Edward C. Renenger and Mark B. Russell Present at 2018 NCEO Employee Ownership Conference

READING, PA, and FORT WORTH, TX, May 1, 2018 – The Stevens & Lee Companies professionals Edward C. Renenger and Mark B. Russell spoke at the National Center for Employee Ownership Employee Ownership Conference held in Atlanta, GA, April 18-20, 2018.

In a roundtable discussion, Messrs. Renenger and Russell presented “Strategic Alternatives for Mature ESOPs: Our Approach to Companies That Have Established ESOPs.” The discussion focused on services offered to existing employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and sample ESOP acquisition structures. Mr. Renenger also presented “Anatomy of a LIVE ESOP Transaction,” which gave attendees an understanding of the process that goes into negotiating an ESOP transaction.

Mr. Renenger is Co-Chair of Stevens & Lee’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group. He concentrates his practice in helping companies navigate the complexities of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). In this capacity, Ed advises business owners on how to sell their companies to employees through an ESOP. This process typically involves working with the company to first determine the feasibility and impact of creating an ESOP, consulting on whether the ESOP accomplishes the goals of the relevant stakeholders, designing the appropriate structure to accomplish those goals, implementing the transaction and then assisting the company with the ongoing administration and compliance of the ESOP.

Mr. Renenger also advises on other ESOP-related transactions, including situations where ESOP-owned companies sell to outside buyers when they have determined that exiting the ESOP structure is appropriate for shareholders. He works with the entire range of ESOP-owned companies, including S Corporations, C Corporations, private companies, publicly traded companies, companies that are wholly owned by the ESOP trust and companies in which the ESOP is a minority owner. Ed also counsels ESOP trustees on their fiduciary obligations under ERISA in ESOP-related transactions and when unique situations arise in an already established ESOP.

Mr. Renenger  also has particular experience working with ESOPs for financial institutions, such as community banks looking to an ESOP as a source of liquidity for founding shareholders and insurance companies who establish an ESOP in conjunction with a demutualization.

He holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from The Catholic University of America.

Mr. Russell works with investment banking clients and their principals providing merger and acquisition advisory services; and private placements of debt and capital. Mr. Russell works extensively with business owners, evaluating their business and personal situations and assisting them in preparing for succession of or exit from their businesses. To accomplish this, he takes business owners through a process designed to help them identify their goals and objectives, then performs an exhaustive analysis of various alternatives (including management buyouts, ESOPs, recapitalizations, and minority or majority sales of the business) to ensure business owners have all of the information necessary to decide the best path to achieve their goals. Finally, he assists business owners in optimizing the strategies designed to achieve the desired outcome.

As a non-practicing CPA and a lawyer, Mr. Russell’s background provides an important link between clients and their accountants and lawyers to creatively address accounting, tax and financial planning issues.

Prior to joining Griffin, Mr. Russell served as a National Tax-Product Development Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for conceiving creative corporate tax planning strategies and analyzing publicly available information to determine the applicability of those strategies. He was also responsible for implementing large projects and coordinating project teams and corporate personnel.

Mr. Russell is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He received an LL.M. in Taxation, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center, a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law, an MBA from Texas Tech University School of Business and a BBA in Accounting from Texas Christian University. He holds Series 79, 7 and 66 licenses from FINRA. Mr. Russell is also a member of the ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership.

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