Fiduciary Services, Inc. provides independent fiduciary and investment managment services for qualified retirement plans including Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). This service is also frequently referred to as an ERISA fiduciary, ESOP fiduciary, ESOP trustee or an ERISA trustee.
Fiduciary Services provides superior skill and expertise
Fiduciary Services provides superior skill and expertise where an independent fiduciary or investment manager is needed to make evaluations and final decisions on behalf of retirement plans, including those plans with company stock. In the case of ESOPs, the need is especially acute where capital changes or ownership transitions are being anticipated at the company that will affect the plan participants.
The Need for an Independent Fiduciary or Retirement Plan Trustee Who Makes Decisions Involving Company Stock
In recent years we have all read and heard news about a proliferation of employee retirement plan litigation leveling charges against internal trustees, plan committees as well as a company's officers and directors. These law suits and regulatory actions allege conflicts of interest and failure to take appropriate actions against these parties. Conclusions coming out of these cases make it clear that when important fiduciary decisions on behalf of plan participants need to be made, an independent fiduciary can be a critical element to avoid liability for those parties.
The independent fiduciary is usually brought in to make determinations on behalf of the plan participants that the plan trustee is not comfortable making. This is due either to the need to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest in the case of the plan trustee, who may also be an officer/director or shareholder of the company, or in some cases due to the need for a higher level of expertise on the part of the current trustee.
In these situations, Fiduciary Services, as independent fiduciary, steps in and directs the action a retirement plan committee or plan trustee should take relating to a proposed purchase, sale or disposition of stock of the company or other plan investments. The company stock transactions often involve the exchange between an owner/officer of the trust or some other third party such as an aquirer of the company in a merger and the trust. FSI as independent fiduciary can be instrumental in providing the requisite procedural and substantive due diligence to receive exemption for prohibited transactions on the settlement of litigation by employee benefit plans with parties in interest.
Fiduciary Services offers extensive experience and capability to ensure the transaction is handled in a professional manner. This will help the company, its officers and directors, as well as any interested shareholders establish the appropriate and accurate record that can avoid potential liability from litigation or critical review by regulatory authorities.
Expert Witness Services for Corporate and Institutional Trust Matters
In addition, Mr. Reser serves as an expert witness for corporate trust matters. This includes retirement plan trustee and independent fiduciary for ERISA violation claims. In addition, Mr. Reser has testified as an expert in corporate trust matters involving debt finance and securitization examing trustee, indenture trustee, owner trustee, co-trustee, master trustee, successor trustee, paying agent, registrar, corporate custodian, escrow agent, administrative agent and administrator standards of the following types of financings: municipal bonds, corporate bonds, securitizations, project finance, structured finance, corporate escrows, liquidation trusts, master trusts and trust preferred securities.