Tag Archives: Open Book Management

The ESOP Podcast Episode 29 – Communicating Value to ESOP Participants

The ESOP Podcast Episode 29 – Communicating Value to ESOP Participants

This episode of The ESOP Podcast is a recording of the “Communicating Value to Participants” presentation given at the New Jersey/New York Chapter of The ESOP Association’s 2018 Spring Conference held in Syracuse, New York on April 5th, 2018.  The presenters are Rob Hilton, Director of Valuation and ESOP Services at Katz Sapper & Miller, Andy O’Neill, Director at Prairie Capital Advisors, and Bret Keisling, Managing Director at Capital Trustees.

During the second half of the podcast there is an excellent give and take with the diverse group of ESOP companies in the audience, which makes this presentation even more valuable for ESOPs looking to continuously improve their communication and engagement.

Click below to download the accompanying “Communicating Value to Participants” slide show presentation.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this presentation and the presentation materials are not intended to be used as legal advice. Please consult with counsel as necessary.

More about Robert C. Hilton Jr. and Katz Sapper & Miller

Robert Hilton

Katz Sapper and Miller Logo

Rob Hilton, ASA is Director of Valuation and ESOP Services at Katz Sapper & Miller. He is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers and is based in Rochester, NY.  As one of the top 60 CPA firms in the nation, KSM has earned a reputation as a leader in the areas of accounting, tax and consulting services. KSM is regularly named one of the “Best of the Best” accounting firms in the nation by INSIDE Public Accounting magazine.  KSM is a 100% employee-owned S-corporation ESOP.

EXPERIENCE:  Rob has about 20 years of experience and has provided hundreds of valuations in a wide variety of equity classes.  Rob has extensive experience with the implementation and administration of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), the valuation of gift and estate planning, buy-sell agreements, recapitalization, mergers and acquisitions, purchase price allocations, financial reporting, and general corporate planning with experience in a broad range of industries. In addition, he focuses on the valuation of covenant-not-to-compete and non-solicitation agreements.

CERTIFICATIONS/EDUCATION:  He is a member of the National Center of Employee Ownership and The ESOP Association and is a regular speaker at regional and national conferences.  He is currently the Executive Vice President of the New York/New Jersey ESOP Association Chapter.

Rob has testified as an expert witness in the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Rob holds a B.A. in Chemistry and Psychology from Emory University and an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester, William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration.

You can also get to know more about Rob Hilton in his own words by listening to The ESOP Podcast Episode 23 – Rob Hilton, Mark Kossow, and Rich Heeter.

More about Andy O’Neill and Prairie Capital Advisors (PCA)

Andy O’Neill is a Director with Prairie Capital Advisors (PCA) in Boston, Massachusetts. PCA is an employee-owned company that provides investment banking, ESOP advisory and valuation services to support the growth and ownership transition strategies of middle-market companies. PCA is based Oakbrook Terrace, with offices in Boston, Atlanta, Louisville, Cedar Rapids, and Chicago.  The company is an advisor to closely-held companies nationwide.

Andy advises companies and principals on valuation and ownership transition issues specifically Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) formation and implementation.  Mr. O’Neill has performed valuation and economic analysis services for clients in the following industries: software, retail, manufacturing, distribution, energy services and infrastructure, utilities, telecommunications, transportation, and engineering and construction management.

EXPERIENCE:  Prior to joining Prairie Capital Advisors, Mr. O’Neill was a Managing Director at independent valuation firms, a Principal with the Consulting division of Bechtel Corporation, and the successor entity Nexant, where he managed the Transaction Advisory Services practice. Additionally, Andy was Vice President of Merrill Lynch Business Advisory Services working with closely-held businesses and owners on liquidity and ownership transition issues.


  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.
  • FINRA Series 79 and 63 Investment Banking Registrations


  • National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
  • The ESOP Association
  • Association for Corporate Growth

More about Bret Keisling, Capital Trustees, LLC

And, of course, you can learn more about our own Managing Director, Bret Keisling, on our about page, or listen to ESOP Podcast Episode 1: Introduction.


We Want to Hear from YOU

Do you have feedback about this or any other episode of The ESOP Podcast? Do you have a topic that you would like for us to discuss on the show? Would you like to appear on the podcast as a featured guest or a panelist in a group presentation? Then we want to hear from you! Send us an email at podcast@captrustee.com.

The ESOP Podcast Episode 22 – Rob Zicaro on Employee Ownership

The ESOP Podcast Episode 22 – Rob Zicaro on Employee Ownership

Our guest is Rob Zicaro, an ESOP advocate, speaker, and consultant, and a singer-songwriter. He spent 26 years as an employee-owner at Web Industries, and he shares his insider’s perspective from his years as an active employee-owner, as well as his current experience enjoying this unique benefit and continuing his career in music at RobZMusic.com.  Rob offers a lot of food for thought for both current and prospective employee owners, with an emphasis on the importance of developing a culture of communication and mutual respect.

