Residential lender USA Mortgage has announced the company has transferred ownership from its sole owner, President and CEO Douglas Schukar, to employees in the form of an employee stock ownership plan.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, Schukar, who will continue to serve as CEO, said "there is no better way to thank the people who have helped us achieve success as well as reward those who will be leading the charge in the future to enhance our winning customer experience."

From the article:

The transaction to transfer the St. Louis-based mortgage company, a division of DAS, to its employees was finalized at the end of 2017 following the completion of an independent valuation. 

To be eligible to receive shares, employees need to complete 160 hours of service and meet other minimal criteria. Employees that participate in the plan are fully vested in the plan after six years of service. 

Formed in 2001, USA Mortgage has grown to $1.5 billion in total loan volume and about 550 employees, according to Schukar. In Missouri, volume was $1.12 billion during 2017.