Mark B. Russell
Mark is head of the finance group at SES ESOP Strategies, a Stevens & Lee Company, and a Senior Managing Director at Griffin Financial Group where he works with clients and their principals, providing M&A advisory services and private placements of debt and capital. He works extensively with business owners, evaluating their business and personal situations and assisting in preparing for succession of or exit from their businesses by performing an exhaustive analysis of alternatives (including management buyouts, ESOPs, recapitalizations, and minority or majority sales of the business) to ensure business owners have all of the information necessary to decide the best path to achieve their goals. Finally, he assists business owners in optimizing the strategies designed to achieve the desired outcome.
As a non-practicing CPA and a lawyer, Mark’s background provides an important link between clients and their accountants and lawyers to creatively address accounting, tax and financial planning issues.
Mark is a former National Tax-Product Development Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for conceiving creative corporate tax planning strategies and analyzing publicly available information to determine the applicability of those strategies. He was also responsible for implementing large projects and coordinating project teams and corporate personnel.
Mark is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®). He holds Series 79, 7 and 66 licenses from FINRA.
- Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M. in Taxation, with distinction, 1996
- Texas Tech University School of Business, MBA, 1995
- Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., 1995
- Texas Christian University, BBA in Accounting, 1992
- The ESOP Association
- The National Center for Employee Ownership
- The Exit Planning Institute
- Texas Center for Employee Ownership, Organizational Board Member and Treasurer
- “What are the various ways for a business owner to transfer their privately-owned business?” Co-author with Edward C. Renenger. Business Expertise section of Catalyst. PA Chamber of Business and Industry publication. Summer 2018.
- “Evaluating Offers to ESOP Companies: The Case for Engaging an Investment Banker.” NCEO’s Responding to Acquisition Offers in ESOP Companies, 3rd Edition, February 2023.
Selected Speaking Engagements
- “Structuring an Acquisition,” NCEO Fall ESOP Forum, Salt Lake City, UT, September 17, 2019
- “Strategic Alternatives for Minority ESOPs,” panelist, NCEO 2019 Employee Ownership Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, April 10, 2019
- “Growing Your ESOP Through Acquisitions,” The ESOP Association’s Southwest Chapter Annual Spring Conference and Awards Luncheon, Grapevine, TX, March 29, 2019
- “Passing the Torch: The Pros and Cons of Succession, Sale and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) for Effective Business Continuation,” Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership Event at St. Joseph’s University’s Haub School of Business, Philadelphia, PA, July 20, 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
- “ESOP Advantages in Acquisitions,” Multi-State ESOP Conference, Wilkes-Barre, PA, September 27, 2016
- “Evaluating Offers to ESOP Companies,” National Center for Employee Ownership’s Employee Ownership Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 22, 2016