Employee Ownership at FWS: A 20-Year Celebration

March 18, 2024

In 2004, FWS took a bold step by implementing an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), transforming the firm into an […]


In 2004, FWS took a bold step by implementing an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), transforming the firm into an employee-owned organization. This move was aimed to enable employees to share in the success of FWS by holding a meaningful ownership stake in the company. 


Performance Incentives and Succession Planning 


The opportunity to become shareholders in FWS provides employees with an inherent sense of pride and fosters a high-performance culture. The ESOP program drives engagement, and rewards effective performance through appreciation in share value and dividends while at the same time establishing a mechanism for shareholder succession through generations. 


To make ownership accessible, FWS facilitates share purchases through payroll deductions, demonstrating the company’s commitment to making ownership a practical and achievable goal for our workforce. 


Preserving Entrepreneurial Heritage 


FWS takes pride in maintaining our entrepreneurial heritage as a privately held and employee-owned company. An ownership interest in FWS further personalizes the relationship between the company and our employees, leading to an entrepreneurial approach to doing business. Participation in the ESOP has grown significantly since its inception and has continued to foster an entrepreneurial culture fueled by passion and performance. 


20 Years of Employee Ownership Success 


The first share transaction in 2004 marked the beginning of an annual tradition. Shares are traded annually amongst existing shareholders and new employees wishing to buy shares for the first time. Over the years, the demand for shares has grown significantly. Today, over half of our employees are shareholders in FWS—a testament to the program’s enduring success. 


As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our ESOP program, the company eagerly awaits the next generation of shareholders in this employee-centric model. For those interested in joining our employee-owned success story, check out our Careers page. Your journey towards shared ownership and success awaits! 


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