Why We’re Proud To Be 100% Employee-Owned
Employee Ownership Month is in October, and it’s an opportunity for ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) companies to celebrate the tremendous spirit of employee ownership. At DAS, we couldn’t be more proud to be one of the many companies across the nation to take part in employee ownership.
Today, there are approximately 7,000 ESOPs in place in the U.S., covering nearly 14 million employees—but, not all ESOPS are identical. Find out more about how our shift to employee ownership has impacted our success!
What is an ESOP?
According to Mary Josephs, an expert in ESOP transactions and middle market strategic alternatives, “ESOP stands for Employee Stock Ownership Plan and is an innovative liquidity tool that provides flexibility for shareholders, tax advantages for the company and business owners as well as an opportunity for employees to grow retirement assets. Employees participate in the economic growth of their employer via company stock held in their retirement accounts.”
Of the estimated 7,000 ESOP companies in the United States, fewer than 2,500 are 100 percent employee-owned, like ours. Though many companies don’t have 100 percent employee ownership, we’re proud to say that each and every one of our employees is an owner because of the benefits ESOP brings to our company as a whole.
The DAS Employee Stock Ownership Trust
After several years of thoughtful planning and review, DAS transferred ownership from our sole owner, President and CEO Douglas Schukar, to his employees in 2017 in the form of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) known as the DAS Employee Stock Ownership Trust.
However, unlike other ESOP companies, we didn’t eliminate our 401(k) match. In fact, we increased the match for all employees, and we plan to double our contribution in 2019 and triple it the following year.
Douglas Schukar, who continues to serve as President and CEO, since noted: "There is no better way to thank the people who have helped us achieve success and reward those who will be leading the charge in the future to enhance our winning customer experience."
To be eligible to receive shares, employees need to complete 160 hours of service—equivalent to one month’s worth of full-time employment. After six years, employees that participate in the plan are fully vested.
Since our beginnings in 2001, DAS has grown to $1.8 billion in total loan volume and more than 600 employees, which has grown by roughly $300 million in 2018.
As our company continues to move forward, the expert and personalized service we offer to our clients will always remain unchanged.
“Our business is all about helping. We refer to our sales team as ‘teachers by trade’ because they have to be able to explain home financing in everyday terms. The more you can help someone understand the mortgage experience, the better,” says Schukar.
Employee-owned and community-focused, USA Mortgage is a trusted and true “Local Lender” during the mortgage and loan cycle. Give us a call at 888-250-6522 or visit our website to find out how we can help you realize your dream of home ownership!