Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Kennicott Brothers

Kennicott is one of the oldest continuing operating businesses in Illinois. Dr. John A. Kennicott founded The Grove Nursery in 1836 and Kennicott Brothers Company, which incorporated in 1881, became the first wholesale florist company in the Midwest. In addition to its store in downtown Chicago, it now operates 16 other locations servicing 10 states. In May 2000, Kennicott became a 100 percent employee-owned company when the Kennicott family used an ESOP to transfer ownership to the firm's employees.  The firm now has over 300 employee-owners.

Herbst, Lazar, Bell, Inc.

Herbst LaZar Bell Inc. is an employee-owned, product design consulting firm with nearly 100 employees. Founded in 1963 in Chicago, the firm opened a second office just outside Boston in 1991; and a third in LA in 2001. In 1996, HLB became the first 100% employee-owned product design firm in the country. Read more about Herbst, Lazar, Bell, Inc....


Osmose is a majority employee-owned private corporation specializing in all areas of wood preservation technology as well as Utility and Railroad asset management. With more than 1200 employees, Osmose maintains a network of supplies and customer throughout the United States and in more than 70 countries around the world. Read more about Osmose...

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Employee stock-ownership plan (ESOP) companies are for-profit entities in which employees own part or all of the businesses for which they work. ESOPs are created through a pension plan with two unique features: 1) most of the employee pension money is invested in the company where the workers are employed, and 2) workers may borrow against future corporate earnings to purchase company stock. Money or stock the business contributes to fund the plan is tax deductible. Read more about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)...

Shawmut Design & Construction

Founded in 1982 by Jim Ansara and a handful of employees, Shawmut Design and Construction is now an entirely employee-owned national construction management firm with headquarters in Boston, seven additional offices across the country, and over 1,000 employee-owners.  In 2015, Shawmut’s revenues reached nearly $1.2 billion.  The firm has won 43 regional “Best Place to Work” awards, and in 2016, received the honor nationally when Fortune Magazine named the firm as one of the nation’s 100 Best Workplaces.

Boston Common Asset Management

Formed in 2002, Boston Common Asset Management is a woman-led, employee-owned, certified B Corporation seeking sustainable, long-term capital appreciation through investments in high quality and socially responsibly enterprises.  Committed to sustainability, the firm offsets its annual carbon emissions by supporting sustainable reforestation in South America and runs a composting program credited with diverting more than 150 gallons of waste from the garbage stream.  The firm manages approximately $2.2 billion in assets and has 48 employee-owners.


Founded in 1986, QuantamDigital provides printing, direct mail and marketing services. It was named one of 50 fastest growing tech companies in Texas by Deloitte & Touche LLP in 2008 and has estimated average annual sales over $1 million. Read more about QuantumDigital...

Motivating Employee-Owners in ESOP Firms: Human Resource Policies and Company Performance

Douglas Kruse, Richard Freeman, Joseph Blasi, Robert Buchele, Adria Scharf, Loren Rodgers and Chris Mackin
Presented at panel on “Econometric Case studies of Human Resources and Firm Performance”