Ask An Owner // Bret Boudreaux

Jessica Fasi | October 25, 2023

Three photos of Bret Boudreaux

What does it mean to be a 100% employee-owned firm? At its core, being 100% employee-owned means everyone at BL is working for ourselves and for each other. There’s a tangible financial incentive for employee owners as sharing in the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (which is what ESOP stands for), means the success of the company benefits everyone. We all have a say, and we all make an impact on BL’s success. This creates a culture centered around teamwork, where we prioritize helping each other, staying agile and flexible, and sharing resources. That makes things faster and easier for employee owners, and for our clients. Being 100% employee-owned means we all act like owners, because we are all owners.

As Director of Recruitment & Retention, what impact have you seen employee ownership make on things like recruiting new talent or retaining existing staff? Being an ESOP company offers an additional financial incentive for prospective and existing employees outside of their normal salary and benefits like PTO, healthcare, and 401k matching. But beyond that, there’s also a real impact on employee culture. We’re all working together to make something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. And because everyone can make an impact, and we all have a say, and have many opportunities to be engaged and contribute. We all look out for the good of the ESOP and the good of each other – not just for the good of the bottom line. This is something a lot of prospects are looking for, and it’s what keeps our existing employees sticking around.

As the new CT State Captain for the NE ESOP Association and co-chair of the BL ESOP Communications Committee, you’re heavily engaged in the world of employee ownership. What made you want to get involved with ESOPs, both at a firm and regional level? I actually didn’t know much about ESOPs before joining BL, but once I joined it became clear how much being employee-owned transforms BL for the better. Once I started getting involved with the ESOP on a firm level, I wanted to explore employee ownership outside of BL, too. We’ve since become a leader in the ESOP space, and I frequently speak at conferences to share our success and our ideas for employee ownership. One of the things I appreciate about the greater ESOP community is its openness – there’s no hoarding of ideas and we all love to collaborate with each other. Just like internally, we all make our ESOPs better by working together.

How does being 100% employee-owned benefit our clients and partners? Our culture is centered around our ESOP, and that means we’ve structured ourselves to be incredibly flexible and agile. We also aren’t competitive internally, so resources, team members, and clients aren’t hoarded. That means we can quickly get the right staff on the right projects for our clients. We’re all equally dedicated to our client’s success regardless of job function or geographic location.

October is ESOP Month. What does that mean at BL, and why do we celebrate? ESOP Month is a chance to recognize our ESOP and our employee owners, while celebrating our success. It gives us a great opportunity to connect as a firm and to build new, stronger relationships internally.

Ask An Owner // Bret Boudreaux was last modified: October 25th, 2023 by Jessica Fasi