Sienna Senior Living Launches $2.3M Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Sienna Senior Living (TSX: SIA) is giving its employees the opportunity to become literal stakeholders in the company.

The Markham, Ontario-based operator on Thursday announced the launch of Sienna Ownership and Reward, or “SOAR,” a program which will reward full- and part-time employees with common shares of stock, giving them an ownership stake in the company.

SOAR will launch with an initial offering of 185,000 new shares, valued at $3 million CAD ($2.3 million U.S.), to eligible employees. To qualify, employees must be on the job for one year or longer. Full-time employees will receive 500 shares, while part-time workers will receive 300 common shares.


Sienna Sienna operates 38 retirement communities and 45 long-term care facilities in British Columbia and Ontario. The organization becomes the first Canadian senior living company to offer an employee ownership plan, and the announcement comes as the industry grapples with longstanding labor pressures.

At the recent American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) Mid-Year Meeting, conversations among attendees and industry leaders turned to direct profit-sharing arrangements with workers or employee ownership structures such as employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) or cooperatives in response to the ongoing workforce challenges.

Senior Star Co-Founders Bob and Bill Thomas told Senior Housing News during the conference that one aspect of their eventual exit strategy involves creating incentive plans for executive directors and middle managers, so that they may have equity stakes in the company.


Sienna will introduce an employer matching program for employees wishing to further invest in the company, and provide educational opportunities to make informed decisions and support their participation as owners.

The company envisions SOAR as potentially strengthening the company’s workforce culture, creating deeper alignment with its mission statement, and strengthening the future of the company for employees and residents.

“Not only do we want to recognize the compassion, effort and dedication that team members bring to our residents and communities every day, we want them to benefit from their significant contributions,” Sienna President and CEO Nitin Jain said in a statement.

Previously, the company announced it will launch a new retirement platform, Aspira, which will provide its residents with a wider range of care options. Aspira is expected to launch in late 2021 or early 2022.

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