09.Nov.2016

Robert Moore
Senior Consultant, CEO Emeritus

On Becoming Employee-Owned

Our staff-owners continue driving clients’ success while reaping even more rewards.

In August 2016, Lipman Hearne became an employee-owned company. This might not seem like big news for you—so what, you might say—but it is big for us. We have always been owned and operated by a small set of employee-owners, but through the adoption of an ESOP structure, we are able to extend the benefits of ownership to our entire staff. And those benefits are meaningful to our clients, as well.

As a mission-driven agency committed to partnering with visionary organizations, we have been fortunate over the years to attract top talent by promising both the energy and dynamism of working in an agency setting, along with the opportunity to work with organizations that serve the public good. And now through our ESOP structure we can provide a sustaining benefit to the people who make Lipman Hearne their professional home.

Being an ESOP means that each and every employee-owner—all of us, every day—is focused on delivering smart, far-reaching, and effective strategies to the clients we serve, and to translating those strategies into great tactical execution and gorgeous creative that ignites the interest of the target audience and drives them to action. More than ever before, we are all pulling together to benefit you.

ESOP companies operate under the aegis of ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This means that, over time, our earnings are allocated among our employee-owners and held in trust until their resignation or retirement. So in addition to annual salary and bonus compensation, as well as participation in our 401(k), each employee-owner now has a third mechanism to help them craft a long-term strategy for financial security—an important benefit in these uncertain times.

This is also a development that fits our character. As my colleague Alexia said during our deliberations, “ESOP culture is like Lipman Hearne culture on our best days.” The emphasis on collaboration, respect, engagement, and productive dialogue is inherent in well-run ESOPs, and it means that our “Wide” brand perspective—in which we bring the talents and insights of a variety of marketing disciplines to address our clients’ challenges—is now incorporated in our ownership structure.

We are all in this together, and we are all in this for you.