TNCI has teamed with the Agent Alliance buying consortium to revive the agent equity program first made popular in the late ‘90s as a way to give agents ownership in the telecommunications businesses they helped create.
Unlike many earlier efforts, including TNCI’s, which were tendered in part to take advantage of capital-rich dot-com market and went unfulfilled when the market tanked, the TNCI/Alliance Equity Plan has been designed in consultation with the investment community.
The TNCI/Alliance Equity Plan, which is open to all agents, enables partners to earn commissions, a windfall at the time of the transaction and evergreen commissions after the sale, said TNCI CEO Brian Twomey. Significantly, agents are not trading equity for reduced compensation before or after a sale. In addition, there is a timetable for payout to participating agents. It’s not exactly a date certain, but the plan calls for TNCI to be sold in 2011.
“Equity deals aren’t worth the paper they are written on if you can’t get to a transaction,” said Bill Power, CEO of the Agent Alliance, a post he took on earlier this year, in part, to spearhead creation of the agent equity plan. He said TNCI, in addition to being aligned with partner goals, has “the ability to get to a transaction.”
As proof, Twomey points to the successes of its parent company Trans National Group and its founder and chairman, Steven Belkin, a serial entrepreneur who may be best known as one of the owners of Atlanta Spirit LLC, the parent company of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team. Belkin founded his first company in 1974 and nearly 30 other companies, including TNCI, since then. Twomey said 14 of these were sold.