Bender Insurance Solutions, a third-generation family-owned company in Roseville, has restructured into an employee-owned firm.
The move from family ownership to being an Employee Stock Ownership Plan-run company is seen as a way to prepare for succession and to ensure the company remains independent, said Jillian Bender-Cormier, brand manager and partner of the independent insurance brokerage. She is a granddaughter of the firm’s founder Warren G. Bender. Bender-Cormier’s sister, Maggie Bender-Johnson, is president of the company, a position she took a year ago from her father, Stephen Bender, who is still CEO.
“Succession planning for a third-generation family business is no easy task,” said Bender-Johnson. Rather than potentially selling itself to another firm, the company chose to “sell in” to its employees, she said.
“For all intent and purposes, it is a great retirement plan for all the employees,” said Bender-Cormier.
The company has 53 employees, most of whom work out of the Roseville office. Several employees work remotely in Texas and Nevada, Bender-Cormier said.
Bender had revenue of $9.3 million in its 2018 fiscal year, up from $8.8 million in 2017.
The conversion of the company to employee-owned was an expensive process that required the use of a trustee, but it was worth it, Bender-Cormier said. She declined to say the cost.