In the iconic 1966 cartoon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Grinch hates everything to do with the holiday season. He hates presents, trees, wreaths, ribbons, bows and even roast beast. He devises an ingenious, and infamous, plot to stop Christmas from coming to Whoville.
Imagine how he would react if he had to return gifts post-holiday. Imagine him standing in line and having to deal with stringent return policies. Imagine the noise, noise, noise if he didn’t have a receipt. You can practically hear Boris Karloff (for those of you too young to remember him think of a more classic Jim Carrey) sighing about the holiday persecution.
The good news – the Grinch isn’t likely to get many gifts (at least prior to his transformation) and can therefore avoid this whole messy process. Read more
I won’t ask for names, but I imagine a few of you recognize 555-2368 as the phone number for Ghostbusters.
This iconic 1984 film features three paranormal scientists, Drs. Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler (played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis) as they trap ghosts in New York City.
Their signature line: who you gonna call?
I imagine that some of you are asking that same question as you contemplate an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for your company. Read more
I am not looking forward to the first few weeks of January. The weather in Iowa is less than ideal (no bathing suits needed), but after 40+ years I have gotten used to it. What I haven’t gotten used to are the long lines at the health club. Exuberant, well-intentioned masses flood the facilities determined to lose weight and get fit–confident that they will defy the odds and actually keep their New Year’s resolution.
The majority of people will lose steam after a week or two and the lines will gradually disappear. In fact, losing weight and getting fit is the most commonly broken New Year’s resolution. Don’t break that resolution? How about one of these others?
The top ten most broken resolutions are…
If you have been reading my blog for the past few weeks you may have noted that I have spent quite a bit of time talking about the benefits of an ESOP. This post is going to look at how an ESOP is formed.
ESOPs are unique. Each is designed around the needs of the seller, the company, and the employees. There are some commonalities however. Let’s look at a simple leveraged ESOP transaction (a leveraged transaction is one where external financing is obtained).
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The following graphic can help explain the workings of the ESOP transaction. Read more
Aesop (pronounced ee-sop), the famous Greek story teller, had no knowledge of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). In all fairness, it would be surprising if he did as they were not recognized until the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 was passed – almost 2,500 years after his death.
Why would Aesop support ESOPs?
I reviewed some of his quotations and it leads me to believe that he may be a supporter of such plans. ESOPs address several issues that seemingly parallel quotes he had noted among his contemporaries in ancient Greece that still exist today.
It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow. – Aesop
Are most employee’s planning for their financial future?
Let’s look at some facts. According to the first quarter 2012 Principal Financial Well-Being Index, 67 percent of employees are very concerned about their long term financial future, but only 35 percent of employees indicate that they are saving enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Read more
Our annual ESOP client meeting was held last Wednesday, November 7th prior to the start of The ESOP Association Conference and Trade Show. More importantly, it was held a mere 16 hours after the election polls closed on the west coast. As you might expect, the election, and its aftermaths, took center stage.
It was evident from the participant’s comments that elections have consequences. Whether you are red or blue, have an R or a D as your party affiliation, the results matter. And what the election results mean is certainly less than clear. What is clear, healthcare, regulation, and tax policy are major concerns to companies with Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).
As with most other businesses, the attendees are struggling to quantify the impacts of the Affordable Care Act. Last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court Ruling clarified many questions but others remain elusive prior to the rapidly approaching January 1, 2014 implementation date for many major provisions. Read more
When most people hear Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) they think exit planning (or maybe nothing at all). That’s not surprising given that historically ESOPs have been positioned as a succession planning approach.
Here’s an example, a key partner at a manufacturing company wants to retire, but the remaining partners can’t afford, or don’t want to buy him or her out. An ESOP could be used by the remaining partners to fund the buyout of the partner that’s leaving in order to avoid divesting the company.
However, to think of ESOPs as only a tool for exit planning sells them short. Let’s broaden our perspective for a second. Read more