Billion-Dollar Family Business Goes Nonprofit

Billion-Dollar Family Business Goes Nonprofit

Founder Mark Baiada is in the midst of transforming Bayada, his home healthcare company, to operate as a charitable entity rather than to enrich his family.

By April Hall

When J. Mark Baiada turned 70 in 2016, he had more to celebrate than just a big birthday. Bayada Home Health Care, the business he had founded in 1975, was generating more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The Moorestown, N.J., company had become the U.S.’s 10th-largest home health agency, with 310 offices in 22 states and 23,000 employees serving 150,000 patients.

Two months before Mark Baiada’s milestone birthday, he announced a plan to restructure his family-owned company into a nonprofit organization. Mark would become chairman of the charitable entity. His son, David, would serve as CEO of the business.

The goal of the change in status is stewardship of the legacy, Mark and David Baiada say.

“This is converting personal wealth for the benefit of home healthcare,” Mark says. He notes as the owner of a billion-dollar company, he’s saved plenty for his retirement. “I don’t need an airplane,” he says.

The goal is that Bayada will still be operating in 100 years, maintaining the company’s high standards via a governance board and ensuring that the company will not be sold if the third or fourth generation lacks the same passion that Mark and his children have for the business.

“I wouldn’t really think of this as philanthropy,” David says. “This is about the conversion of ownership.”

“We want to lock down continuity and the long-term vision,” Mark says. The goals are threefold: “to serve millions worldwide, leave a lasting legacy and be the world’s most passionate and trusted team.”

The original plan was to transfer 80% of the business ownership to the nonprofit and distribute the remaining 20% among family and employees. “But then some people might wonder, ‘What’s the angle?’ So we decided to go straight nonprofit,” Mark says.

The process started more than 10 years ago when family and company officials sat down with a consultant to write “The Bayada Way,” a document outlining the company’s mission, vision, beliefs and values.

As Mark approached retirement, he thought about the best way to perpetuate “The Bayada Way.”

“I looked to the lasting legacy — the best chance of the company lasting 100 years,” he recalls. “I could give it to the kids; I could sell it. Once you [sell it], you will lose control. If it goes public, then you’re under the scrutiny of Wall Street.”

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