Banff Caribou Properties Ltd.

A Succession Strategy and Retention Tool

Executive Summary
Banff Caribou Properties Ltd.
, a hospitality and real estate company with 600 employees, implements an ESOP as a long-term succession strategy for the owner. In doing so, the company finds that ownership helps them retain employees, a valuable strategy especially in the service industry.

“We are at about 120 employee shareholders, out of a total workforce of about 600. I see this as a real success, particularly when you consider that we are in the service industry, and most of our workforce is young and entry-level.” – Gord Lozeman, President and CEO

Wim Pauw, founder and principal shareholder of Banff Caribou Properties, wanted a plan to transition his company. However, he didn’t want to sell the company to just anybody, he wanted to ensure the company would stay locally rooted in Banff.

How We Helped
Using our ESOP Transformation Model, we worked with Banff Caribou Properties to design and implement a plan that would meet the goals of the owner and the unique realities of their business and workforce. Employees of the company are young and transient, often working a season or two in the resort town.

As part of our process, we created an ESOP team of employees who helped design the plan. We also hosted employee education information and education sessions to ensure everyone understood the risk and rewards available through the ESOP.


  • Annual return 15%+
  • Engaged employees
  • Improved employee retention
  • Enhanced community profile

“We’ve always had a positive culture within our company, the result of embracing active and healthy lifestyles within our mountain environment. What the ESOP has really added is a level of stability. More and more of our employees are choosing to make Banff their home — to build their careers here and raise their families here.” – Gord Lozeman