CLEVELAND, OH, and ASPEN, CO, April 29, 2021 – Kenneth Wanko and Avery Chenin of SES ESOP Strategies presented at the National Center for Employee Ownership’s 2021 Employee Ownership Conference, held virtually on April 20, 2021.
Mr. Wanko joined Robert Whalen, President/CEO of SES ESOP Strategies’ client HB Global, and Amy Schuster of PNC in presenting “ESOP as an Acquisition Vehicle.” The session centered on how to effectively take an ESOP-owned company and leverage the strengths of the ESOP structure to become a successful acquirer, either within the specific company’s industry or outside for diversification.
Mr. Chenin presented “A Year in the Life of an ESOP” with Merri Ash of Internal Trustees, LLC, and Dawn Goestenkors of TI-TRUST. The discussion covered a month-by-month breakdown of the responsibilities of the trustee throughout the year, including valuations, voting of the shares and recordkeeping.
As Managing Director of SES ESOP Strategies, Mr. Wanko advises companies, owners and other stakeholders on M&A and private capital raise transactions, with a particular focus on ESOP ownership transactions. To accomplish this, Mr. Wanko brings a breadth of experience as a former board member, business leader, investor and advisor for a wide range of ESOP-owned businesses.
Prior to joining SES ESOP Strategies, Mr. Wanko was CEO and Chairman of Alliance Holdings, Inc., an ESOP-owned holding company, where he delivered positive economic results, implemented a new corporate governance structure and drove growth through acquisitions.
Before he joined Alliance in 2005, Mr. Wanko was a founding member of the ESOP corporate finance group in the investment banking group of Houlihan Lokey, where he advised on some of the largest and most innovative employee buyouts in history. He has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. He also holds a Series 79 license from FINRA.
For more than 25 years, Mr. Chenin has counseled businesses and their owners on how to incorporate employee ownership into their business succession plans. He represents closely held businesses and their selling shareholders, ESOP sponsors and ESOP fiduciaries in transactions involving employer securities.
Mr. Chenin works with companies and their owners in the planning, development, implementation and ongoing maintenance of ESOPs. He also helps clients with IRS and Department of Labor examinations and audits, and in the resolution of plan defects, including the submission of plan corrections under both the IRS and Department of Labor correction programs. He holds a J.D. and a B.S. in Accounting from Case Western Reserve University.