Business View Magazine May 2023

166 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 10, ISSUE 5 “My shareholder is my employee and their incentives are aligned with mine. There develops a little bit of that ownership mentality. It creates a more collaborative environment because their success is the corporate’s success which creates a winning environment,” he describes. Another clear advantage to the ESOP model for Rosenblum is that it tends to lead to lower turnover rates which in turn helps bolster productivity. When asked about what advice he would give a company toying with the idea of moving to an ESOP model Rosenblum answers without hesitation. “My one piece of advice would be to take it in phases. In hindsight, I probably would have taken it in steps.” “One of the biggest challenges was trying to educate our employees on what the ESOP model meant to them,” Rosenblum continued. “Not just financially and technically, but also how to flow through into the culture. It certainly took a few years and you need to pay a lot of attention to the ‘upfront’ before you go through the ESOP process- understand the framework, how it works and understand the trust aspect to it as well,” he concluded. What does Axia’s future look like? For Rosenblum it is simple. “We are focusing on market share expansion,” he states. “We are fortunate as an ESOP, to have a strong balance sheet and we are sitting on more liquidity and assets than a bank of our size normally would. This allows us to lean into that and acquire market share,” he concludes. PREFERRED VENDOR/PARTNER n Essent n TotalExpert