Milwaukee-based TRC Global Mobility
has been sold to its workforce through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
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TRC Global Mobility helps corporations relocate employees all over the world by buying and reselling the employees’ houses, moving their belongings and helping them secure housing in the new location. It has additional locations in Denver and Shelton, Connecticut, and has several other remote U.S. employees.
Owner, president and chief executive officer Paul Haislmaier, who founded the company in 1987, on Aug. 31 transferred 100 percent of the company’s stock to its 65 employees, about 35 of whom are based in Milwaukee.
“Over the past two years, I’ve gotten numerous calls from M&A outfits, from competitors and ancillary services that would like to have some type of synergistic effect (by buying TRC),” Haislmaier said. “By doing that, I felt that any one of these paths would lead to departmental consolidation and probably the elimination of a bunch of jobs, and kind of ruin the culture of the company that we worked hard to build up.”
In an Employee Stock Ownership Plan setup, the company is valued and then its stock is sold to an ESOP trust. The trust then awards a certain number of shares of the stock to qualifying employees. The structure allows a company to pay lower or zero taxes and also offers retirement benefits for employees. The company distributes stock to the employees annually based on how it performs, and the performance of the company determines how the value of the stock changes.
Haislmaier is still president and CEO of TRC, but is working out a succession plan, he said.
“I’m 73 years old and I was looking for how do I get a succession plan of some type and going this path, it allowed me to keep my hands in the business, which I enjoy, but yet I get my hands out of the mud,” he said. “I don’t have to be there for the daily routine.”