On January 1, 2017, Arbor Assays became the first employee-owned (EO) life sciences company through the use of a “perpetual trust.” The owners sold their interests to the employee trust and provided seller financing. This method of employee ownership maintains the company perpetually for the benefit of its employees. While a relatively new technique in the United States this arrangement is more common in Great Britain where “perpetual trusts” are widely recognized.
Founded in 2007 by Drs. Russell Hart, Nancy Schmidt and Barbara Scheuer, Arbor Assays is an Ann Arbor company that designs, develops, and manufactures detection and immunoassay products for important research biomolecules. Bobbi O’Hara, R&D Project Manager at Arbor Assays, led the employee group through the transaction as the Employee Representative. Russ, Barb and Bobbi are Directors of the Perpetual Trust that now owns the stock of Arbor Assays, Inc.