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PALMERNorthern Tree Service Inc. announced it has transitioned the ownership of its business lines over to an employee stock-ownership plan, or ESOP.

The Lazear Capital Partners team worked with the management of Northern Tree Service to design a custom solution that included employee benefits, financial flexibility, and maximum tax advantages.

Founded in 1932 by Walter Cambo, the company was first established to service state and municipal tree work in Eastern Mass. Under the leadership of Paul Cambo, Northern Tree Service grew to provide land-clearing services for the ever-expanding energy grid in the Northeast. Furthering Northern’s expansion, now under the leadership of Paul’s son, Philip, Northern Tree Service has continued its growth to become one of the most diversified tree-care companies in the industry, servicing all New England and surrounding states.

“With the history of our employees’ dedication to the company comes personal responsibility for me to develop a succession plan that will help ensure its continued success, further strengthen its legacy, and reward all employees dedicated to the future of Northern Tree,” CEO Philip Cambo said. “While there were many succession plans available to Northern Tree, only one was the perfect fit to address my responsibility to the company. I’m proud to say that Northern is now 100% employee-owned through this newly formed ESOP.”

Added President Timothy LaMotte, “the ESOP was the choice we made to maintain the business’s current direction while simultaneously rewarding the 250-plus employees that have been so critical to the business’ success. We have a very specialized and highly skilled group of professionals focused on safety and integrity, and we are excited to see that continue.”

With the new ESOP in place, both Cambo and LaMotte will continue their current roles for the foreseeable future and gradually hand over the business’ operational control to the next generation of leaders.

Employee ownership through an ESOP is a retirement plan that allows employees to have an ownership stake in the firm through a qualified trust. Over time, employees earn an equity stake in the company’s shares through no cost to them. In practice, ESOPs encourage companies to stay rooted in a single place and generally keep employee turnover low because they reward tenure with more significant financial stakes.