WLS Establishes Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
Western Land Services Now Employee-Owned!
Western Land Services is excited to announce that effective January 1, 2017, 49% of the company’s stock has been sold to its employees, through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The Michigan-based brokerage firm’s 300 employees will become beneficial owners through the ESOP.
This transaction gives employees a financial interest in the success of the business, making the positive bonds between Western Land teammates even stronger than they are today. It represents a very tangible way to reward those who have played a critical role in Western’s success since the beginning.
John Wilson, celebrating 25 years of ownership, plans to remain CEO for the long-term and executive management team at Western Land will continue in its current form. “It has always been my desire for Western to continue the tradition of being privately owned, and the ESOP will help us with this goal, “said Wilson, “The ESOP will enable the continuity of leadership and will not change the way the company operates. The management team is confident that the ESOP will make us an even stronger company.”
Wilson and Rich Collins, President of Western Land, view this as a natural step consistent with their recognition of the contributions of each employee in the success of the Company, and their desire to share the rewards of that success. “The reasons for selling the stock are three-fold,” adds Collins. “The ESOP is the best way to provide for future Company stability; ensure a smooth long term leadership transition; and share the financial rewards of ownership to our employees.”
As always, Western Land’s goal is to provide clients with best in-class quality services. We believe an ESOP puts us in the best position to continue that commitment to our valued clients. Data consistently shows that ESOP’s outperform their non-employee owned peers and that company growth accelerates. “We believe this even more closely aligns the goals of our clients with the work of our employees” Collins said. “Being mostly made up of employees was already something that helped set us apart from the traditional land services mold. Having our employees become partners in the end results of our work is another way that we believe will help set us apart from our competition. Combined with our already large stable of services, we expect the ESOP to enhance an even more positive work product to our clients.”
Both Wilson and Collins plan to continue on in their same capacity for the foreseeable future. In light of the challenges facing the industry today, an ESOP is an excellent way in which to assure the continuation of our best in-class services, retain valued employees, and enhance our company’s’ productivity and profitability. “I’m thrilled for our employees; adding this element to our culture where our employees contribute in significant ways every day, and the future couldn’t be brighter,” said Wilson.
Today, Western Land employs over 300 workers and operates from six offices strategically positioned across the country, Western Land maintains active projects in 16 states and has established experience in 36 states and counting. The company’s mission is to bring land, energy, and people together executing every project with enthusiasm, integrity, and expertise it deserves.
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