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Professor Norman Stein Discusses Employee Ownership Option in the Wall Street Journal

April 18, 2013

More and more aging entrepreneurs looking to leave their businesses in good hands are transferring ownership to their employees rather than outright selling their business, the Wall Street Journal reported in an article published April 17.  

Such a transfer of ownership is usually effectuated through employee stock-ownership plans, or ESOPs, the Wall Street Journal says.  However, Professor Norman Stein, a nationally recognized authority on employee benefits, told the Journal that he is concerned about the increasing popularity of ESOPS.  Many plans overvalue the business and thus leave workers holding overvalued shares in lieu of more secure retirement benefits, he said. 

Stein is not completely opposed to ESOPs but cautioned that if ESOPs are "not tied to a retirement plan...[i]t's a troubling trend.