NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) is pleased to announce the launch of a new student loan repayment benefit program aimed at easing the burden of employees who are part of the $1.5 trillion student loan crisis in the United States. The program will enable employees to repay their student debt – college or graduate – more quickly by supplementing their regular payments with monthly contributions from Sotheby's.
"Providing a competitive overall benefits package as well as offering tailored initiatives to address the specific needs of our employees are part of Sotheby's commitment to our team and a key differentiator for us as an employer," said Tad Smith Sotheby's CEO, adding, "employee engagement and satisfaction are paramount as our colleagues are the key contributors to our success and the value we can deliver for our clients and shareholders."
In the United States, the cost of education is prohibitively high with nearly 70% of bachelor's degree graduates leaving school with an average of $25,600 of debt. In order to help ease the burden of student debt, Sotheby's has partnered with Gradifi, an innovator in financial employee benefits for U.S. employers.
All eligible Sotheby's employees in the United States who have outstanding student debt with an accredited loan organization – including former students or parents responsible for their children's debt – may participate in the repayment program.
Each month when an employee makes a student loan payment, Sotheby's will contribute $150 toward the repayment of the principal amount of the debt (up to $1,800 per year), and the program covers employees for as long as they remain an eligible full-time United States-based employee of Sotheby's with qualifying student loans.
The partnership with Gradifi also offers Sotheby's employees access to advice on refinancing and college savings programs, among other related topics.
Sotheby's has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby's became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby's presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby's BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby's offers collectors the resources of Sotheby's Financial Services, the world's only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby's presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby's Wine, Sotheby's Diamonds, and Sotheby's Home, the online marketplace for interior design. Sotheby's has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).
Gradifi is an innovator in employee benefits for U.S. employers. Gradifi's mission is to help employers build loyalty with their workforce by providing employee benefits that positively impact their employees' financial well-being. Gradifi offers a single-platform solution to allow employers to offer employees student loan refinancing opportunities, and employer- sponsored contributions to student loans and 529 college savings plan accounts. A unit of First Republic, Gradifi works with employers of all sizes across the U.S. www.gradifi.com.