Bryan King Joins South Park Advisors

South Park Advisors, an independent business valuation firm with offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Rochester, New York is pleased to announce the addition of Bryan King as Managing Director of the firm. He brings a wealth of experience and diversity to us which will further enhance our knowledge base and service capabilities in the Carolinas and beyond.

Before joining South Park, Bryan was involved in the development of First Union National Bank's third-party business valuation practice, he was a founding member of Enterprise Value Consulting, LLC, a Charlotte-based business valuation firm, and most recently, employed as a Senior Manager in the Litigation Support and Valuation Group at GreerWalker LLP.

"I am excited to join as the latest addition to the South Park Advisors team. The firm's thoughtfulness, attention to detail and professionalism is a winning combination in the marketplace. By maintaining a focus on serving the needs of its clients, South Park believes that it benefits in more ways than just profits.”  says King.

Bryan is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers and holds the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) credential of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) as a non-CPA finance professional.

For more information, please visit or reach out to Bryan King at 704.817.2818.

At South Park Advisors, we believe there is no one-size-fits all approach to valuation, and every process is uniquely based on each business, sector and industry. We’ll approach your valuation with confidence, competency and industry-specific knowledge to ensure a credible and well-reasoned outcome.

Rob Hilton Joins South Park Advisors

South Park Advisors, an independent business valuation firm with offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Rochester, New York is pleased to announce the addition of Rob Hilton as Managing Director and co-owner of the firm. His substantial expertise in the implementation and administration of ESOPs will extend the firm’s service capabilities to trustees and business owners in both the Northeastern and Southeastern states. Rob frequently speaks at national and regional conferences on ESOPs, valuation, and exit planning.

"I am extremely honored to join the fast-growing South Park.  I believe that we share a common approach of providing excellent customer service and acting with the utmost integrity.”  says Hilton.

Prior to joining South Park, Rob spent 18 years of his career with one of the largest accounting firms and independent business valuation firms in the U.S. In addition to ESOPs, he has prepared hundreds of valuations in connection with estate and gift tax reporting, buy-sell agreements, recapitalizations, mergers and acquisitions, purchase price allocations, financial reporting and general corporate planning across a broad range of industries. Rob also has unique expertise in valuing covenant-not-to-compete and non-solicitation agreements.

Rob is an accredited senior appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers and a member of the National Center of Employee Ownership (NCEO). He currently serves as Executive Vice President of the New York/New Jersey Chapter of The ESOP Association.

For more information, please visit or reach out to Rob Hilton 585.473.3713 (Rochester) or Robert Snowden (Charlotte) 704.817.1584.

At South Park Advisors, we believe there is no one-size-fits all approach to valuation, and every process is uniquely based on each business, sector and industry. We’ll approach your valuation with confidence, competency and industry-specific knowledge to ensure a credible and well-reasoned outcome.

Section 2704 Proposed Valuation Regs. Identified by IRS As Overly Burdensome or Unduly Complex

It may come as no surprise to estate planners that the IRS has indicated that the §2704 proposed regulations are under review as overly burdensome and/or unduly complex. As explained in IRS Notice 2017-38, President Trump’s April 21, 2017 Executive Order 13789 directed the Treasury Secretary to reduce regulatory burdens by identifying any regulations issued after 2015 that:

1. impose undue financial burdens on taxpayers;

2. add “undue complexity” to federal tax laws;

3. exceed the IRS’s statutory authority.

