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The Employee Ownership Update

Corey Rosen

December 15, 2009

(Corey Rosen)

In Memoriam: John Logue

John Logue, the founder and director of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, died on December 9 after a short battle with a very virulent form of cancer. I knew John for over 25 years and remember well back in 1986 when we first discussed the idea of starting the Ohio Center, which launched the next year. It would be quite a task, requiring long hours, creative energy, and a lot of passion. John was more than up to it. Over the years, the Ohio Center became enormously influential. Thanks to its work, thousands of employees in Ohio still have jobs, many thousands more have large ESOP accounts or have been able to retire with dignity, and even more now work for companies that now value and seek their input and ideas.

John was also a consummate researcher about employee ownership. A political scientist at Kent State, he brought his commitment to objectivity and thoroughness to the task of finding out just how well employee ownership was working and what could make it work better.

Perhaps the best way to remember John, though, is as teacher. He taught company leaders, employees, students, government officials, and many others about employee ownership, but, even more, he taught us about what it means to be a truly decent, committed human being who cared deeply about the lives of others. John was a friend, a mentor, and an inspiration. I was blessed to know him. We all were.

New NCEO Data on ESOP Board Practices

A new NCEO survey of 190 ESOP companies shows that only 26% of the respondents have boards made up only of current employees, compared to 49% in 2005. Twenty-nine percent have boards that have a majority of inside directors, compared to 25% in 2005. Sixty percent of the companies have independent directors who have no ownership, employment, or family relationship with the company, up from 51% in a 2005 survey who did.

The median compensation for outside directors was $10,000 in 2005 (the 2005 data were not directly comparable but appear to be somewhat lower). Thirty-eight percent of companies expect their boards to become larger, and 40% plan to add inside directors. The median number of full board meetings was 3.8 per year and, for companies with committees (most often a compensation committee), the median number of committee meetings was 2.8 per year.

The results are part of a new NCEO survey on corporate governance in ESOP companies that looks at boards, trustee selection and practices, voting rights, and other issues. A summary of the results is available at no cost to NCEO members (companies who join can request the survey at no charge). In addition, we can do customized analysis of the data based on company demographic characteristics for $200. Contact Loren Rodgers at lrodgers@nceo.org for the free summary for members or for details on obtaining a customized analysis.

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