If a strong culture is already in place, ESOP gives every employee the freedom to use the program to their advantage and enact company-wide change. (Photo: Shutterstock) If a strong culture is already in place, ESOP enables every employee to enact company-wide change. (Photo: Shutterstock)

While the insurance industry has undergone significant consolidation in recent years, Graham Company has defied the trend by becoming 100% employee-owned. Rather than taking a substantial buyout offer in 2017, CEO Bill Graham chose to convert Graham to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which holds all company stock in a trust and provides it to employees as part of their retirement.

As Graham celebrates 60 years in business, the ESOP ensures loyal and dedicated employees are taken care of financially and that the business will continue to thrive under the same values that have served employees and clients so well. Beyond retirement benefits, I believe this move strengthened our company’s culture, created a sense of ownership among employees, and allowed us to make our business the best it can be for our clients.

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