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 BDO USA plans to establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan and the accounting firm said this week that it will be one of the largest ESOPs in the country when it becomes effective at the end of this month.

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.”

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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