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Strategic Financial Solutions now employee owned

Strategic Financial Solutions, which has targeted growing to at least 1,500 jobs in Amherst in the next few years, is now employee owned.

The New York City-based company took the step through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan at the end of 2017, said Ryan Sasson, the company's chief executive officer.

"We've had many investors show interest in Strategic," Sasson said. "There's really no opportunity that presented itself that just felt nearly as right."

Employees are awarded shares based on the amount of hours they work at the company. The switch to an ESOP did not result in a reduction in workers' compensation or benefits, Sasson said.

The ESOP did not result in management changes, either. Sasson remains CEO and Daniel Blumkin is still the president. The pair co-founded the company. Strategic Financial Solutions works with clients who are burdened by credit card debt to resolve their financial problems. The company is not a debt collector.

"The employee owners now completely share in the success of this business in a way that they didn't before the ESOP," said Gary Foodim, a company spokesman.

Strategic Financial Solutions has about 70 employees on Lawrence Bell Drive in Amherst and continues to grow, Sasson said. In April, the company will start training employees to serve in sales roles, complementing the employees who handle customer service and negotiations. Strategic Financial Solutions also has about 600 employees in Manhattan.

Other Buffalo-area companies that have been purchased through ESOPs include Harper International, Ferguson Electric, Oliver Gear and Printing Prep.

CEO of Strategic Financial Solutions is keen on growing in Amherst

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