Ebenezer Scrooge would never fit in at Integrity Marketing Group. With the holidays looming, the Dallas-based insurtech firm just gave its employees a big surprise: $125 million in cash payouts plus equity units that make every current full-time employee an official owner of the company.
The omnichannel leader in life, health, and wealth solutions is headquartered on six floors of I.M. Pei’s iconic Fountain Place tower in downtown Dallas. As we wrote back in June, the rapidly growing company has 5,500 employees nationwide and made 40 acquisitions in 2020 alone.
Earlier this month, Integrity received a $1.2 billion investment from the investment firm Silver Lake to expand its digital innovation and insurtech capabilities.
Now it’s literally sharing the wealth by making all its full-time employees stakeholders in its success.
Bolstering the firm’s employee ownership plan
The $125 million in cash payouts was given to employees participating in the company’s Employee Ownership Plan. Additionally, equity units were awarded to all those who had yet to qualify for them through the plan.
Eligible employees will receive cash awards of varying size, based on job position, tenure, and other factors. Employees who’ve participated in the program since it launched in 2019 will receive a minimum of $8,000, while still having an estimated $60,000 in current equity value remaining in company shares.
CEO shared the news in person
The company’s co-founder and CEO, Bryan W. Adams, traveled across the U.S. to share the news in person with over 2,000 employees. He met virtually with the remaining 3,000-plus employees in the firm’s 120 offices.
“Integrity is a business built by caring and committed people who go the extra mile to help other people,” Adams said in a statement. “Two years ago, we became an employee-owned company with our innovative Employee Ownership Plan, which gave ownership in our company to all our employees. As we experience success and create value as an insurtech company, we share that upside with all our employee owners.”
$175M in cash payouts to employees since 2019
Integrity became an employee-owned business in 2019 with the formation its employment ownership plan. At the time, the company paid out a retroactive cash distribution of $50 million to Integrity’s then-750 employees.
Including this month’s payments, Integrity has now paid out a total of $175 million to its employees in a little over two years through the plan.
Silver Lake: Employee ownership is a ‘key differentiator’
Integrity’s employee ownership is one factor that helped attract Silver Lake’s $1.2 billion investment.
“Integrity’s culture of employee ownership is a key differentiator,” said Egon Durban, Co-CEO of Silver Lake, in the statement. “It’s an incredibly powerful way to align objectives that spur growth and reward people for delivering on innovation. We’re supportive of how the employee ownership program at Integrity is inclusive, sharing, and demonstrates a belief in their people.”
100%+ growth for five years running
All its many acquisitions—which are announced in a steady drumbeat throughout the year—have helped Integrity show impressive, almost nonstop growth.
The company has achieved year-over-year annual growth in excess of 100% for five years straight. Its omnichannel insurtech platform is used by 420,000 agents serving more than 10 million clients annually.
The company expects new 2021 sales to exceed $7 billion—and projects it will have over $20 billion of assets under management and advisement through its RIA and broker-dealer platforms by December 31.
‘A culture of giving back’
“Integrity is truly a company powered by people and we’re passionate about our culture of giving back,” Steve Young, Integrity’s chairman of the board, said in the statement.
“I’ve been part of some incredible things throughout my career, but nothing comes close to the joy of being able to share true ownership with our employees. It’s a day that will change their lives forever, and the potential value it offers is unimaginable.”
Adams also noted what a difference ownership can make.
“By coming together to work, win, prosper and share, we’ve been able to create one of the industry’s first companies where every employee is also an owner,” he said.
“When you consider that the average household savings in America is roughly $17,000, it’s easy to see how ownership can help our employees prepare for the good days ahead,” Adams added. “This is unquestionably the most meaningful decision and outcome I’ve ever been part of in my career.”
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