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PPT Overview

By , February 20, 2018

Over the last 15 years, we have been using a proprietary Employee Share Ownership Plan structure designed specifically as a Business Succession and Exit Planning tool for Australian SMEs. Our structure is called a Peak Performance Trust or PPT, and the first trust we implemented for a real estate business in 2006 is still operating.

The Peak Performance Trust is an employee share trust as defined in subsection 995-1(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA) and subsection 130-85(4), and is a special unit trust whose operation is governed by a trust deed. Employees are granted units based on predetermined qualification rules and a profit share contribution based on an agreed formula is made to allow the trust to acquire shares in the employer company. The plan is an employee share scheme within the meaning of subsection 83A-10-(1) of the ITAA. The plan also includes some specific criteria to protect the business, the founders and the employees and ensure a win-win-win outcome for all involved.

Employee Share Schemes (ESS) – Their design and the taxation implications is a specific area of expertise for our CEO and Founder, Craig West, who is currently completing a Doctor of Business Administration research thesis on using Employee Share Ownership Plans as a Business Succession and Exit Planning tool for Australian SMEs.

The taxation of Employee Share Ownership Plans is often confused by advisers and can be complicated. To review the technical aspects of the Peak performance Trust including extracts from the public Private Binding Rulings we obtain for clients, download a copy of our PPT overview and technical guide.

Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

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