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The Employee Ownership Update

Loren Rodgers

June 2, 2014

(Loren Rodgers)

The Citizen's Share on Television and in Paperback

Joseph Blasi, one of the three authors of The Citizen's Share: Reducing Inequality in the 21st Century (the others are Douglas Kruse and Richard Freeman), appeared on television to discuss his book about employee ownership, equity compensation, and profit sharing. Speaking on Fox Business with Stuart Varney on May 27, Blasi discussed the value of stock options at Apple, the role of employee stock ownership plans, and his thoughts on why owning houses are not a sufficient asset to fix the decline of the middle class.

On May 21, Blasi appeared on the MSNBC show The Cycle, where he described the goal of shared capitalism as making sure "every citizen owns enough property to have economic liberty," noting that the book proposes a modern proposal that is "the essence of the idea that the Founders had." An extended Web-only conversation is here.

The Citizen's Share has just been released in paperback. It charts the path of employee ownership, equity compensation, and profit sharing in the United States, starting from its early origins in the fishing industry and the discussions about property ownership by the Founders. The book brings those arguments to the present with case studies and a review of the data, and then looks toward the future with policy ideas to strengthen the role of employee ownership in the U.S. economy.

DOL to Release Proposal on Fiduciaries in January 2015

In its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda (p. 14), the Department of Labor announced that it would issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in January 2015 regarding the fiduciary status of those who provide investment advice for ERISA plans. The agenda says that the proposal "would reduce harmful conflicts of interest by amending the regulatory definition of the term 'fiduciary.'" The DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration originally proposed a version of the new rules, which would make ESOP appraisers plan fiduciaries, in October 2010.

New Book of Case Studies: Learning from Innovative Employee Ownership Companies

If the best way to make a company stronger is to learn from the specific practices of some of the most successful companies, then Shared Entrepreneurship: A Path to Engaged Employee Ownership by Frank Shipper will give leaders, employee committees, and anyone with an interest in the success of employee ownership tools they can adapt to their own companies. Mike Rydin, the CEO of ESOP-owned HCSS, says, "this book lays out the foundation of these [shared entrepreneurship] principles in a way that pulls together the disparate activities that we have been doing....We plan to use this book with all managers, leaders, and as a tool in our leadership development program for future leaders." The book will be released in August, but is currently available at a pre-order discount.

New Training Package for Inside ESOP Fiduciaries

The NCEO now offers a customized live PowerPoint-based fiduciary training program. The 90-minute session is designed to help inside fiduciaries understand their roles and responsibilities as fiduciaries. The presentation is customized for each company. The charge to NCEO members is $500.

Author biography and other columns in this series

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