ESOP and ERISA Advisory

Kroll's Corporate Finance ESOP/ERISA practice is a leading corporate finance and valuation advisor to companies and ERISA fiduciaries. Duff & Phelps acquired Kroll in 2018 and unified under the Kroll brand in 2020.
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With completing over 1000 assignments, we are the firm of choice for structuring, raising financing, fairness opinions, and valuing stock in employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) transactions and nonpublic assets, including employer securities held by ESOPs and ERISA pension plans. A pioneer in ESOP planning and transaction execution, we guide principals, companies and fiduciaries through the complex financial and valuation implications of the financial, regulatory and tax aspects of these transactions.

ESOP Advisory

  • Fairness opinions
  • Valuations 
  • Initial ESOP transaction execution, feasibility, design, and structuring
  • Arranging the financing in leveraged ESOP transactions 
  • Representing ESOP-owned companies for sale, or assisting an ESOP-owned company making an acquisition

ERISA Advisory

  • Valuations related to the sale, purchase, or contribution of stock to ERISA plans 
  • Valuation of illiquid assets, such as limited partnership interests or real estate, held in ERISA plans 
  • Advising ERISA fiduciaries in transactions
  • Fairness and valuation opinions related to transactions by ERISA plans in illiquid assets

Frequently Asked Questions

  • An Employee Stock Ownership Plan or ESOP is a qualified defined contribution benefit plan (like a 401K) with two special benefits: 
    • ESOPs are designed to invest primarily in the stock of the sponsoring company and, as such, ESOPs are exempt from the diversification requirements of other qualified plans. 
    • ESOPs are allowed to borrow money to fund the purchase of employer securities
  • Created by Congress in 1974 to enable employees to participant in the wealth creation process
  • To encourage the formation of ESOPs, Congress put in place significant tax incentives

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Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Advisory

Kroll’s investment banking practice has extensive experience in M&A deal strategy and structuring, capital raising, transaction advisory services and financial sponsor coverage.

Fairness Opinions

#1 ranked provider of fairness opinions for boards of directors and special committees.


Financial and operational restructuring and enforcement of security, including investigation, preservation and realization of assets for investors, lenders and companies.

Transaction Advisory Services

Kroll’s Transaction Advisory Services platform offers corporate and financial investors with deep accounting and technical expertise, commercial knowledge, industry insight and seamless analytical services throughout the deal continuum.

Private Capital Markets – Debt Advisory

Kroll has extensive experience raising capital for middle-market companies to support a wide range of transactions.

Financial Sponsors Group

Dedicated coverage and access to M&A deal-flow for financial sponsors.

Fairness and Solvency Opinions

Duff & Phelps Opinions is a global leader in Fairness Opinions and Special Committee Advisory, ranking #1 for total number of fairness opinions in the U.S., EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), Australia and Globally in 2023 according to LSEG (FKA Refinitiv).

Distressed M&A and Special Situations

Kroll professionals have advised hundreds of companies, investors and other stakeholders at all stages of distressed transactions and special situations.

Independent Board Advisory Services

Duff & Phelps Opinions practice delivers superior financial advice to accommodate the complex demands of a company’s Board of Directors.

Preparing a Family Business for Sale

Kroll Client Stories with Bob Bartell

Discover how Kroll’s M&A Advisory and Investigations teams helped a family company sell their business through constructing a robust financial projection model to attract lenders and investors.

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