Inger­soll Rand giv­ing work­ers big eq­uity grant

The Charlotte Observer - - BUSINESS - BY HAN­NAH SMOOT

David­son-based Inger­soll Rand is giv­ing hun­dreds of lo­cal em­ploy­ees — and thou­sands glob­ally — a big rea­son to “act like own­ers” with a ma­jor eq­uity grant of re­stricted stock, the man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany an­nounced Mon­day.

The grant, worth $150 mil­lion in to­tal, will go to all em­ploy­ees not al­ready part of the eq­uity pro­gram — roughly 540 em­ploy­ees out of the 600 in David­son will re­ceive a grant. Inger­soll Rand has close to 16,000 em­ploy­ees glob­ally across 300 lo­ca­tions, Inger­soll Rand CEO Vi­cente Rey­nal said.

In the eq­uity grant pro­gram, em­ploy­ees will re­ceive Re­stricted Stock Units, with a vest­ing pe­riod of two years, equal to 20% of their an­nual base salary, ac­cord­ing to Inger­soll Rand.

“This $150 mil­lion em­ployee eq­uity grant is an in­vest­ment in em­ploy­ees,” Rey­nal said in an in­ter­view with the Ob­server. “When you have an own­er­ship stake in some­thing, you’re more in­vested in the suc­cess of the long term. So we know pos­i­tive re­sults will oc­cur when you make ev­ery­one in the com­pany an owner and grant them the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in growth.”

The com­pany is new to David­son, though the name is not. The new Inger­soll Rand formed un­der a spinoff-merger of the orig­i­nal Inger­soll Rand’s in­dus­trial busi­ness with for­merly Mil­wau­kee­based Gard­ner Den­ver.

The new com­pany moved its head­quar­ters to David­son af­ter wrap­ping up the merger deal in early March — just weeks be­fore the coro­n­avirus pan­demic hit North Carolina.

The orig­i­nal Inger­soll Rand, still based in David­son,

be­came Trane Tech­nolo­gies, the Char­lotte Busi­ness Jour­nal reported in March.

Rey­nal moved to the David­son area this year along with the com­pany and 24 other ex­ec­u­tive and se­nior lead­ers, he said.

“We clearly have more skin in the game here in the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” Rey­nal said.

‘A LOT OF TRUST’

Michael Borkowski, the lab­o­ra­tory man­ager at the David­son fa­cil­ity, said he and his team have been hear­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity of an eq­uity grant for some time. He’s worked at Inger­soll Rand in David­son for 15 years.

“We’ve been an­tic­i­pat­ing it anx­iously,” he said. “And re­ally, to see the busi­ness do this for us now ... it is a new com­pany with new lead­er­ship and a merged team now — it’s given the team a lot of trust.”

Rey­nal said the goal of the eq­uity grant is to have em­ploy­ees think like own­ers. That makes a lot of sense to Borkowski.

“It does change your per­spec­tive a lit­tle bit,” Borkowski said. “You’ve got a vested in­ter­est now.”

Gard­ner Den­ver, now an Inger­soll Rand brand, pre­vi­ously gave em­ploy­ees an eq­uity grant in 2017. Since then, em­ploy­ees saw an 80% in­crease in the value of those shares, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from Inger­soll Rand.

Rey­nal hopes to dou­ble the com­pany’s busi­ness in five years — and that in­cludes bring­ing jobs to the Char­lotte area, he said. In fact, the com­pany has mul­ti­ple job list­ings posted on­line for lo­ca­tions in Char­lotte, David­son, South­ern Pines and Mocksville.

The com­pany did re­port lay­offs im­me­di­ately af­ter the merger, WFAE reported in March.

“Based on the merger, we were re­quired to make some dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions re­gard­ing some per­son­nel re­dun­dan­cies,” Rey­nal said.

But Rey­nal said the com­pany moved quickly to min­i­mize job loss and cre­ate a COVID-19 task force as the pan­demic af­fected busi­nesses across the U.S.

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