The IRS’s initial (or interim) report identifying these regulations was due in June 2017. Notice 2017-38 reflects the interim report. Of the 105 post-2015 proposed, temporary, and final regulations the IRS had issued as of the date of the President’s Executive Order, the IRS found eight that it believes satisfy the criteria in either (1) or (2) above. Few in the estate planning community will be surprised to learn that the proposed §2704 valuation discount regulations are included in this group of eight. These regulations have been controversial since their issuance in August 2016, as evidenced by the thousands of comments the IRS received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (REG-163113-02). As described in Notice 2017-38:

Section 2704(b) of the Internal Revenue Code provides that certain non-commercial restrictions on the ability to dispose of or liquidate family-controlled entities should be disregarded in determining the fair market value of an interest in that entity for estate and gift tax purposes. These proposed regulations would create an additional category of restrictions that also would be disregarded in assessing the fair market value of an interest. Commenters expressed concern that the proposed regulations would eliminate or restrict common discounts, such as minority discounts and discounts for lack of marketability, which would result in increased valuations and transfer tax liability that would increase financial burdens. Commenters were also concerned that the proposed regulations would make valuations more difficult and that the proposed narrowing of existing regulatory exceptions was arbitrary and capricious.

The Notice provides us with an opportunity to weigh in on these regulations once again: The IRS requests comments by August 7, 2017 on whether the regulations should be rescinded or modified, and in the latter case, how they should be modified to reduce burdens and complexity.

Executive Order 13789 gives the IRS a deadline of September 18, 2017 to issue a final report recommending “specific actions to mitigate the burden imposed” by the regulations the IRS identified in Notice 2017-38. Practitioners should stay alert for further developments as it seems very doubtful that the proposed regulations will be finalized in their current form (if at all).

From Bloomberg BNA - Jul 8, 2017 / by

Rob Snowden Interviewed by The Value Examiner

In the September/October 2016 issue of The Value Examiner, Rob Snowden of South Park Advisors was interviewed about his experience as a sole practitioner in the business valuation industry. In the article, Rob discusses some of the trials and tribulations he faced during the first year, as well as the importance of establishing trust and competence with clients - "It's about more than just providing a business appraisal."

The complete article can be accessed at the follow link: Rob Snowden Interview.


South Park Advisors is an independent business valuation firm dedicated to serving the needs of closely held businesses. We believe there’s no one-size-fits all approach to valuation, and every process is uniquely based on each business, sector and industry. We’ll approach your appraisal with confidence, competency, and industry-specific knowledge to ensure a credible and well-reasoned outcome.

Judge Laro offers takeaways on litigating tax valuation cases

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A highlight at the 2015 AICPA forensic and valuation services conference in Las Vegas was “Valuation in Tax,” a panel in which several leading minds on taxation discussed hot topics in the valuation area. The star of the illustrious gathering was Judge David Laro. He offered thoughts on a range of issues, including tax affecting, USPAP, standard of value, discount for lack of marketability, concurrent witness testimony (aka “hot tubbing”), and more.

For example, in terms of the standard of value, Judge Laro reminded experts that one thing they can do to ensure their testimony is admissible is using the correct standard of value. It’s the fair market value, not the market value. In other words, the focus is on a hypothetical willing buyer and a hypothetical willing seller that engage in an arm’s-length transaction; the focus is not on actual sales data, he cautions. If an expert applies the wrong standard of value, he or she can be sure the Tax Court will disregard the valuation. Today’s Tax Court judges are very sophisticated when it comes to valuation, Judge Laro added.

To read more about his hot topics discussion, click here.

Business Appraisal Red Flags

On October 19, 2015, Theresa Melchiorre, chief counsel for the IRS, gave a presentation at the American Society of Appraisers' 2015 BV Conference, entitled "Appraisers and their Responsibilities : An IRS Perspective."  As part of the presentation, she discussed seven common reasons for auditing a business appraisal associated with a gift tax or estate tax return.

  1. The appraisal does not address the applicable Code and Regulations.
  2. The appraisal does not conform to generally accepted standards and procedures.
  3. The appraisal relies on unconventional analysis (i.e., not widely used or accepted).
  4. The analysis is not thorough, explained or consistent with the valuation conclusion.
  5. The conclusions are based on unsupported opinion and not facts.
  6. The assumptions made in the appraisal are not reasonable and supported by evidence.
  7. The appraisal is poorly written. It is not easy to follow, does not answer potential questions or does not lead to a reasonably supported value.

