Software consulting and development services firm Soliant Consulting is pleased to announce it has entered a new phase of its growth. As the firm enters its sixteenth year in business, founders Bob Bowers and Steve Lane have begun the process of transferring ownership of the company to its 65 employees over the next several years.
Soliant Consulting completed the first phase of this process this week by shifting to 30 percent employee ownership. Through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), employees become owners of the company and receive shares through annual allocations. Over time, the number of shares allocated to each employee’s account grows, and the individual shares also grow in value in alignment with company performance. The company plans for a transition to 100% employee ownership in the future.
“Our team members are the very core of our client services,” Soliant CEO, Bob Bowers, explains. “They’re what make Soliant Consulting successful, and we’re confident that setting up an ESOP will allow us to continue our legacy as trusted advisors.”
The ESOP structure delivers many benefits and opportunities for Soliant Consulting. Soliant prides itself on its high average tenure and low turnover. Many of the company’s team members are long-standing employees and will gain shares commensurate with their years at Soliant.
The new ESOP also serves to attract and retain top talent in a competitive industry. This is crucial to Soliant Consulting as it continues to grow its team and its service offerings. Studies show that employee-owners are more engaged and effective, with a closer eye on how their individual contributions affect the business overall.
Tax benefits also allow employees to invest even more annual profit back into the company, encouraging innovative strategy and sustainable growth.
“Bob and I discussed several ways to ensure a stable future for Soliant Consulting. Ultimately, the best way to do so is to invest in the people who made the business strong and successful in the first place – our employees,” shares Soliant Consulting Chief Technology Officer, Steve Lane.
With a steadily growing base of loyal clients and a new suite of service offerings, Soliant’s new employee-owners are entering an exciting era for the company and are poised to make it a successful one. Bob Bowers and Steve Lane will retain their positions as CEO and CTO, respectively, for years to come but are confident they’ve set the stage for a very stable future for Soliant Consulting.
What is an ESOP?
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a unique retirement contribution plan through which employees accumulate ownership in their company. The transition generally involves current shareholders selling their shares to a trust set up for the benefit of the employees. All eligible employees receive yearly allocations of available shares, held by the trust to their accounts. Employees have the right to sell these back to a private company for fair market value upon retirement or leaving such company. Management retains its existing structure in most cases, creating a seamless and non-disruptive shift of ownership while maintaining company culture and morale. Almost 7,000 ESOPs exist in the United States and include more than 14 million participants. You can find them in companies of all sizes, in both the public and private sectors.