Case Study 2

ESOP Trustee Search


WILLIAMS GROUP was engaged to assist the executive committee and employee benefits committee of a large Architectural company managing a $30 million ESOP plan in the selection of a new plan trustee. The current bank trustee relationship was exiting the market, the solution to transition the successor trustee was not an acceptable to the organization. The executive committee and employee benefits committee had no experience with benchmarking and interviewing trustees for ESOP plans and wanted to investigate market opportunities. Having had a previous bad experience the committee’s needed a trustee with a track record that could gain the confidence when unconvinced committee.


  • Source high-quality & educated ESOP Trustee’s with a strong knowledge of advanced synthetic rewards.
  • Delivered a “high touch- high feel” that could gain the trust of for the executive committee.
  • They must have had experience in working with other firms in their industry.

The Process

  • Developed a list of independent trustees that met the company’s criteria.
  • Administered an RFP and perform detailed due diligence
  • Independently interviewed all candidates.
  • Created a comprehensive analysis of each one of the candidates with a recommendation for three finalists; moderated, organized and coordinated the finalist’s presentations and selection conference.
  • Negotiated and reviewed fees and contracts.
  • Provided oversight during the transition.


Committee Education


Issue RFP


Review Credentials, Team Structure & Philosophy


Final Selection & Interviews


Negotiate Fees & Contracts


Transition Oversight

Committee Education

  • Williams Group educated the committee on the state of the industry and the solutions available for ESOP trustee management.
  • After reviewing the challenges and disappointments of the past trustee relationships with the ESOP plan, Williams Group introduced suggestions for a successful implementation.


The ESOP trustee search found the best candidate with trustee experience to provide, trustee services & introduce solutions to retain key employees utilizing synthetic rewards with ESOP stock.

    • Committee selected a trustee and was able to comfortably transition responsibilities.
    • Transitioning to a new trustee relationship resulted in the plan reducing fees for trustee services.
    • The transition to the new trustee was accomplished without a hitch.