For many estate and gift tax attorneys (and their financial advisors), most of the following "red flags" will not be cause for surprise but should underscore the importance of issues that require continued professional oversight and appraisal expertise. Tax rules, regulations and compliance are constantly evolving. With South Park Advisors, you can be assured you’ll receive a professional business valuation that can withstand scrutiny and review.

Rob Snowden Appears on Chatting with the Experts

Paula Okonneh hosted Rob Snowden, managing director of South Park Advisors, on Chatting with the Experts, a show that interviews entrepreneurs about their successes and challenges. In the interview, Rob talks about what drove him to start South Park Advisors, his passion for business valuation and some of the latest research regarding the S-Corp/C-Corp valuation controversy.

You can listen to the podcast at Chatting with the Experts.

ESOP Legislative Update

Expansion of S ESOPs Recommended by Senate Finance Committee

Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment Releases Report on Findings

July 8, 2015 (Washington, DC) – The Senate Committee on Finance's Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment released a report on their findings for reforming the tax system. Recommendations include the expansion of gain-deferral provisions of Code section 1042 for S ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) and guaranteeing that small businesses with SBA certification do not lose their status when they become majority employee-owned companies.

"The ESOP Association and employee ownership community express strong support and appreciation that the major provisions in S. 1212, the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015, are recommended for inclusion in reforms that will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee," said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. "Including these provisions would open the door for the creation of more S corporations sponsoring employee ownership for average pay Americans."

S. 1212 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Small Business Act to expand the availability of ESOPs in S corporations in America.

Page 13 of the memo from the Savings & Investment Working Group, which is co-chaired by Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), states: "S Corporation Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or S-ESOPs, have a track record of providing retirement security for employee-owners of both small and large businesses. S. 1212, introduced by Senators Cardin and Roberts, contains several provisions to further encourage employee-ownership in S corporations, including extending the gain-deferral provisions of Code section 1042 to sales of employer stock to S-ESOPs, providing resources to small businesses contemplating making the transition to an ESOP, and ensuring that SBA-certified small businesses do not lose their status by becoming employee owned. The working group supports consideration of these bipartisan proposals; S. 1212 currently has 18 bipartisan cosponsors in addition to Senators Cardin and Roberts, including 9 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and two Independents."

Keeling concluded, "It's very encouraging to see continuous, bi-partisan support for expanding our capitalistic economic system. Our country's founding fathers noted that broad-based ownership of productive assets is essential to a working democracy."

In March 2015, The ESOP Association submitted comments on comprehensive tax reform to three of the Senate Committee on Finance's Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment. The Association specifically stated how ESOPs are in accord with the seven principles outlined by Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for comprehensive tax reform --- Economic Growth, Fairness, Simplicity, Permanence, Competitiveness, Promoting Savings and Investments, and Revenue Neutrality. Read the full statement on The ESOP Association's website:

The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website - and blog –

NCBA 36th Annual Estate Planning Program

Stop by for a visit!

South Park Advisors is pleased to announce its participation in the North Carolina Bar Association's 36th Annual Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Program to be held at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort from July 30 to August 1.

Please stop by for a visit and let us provide our perspective on the latest trends affecting business valuation in the estate planning arena. 

Anticipating New Regs Under IRC §2704

Definition of applicable restriction for valuation purposes may be expanded.

Wealth has just released an article written by Jonathan and Matthew Blattmachr that discusses the impact of anticipated regulatory changes to IRC Section 2704(b). To combat end runs around this section of the Code, legislation has been proposed that would create an additional category of restrictions (disregarded restrictions) that would be ignored in valuing an interests in a family-controlled entity transferred to a member of the family if, after the transfer, the restriction will lapse or may be removed by the transferor and/or transferor's family. For more information, you can view the complete article at: