Itasca, Illinois, August 9, 2022 – KSA Lighting & Controls is proud to announce they are now a 100% employee-owned company. This announcement of the sale to the Employee Stock Ownership Plan & Trust (ESOP) was made to KSA employees at a special meeting held at the company’s headquarters in Itasca, Illinois.
An ESOP is an employee benefit plan, facilitated through a trust, which provides company stock to employees as part of their retirement benefits. Congress created these plans to make it possible to transfer ownership to employees in a tax-favored way. There are close to 7,000 ESOPs in the U.S. with about 14 million participants. As a 100% ESOP owned company, all of KSA stock is now held in trust by the ESOP exclusively for the benefit of KSA employees.
“I’ve considered transitioning to a 100% ESOP for the past few years and I’m very happy that this has finally become a reality,” said CEO and President Jim Williams. “As an agency focused on selling and marketing the top brands in the lighting and controls space, our hard-working, dedicated employees are the lifeblood of KSA Lighting & Controls. Transitioning to an employee-owned company allows me to reward our employees for their dedication and commitment, many of whom have been with the company for more than 18 years. I believe it creates a more sustainable business model, for our employees and our clients. We expect that providing ownership to employees will lead to greater employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and a more rewarding work experience. As a 100% employee-owned company, we are able to create a more meaningful companywide culture of employee empowerment and responsibility.” Jim Williams will remain the CEO, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
According to the nonprofit National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), extensive research has shown that employee ownership companies outperform non-employee ownership companies by a wide margin. They have been found to grow about 2.5% per year faster in sales, employment, and productivity than would otherwise have been expected, provide 2.2 times the total retirement assets as non-ESOP companies, and provide dramatically greater job stability.
About Employee Stock Ownership Plans
According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, there are approximately 7,000 ESOPs in the United States, holding total assets of over $1.4 trillion and covering over 14 million participants.
An ESOP is a type of retirement plan that was made possible by Congress in 1974 under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the same act that governs 401(k) plans. The plan sets up a trust to hold company stock for employees. It is not to be confused with either a stock option plan or a stock purchase plan. ESOPs are almost always funded by the company, not by employee contributions, and that will be the case for KSA Lighting & Controls.
About KSA Lighting & Controls
KSA was founded in 1988 as a manufacturers’ representative agency for Lithonia Lighting. Jim Williams acquired the agency in 2004 and has grown the agency to 100+ associates representing over 100 of the industry’s finest lighting and controls manufacturers. With the partnership of Acuity Brands Lighting, KSA has been built on the fundamental principles of being easy to do business with, delivering solutions to their customers and leading with innovation and education to all customer segments. KSA is committed to excellence and exceeding expectations.