Terms were not disclosed, except that BDO said there was debt financing for establishing the ESOP. BDO’s financial year will also be changed to a calendar year.
It will be the first large public accounting firm to adopt such a plan and will have 10,000 participating employees.
“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,” Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA, said in a prepared statement.
Under the ESOP, employees will receive ownership in the company over time and the allocation of company stock, participating professionals in this country will be able to access a retirement that requires no out-of-pocket contribution, BDO said in its announcement.
A variety of professional advisors were involved in setting up the plan. Investment bank Stout acted as financial advisor and debt placement agent on the transaction with law firm, McDermott Will & Emery providing legal counsel. An independent trustee bee engaged to represent the interest of participants. Debt financing was arranged Apollo Capital Solutions. BDO said the arrangement “will be anchored by certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo.”