Simply Tax® Episode 137: The Value of ESOPs & Business Valuations

Thoughtware Podcast Published: Dec 20, 2021
Simply Tax Episode 137

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Employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) and business valuations often play a key role in succession and continuity planning. BKD’s Cara Benningfield and Shaun Duffin join host Damien Martin to explain what ESOPs and valuations are and break down the impact of the current environment to include the pandemic, uncertainty in the economy, and possible tax changes. Here’s what’s covered:

  • What's a business valuation and why are they done? @02:22
  • What’s an ESOP and what role can they play in planning? @03:57
  • ESOP fit and good candidates for one @05:52
  • The intersection of ESOPs and valuations @07:26
  • Effect of COVID-19 on valuations @11:18
  • The role of projections in valuations and navigating uncertainty in the economy and the market @19:08
  • Current trends in ESOP transactions and valuations @20:19
  • Effect of potential tax changes @22:25
  • ESOPs and the talent war @26:25
  • "It takes a village" @34:40
  • Takeaways and closing thoughts @39:17


Cara Benningfield is a partner in BKD’s Bowling Green, Kentucky, practice, and leader of BKD’s ESOP transaction services team. She structures and facilitates the creation of new ESOPs and works with existing ESOPs in matters ranging from acquisition structuring to repurchase planning and analysis. Cara’s experience with ESOPs also includes providing financing assistance, tax planning, ongoing plan administration, employee communication, and structuring of executive incentive plans.

Connect with Cara on LinkedIn

Shaun Duffin is BKD’s firmwide Business Valuation team leader and a member of BKD’s Forensics & Valuation Services division. Shaun works with a wide variety of clients and organizations providing business valuation services and has provided services to clients in numerous industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, fabrication, retail, construction, computer software, insurance, advertising and marketing, engineering, architecture, professional services, technology, and food service.

Connect with Shaun on LinkedIn



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