- Monday, Jun. 22, 2015
With an eye on the future of his company and the ongoing welfare of its employees, William Gadea, Founder and Creative Director of IdeaRocket, an animation services studio based in Manhattan, has established an employee ownership plan designed to eventually turn over 100% of the company to them.
“The objective of the plan,” stated Gadea, “is to reward the employees who have made IdeaRocket the company that it is today. It is also to incentivize employees to help make IdeaRocket an even better company by giving them a real stake in it.
Gadea also hopes that the plan will help his company attract the best talent going forward.
Over the next 10 years Gadea foresees giving away a third of the company to employees, and then having them buy out the remaining two-thirds after he retires. “I hope it will allow me to sell my company to people that I know will care for it and sustain it.”
According to Corey Rosen, founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership, a private nonprofit, decades of research have shown that sharing ownership widely with employees is a much better way to improve corporate performance than just making a few top employees owners.
“Employee ownership also adds substantially to employee financial security,” said Rosen. “At a time when economic inequality is a major issue in the U.S. and other countries, employee ownership has proven to be a market-based solution that works for everyone.”
Gadea said employee ownership is a legitimate and interesting exit strategy for entrepreneurs. Employee ownership has become popular among S-Corp tech firms through ESOPs, but a smaller firm such as IdeaRocket is offering ownership interests without giving up its LLC status. The ownership plan offers the same benefits as an ESOP while being cheaper to execute.
IdeaRocket is a concept-to-delivery studio creating animation for a variety of business uses: broadcast commercials, explainer videos, as well as employee-facing videos. The company works in a variety of styles and techniques, including whiteboard animation, 2D character animation, motion graphics and 3D. Founded in 2012, IdeaRocket has already served 18 different companies in the Fortune 500.