Brian M. Pinheiro, who leads Ballard Spahr’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice, has co-written a book analyzing the unique benefits and risks of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).

The Fourth Edition of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan Answer Book, published last month by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, provides a thorough cost-benefit analysis of ESOPs. ESOPs are a type of retirement plan that provides retirement savings and equity ownership to employees and tax-preferred debt financing for the employer. ESOPs also enable founders and other major shareholders to cash out their equity interests in privately held companies on a tax-preferred basis.

“ESOPs have been around for a half century, and there are plenty of excellent reasons to consider adopting one, but not every company is a good candidate,” said Mr. Pinheiro. “We advise clients on whether ESOPs are right for them and, if so, how to design and implement those programs. But I wanted a readable yet comprehensive guide a client could have on the shelf. When I couldn’t find one, I wrote it.”

The 12-chapter book has sections on the complex tax and legal requirements, the applicable fiduciary obligations, the effect of ESOPs on transactions, and ESOP leveraging. It is written in layman’s terms and in an easy-to-read question and answer format. We invite you to read an overview of the book.

For more information, or to order Employee Stock Ownership Plan Answer Book, Fourth Edition, call 800.638.8437 or visit

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Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
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Private Equity