The ESOP Podcast Summer School – Session 1: Improving the Bottom Line

The ESOP Podcast Summer School – Session 1: Improving the Bottom Line

It’s summertime!  Time to put those extra after-work daylight hours to good use. Get out for a long bike ride, take a stroll in the park, or just sit on the porch with your feet up.  If you are looking for some good company during your summer activities, we have a great suggestion; join us for “The ESOP Podcast Summer School” now in session! We’ve curated a special summer series of podcasts from recent conferences designed to let you sit back, relax, and get up-to-date on all things ESOP.  (Check out all the “lessons” here.)

First up: “Improving the Bottom Line: A Technical Look at Culture & Value” (Episode 30, originally broadcast on April 24th, 2018). This presentation was given at the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) 2018 Annual Conference – a.k.a. #NCEO18 – in Atlanta, Georgia on April 18th , 2018.  The presenters are Ed Wilusz ASA, CFA, Managing Director of Value Management, Inc, Matt Hancock of Praxis Consulting Group, and our own Bret Keisling of Capital Trustees.



Click below to download the accompanying “Improving the Bottom Line” slide show presentation:

Improving the Bottom Line

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.

Matt Hancock, Ed Wilusz, and Bret Keisling

Matt Hancock, Ed Wilusz, and Bret Keisling of Capital Trustees presenting “Improving the Bottom Line” at the Multi-state ESOP Conference in Scranton, PA on September 17, 2017.

More about Ed Wilusz and Value Managment, Inc.

[Photo Credit: Value Managment, Inc. ]

Value Management Inc.

“Ed Wilusz has been actively engaged in the appraisal profession since 1980. He has qualified as a business valuation expert witness and provided testimony in the following states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. He is a Senior Member – Business Valuation in the American Society of Appraisers; a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA); a past member of the ESOP Association’s Valuation Advisory Committee and Past Chairman of Sub-Committee to update Valuing ESOP Shares; Past-Director and Past-President of Bucks County Estate Planning Council; and Past-President of the Philadelphia Chapter of American Society of Appraisers. Ed is past chairman of Pearl S. Buck International and Director of the Bucks County College Foundation Board.” [Source: Value Managment, Inc. , Our Team]

For over 25 years, Value Management Inc. has acted as a financial advisor to both newly-formed and existing Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOP”s) to assist the ESOP in transactions to acquire stock of the sponsor company. With over 125 years of combined valuation experience, Value Management Inc.’s team has prepared fairness opinions for dozens of ESOP transactions involving large, medium and small-sized companies. Value Management Inc.’s role is to provide the ESOP with an independent determination of the value of the stock that the ESOP is acquiring to ensure that the ESOP does not pay more than adequate consideration as defined in ERISA. It is Value Management Inc.’s consistent objectivity and independence that gives us our reputation for integrity. Our experienced analysts work closely with the ESOP attorneys and trustees throughout the transaction process. Our goal is to make the ESOP transaction process as smooth and transparent as possible.

[Source: Value Managment, About Us]

You can hear our in-depth interview with Ed Wilusz in Episode 4 of the ESOP Podcast.

More about Matt Hancock and Praxis Consulting Group

Matt Hancock

Praxis CG

Matt Hancock [Source: Praxis, Our People]

“Matt Hancock is a Consultant at Praxis, where he assists clients in developing and implementing high-engagement workforce strategies. Matt brings 12 years of domestic and global experience in education, employee ownership and change management to the team. His key competencies include leadership development, building high performance ownership cultures, process improvement, vision, strategy and governance.

Before joining Praxis, Matt served as co-founder and Executive Director of Chicago Tech Academy (ChiTech), Chicago’s first tech-focused high school serving low-income, inner-city students. Under Matt’s leadership, ChiTech achieved some of the city’s strongest test score improvements by building an organizational culture of collaboration, participation and employee empowerment.

Prior to co-founding ChiTech, Matt was the Associate Director of the Center for Labor and Community Research (CLCR) in Chicago, where he served as a trusted liaison to constituencies in manufacturing, labor, and government.

Before joining CLCR Matt lived, worked and studied in Bologna, Italy. As a consultant with Istituto per il Lavoro (Institute for Labor), Matt collaborated with major European institutes, manufacturers and labor unions on research into participatory forms of work organization, process improvement and supply-chain management.

Matt is also a recognized expert on the Italian cooperative movement, and an accomplished public speaker, writer, and thought leader. He is the author of Compete to Cooperate, a book about the cooperatives of Imola, Italy–one of the most successful, and enduring, experiences in employee ownership in history.

Matt is a past Board member of several non- and for-profit organizations including, most recently, the Freelancers Insurance Company, a for-profit insurer committed to providing affordable, effective health insurance to freelance and contingent workers in New York.

Matt earned an MBA in Cooperative Economics from the University of Bologna (Italy), where he studied governance, finance and strategy in the region’s top employee-owned firms, and a BA in history from Skidmore College.”

You can hear our in-depth interview with Matt Hancock in Episode 2 of the ESOP Podcast.

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

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