Investments in Employer Stock
Defined Contribution Plans401(k) Plans
High-profile litigation involving Enron, WorldCom, and other companies involving employer stock held in 401(k) plans heightened concern among many employers about the management of Company Stock Funds. Many leading companies now look to Evercore Trust as an independent fiduciary to assume the investment management responsibility for Employer Stock:
Managing employer stock consistent with plan objectives
Exercising proxy-voting responsibility
Exercising fiduciary responsibility for prohibiting future plan investments in employer stock, increasing the cash position of the employer stock fund, or terminating the fund, in accordance with the terms of the plan
In light of the inherent conflicts of interest and the potential for prohibited transactions often associated with ESOP investments in and purchases or sales of company stock, Evercore Trust is retained to exercise independent fiduciary responsibilities for ESOPs.
Our role as an independent fiduciary for an ESOP also extends to a plan's stock component in situations such as the sale of the company or a refinancing of an ESOP loan. In the case of mergers, divestitures, and proxy contests, Evercore Trust may also assume responsibility for voting the stock held by the ESOP.