Churchill Mortgage has announced that its parent company, Churchill Holdings Inc., is now an employee-owned company. Mike Hardwick, the founder of Churchill Mortgage and sole shareholder of Churchill Holdings Inc., sold stock to the newly-established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in a transaction that closed Oct. 31, 2013. Hardwick will continue to hold the controlling interest in the parent company.
“Establishing an ESOP is exciting news for us, with a strong possibility of Churchill Mortgage being the first ever privately-owned mortgage company to offer one,” said Hardwick. “Studies have shown that companies’ average growth rate is 2.4 percent higher after an ESOP is implemented, so there is a tremendous potential value for our employees who will now share in the continued success of the company and benefit financially from a job well done. Churchill has experienced exponential growth over the last 20 years and we anticipate even more success in the coming years.”
The new ESOP will not change the business operations of Churchill Mortgage. Hardwick will continue to lead the company and its more than 300 employees, who will now be able to benefit from the value of annual allocations of stock in the parent company. Designed as a long-term retirement benefit for employee owners, all employees over the age of 21 who accrue one year of service with the company will be eligible to participate in the ESOP. Under the plan, all ESOP participants will earn an annual allocation of parent company shares based on their relative percentage of total eligible compensation. Available shares, representing 49 percent of the parent company, will be allocated over the next several years.
“We also expect this plan to significantly enhance service,” Hardwick added. “Employees will have a stronger incentive to work hard as well as take greater pride in their contributions to the company. In turn, families and individuals seeking loan products will reap the benefits. As we transition to an employee-owned enterprise, we look forward to the future.”