Press Release

Contact: Don Ancona, Chairman and CFO
Sandias Executive Search


Award-Winning Local Search Firm Transitions to Innovative Employee Ownership

Albuquerque, NM Oct. 19, 2021

After more than 23 successful years in operation Sandias Executive Search has become an employee-owned company using an innovative structure called an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

“Our new EOT is the perfect way for us to transition to employee ownership and provide a win-win for our current and future employees,” said Don Ancona, Sandias Executive Search Chairman and Chief Financial Officer. “It allows us to continue to provide top-notch services to our clients. And we think it will help us attract even more sharp talent to our firm.”
“It is without question the most rewarding thing I have ever done professionally,” Ancona said.
Sandias Executive Search is an executive recruiting firm Ancona founded in 1998. It focuses on recruiting and placing candidates in Commercial Construction and Banking and Finance nationwide. The company was voted a “Best Place to Work” for the second time by Albuquerque Business First in 2021, and has been named a “Fastest Growing Company” in Albuquerque a record nine times in a row. SES also has been nominated for a New Mexico Business Ethics award.
With the commencement of the EOT Ancona steps back from the daily duties of managing the company and becomes Chairman of the Board and Chief Financial Officer.
Gene Cantrell, who joined the company in 2015 as an Executive Recruiter, has been named General Manager. He assumes daily management responsibilities in addition to recruiting and placing Commercial Construction professionals.
EOTs are just starting to take hold in the United States after being common in the United Kingdom for many years, said Christopher Michael, a New York City-based attorney and EOT expert who assisted Ancona in establishing the new ownership structure. “EOTs are an excellent solution for many retiring small business owners. They provide continuity of operations in a way that maintains privacy for both the selling owner and the company, while also allowing sellers to fully cash out of their interest in the company. The EOT is also a low-cost and easy-to-understand structure, which is a real competitive advantage.”
With an EOT all current employees are part of a trust that owns the company stock. The trust distributes company profits to them throughout the duration of their employment. By contrast, an ESOP is a tax-qualified defined contribution retirement plan under which participants are awarded shares of the company that are only redeemed when they leave the company or retire.
“The beauty of an EOT is the employees reap the rewards of their hard work promptly without waiting for retirement,” Ancona said.
With the new structure, which became effective Oct. 1, 2021, Sandias Executive Search becomes one of fewer than 20 U.S. companies that have used an EOT instead of the more common Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
For information contact Ancona at 505-715-5238, [email protected], or Managing Partner and General Manager Gene Cantrell at 505-395-5596, [email protected].