Edward C. Renenger

President and CEO

Ed is President and CEO of SES ESOP Strategies and Co-Chair of the ESOP Group and the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group at Stevens & Lee, an affiliated company of SES ESOP Strategies. He concentrates his practice in helping companies navigate the complexities of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). In this capacity, Ed advises business owners on how to sell their companies to employees through an ESOP. This process typically involves working with the company to first determine the feasibility and impact of creating an ESOP, consulting on whether the ESOP accomplishes the goals of the relevant stakeholders, designing the appropriate structure to accomplish those goals, implementing the transaction and then assisting the company with the ongoing administration and compliance of the ESOP.

Ed also advises on other ESOP-related transactions, including situations where ESOP-owned companies sell to outside buyers when they have determined that exiting the ESOP structure is appropriate for shareholders. He works with the entire range of ESOP-owned companies, including S Corporations, C Corporations, private companies, publicly traded companies, companies that are wholly owned by the ESOP trust and companies in which the ESOP is a minority owner. Ed also counsels ESOP trustees on their fiduciary obligations under ERISA in ESOP-related transactions and when unique situations arise in an already established ESOP.

Ed also has particular experience working with ESOPs for financial institutions, such as community banks looking to an ESOP as a source of liquidity for founding shareholders and insurance companies who establish an ESOP in conjunction with a demutualization.

When not working with ESOPs, Ed advises clients on the structure and compliance of defined benefit pension plans and defined contribution plans, including 401(k) plans, especially in complex matters involving the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.



  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2005
  • The Catholic University of America, B.A., First in Class, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1996

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania


  • ESOP Association
  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Berks County Bar Association

Selected Publications

  • “What Are the Various Ways for a Business Owner to Transfer Their Privately-owned Business?” Co-author with Mark B. Russell. Business Expertise section of Catalyst. PA Chamber of Business and Industry publication. Summer 2018.
  • “ESOP Myths Debunked!” White Paper. April 1, 2016
  • “Legal Considerations for Buyers and Sellers of ESOP Companies.” NCEO’s Responding to Acquisition Offers in ESOP Companies, 2nd Edition. February 1, 2016.
  • “IRS Approval for Your PEO Retirement Plan.” NAPEO Legal Insights. Co-authored with James B. Longacre. Vol. 5, No. 2, February 2012.

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • “Building a Strong Legacy,” 2021 ElevateAEC Conference & Awards Gala, Denver, Colorado, November 4, 2021
  • “ESOPs: Everything You Need to Know,” Exit Planning Institute Rocky Mountain Chapter Virtual Event, April 22, 2021
  • Realizing the Benefits of ESOPs,” 2020 Elevate AEC Virtual Experience, Nov. 11, 2020
  • “ESOP Transaction Structures,” NCEO Is an ESOP Right for You? conference, Omaha, NE, Oct. 9, 2019
  • “The Tax Efficiencies of Using the S-to-C-to-S Conversion for Your ESOP Transaction,” NCEO 2019 Employee Ownership Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, April 11, 2019
  • “ESOP Distribution Rules, Solutions and Strategies,” 2019 Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of The ESOP Association, State College, PA, March 28, 2019
  • “ESOPs: Re-emergence as an Attractive Employee Benefit for Community Banks,” Pennsylvania Bankers Association Human Resources Conference, Harrisburg, PA, September 20, 2018
  • “Anatomy of a Live ESOP Transaction,” NCEO 2018 Employee Ownership Conference, Atlanta, GA, April 18, 2018
  • “Anatomy of a Live ESOP Transaction,” 2017 Multi-State ESOP Conference, Pennsylvania/Delaware and New York/New Jersey Chapters of the ESOP Association, Scranton, PA, September 14, 2017
  • “Utilizing ESOPs for Tax Efficient Liquidity,” Financial Planning Association of Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Meeting, Dallas, TX, June 6, 2017
  • “ESOP Company Growth by Acquisition,” NCEO 2017 Employee Ownership Conference, Denver, CO, April 4-6, 2017
  • “Proposed Tax Law Changes Under the New Administration and Their Impact on Shareholder Liquidity, Mergers & Acquisitions, ESOPs and other Business Transition Strategies,” 2017 South Central Pennsylvania Vistage Executive Summit, Reading, PA, March 23, 2017
  • “The Role of the ESOP in Middle Market M&A,” ACG Philadelphia, Gladwyne, PA, March 16, 2017
  • “ESOPs and Transition Planning,” Midatlantic Employers’ Association’s Business Transitions Seminar, King of Prussia, PA, November 30, 2016
  • “Considerations for Second-Stage ESOP Transactions,” 2016 Multi-State ESOP Conference, Wilkes-Barre, PA, September 14-16, 2016
  • “Is a Partial ESOP Right for You?” 2016 NCEO Employee Ownership Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 13, 2016
  • “Legal and Regulatory Update for ESOP Companies,” ESOP Association Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapter Annual Spring ESOP Seminar, Kennett Square, PA, April 7, 2016
  • “Navigating Internal Trustee Waters in Rough Seas,” Multi-State ESOP Conference, Pennsylvania/Delaware and New York/New Jersey Chapters of the ESOP Association, Wilkes-Barre, PA, September 17, 2015
  • “Navigating Internal Trustee Waters – Best Practices from the Perspective of an External Trustee and Counsel,” National Center for Employee Ownership Annual Conference, Denver, CO, April 21-23, 2015
  • “An Introduction to ESOPs: A Tool of Corporate Finance,” Doing Business in Central Pennsylvania and Beyond, Harrisburg, PA, November 12, 2014
  • “ESOPs for Banks and Current Trends in Employee Benefits,” BDO New Jersey CFO Dinner, Iselin, NJ, November 10, 2014
  • “Retirement Plan Regulatory Enforcement: What the IRS and DOL Are Up To,” Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers Last Wednesday Lunch & Learn Series Webinar, September 24, 2014
  • “Navigating Internal Trustee Waters – Best Practices from the Perspective of an External Trustee and Counsel,” Multi-State ESOP Conference, Scranton, PA, September 18, 2014
  • “Valuation and Liquidity – Common Challenges Many Community Banks Face,” Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers Annual Convention, Amelia Island, FL, September 8, 2014
  • “Retirement Plan Regulatory Enforcement – What are the IRS and DOL Up To?”, Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel Seminar, April 17, 2013
  • “A Primer on ESOPs for Banks,” Philadelphia Chapter of the Financial Managers Society Seminar, October 25, 2012
  • “Legal Issues for S Corporation ESOPs,” NCEO Webinar, March 13, 2012

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