Rochester-based media and communications agency’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) acquires balance of shares from co-CEOs
“Becoming a 100 percent employee-owned company empowers Butler/Till’s next generation of leaders to enhance the agency’s consistent history of creative and personalized client service. This establishes an increasingly sophisticated proprietary interest in its clients’ successes,” said Mark R. Kossow, managing partner, ESOP Plus®: Schatz Brown Glassman Kossow LLP, which advised Butler/Till in structuring and completing the transaction. “Employee ownership also allows the agency to benefit from the experience, wisdom, and visionary skills of Sue and Tracy.”
Since being founded in 1998, Butler/Till has emerged as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States, repeatedly earning the agency a spot on the Inc. 5000 and the Rochester Top 100, presented by KPMG LLP and Rochester Business Alliance. The Rochester-based agency currently employs 80 media professionals and represents both national consumer brands (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) clients, including Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies. In 2011, the agency launched its ESOP program, which originally accounted for 51 percent of company shares.
“Building a culture based on the principle of ownership has always been a major business goal for the agency. It drives our competitiveness, provides a benchmark for success, and strengthens the overall quality of work delivered to clients,” said Butler. “Becoming a 100 percent employee-owned company marks a significant step toward securing this vision for the future.”
Butler/Till has received numerous accolades for its work in digital and media. The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) recently honored Butler/Till as a finalist of the prestigious O’Toole Media Awards, which recognize “agencies that constantly drive excellence through innovation, transformation, and creativity in media planning and buying functions.” Butler/Till’s culture has also earned recognition from Advertising Age, and, most recently, the Democrat and Chronicle Media Group named the agency a “Top Workplace” in the Rochester region.
“In an industry ripe with change and disruption, we sought an impactful way to differentiate Butler/Till. Becoming 100 percent employee-owned uniquely links the agency’s cultural goals to tangible financial results,” said Till. “This creates an ownership DNA, which innately pushes the agency to embrace the challenge of building sustainable value for clients and their brands.”
Butler/Till empowers brands to reach, engage, and activate their consumers through multi-platform programs and campaigns. The agency combines research, strategy, creative, and technology to build progressive media and communications programs across digital, social, traditional, and experiential platforms. These capabilities result in data-driven and customer-focused outcomes that help clients achieve their business goals.