Executive Financial Services, Inc.

…is a national ESOP consulting firm established in 1981 and based in Memphis, Tennessee. Our multi-disciplinary team of experienced, highly qualified professionals has a very narrow focus on the use of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) in Ownership Succession Planning and a very deep level of expertise and experience in this highly specialized field. We have implemented transactions in 37 cities in 18 states.

Executive Financial president Kelly Finnell, is the author of the highly acclaimed book, The ESOP Coach: Using ESOPs in Ownership Succession Planning.

Check out our events page to sign up for our next monthly webinar.

All of the webinars are at Noon ET

Our Services


“Kelly Finnell has filled a vacuum in ESOP literature – he has come up with a handbook for business owners that explains the complex subject in clear, direct and understandable terms. Everything the reader needs to master the ESOP technique is there, but with the usual technical jargon and arcane legal references stripped away. Anyone thinking about liquidity options for their business should read this book before making any final decisions.”

-Jared Kaplan, Esq. | McDermott Will & Emery, Senior Counsel | Co-author, BNA Tax Portfolio on ESOPs

“Kelly Finnell’s long experience in the ESOP world makes him very well qualified to explain how this too-often overlooked approach to business transition works. ESOPs were designed by Congress to provide unique tax advantages to owners, companies, and employees, advantages no other approach can replicate. Just as important, ESOPs provide a way for business owners to exit gradually or quickly, pass on ownership to the people who helped build the business, and maintain the independence of the company they have worked so hard to build. ESOPs are not right for everyone, but Kelly Finnell’s important book can help you determine if they are right for you.”

-Corey Rosen, Ph.D. | Executive Director | National Center for Employee Ownership

“An ESOP is one of the greatest instruments of US capitalism. I’ve seen ESOPs used successfully by a number of companies in our industry. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning how an ESOP could help with their company’s ownership succession planning.”

-Dominic Pileggi | Chairman & CEO, Thomas & Betts

“I have great admiration for anyone who can master an area of subject matter, distill it into understandable form, and present it to the public in a fine book. Kelly Finnell has done just that! This book on ESOPs will tell you everything you need to know to rationally consider the option, and, if you choose, execute the plan. Kelly’s treatise is the best on this topic – If you are a business owner, this is a must-read book!”

-Don Hutson | Speaker and co-author, The NY Times and The Wall Street Journal #1 Best-Seller, The One Minute Entrepreneur

“Kelly has taken a topic which is a mystery to most of us- – use of an ESOP to effect an ownership change- – and explains it in an understandable and “plain English” manner. The book’s examples are instructive and understandable and will help readers quickly decide if this is a strategy which is right for them.”

-Wade McKnight, CPA | Retired Partner, Deloitte

“Take it from the author of Public Speaking, if you’re looking for an informative and understandable speaker on ESOPs, Kelly Finnell is your man.”

-Michael Osborn, Ph.D. | Professor of Communication | Co-author, Public Speaking

“The ESOP Coach provides valuable insight on the complex issues of business succession, presenting the information in an easy to understand manner. Kelly has excellent perspective on the challenges and opportunities, which makes The ESOP Coach essential reading for business owners (and their advisors) focused on the ongoing success of the businesses they have built and preserving the entrepreneurial spirit that remains the backbone of our country.”

-Fred Jonske, FSA, MAAA | CEO, M Financial Group

“This book has a wealth of information to help business owners make intelligent decisions about whether they should use an ESOP as part of their ownership succession planning. It has all of the technical information you need as well as user-friendly explanations and illustrative case studies. There is certainly something here for everyone.”

-Pete Prodoehl | Vice President, Principal Financial Group

“Kelly and I have had the opportunity to work together with a number of business owners over the years to help design the right transition or exit plan for each situation. The ESOP is one of the key alternatives we discuss, since it brings so many business and tax advantages to the table. What distinguishes Kelly from other ESOP advisors is his ability to explain the ESOP strategy in a way that is simple to understand and which is on point with the needs of the business owner. Through this book, Kelly is sharing the insights he and his team have gained through the many years which they have specialized in this field. Kelly and I share a common objective in our transition and exit planning practices, which is to help business owners beat the odds by achieving the legacy they wish to achieve. I am glad to see Kelly share these important ESOP strategies with both business owners and with other exit planning advisors.”

-Nicholas K. Niemann, Esq. | McGrath North Law Firm | Author, Exit On Your Terms

“Kelly Finnell has delivered his promise; he has taken a complicated issue and broken it down into understandable pieces. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I find the options that Kelly provides make for both informative and enjoyable reading. This is must reading for the small to mid-sized business owner.”

-Ed Horrell | Author, The Kindness Revolution

“I’ve often thought that the main reason an ESOP is not more frequently used in Exit Planning for owners is its apparent complexity in design and implementation. As Winston Churchill once said in a different context, “The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read.” And so it can be with the mass of ESOP explanations, rules and regulations. Kelly succeeds in his avowed purpose of providing a straightforward and understandable explanation of this important planning tool. His book is well worth reading for every owner considering a business exit.”

-John H. Brown | President | Business Enterprise Institute | Author, How To Run Your Business So You Can Leave It In Style and Co-author of Cash Out Move On

Is an ESOP Right for Me?

Case Studies

Easy as Pie

Easy as Pi

Many of the ESOPs I have worked on over the past 25-plus years have been about as “easy as pi.” For those of you who, like me, slept through algebra class, here is how Wikipedia defines “pi.”

Read More

All in the Family

All in the Family

This case study is about a family-owned business located in a small town. The Company is owned and run by a husband and wife who are in their early 60’s, with the help of their son. Their daughter lives in…

Read More


Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be

November of 2007 was a time of great economic uncertainty. Lehman Brothers had collapsed. There was a meltdown in the credit markets as a result of the subprime debacle.

Read More

Ultimate ESOP Success

Ultimate ESOP Success

I have entitled this case study “Ultimate ESOP Success” because I think it is the best representation I’ve seen of Louis Kelso’s dream of ESOPs enabling more Americans to accumulate capital.

Read More

By the Numbers

Number of Annual Engagements
Median Transaction Size
Largest Transaction

Recognized Thought Leaders


Executive Financial Services, Inc.
3350 Players Club Pkwy, STE 330
Memphis, TN 38125

Fax 901.682.8653

Connect with Us