Chicago-based IPA 100 firm BDO USA (FY23 net revenue of $2.8 billion) is establishing a new employee stock ownership program (ESOP) for its more than 10,000 employees. The news comes on the heels of the firm’s recent transition from a partnership to a professional service corporation.
“[An ESOP] is a game-changer for our people, clients and communities, designed to improve lives for generations to come,” says CEO Wayne Berson. “Amid the changing landscape of our profession, the ESOP unlocks the value of our firm today and embodies our strategy to sustain a strong, caring and resilient business for tomorrow.”
“The ESOP also has material benefit to the firm,” adds COO Steve Ferrara. “It allows for continued investment in quality, as well as operations and growth strategies, while maintaining continuity in leadership and commitment to a longstanding vision and purpose.”
The ESOP and related transactions are expected to become effective Aug. 31.
“At a time where firms are either increasing capital requirements of the partnership or selling parts of their firm to private equity or wealth management firms, BDO chose a completely different path,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group. “The ESOP was a two for one – it helped create the capital but also gave their people a potential ‘piece of the rock.’”