOPs in Canada: How to Implement an Employee Share Ownership Plan to Grow and Exit Your Business with Your Legacy Intact is a comprehensive and practical guide to every aspect of designing and implementing an Employee Share Ownership Plan in Canada.


“This is a must read for those business owners thinking about exploring the notion of employee ownership and discovering that “skin in the game” for those on the front lines of leadership is a secret weapon to surpassing your wildest dreams and forecasts! It is magic”

~ Doug Flynn, CEO, Flynn Group of Companies

More information and order details at

Notable Quotables
"Live for the moments you can't put into words." -- Author Unknown

Upcoming ESOP Events
See ESOP Builders events page for details on upcoming ESOP events. 

Canadian ESOP and Ownership Thinking Books

ESOPs in Canada: How to Implement an Employee Share Ownership Plan to Grow and Exit Your Business with Your Legacy Intact (2015) by Perry Phillips and Camille Jensen.  Buy this book on Amazon or FriesenPress.

The $10 Trillion Opportunity: Designing Successful Exit Strategies for Middle Market Business Owners: A Guide for Professional Advisors - Canadian Edition (2007) by Perry Phillips and Richard E. Jackim.  Buy this book on Amazon.  
Dr. Carol Beatty's book, Employee Ownership: The New Source of Competitive Advantage (published by Wiley and Sons 2001 - ISBN 0-471-64641-5).  Buy this book on Amazon.
Brad Hams' book, Ownership Thinking: How to End Entitlement and Create a Culture of Accountability, Purpose, and Profit (published by McGraw-Hill 2011- ISBN-10: 0071772456 - ISBN-13: 978-0071772457).  Buy this book on Amazon.

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