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Client Alert: December 2012 - 25th Anniversary Issue


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Celebrating 25 years of creating employee ownership, in this issue we interview our Chairman and Founder, Jim Steiker. We also share photos from recent client events in Philadelphia and Las Vegas.

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Client Alert: December 2012 - 25th Anniversary Issue

  1. 1. Client Alert An Interview with Jim Steiker DECEMBER 2012 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
  2. 2. FROM PAGE ONE: Interview with Jim Steiker Q: How has the firm evolved over the years? Dec2012Client Alert_Layout 1 12/6/12 2:51 PM Page 3 Client Alert 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 Ownership O 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
  3. 3. Dec2012Client Alert_Layout 1 12/6/12 2:51 PM Page 4 Client Alert
  4. 4. ESOP Sustainability Client Symposium In The Next Issue Dec2012Client Alert_Layout 1 12/6/12 2:51 PM Page 1 O 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 Client Alert AUTO DEALERSHIP WEBINAR: LIQUIDITY & SUCCESSION PLANNING USING ESOPS — STATE OF THE MARKET 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