Specialized solutions for business owners and entrepreneurs

The Capital ESOP Group Keith J. Apton, Gregory H. Marcus, Nicholas Joseph Francia, Robert H. Allred, Sean P. Howe, Joanne Pronk, Susan Ghanem, Gerardo Castro, Kleo Curry, Sharlene Samuel, Steve Brinckhaus, Brandon Park, Sarah Bothner, Jordan Chandler Binder

The Capital ESOP Group






UBS Financial Services Inc.
1501 K Street NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

The Capital ESOP Group is a dedicated team of financial professionals with the highest level of integrity and commitment to our clients. Having helped individuals and families create over $2.5 billion of liquidity through successful transactions, we know the importance of running a disciplined process when evaluating the most tax-efficient way to monetize a business and plan your post-exit life.

Why clients work with us:

  • We offer a disciplined client service model you would expect from a family office
  • We build deep, long-standing relationships and work with a select group of clients and their trusted advisors
  • We provide access to the global resources of UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager1

Business growth and succession planning

“Our goal is to educate business owners and their trusted advisors on tax-efficient exit strategies enabling them to preserve and pass on the wealth they worked hard to create.”

— Keith Apton, Managing Director

Monetizing your privately held business

Through our consultative approach, we educate business owners, CFOs, CEOs, CPAs and attorneys on various ways to monetize a privately held business in a tax-efficient manner. By providing sell-side advisory solutions, we empower our clients to make educated financial decisions.

Knowing the right professionals to work with during times of important decision making can make all the difference.

  • Expanding your business. When looking to expand or grow, the assistance of experts can help you manage your expansion, including private capital sourcing and public equity and debt financing.
  • Lending solutions. Through UBS you can access innovative solutions such as securities-backed lending, pre-IPO credit, mortgages and tailored financing.
  • Selling your business. Our process offers detailed modeling clearly illustrating what it would look like to sell to a strategic buyer, sell to a financial buyer, utilize a dividend recap or sell to an ESOP.
  • Succession planning. We create customized cash flow models comparing the economic benefits of a taxable installment sale and a tax-deferred sale to an ESOP using Section §1042 of the IRC.

Making the ESOP decision

Business is personal, and so is the decision to exit your company. We’ll help you understand all aspects of this life-changing event that could result in one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

Why consider an ESOP?

  • You will gain a powerful and flexible business succession tool
     An ESOP transaction facilitates a transfer of ownership, enabling business owners to monetize all or a portion of a privately held business over time while also allowing them to maintain control after the transaction.
  • You benefit from a tax-efficient liquidity transaction
    This tax-efficient exit strategy enables you to monetize the wealth created in your privately held business and defer or potentially eliminate the long-term capital gains tax triggered from the sale.
  • The ESOP transaction is employee-friendly
    By linking employee rewards to company performance, the ESOP strategy can be a strategic tool creating a culture helping you retain and motivate your employees.
  • We offer additional advisory services for ESOP owned companies
    Leveraging the depth and resources of UBS, we can manage your repurchase liability, administer your ESOP escrow accounts and help you analyze and implement the proper management incentive/NQDC plans for key employees.

Post-ESOP expertise

  • We offer additional advisory services for ESOP owned companies
    By leveraging the depth and resources of UBS, we can help you:

    – Manage your repurchase liability
    – Administer your ESOP escrow accounts
    – Analyze and implement the proper management incentive/NQDC plans for key employees

“We understand the complexity and planning opportunity that come with selling a business, moving on from a salary or K-1 distribution, and maintaining your lifestyle with the help of secure cash flow management.”

— Rob Allred, Senior Vice President - Wealth Management

After the sale

By combining our expertise of business succession planning and strategic wealth management, we are able to help entrepreneurs plan for the next chapter of their lives.

We help our clients develop a plan to transition from a K-1 distribution or salary to living comfortably off their investment income. Our comprehensive post-exit wealth management process entails:

  • Providing customized cash flow modeling for various QRP/§1042 solutions
  • Implementing your strategy to help defer or avoid capital gains tax
  • Developing a personal financial plan that integrate the new structure of your financial assets with your long term goals to include:

    – Seller note principal payments
    – Seller note interest payments
    – Warrants/NQDC
    – §1042 cost of carry analysis
    – QRP assets and liabilities
    – Cash flow management
    – Estate planning strategies to help minimize the overall estate tax

A family office structure

Utilizing the experience, intellect and disciplined client service model you would expect from a family office, we have cultivated long-standing relationships with our clients.

Whether you are navigating your family’s milestones, managing a life transition or planning your legacy, we offer guidance that grows with your needs.

  • Goals-based planning. Our process involves asking questions, listening and creating a tailored financial plan that fits your specific goals.  Clients have told us this exercise has helped provide both clarity and comfort when transitioning from receiving a K1 distribution or dividend to having to live off the income created from assets they accumulated from the sale of their business. 
  • Personalized portfolio management. Focusing on risk management has helped us preserve our client's wealth.  We’ll work with you to design and execute customized investment strategies that mitigate risk and provide consistent returns.  
  • Trust and estate planning strategies. We have experienced attorneys to help protect your assets, reducing estate tax exposure, and transitioning wealth to future generations.
  • Philanthropy. We can help you think through and implement a legacy that is meaningful to you and your family. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with the right charitable organizations so you can make a real and rewarding impact.
  • Expanded services. We provide access to the valuable resources and expertise of UBS:

    – UBS Investment Bank
    – UBS Private Bank
    – Advanced Planning Group
    – Portfolio Advisory Group
    – Third-party investment managers
    – Wealth management research
    – Global family office

Keith Apton and Nick Francia have been recognized as industry leaders

  • Keith Apton, Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, 2018, 2019
  • Keith Apton, Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors, 2014 - 2019
  • Keith Apton, Financial Times Top 400 Advisers, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Keith Apton, On Wall Street Top 40 Advisors Under 40, 2016, 2017
  • Keith Apton, Barron's Top 1,000 Financial Advisors, 2012, 2013
  • Keith Apton, REP. magazine and WealthManagement.com Top 40 Wirehouse Advisors Under 40, 2014, 2015
  • Nick Francia, Forbes Best-In-State Next-Gen Wealth Advisors, 2019 (Ranked #1 in Washington, DC)
  • Nick Francia, Forbes Top 250 Next-Generation Wealth Advisors, 2019
  • Nick Francia, Forbes America's Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors, 2018
  • Nick Francia, UBS Top 35 Under 35, 2018

Resources for transitioning your business


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