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Kaplan Fiduciary

We Help Boards Improve Their Fiduciary Performance

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What We Provide Clients

Solutions to Develop Sound Fiduciary Practices

With more than 30 years' experience in the trust and financial industry, Kaplan Fiduciary is a leading provider of corporate governance and fiduciary advisory services to private companies and companies sponsoring Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) and other qualified retirement programs.  

We offer the comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help solve the most complex private and employee ownership, and fiduciary issues facing your organization. 

A comprehensive suite of services:







Business Meeting

Board Advisory Services

Kaplan Fiduciary works with boards to establish best corporate governance practices to properly implement strategic allocation of authorities and responsibilities among the company’s shareholders, trustees, the board and management.

  • Do you have a sound understanding of the role and responsibilities of private company directors?

  • Have you recently become an employee-owned company and are concerned about your next steps to proper governance? 

  • Has your board or senior leadership recently transitioned and you need board training to better understand your duties, responsibilities and the unique issues facing private and employee-owned companies? 

  • Are you looking for a board advisor or member with extensive private company experience, with a special emphasis on fiduciary matters?  

  • Would you like help minimizing fiduciary risk in the boardroom and implementing best practices?

We are currently accepting new board member and board advisor appointments for the right organizations.


ESOP Advisory Services

With over three decades of ESOP fiduciary experience, we advise trustees and ESOP committees to develop prudent processes and best practice standards for company and plan oversight.


  • Do you have new trustees or ESOP committee members who would benefit from customized training to better define their roles, understand their duties and know their responsibilities?

  • Do you periodically review the performance of both internal and external fiduciaries, and if required, do you know the proper procedures and actions to replace fiduciaries?

  • Are you company with an ESOP or an ESOP Company? Perhaps you may be looking for the best ways to encourage and engage your employees in the ownership culture?

At Kaplan Fiduciary, we employ sophisticated strategies to best manage ESOPs with a single clear eye on implementing prudent practices in the best interests of the plan participants and beneficiaries.  At the same time, we seek to lessen fiduciary exposure to risk and liability and by implementing programs to encourage employee engagement and understanding of the benefits of the ownership culture, we complete the cycle of best practices for ESOPs.


Trust Company and Independent Fiduciary Advisory Services

Kaplan Fiduciary is uniquely qualified to review your professional ERISA fiduciary processes and procedures and provide significant insight into improving diligence practices and documentation. Given today's environment of extreme scrutiny by the regulators and the recent wave of plaintiff actions questioning your firm's collective judgment, we have the resources and knowledge to help mitigate your risk profile.

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Expert Witness Assignments

Kaplan Fiduciary has provided expert witness and testimony services on complex ESOP and 401(k) fiduciary matters.  Our experience includes supporting defendants in claims of breach of fiduciary duty as well as serving as fiduciary expert for an ESOP seeking a claim against prior plan fiduciaries.

Please contact us and find how our suite of services can benefit your organization.

Who We Work With

  • We primarily serve privately-owned company boards, management and plan committees in most industries and services.


  • We bring deep knowledge of the many fiduciary issues facing organization leadership and provide the solutions for each situation.

Do you have any questions? Send us a message today.

Get in Touch
Reaching a Deal

Professional Service Organizations

Kaplan Fiduciary Group has worked with many firms where their people are the greatest asset, and creativity is the product.   We are highly experienced in the formation of new ESOP companies, ongoing fiduciary and advisory appointments and have participated in the sale of ESOP-owned firms as well.  We frequently advised professional service organizations: 

  • architectural, engineering and construction firms

  • financial service companies

  • US Federal Agency service contractors

  • public relations, marketing and advertising.

Associations and Memberships

Kaplan Fiduciary Group is a thought-leading organization on governance and fiduciary responsibility topics wholly focused on employee-owned companies.   We are actively engaged with industry specialty education organizations and ESOP Community associations.

National Center for Employee Ownership

The NCEO is a nonprofit membership and research organization and serve as the leading source of unbiased information about employee ownership. NCEO is the main publisher and research source in the field, hold dozens of webinars and live meetings annually, and provide services to our thousands of employee-owned company members.


The ESOP Association

For over 43 years, The ESOP Association has successfully represented the interests of millions of Employee Owners and their companies in Washington, DC and state capitols across the nation.  The ability to form and operate an Employee Stock Ownership Plan is fundamentally rooted in the laws that were passed to allow their existence.  The ESOP Association’s Advocacy on public policy remains one of the most important services provided by the Association to our members.


Beyster Institute, UC San Diego - Rady School of Management

The Beyster Institute at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management works to advance the understanding and practice of employee ownership as an effective and responsible business model. Beyster
focuses on education, research and consulting to promote employee ownership and the creation of effective ownership cultures. Beyster serves companies interested in the employee ownership business strategy, business owners looking to transition out of their companies and professional advisers who want to better serve their clients by gaining employee ownership knowledge.


Private Directors Association

The Private Directors Association provides CEOs, Owners, and Board Members a forum to learn, discuss, and exchange insights on why and how to effectively use Advisory and other Boards.  Members are provided with experience based and other value-based educational content and networking opportunities

About Us

Howard L. Kaplan


Howard Kaplan has over 30 years in the trust and financial services industry and currently serves as a fiduciary consultant and board advisor to employee stock ownership plan (ESOPs) companies.

In addition, he has held various organizational and relationship management positions throughout his career applying procedural prudence in a fiduciary capacity and advising plan sponsors regarding their fiduciary obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Kaplan Fiduciary Group was founded in 2015 with a single mission: to improve financial outcomes for ESOPs and their participants.  

We approach each of our clients with fresh eyes and develop custom-made strategies. 

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