Friday, October 30, 2015

ESOP 101: What is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan? Is it right for a Family Business?

With Jim Steiker
SES Advisors, Inc.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are unique among retirement plans. An ESOP merges the tax benefits of a qualified retirement plan with corporate nuance, and aligns employees’ retirement benefits with corporate goals. This combination of tax-favored employee and corporate benefits is complex. With planning and an expert team of advisors, it can be a win-win scenario for both employees and employers.

Is an ESOP Right for You?

An ESOP can be appealing if you want to reward employees who have helped you build your business, and it can also be used to supplement your firm's 401(k) or other retirement plan.

Why Should A Family Business Consider An ESOP
ESOPs are a tax-favored liquidity strategy that delivers fair value for shareholders.
ESOPs allow for a “low and slow” ownership transition
ESOPs benefit the people who have helped create value in the Company.
ESOPs create tax-favored independent and sustainable companies.
ESOPs create and preserve legacy

James G. Steiker: James G. Steiker is Chairman and CEO of SES Advisors, Inc. and Founding
Partner and Chairman of its sister law firm, Steiker, Greenapple & Croscut P.C.

Jim is a corporate, pension and tax attorney and financial advisor with more than 30 years of experience in Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and other employee ownership matters, focusing primarily on ESOP design, transactions and compliance in entrepreneurial companies.

Jim is the past Chair of the ESOP Association’s Advisory Committee on Finance and currently serves on the ESOP Association Board of Governors. He is also a past trustee of the Employee Ownership Foundation and a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Employee Ownership. He is a frequent speaker and author on ESOP matters and serves as a director of nine ESOP companies.

Jim is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar, and of Wesleyan University.

555 City Ave.,
Suite 910
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Join The Network of Family Businesses for this fascinating Webinar on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time, with Jim.
For additional information email:

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Family Business Case Study

Mesbo Supermercats
A Family firm facing succession

With Dr. Alan Carsrud
Carsrud and Associates

Introduction: Discussing Succession

“I think we should sell it now that it is going well, have you seen Picker, yes, I am talking about the family who used to be one of our main competitors, they no longer are our competitors, and you know why, don’t you? They got more than US $100 million, and now they are retired enjoying their time, something we haven’t done for years!  We need to sell now. Always working and now having to deal with all this succession stuff. Who tells you that our children aren’t going to sell it in the near future anyway?” Marcos Bo was saying to his brother Pablo who listened to him in that understanding way he had, just as he had always done in the past.

It took Pablo a long time but he finally convinced his two brothers that they urgently needed to face their succession problem. Their retirement was no longer some day in the far away future (Jose and Marcos were in their 60´s and Pablo was in his late 50’s).

The critical questions in this case center on the succession process:
            Was it the right timing for the three Bo brothers to start planning their retirement?            
            Was their previous attitude –secrecy- towards their families adequate? 
            Were they correct in not wanting to involve the family at all in the business?             
            What consequences did this attitude have on their children and on the management team?
            How had they dealt with the siblings joining the business?
            Have they been trained correctly?
            Is equality a good solution to compensate them?

Read the Case Study:

Alan Carsrud: Alan is Researcher Professor at Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland and
Managing Director of Carsrud and Associates. He holds a B.A. (honors) with majors in Psychology and Sociology and minors in History and Anthropology from Texas Christian University. His graduate degrees are a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. He completed post-doctoral work at The University of Texas at Austin in Applied Industrial Psychology.

He has served on the boards of the Science Parks of Finland, the International Council for Small Business, the United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, the Family Enterprise Research Conference, and the Family Firm Institute where he is also a Fellow. He was on the start up team at People Express Airlines and Founding Director of CytoSignal, a biotech firm in California. He has helped to launch or grow over 200 technology firms world-wide.

Alan has co-authored four books and two case book publications on Family Firms in Transition: Case Studies on Succession, Inheritance, and Governance and Understanding Family Firms, Cases on the Management of Crises, Uncertainty and Change.

Join The Network of Family Businesses for this fascinating Webinar on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time, with Alan.

For additional information email: