An Introduction to ESOPs

Learn about the tax, liquidity, and legacy-building advantages of employee stock ownership plans.

Download our ESOP Quick Reference.

Employee Ownership Fundamentals

Employee stock ownership plans enable closely-held companies to sell equity, at a fair market value, to an employee trust. This is not a stock option program. Instead, an ESOP is an ERISA-authorized, defined contribution plan.

Thousands of privately-held companies nationwide have turned to leveraged ESOPs as M&A alternatives. For many middle-market businesses, employee ownership offers a unique mix of benefits including independence, flexibility, and legacy preservation.


An ESOP Case Study

Join Larry Kaplan, CSG’s Founder and Managing Partner, for a review of the leveraged ESOP feasibility, structuring, and financing process in this brief video.

Based on real client interaction, this case study highlights the key considerations and strategies behind a successful employee stock ownership plan transaction.


Why do Leading Companies Trust our ESOP Advisors?

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Our multi-disciplinary team's primary focus is ESOPs, and our transaction volume is unmatched in the industry. That translates to extensive institutional knowledge and a deep understanding of the variability of employee stock ownership plans.


We leverage proprietary modeling and research tools – refined and developed throughout our 20+ year history – to deliver data-driven ESOP recommendations and solutions.

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Financial Reach

Our dedicated capital markets team has access to the same financing sources as private equity firms and top investment banks. In the last five years alone, 30+ bank lenders and funds have financed CSG-led ESOP transactions.




Employee Owners

$25 Billion

in Enterprise Value