ESCO Group Moves to 100% Employee-Owned

Stacy Cannoy
Ray Brown, CEO, ESCO Group, announcing the transfer of the company’s ownership to its employees.

ESCO Group announced on January 7, 2022, the successful transfer of 100% ownership of the company to its employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for its non-bargaining employees, effective December 31,2021. ESCO focuses on electrical construction & design, plant services, automation, electrical engineering & design, safety training & consultation, and arc flash analysis. It is head-quartered in Marion, Iowa.

“All businesses need to have a strategy for the next generation of ownership.  Selling to the existing employees ensures ESCO’s legacy. The future success that ESCO will enjoy benefits the employees and, consequently, the local economy.  It’s truly a win-win-win for us all!” Mark Kraft, ESCO Group, Assistant Director of Automation.

ESCO Group’s ESOP was established in 2017 at 40% level when CEO, Ray Brown, and Shareholders sold 40% of the shares into an ESOP Trust. With an ESOP ownership structure, the company provides stock ownership at no cost to employees. As the company’s value – its stock – grows, employee accounts grow in value. ESOP plans, like that at ESCO Group, are federally governed under retirement legislation like 401(k)s. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NECO), there are approximately 6,600 ESOPs in the US covering about 14 million employee-owners.

Working in over 40 states annually and employing over 400 professionals (over 200 bargaining and 200 non-bargaining), ESCO is an employee-first organization that strives to create lasting value for clients, employees, and communities in which they live, work, and play.

“I am so happy for our employees. Although ESCO has always been a responsive and reliable company, we feel that being employee-owned brings a whole new optimism to our work. The ownership mentality we have experienced has made a big difference and we credit this type of teamwork in getting us through the pandemic with no layoffs to date. Our togetherness has never been stronger.” Ray Brown, ESCO Group, CEO.

Founded in 1964 by Wayne and Shirley Engle, ESCO was a small, residential electrical contractor that was run out of the Engle home. Today, ESCO Group is a Future-Ready one-stop-shop for either local industry or nationally manufacturing from seed to the table. ESCO delivers world-class outcomes through its services, creating lasting value. For more information about ESCO Group, visit or email