Quad/Graphics to give $22 million in stock to employees

Retirement contribution prompted by federal tax reform

Quad/Graphics' Sussex headquarters.

Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. plans to use the benefits of federal tax reform to give eligible employees $22 million in company stock, Joel Quadracci announced Wednesday.

Quad/Graphics’ Sussex headquarters.

The contribution of approximately 1 million shares will go to employee retirement accounts and will equal 3 percent of an employee’s base pay.

“It’s important our employees know how vital they are to our company’s transformation and how vested we are in their future. Our employees are our company’s most valued and important asset. They take care of our customers and make Quad Graphics’ a strong competitor,” said Quadracci, Quad chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Quad had around 21,100 employees at the end of 2017, but Claire Ho, a company spokeswoman, said she could not quantify how many would be eligible for the award.

A number of companies have used tax reform to provide one-time cash bonuses to employees or to raise minimum wages. Others, like Kimberly-Clark, have said tax reform provided the flexibility to pursue restructuring plans that include the elimination of jobs.

Dave Honan, Quad chief financial officer, said the stock award would help align employee interests with those of the company’s shareholders.

Quad/Graphics also announced it would be investing $10 million this year in marketing talent to bolster its capabilities.

“We are hiring professionals who will help fast track our understanding of our clients’ business needs and help us move the conversation beyond the role as a critical commodity vendor to a trusted marketing solutions partner,” Quadracci said.

To a similar end, the company announced Wednesday it plans to acquire Texas-based marking firm Ivie & Associates Inc. for $92.5 million.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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