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

READING, PA, April 22, 2016 – Mark B. Russell, Senior Managing Director, Griffin Financial Group, and Edward C. Renenger, Shareholder, Stevens & Lee, presented at the Employee Ownership Conference sponsored by the National Center for Employee Ownership held April 12-14, 2016, in Minneapolis, MN.

Mr. Russell facilitated the roundtable discussion, “Evaluating Offers to ESOP Companies.” Presented to business owners and other professionals, this discussion was part of the Expert-Led Roundtable Discussions at the conference.

Mr. Renenger was part of a panel presentation, “Is a Partial ESOP Right for You?” The session covered how a partial employee stock ownership plan can help an owner accomplish several financial and strategic goals, including achieving liquidity, maximizing wealth, creating a succession mechanism, and stimulating company growth while simultaneously rewarding employees for their contribution to this growth. The session also explored advantages to the seller of electing to pursue a partial ESOP, including the impact on seller’s wealth of the 1042 election.

Mr. Russell works with investment banking clients and their principals providing merger and acquisition advisory services; structured finance, sale and securitization of complex financial assets; and private placements of debt and capital. Mr. Russell also 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 the business owner 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 that the business owner has all of the information necessary to decide the best path to achieve his or her goals. Finally, he assists the business owner in optimizing the strategies designed to achieve the desired outcome.

As a CPA, a CFP, an MBA and a lawyer, Mr. Russell’s background provides an important link between our 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 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. Renenger concentrates his practice in helping companies navigate the complexities of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). In this capacity, Mr. Renenger 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. Mr. Renenger 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, Order of the Coif, from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A., first in class, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from The Catholic University of America.