Employee Ownership Trusts

The "Employee Ownership Trust" (EOT) is a relatively new model in the United States, but has a long history in the UK, where the most well known EOT is the John Lewis Partnership, a department store chain that became employee-owned in the 1920s. An EOT is a perpetual trust that holds the stock of a company for the benefit of employees; employees receive a profit share but, unlike an ESOP, do not receive an equity stake in the company, so it is a tool that can be particularly powerful for exiting owners with legacy and permanent company independence goals.

For a short introduction to the idea from Chris Michael, a lawyer who has been working on translating the model to the American context, check out this article: "The British Are Coming — ESOPs and Perpetual Trusts"