Caryn McNeill and Craig Wheaton Present at the ESOP Association’s 2013 ESOP Invitational

RALEIGH, N.C. – Caryn McNeill and Craig Wheaton, partners with Smith Anderson’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group, presented at the 2013 ESOP Invitational Conference in Pinehurst, N.C., on March 24-26, 2013.

Caryn McNeill jointly led a program titled “Trustees and the ESOP Valuation Update: Is Your Report Keeping Pace with Your Business?” This session covered the legal context in which the valuation update occurs, the elements of a valuation report and key review issues, including how to ensure the report accurately tracks changes in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company’s business.

Craig Wheaton jointly led a program focused on sustainability issues faced by mature ESOPs, titled “ESOP Sustainability: Keeping Your Plan in the Green.”  Examining case studies, this session addressed the strategic management of a mature ESOP, with an emphasis on the coordination of compliance, fiduciary and financial requirements. 

ESOPs are a special type of retirement plan and have many tax advantages. ESOPs allow employees to participate in company growth on a tax-favored basis and can be used to finance company growth with pre-tax dollars or provide liquidity for company owners. Smith Anderson has an active ESOP practice and regularly assists employers of all sizes with the legal and tax aspects of establishing ESOPs and ESOP-based transactions. The firm also advises ESOP fiduciaries and provides assistance in governmental investigations and adversarial proceedings related to retirement plans and employer stock investments.

Smith Anderson’s ESOP Practice Group has more than 50 years combined experience working with ESOPs. They are active in the national ESOP community, hold leadership positions in The ESOP Association at the state chapter level, and regularly speak on ESOP issues at state and regional conferences.


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