In the US there are over 14 million employee-owners working at 7,000 companies. Yet, the sector still has enormous potential to grow. In this episode we speak with Chris Fredericks, CEO of Empowered Ventures and Tim Rettig CEO of InTrust IT, both of whom are focused on growing the employee ownership sector through acquisitions of other mid-market companies. Together both Chris and Tim have acquired 7 companies in the last 5 years creating hundreds of new employee owners, and they are only getting started. We talk about what drove both Tim and Chris to adopt the models they have, the mechanics of the deals, and how they have approached culture building in companies that are diverse in both geographic location and industry.
IntrustIT CEO Tim Rettig is a guy who knows how to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling. Intrust first kicked off in 1992, while Tim was still a student in UC’s College of Engineering. As a second generation technology entrepreneur, Tim seeks to incorporate cutting-edge business practices that allow clients to use technology to share data and connect. Tim sold thirty percent of InTrust IT to employees through an ESOP and plans to move towards one hundred percent in the next few years. Tim is also a part of a group of entrepreneurs and investors working to improve our regional economy and reduce income inequality by buying companies from retiring owners, investing in them, modernizing them, and empowering the employees to become the owners.
Chris Fredericks founded Empowered Ventures, serves as President & CEO, and is a member of the Board of Directors. Chris has a diverse background in management, accounting and finance, mergers and acquisitions, operations, strategic planning, human capital management, and business valuations. In 2010, he proposed and led the acquisition of TVF on behalf of the employees using an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), creating a successful ownership transition for the founder. After a decade of success as an employee-owned company, TVF established Empowered Ventures and became the flagship operating company.
This Episode is Sponsored by PCE Investment Bankers. PCE's experienced team provides middle market business owners with award-winning investment banking, valuation, advisory and ESOP services. Since 1997, PCE has offered clients the sophistication of a full-service firm with the individualized attention of a boutique firm.
The Owners at Work Podcast is a continuation of the biannual Owners at Work Newsletter which ran for 19 years (1990-2019). We are hoping to continue the same conversations and focus on providing updates on everything employee ownership. We plan to interview practitioners with expertise in different facets of employee ownership, academics doing new and interesting research, and most importantly, individuals who have a personal experience with employee ownership, including current and former employee-owners, mid-level to C suite management, and selling owners.
We want to produce a show that engages with relevant questions and provides practical lessons and information. We want this podcast to include the voices of those who practice employee-ownership each and every day. To that end we want to hear from you! We want to highlight what you are doing, whether you are an employee-owned company, a practitioner, or researcher.
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