Here’s the video of Rob Zicaro speaking at “The Future of the American Workplace” conference, July 26th, 1993, as heard at the 05:15 mark in this podcast episode.


@CapTrusteesBret kicked off this podcast from Worcester, Massachusetts on Periscope here.

about Rob Zicaro

Rob Zicaro [Source: RobZ Music]

“Professional songwriter who writes, produces, arranges, and mixes original radio-ready songs. Also an employee ownership advocate with 26 years experience.” You can follow @RobZicaro on Twitter and his daily ESOP food for thought here.

You can find more about Rob’s music on his webpage RobZMusic.com, or subscribe to Rob’s music on Soundcloud here.

More about Web Industries

“A 100% employee-owned company, Web Industries, Inc., is the largest and most diverse provider of flexible material converting and end-product manufacturing services for the Advanced Composites, Medical, Consumer Health & Hygiene, Multi-Layer Insulation, and Wire & Cable markets. Utilizing the widest array of slitting, spooling, winding, and ply formatting configurations in the business, Web formats composites, nonwovens, specialty films, papers, foils, laminates, and foams for downstream manufacturing. Web specializes in developing optimized material processing solutions that deliver converted materials on custom-designed spools, planetary rolls, planetary pads, and ply kits for efficient, cost-effective product manufacturing. ”

“A 100% employee-owned company, Web Industries has been a vocal proponent of EO for decades, and the company’s employee-owners have long been active within the local, regional, and national EO communities. Web’s employee-owners have even provided valuable insights on the topic to US Presidents and Congress. Every person at Web is a stakeholder in the company, and they know that the company’s success is driven by the success of our customers. This makes us stewards of their business as well as ours and drives us to constantly improve our processes, discover new efficiencies, and develop new capabilities to meet market needs.” [Source: Web Industries, Marlborough, MA]


The ESOP Podcast Episode 19 – Martin Staubus of The Beyster Institute at The Rady School of Management

The ESOP Podcast Episode 19 – Martin Staubus of The Beyster Institute at The Rady School of Management

Our guest is Martin Staubus, Executive Director of The Beyster Institute at The Rady School of Management, University of California San Diego.  We learn about some of the history of the ESOP movement, how the benefits of employee ownership are even more relevant today, and then take a peek into our crystal ball on the future of ESOPs.

Along the way, we discuss transparency, open-book management, and The Great Game of Business.  We also give an overview of the training and certification programs offered by the Beyster Institute’s Governance Curriculum for Employee Ownership Companies.

Here are some resources if you wish to delve deeper into the topics covered in this podcast:

And, as mentioned at 1:18:18 in the podcast, here is a view of the beautiful Rady School of Managment Wells Fargo Hall where the podcast was recorded.

Rady School of Managments Wells Fargo Hall

Source: UC San Diego News

More about Martin Staubus

Martin Staubus

Martin Staubus, Source: UC San Diego Rady School of Managment

Martin Staubus has been leading The Beyster Institute for 18 years. “He has advised hundreds of business leaders on the design and creation of employee stock ownership programs, including ESOPs, stock options plans, SAR plans, restricted stock plans and more.” [Source: LinkedIn]

More about The Beyster Institute at The Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego

Rady School of Management

“The Beyster Institute at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management works to advance the understanding and practice of employee ownership as an effective and responsible business model. We focus on educationresearch, and consulting to promote employee ownership and the creation of effective ownership cultures.

We serve companies interested in the employee ownership business strategy, business owners looking to transition out of their companies and professional advisers who want to better serve their clients by gaining employee ownership knowledge.”

Source: Rady School of Management, Beyster Institute, Employee Ownership 

More about J. Robert Beyster

“The work of the Beyster Institute began in 1986 when, as part of the Foundation for Enterprise Development, it took on the commission to spread the visionary ideas of Dr. J. Robert Beyster, the founder of SAIC. These ideas have led to the development of many highly successful enterprises based on the potent combination of employee ownership and entrepreneurial spirit.

Dr. Beyster founded SAIC in 1969, and by the time he retired from the company in 2004 it had grown to Fortune 500® size, with more than 40,000 employees and annual revenues approaching $8 billion. Dr. Beyster firmly believed that the methods used to develop SAIC – employee ownership, shared entrepreneurship and participation – can make a real difference in the success of an enterprise and in the economic lives of people everywhere. From the very beginning, Dr. Beyster rewarded the performance of employees with stock ownership. As SAIC grew, Dr. Beyster fought to preserve the values that had made the early SAIC successful – not only employee ownership and entrepreneurship, but a flexible and decentralized organization structure, technical excellence, high standards of ethical conduct, and a firm belief in customer service.

Dr. Beyster retired from the company in 2004. In conjunction with his retirement, the Beyster Institute joined the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego, a leading professional school within one of the top-ranked institutions in the U.S. for higher education and research.  Dr. Beyster passed away at his home in La Jolla on Dec. 22, 2014, leaving behind a legacy that continues to have a lasting impact on people, businesses, and communities across the face of our nation and around the globe.”

Source: The Beyster Institute, About Us