Weidert Group, Inc., a B2B inbound marketing agency and Platinum Level HubSpot partner, announced today that it transferred 100% ownership of the company to its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Agency owners Greg Linnemanstons and Meg Hoppe finalized the deal on March 31, 2017, after retaining ESOP Partners, an ESOP consulting and administration firm in Appleton, Wisconsin, late in 2016 to conduct a feasibility study. ESOP Partners assisted with the sale and will continue to work with Weidert Group, Inc., as the ESOP consultant and third-party administrator.
An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan that buys, holds, and sells company stock for the benefit of the employees, providing them with an ownership stake in the company. According to Linnemanstons, “Succession planning was a growing concern, and the ESOP emerged as the best approach that combined business sustainability and long term incentives for current and future employees. The ESOP allows us to transfer ownership and provide a tax-deferred benefit. Now, every full-time employee will have a stake in the business!”
The ESOP sale will not affect the company’s structure or operation; Linnemanstons and Hoppe—as well as the additional 22 employees, 5 of whom were also partners in the agency prior to the sale—will continue in their current roles.
According to The Employee Ownership Foundation’s 24th Annual ESOP Economic Performance Survey the majority of ESOP companies showed increases in productivity, revenue, stock value and profitability, all of which ultimately benefit employees.
RELATED: Watch Greg Linnemanstons discuss ESOPs on Agency Unfiltered