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McGohan Brabender Becomes Employee-owned Company

Jerry Kenney

About 200 employees work in McGohan Brabender offices in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and Indianapolis. The employee benefits brokerage firm recently announced that those employees now own the company.

While employee-owned companies make up a small portion of the business landscape in the United States, in 2020 it was estimated that about 10.5 million workers were members of employee stock ownership programs, or ESOPs

Workers at McGohan Brabender had been in on discussions about the company becoming employee owned for some time. But CEO Scot McGohan says the recent announcement came as a welcome surprise to them..

"We always wanted to be local and stay local," he says. "And so we worked a long time trying to figure out how we make sure that we protect our independence to protect each city that we serve. And the best solution that came about was an ESOP."

ESOPS can be a challenge to set up and maintain but proponents say there are big benefits.

They boost worker retirement incomes significantly because of the tax benefits they provide. They offer workers stability and a stake in their own future. And the national ESOP association says they believe ESOPs provide more equity for women and people of color.