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December 2, 2020

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The Beyster Institute at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management works to advance the understanding and practice of employee ownership as an effective and responsible business model. They focus on education, research and consulting to promote employee ownership and the creation of effective ownership cultures. The San Diego Workforce Partnership connected with the Beyster Institute to learn more about their work.

Tell me about what the Beyster Institute does.

The Beyster Institute was founded by the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED) in 2002 and took on the mission to spread the visionary ideas of Dr. J. Robert Beyster, founder of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Ideas taken from SAIC have led to the development of many highly successful enterprises based on the potent combination of employee ownership and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2004, the Beyster Institute joined the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego, a leading professional school within one of the top-ranked institutions in the U.S. for higher education and research. This partnership with UC San Diego has supported the institute in becoming a central resource for the employee ownership community.

Can you tell me more about employee ownership?

Only twenty percent of businesses that go on the market are sold, which results in lost return on investment, lost jobs, lost legacy and business closures. Employee ownership plans keep businesses open and profitable. There are several paths that lead to employee ownership, and choosing the best one will depend on your company size and ultimately your business goals.

What programs do you offer?

Services are offered in both education and financial consulting. Educational programming includes a comprehensive series of courses on the management and governance of employee ownership companies. Each course addresses the needs of one of the three elements in the collaboration that governs and directs modern employee ownership companies:  the ESOP fiduciaries, the board of directors, and the management team.  The Institute is also very excited to launch the first accredited course in partnership with the UC San Diego Extension department for graduate students and professionals interested in joining the field of employee ownership as a professional advisor.

How else is the Beyster Institute impacting the community?

The Beyster Institute works with companies to help them thoughtfully design an equity-sharing program and identify the tools and resources required to implement the plan. From ESOPs to stock option plans to employee purchase programs, business leaders have a number of tools to build and maintain the kind of employee ownership programs that turn employees into partners in enterprise and sustain a high level of business performance.

The Institute’s consulting experts have worked closely with other business advisors, teaming with them to serve the needs of their client by providing employee ownership expertise to lawyers, CPAs and other business consultants to understand the value employee ownership can bring to their clients. Since 2002, the institute has advised nearly 1,000 companies on the design and implementation of ESOPs and other employee ownership arrangements.

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