The bixby liquidating trust
Going into this process now — as opposed to waiting 10 years — brings with it a lot of operational stability [the plan rolled out May 1]. It allows us to begin to weave this ESOP notion into the culture of the company well in advance of the change in management.
I believe it sets us on a more even keel for the future as we go forward to the eventual day when I retire.
And those goals were: ESOP, the way we saw it, was the surest mechanism to achieve those goals.
MB: So employees now have a direct personal vested interest in the company's success? HS: It's a process regulated by the Department of Labor's transactions arm.
HS: Business has been challenging for us, like it's been for a lot of people the last two or three years. Wind power definitely played a big role in our ability to keep people employed. For the next two or three years, we're not expecting to see any great amount of spending at any government level, even with renewed talk of bonds being issued.It's a pretty cumbersome thing to explain, but it's a regulated process that must be followed. HS: I would say, overall, the reaction was very positive.The reaction of some of the older people, who were very close to retirement, was a little bit more ambivalent, because their value as they see it will not build as much. MB: To build on that notion, does ESOP change the culture of a company?MB: How did you explore ESOP to determine that it's truly the right way to go? We've been looking at ESOPs since 2008 — for the benefit of our employees, looking at what the succession plan might be looking ahead for the next 20 to 40 years or more.In 2008, I wasn't satisfied with [a]consultant's report. I was anxious to find a successful company in our exact line of work that had undertaken this approach to ownership. They're a construction company about the same size as us.
In simple terms, an ESOP is a trust that a company sets up on behalf of its employees, into which it directs a portion of its profits.