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The Employee Ownership Update

Loren Rodgers

October 3, 2011

(Loren Rodgers)

Department of Labor to Re-Propose Fiduciary Regulation

Acknowledging the feedback it had received from Congress and ESOP companies, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would not adopt a proposed regulation that would have made appraisers of ESOP shares plan fiduciaries. Instead, the DOL will re-propose the rule after additional input. "We will take the time to get this right to ensure that we provide the strongest possible protections to business owners and retirement savers in plans and IRAs," said Phyllis C. Borzi, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). The decision is also in response to President Obama's executive order 13563, which directs agencies to avoid regulations that impose burdens on business. The ESOP Association describes the announcement as a positive development but warns that the "game is not over," noting that the DOL's press release leaves the possibility that appraisers would be considered fiduciaries when they value stock in connection with a transaction.

Two M&A Transactions at MYI in One Week

McLarens Young International (MYI), an employee-owned loss adjusting firm with a global reach, announced two acquisitions in September. On September 15, it announced that it will merge with Airclaims, a large global provider of claims, risk, and asset management services relative to the aviation industry. On September 22, it said it would acquire middle-market claims adjusting firm Washington Oregon Claim Service. Employee ownership is a substantial part of MYI's branding, and its Web site notes that "As employee owners, every employee, including adjusters, management, and staff, has a personal vested interest in our clients' success."

Documentary in Progress

Veteran documentary filmmakers Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young are working on a film highlighting employee ownership. They have completed interviews at several worker-owned companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, the NCEO, and, most recently, the ESOP-owned EBO Group. You can follow the film's progress at shiftchange.org.

Help Set NCEO's Equity Compensation Webinar Schedule

Through October 31, we are running an online survey on which equity compensation Webinar topics you'd like us to address in 2012. Please take a minute to complete the survey and let us know.

Free Webinar Replays

If you are curious about the NCEO's recorded Webinars on ESOP topics, you can try them for free. Learn more on the Webinar replay page or contact the NCEO's director of seminars and Webinars, Colleen Kearney (email CKearney@nceo.org or call 510-208-1311).

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