Brown Implements Succession Plan

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:37 pm

Dale Brown, president of Waukesha-based Brown & Martin Inc., does not plan to retire for six years, but he has already implemented a business succession plan to ensure the future of his company.

Brown promoted Steve Borgwardt, general manager of the information technology (IT) division of Brown & Martin, to partner and minority stockholder in the firm. Borgwardt will assume full ownership status in 2012.

The marketing and public relations firm was established in 1984, and many clients have been with the company for 10 to 20 years.

“I wanted to make sure that my employees would have a job when I retire. That was my first concern,” Brown said. “Secondly, I wanted to make sure that we gave them a foundation that they would be able to succeed if I wasn’t here.”

Brown plans to officially retire from the company in 2012 but stay on staff as a marketing and public relations consultant with larger clients as long as needed by the company.

“I did not really want to deal with (the business succession plan), because I did not want to think about retiring,” Brown said.

When Brown retires, the ventriloquist services of Brown & Martin will go with him. However, the company’s ability to apply humor in corporate communications will stay, he said.

Borgwardt will obtain company stock over the next six years. When Brown retires, Borgwardt will buy the rest of the company over a period of time. Brown will give Borgwardt the initial loan to purchase the company.

Brown received assistance from his attorney and his accountant to establish the succession plan.

“I am handing the company over to a friend of the employees, who is their manager, who already knows the company and who they trust, which I think is really key,” Brown said. “(The successor) has to be somebody they really respect.”

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