Dean Ell

Corporate Controller & ESOP Administrator

iQmetrix – The Evolution of an ESOP Agreement

Dean Ell is the Controller and ESOP Administrator at iQmetrix, a software company specializing in end-to-end retail solutions. iQmetrix started in Regina and now has 3 locations in Canada and 2 in the USA and over 400 employees. The company has been on the Profit 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies several times. Maintaining a fun and rewarding work culture is very important at iQmetrix.

Some ESOP models support a set it and forget it approach but that has not been the case at iQmetrix where our ESOP has evolved significantly since 2007. The most recent iteration of our ESOP hit in 2019 and is related to a pivot that started a couple of years ago. With a very solid core business, iQmetrix always invests heavily in our future. However, we decided that rather than fund new business lines 100% internally we would become an incubator and spin-off these new business lines when the timing is right. That meant several changes within our ESOP were required. We needed a structure to create a new preferred share for each division we spin off, allowing employees to hold these new preferred shares post-employment with iQmetrix had to be addressed. There were also some concerns related to valuations and share sales of these incubated divisions, as well as the impact on our ESOP Administration. Updating an ESOP agreement involves legal, shareholder voting, and in our case consultants.

Dean will share this interesting and complicated story that illustrates how an ESOP can evolve if there is a need.

Dean is also currently the Chair of the ESOP Association of Canada. He has performed several roles within the Association over the past 5 years including sitting on the conference planning committee, advisor to the Board, and Board Member.