The ESOP Podcast Summer School – Session 3

The ESOP Podcast Summer School – Session 3: Communicating Value to Participants

The ESOP Podcast Summer School” is in session! Summer is a great time to pause, look back over the year so far, and take stock of your goals. 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.

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.

This episode was originally released as Episode 29 on April 10, 2018.  You can bookmark the full Summer School series here.

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

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: