Client Alert: December 2012 - 25th Anniversary Issue
An Interview with Jim Steiker
The Chairman, CEO & Founder of SES Advisors, Inc. and its sister law firm of
Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple, P.C. talks about celebrating 25 years of
Creating Employee Ownership
S T E I K E R , F I S C H E R , E D W A R D S & G R E E N A P P L E , P. C .
Dec2012Client Alert_Layout 1 12/6/12 2:51 PM Page 2
Q: This year you are celebrating
your 25th anniversary of creating
employee ownership. How did you
get into the ESOP business?
A: I was working at a summer camp in
Western Massachusetts, getting ready to
head to law school. I just so happened
to be hitch-hiking to visit a friend in
Boston and was picked up by a guy
named Chris Mackin, who was running
a nonprofit promoting employee ownership [now the president of Ownership
Associates, Inc.]. This sounded like
something right up my alley — a mixture
of real, concrete “numbers” work, but still
making an impact in the world. I asked
him about an internship, and since I was
from Philadelphia, he directed me to a
local nonprofit organization called PACE
[Philadelphia Association for Cooperative
Enterprise]. After interning for PACE
during law school, I was offered a job
there, but unfortunately by 1987, they
were running out of money. We all went
our separate ways, and I continued to
focus on ESOPs. I took the train to see a
potential ESOP client in NY, and that’s
when I told my wife Wendy that if I got
this client, I might as well start my own
firm. You have a client, you have a firm.
SES ADVISORS, INC.
Q: How did that go?
CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
A: Fortunately in1988, Ginny Vanderslice
approached me about starting a firm
together that would encompass law,
finance and organizational development.
So Praxis was formed, and our first hire
FROM PAGE ONE: Interview with Jim Steiker
Q: How has the firm evolved over the
Dec2012Client Alert_Layout 1 12/6/12 2:51 PM Page 3
was Alex Moss. Our first ESOP client was
Peck’s Markets in Sullivan County, NY —
and I am proud to say that they are still a
client today! In 1993 we decided it was a
logical split to divide the business into two.
I pursued the transactional side, and Ginny
and Alex focused on the organizational
development side; they are still successfully
running Praxis today.
Q: What’s in store for SES over the
next 25 years?
A: In 1996 I reconnected with the original
outside counsel to PACE, Steve Fischer.
Once we had a few ESOP clients, we
realized that the outside firms to whom
we referred out the annual ESOP recordkeeping weren’t doing it right, so we figured
we might as well do it ourselves for our
clients. In 1998 we took a great leap forward
— we nearly doubled our revenues in the
course of two years, broke the $1 million
mark, and hired an incredible guy
named Brian Wurpts to run the plan
administration practice. This was our
catalyst for growth. From 1996-2008,
our annual growth rate was over 20%
and we made the Philadelphia 100 list of
fastest-growing private companies six times.
A: I think that the economy and the world
need a firm that focuses on employee
ownership, a firm that wants to do it the
right way for the right reasons … and I
believe we’re going to be around to do that.
I’m excited that our two key practice leaders
— Doug Cannon on the plan administration
side and Tabitha Croscut on the law firm
side — are young. They represent the next
generation of leadership. We are a good
mix of those of us with the gray hair and
the younger group. This is a great recipe for
continued success, and I suspect we’re going
to be around for the next 25 years. I
Celebrating 25 Years
of Creating Employee
n November 8th, SES Advisors and SFE&G invited
our clients to join us at a special appreciation dinner
at Joe’s Seafood Restaurant at Caesars in Las Vegas.
Clients took a break from The ESOP Association’s ESOP
Technical Conference to come celebrate the firms’ 25th
anniversary. It was a great way to get to know our clients
better – and the stone crabs weren’t bad either! I
In The Next Issue
Dec2012Client Alert_Layout 1 12/6/12 2:51 PM Page 1
n October 24th, SES Advisors and SFE&G held an exclusive
client symposium on ESOP Sustainability at Embassy Suites
Philadelphia-Valley Forge in Wayne, PA. The symposium
included presentations from
key leadership, other top
ESOP professionals, and this
year’s keynote speaker, Steve
Voigt of The King Arthur
Flour Company, Inc. I
W W W. S E S A DV I S O R S . C O M
JANUARY 9, 2013
ESOPS — STATE OF
W W W. S F E G L AW. C O M
Look for a summary of Brian Wurpts’ presentation from the October 24th
ESOP sustainability client symposium: The Nuts & Bolts of ESOP Sustainability
— Practical Tools & Advice for Keeping Your ESOP Sustainably Funded.
PENNSYLVANIA SES (215) 508-1600, SFE&G (215) 508-1500
Save the Date!
Steve Greenapple, shareholder
of SES and SFE&G, joins
with William O’Brien, Senior
Vice President – Wealth
Management of Morgan
Stanley Wealth Management,
to present a webinar specifically
geared towards succession
planning for auto dealerships.
| NEW JERSEY SES (973) 540-9200, SFE&G (973) 540-9292
RHODE ISLAND SFE&G (401) 632-0480 | VIRGINIA SES (757) 442–6651, (434) 202-1221 | ILLINOIS SES (847) 220-0549
INDIANA SES (219) 548-3696 | TEXAS SES (817) 712-2363 | NEW YORK SES (585) 385-0819 | MASSACHUSETTS SFE&G (617) 310-6565