Heritage Bank announces launch of Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP)
The 150 employees of Heritage Bank will all become employee-owners. On Monday, bank management announced that Heritage Bancshares Group, Inc., the parent company of Heritage Bank N.A., will become an employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
“It is a win-win proposition for Heritage Bank, its employees and our local economy,” said Heritage Bank CEO Tom Geiger “By funding the ESOP, Heritage is investing in the employees who have helped make the company successful, and keeping that investment right here, helps support the local communities we serve.”
Heritage has been a family owned institution for over 45 years. Starting with a few tiny banks in Minnesota and Iowa farming communities, Earl Geiger and his two sons, Gary and Tom Geiger, have operated the banks with a strong commitment to the local communities. Over the years, Heritage Bank has grown to $400 million in assets and 12 offices.
Forming the ESOP allows ownership to transfer to the employees under a qualified retirement plan. Initially the ESOP will control about 6% of the company’s stock, a share that is expected to grow over time.
Nationwide, ESOPs have demonstrated general economic benefits and are a promising tool for retaining businesses in smaller communities. Employee-owners benefit from heightened job security and businesses last longer in the marketplace,
“We feel it is the right thing to do, and will continue the strong pattern of growth that Heritage has enjoyed” said Geiger. Heritage Bank has always maintained a mission of helping people in our communities achieve financial success.