P R O F I L E
Make it right An internal market for the company’s stock, and a company culture of ‘just get it done’ are two key drivers of the firm’s success.
By DALE D. CONGER C obbFendley (Hot Firm #21 for 2016) was formed in Houston in 1980 by John “Odis” Cobb and William Fendley to provide professional civil engineering and land surveying services. In addition to its headquarters in Houston, CobbFendley has regional offices throughout Texas, and in New Mexico, Louisiana, and Utah. The civil engineering and surveying firm works for public and private clients almost on a 50-50 basis. The firm has a few winning ideas on incentive compensation and employee ownership, and has an interesting take on company culture. ❚ ❚ Incentive compensation/bonus/employee ownership. Our founders created an environment to perpetuate the company after their retirement. An ESOP, or employee stock ownership plan, was established to begin the financing of their transition, but the majority of the ownership was passed to a group of senior managers and to the company treasury. This “internal sale” most assuredly generated less capital return to the founders than
they would have seen with an outside sale, but they valued seeing the company continue after they were retired. There is no right answer to the question of whether to sell a firm. It just comes down to whether the goal is maximum return to the owners, or whether there are other valuable outcomes, such as the continuation of the firm as an independent business. “An ESOP, or employee stock ownership plan, was established to begin the financing of their transition, Through a generous incentive compensation program, direct ownership of company stock is but the majority of the ownership was passed to a group of senior managers and to the company treasury.”
Dale D. Conger, President, CobbFendley
See COBBFENDLEY, page 8
THE ZWEIG LETTER January 9, 2017, ISSUE 1182
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