BDO USA Stewards Transformative Next Chapter With ESOP

Purpose-driven strategy gives participating U.S. employees shared stake in firm’s success.

CHICAGO, AUGUST 2023 − BDO USA, one of the nation’s leading accounting and advisory firms, today announced its intention to establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), providing a broad base of our employees the benefit of ownership and a new model for the firm’s continued investment, growth, and long-term sustainability. When effective, BDO would be the first large public accounting firm to implement an ESOP. With more than 10,000 participating employees, BDO would be among the largest ESOPs in the country.

“An ESOP is the realization of our purpose of helping people thrive, every day. It is a game-changer for our people, clients and communities, designed to improve lives for generations to come,” said Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA. “Amid the changing landscape of our profession, the ESOP unlocks the value of our firm today and embodies our strategy to sustain a strong, caring and resilient business for tomorrow. We are proud to establish this ESOP to invest in each other so everyone who contributes to our success has the opportunity to benefit from it.”

“Today’s talented professionals have many options in choosing where to start and build their careers,” shared BDO USA Chief People Officer Cathy Moy. “BDO has long been distinguished by a culture which puts people first with a commitment to thriving together. The ESOP will be unique and innovative in our profession and supports our goal to be an employer of choice.”

An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan established as a trust, where current and future employees receive beneficial ownership in the company over time. Through the allocation of company stock, participating BDO USA professionals will be able to access a retirement plan that requires no out-of-pocket contribution, helping them plan for their future financial well-being. 

“The ESOP also has material benefit to the firm,” notes Steve Ferrara, Chief Operating Officer of BDO USA. “It allows for continued investment in quality, as well as operations and growth strategies, while maintaining continuity in leadership and commitment to a longstanding vision and purpose.”

Establishing BDO’s ESOP involved some of the leading ESOP advisors in the country. Stout, a global investment bank and advisory firm, acted as exclusive financial advisor and debt placement agent on the transaction. Global law firm, McDermott Will & Emery provided legal counsel. In addition, BDO has engaged an experienced, independent Trustee to represent the interests of ESOP participants. The debt financing to support the transaction was arranged by Apollo Capital Solutions and will be anchored by certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo (NYSE: APO). The ESOP and related transactions are expected to become effective August 31, 2023. In conjunction with the effective date, BDO USA’s fiscal year end will change to December 31. Terms of the transaction are undisclosed. 

Media Contact: 
Silas Hill
Zeno Group
(919) 360-2623
[email protected]

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