i2C Architects innovates to retain talent

Rod Rose Anthony_ Merlin Brian Jende (Photo Luke Marsden)
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ARCHITECTURE and design firm i2C Architects are launching an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), that will see employee performance translated into share ownership.

The ESOP will see performance earning ownership through performance, in an effort by i2C  to retain and attract talent and shape its company culture.

“The plan aims to retain our strong existing talent while offering unprecedented opportunities; we look forward to providing our senior associates with a pathway to business ownership that they may not otherwise get in other companies,” said Anthony Merlin, co-founder at i2C.

Currently eight senior associates are anticipated to earn shares in the i2C Architects trust by the close of 2022, assuming the firm achieves its profit goals.

“We truly value our team, and we want them to find value too, have a sense of ownership and become more aware of the business’ performance. Additionally, we are confident we will also be able to attract strong talent within the industry once we have built up further equity in the trust, as a result of this unique offering,” added Merlin.

The firms decision to adopt an ESOP comes as the model gains popularity in the US, where there are currently more than 6,300 companies with the plans, holding total assets of more than $1.4 trillion and covering 14 million employee-owners, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership.

“We’ve seen a growing number of clients in professional services move towards an employee share plan model. Typically in professional services, it’s difficult to get good people and to keep them, motivate them and reward them,” said Craig West, CEO and founder of Succession Plus, a business succession and exit planning firm.

West added that this model not only helps employees build additional wealth, but businesses through talent retention and through attracting new customers.

“We’re excited to offer this additional level of assurance amongst our client base, as they know the Senior Associate they’re working with has some ‘skin in the game’ – they are truly bought in to the business and are passionate about service, delivery and performance,” concluded Merlin.

Meanwhile, the firm closed out 2021 by appointed, along with Timber Design Studio, to design Parklea’s Timbertop Estate commercial and retail hub, as well as being announced as the lead designers for Pellicano’s Fieldworks House in Oakleigh South.