i2C has announced the launch of its new Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), set to guide the company’s culture and retain strong talent.
The company’s ESOP will see employees earning ownership via performance, with eight sector associates to earn shares within the i2C Architects trust by end of 2022.
i2C Co-Founder Anthony Merlin said the plan was born out of a culture and retention drive within the business, alongside a targeted talent acquisition strategy.
“The plan aims to retain our strong existing talent while offering unprecedented opportunities; we look forward to providing our senior associates with a pathway to business ownership that they may not otherwise get in other companies,” he said.
“We truly value our team, and we want them to find value too, have a sense of ownership and become more aware of the business’ performance. Additionally, we are confident we will also be able to attract strong talent within the industry once we have built up further equity in the trust, as a result of this unique offering.”
The ESOP model has gained rapid uptake in the United States, with latest figures from the National Center for Employee Ownership stating there were more than 6,300 companies in the US with ESOPs, holding total assets of more than $1.4 trillion and covering 14 million employee-owners.
Conversely, most Australian business owners appear to give little thought to preparing for a successful exit from their business. According to the most recent State of Owner Readiness survey (Cooper, 2013), most business owners are seriously unprepared and ill-equipped to address business succession and exit planning issues, with the report finding that 48.6% of business owners aged between 50-59 years have no formal succession plan, and a further 34.6% have a non-documented (and not communicated) one.
Craig West, CEO and Founder of business succession and exit planning firm, Succession Plus, said these numbers are slowly trending in a more positive direction.
“We’ve seen a growing number of clients in professional services move towards an employee share plan model. Typically in professional services, it’s difficult to get good people and to keep them, motivate them and reward them. Thus, a lot of our clients, including i2C Architects, are moving towards this innovative model,” he said.
“Not only is this of huge benefit to the business who retains top talent and to staff members who can build additional wealth, it’s a fantastic way to attract customers, too.”
Anthony echoed this sentiment, and looks forward to building further confidence with clients.
“We’re excited to offer this additional level of assurance amongst our client base, as they know the Senior Associate they’re working with has some ‘skin in the game’ – they are truly bought in to the business and are passionate about service, delivery and performance,” said Anthony.