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Several years into a career with a large financial company, Jeff Lopez came to the realization that the corporate life just wasn’t for him. He bought out a failed franchisor and took the holiday decorating idea to the commercial real estate market, providing sales and installation services to shopping centers and cities (ever wonder who puts up all those decorations along Main Street every holiday season?).

When he learned that an arrangement known as an ESOP might provide a way for Jeff to sell his company to his team, so that they would have the opportunity to keep the business going when he was ready to exit, he knew that was something worth seriously considering.

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