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King Arthur Flour Named 2016 Employee-Owned Company of the Year

King Arthur Flour, an employee-owned company headquartered in Norwich, Vermont, was named the 2016 ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Company of the Year by The ESOP Association. The award was presented at the Association's 39th Annual Conference in Washington, DC on May 18, and accepted by several employee-owners on King Arthur Flour's Ownership Culture Team. The award recognizes a company that shows a strong commitment to employee ownership–which includes promoting employee participation, wealth creation, and individual dignity and worth. Read the entire ... Read more

Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Learning Opportunities

News & Events Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Learning Opportunities Author: Beth Chambers   Speakers from SES Advisors and our sister law firm, Steiker, Greenapple & Fusco, will be at a number of upcoming events. For more information, follow the links below or contact us. November 12–13, 2015 — Several of our advisors will be presenting at The ESOP Association’s 2015 ESOP Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas: Jim Steiker will discuss “Duties and Responsibilities of Trustees.” Tina Fisher will discuss “Diversification and Current Trends, Including Mandatory Diversification.” Steve ... Read more

What are the advantages of an ESOP over other succession planning solutions?

I’m often asked why a business owner would choose an ESOP over other succession planning alternatives. Considering most business owners have spent the greater part of their life building their company, it’s a once in a lifetime decision that requires careful consideration of the available alternatives.  After all, you will only exit your business once. The following is a brief discussion of the advantages of an ESOP versus the two most common succession planning alternatives: Independent Third Party Transfer (selling the company to a ... Read more

The ESOP Advantage for S-Corporations

“WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 31, 2015) – New data compiled by EY's Quantitative Economics and Statistics (QUEST) practice, shows that private employee stock ownership retirement plans (S corporation ESOPs) outperformed the S&P 500 Total Returns Index in terms of total return per participant by an impressively large margin (62%), net assets increased over 300%, and distributions to participants totaled nearly $30 billion from 2002 to 2012.” The interesting question is: why? One might expect a natural advantage from the tax benefits of the structure, ... Read more

Why do companies and shareholders choose ESOPs as a liquidity and succession strategy?

We like to think that shareholder/entrepreneurs are really investors in their companies. While that is true by itself, it isn’t the whole story. When I talk to a shareholder/entrepreneur, I’m not only talking to an investor. I’m usually talking also to a key executive, board member (sometimes the sole board member), who has important relationships with his management team and employees, including family members in the business, as well as the community and the industry. The liquidity/succession decision rarely gets made purely as ... Read more

Five Reasons Why You Should Use an ESOP

Yesterday, we posted five reasons why you shouldn’t use an ESOP. Today, we visit five sound reasons to consider an ESOP for you, your company, your shareholders and your employees. 1. ESOPs are a tax-favored liquidity strategy that delivers fair value for shareholders. Entrepreneurs often have several liquidity strategies available to create shareholder liquidity. ESOPs generally acquire company stock for fair market value, generally about at the same level as a private equity buyer. Moreover, a shareholder selling stock to an ESOP sponsored ... Read more

Five Reasons Why You Should Not Do an ESOP

As an ESOP Advisor,  it is easy to pitch the virtues of Employee Stock Ownership Plans for companies considering liquidity and succession alternatives. There are, alas, often sound reasons not to do an ESOP. Here are my top five: 1. It’s complicated. ESOPs have complex operating rules and require significant oversight.   Although outside advisors and ESOP Third Party Administration (TPA)  firms can manage the details of the plan,  the ESOP company needs an internal agent to champion the program and serve as an onsite resource. ... Read more

Why do I need an ESOP TPA?

If you inherited an ESOP, and it has been in place for more than 5 years, brace yourself.  This is when you typically find out why you need one. Why do people need an ESOP Third Party Administrator (TPA)? While it may seem self- serving to ask a TPA, “Why do we need a TPA?”, it’s not much different than asking a dentist why you need a dentist.  You may have a drill and a pair of pliers, but that doesn’t mean that ... Read more

SG&F to Sponsor and Present at The ESOP Association’s New England Chapter Annual Conference in Brewster, MA

Date: October 2-4, 2013Location:  Ocean Edge Resort, Brewster, MASG&F is pleased to sponsor the The ESOP Association's New England Chapter and present at the chapter's Annual Conference at Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, MA. This 3-day event begins on Wednesday, October 2 with a golf tournament to benefit the Employee Ownership Foundation. On Thursday, October 3, a full day of educational programming will be followed by a chance to network with other employee-owners at the Cocktail Reception & Beach Bash Banquet. On Friday, October 4, ... Read more

Is an ESOP Right for You?

Utilizing an ESOP as an ownership transition vehicle Often times owners of privately held businesses struggle with understanding ways to transition all or part of their businesses. Learn whether an ESOP may be an attractive option to consider. Join us for an educational panel discussion around some of the basics of an ESOP: cost, structure, accounting, financial and legal. Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 Time: 7:30 - 10:00 a.m. Location: Bay Colony Corp. Center, 1000 Winter St., North Entrance, 1st Floor, Waltham, MA 02451 PROGRAM7:30 - ... Read more
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Is an ESOP right for you?