Indiana IT Company Becomes Employee Owned is a press release that describes how the AME Group, an Indiana IT consulting group, has sold the remainder of their company to an ESOP as part of a succession plan:
In 1998, Burkhart, Olson and Koenig began thinking about a succession plan for the company, as well as an investment opportunity for employees, and decided on an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). To ensure that the company's history and values would remain the same in the future, they sought out a program that would empower employees as company owners. With the help of a Board of Trustees, they became an ESOP by selling 50.1% of the company to the employees. Since 1998, the company's shares have been continually distributed to the employees. After seeing the benefit of the ESOP over the last 9 years, Burkhart, Olson and Koenig decided to create a plan to sell their remaining shares, making The AME Group 100% employee owned. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees began negotiations to have employees acquire the remaining shares.
It notes how the ESOP provides the employees with a greater incentive to make customer satisfaction and customer retention a top priority:
"The founders of our organization have always given back to the employees of The AME Group," said Mark Gerkin, President of The AME Group. "Giving back to the employees and effectively making them the owners of the company acts as an incentive for them to perform at their absolute best. Now they not only want to perform well as an employee, but also as an owner. This helps to push customer satisfaction and customer retention even more, making them both a top priority of our company."