Becoming Employee-Owned: How BDO Broke Out of the Partner Model

Download MP3
Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA, joins Blake and guest host, David Leary, to discuss BDO's recent transition to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), making it the first major accounting firm to implement an ESOP structure. They discuss how the ESOP aims to attract and retain talent in the accounting profession and provide employees at all levels with an ownership stake in the firm.

  • (00:44) - Why do an Employee Stock Ownership Plan(ESOP) now?
  • (09:06) - BDO borrowed $1.3 billion - what is that money for?
  • (14:52) - How will ESOP benefit staff?
  • (19:06) - Is there a way to pull money out of the ESOP without leaving?
  • (29:15) - How do you become a partner at BDO?
  • (31:25) - What are my options when I'm a partner at BDO?
  • (35:54) - What are your thoughts on the talent shortage and the 150-hour rule?
  • (47:47) - What advice do you have for other firms thinking of becoming an ESOP?
Sign up to get free CPE for listening to this podcast

Download the Earmark CPE App

Connect with Our Guest, Wayne Berson


Learn more about BDO


Connect with Blake Oliver, CPA


Creators and Guests

David Leary
David Leary
exploring, challenging, influencing, #SmallBiz Ecosystem Evangelist, co-host @cloudacctpod, husband, dad, ex-@Intuit. ❤️'s: @BuffaloBills, madden, 💻,🏒,🏃‍♂️?
Wayne Berson
Wayne Berson
Wayne Berson has been the CEO of BDO USA, P.C. since 2012, during which time BDO has grown from BDO USA has grown from $600 million to $2.8 billion. He previously served as the Atlantic Assurance Regional Managing Principal, and from 2010 through 2012 as Chairman of the BDO USA Board of Directors. Wayne has been the Chair of the Global Board of Directors of BDO International, Ltd. since 2014. He has more than 30 years of experience in all phases of client service and accounting practices and has served as the responsible principal in a variety of industries, many of which are deeply involved in multinational operations. Wayne has been interviewed in national accounting publications such as Accounting Today, Fortune, Journal of Accountancy, Practical Accountant, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has been named as one of the Washington D.C. region’s 100 most powerful business leaders as well as one of Accounting Today’s managing principal elites, named to the NACD Directorship 100, and since 2013 has been included in Accounting Today’s annual list of the top 100 most influential people. In 2016 he was presented with the year’s GWSCPA Outstanding Service to the Profession Award. Wayne is a graduate of the University of Cape Town (B.Comm, Accounting) and the University of South Africa (Accounting Science degree, Honors).
Becoming Employee-Owned: How BDO Broke Out of the Partner Model
Broadcast by