Photo of Joseph K. Urwitz

Joseph (Joe) K. Urwitz focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary matters. He advises clients on a wide range of issues, including fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions, employee benefit matters arising in mergers and acquisitions, benefits issues unique to nonprofit entities, deferred compensation arrangements, equity award and bonus plan design, employment and severance arrangements, and qualified plan work. Read Joe Urwitz's full bio.

McDermott Will & Emery has released the latest Focus on Private Equity, which provides insight on issues surrounding private equity transactions and the investment life cycle across industries. Articles in this issue include:

What Private Equity Funds Should Know about ERISA
Managers of private equity funds who are responsible for investing the assets of a fund that holds plan assets are likely to be considered a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). ERISA imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries, and those who fail to meet ERISA’s standards may be personally liable to restore plan losses, disgorge profits made through the use of plan assets, and pay additional statutory penalties imposed by the Department of Labor. The fiduciary may also face criminal penalties if found guilty of wilful failure. It is therefore vitally important that fiduciaries are fully aware of all their duties under ERISA.
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Fiduciary Risks Involved in Transferring Assets from a Seller’s 401(k) Plan to the Buyer’s Plan
In transactions where the buyer agrees to cause its 401(k) plan to accept a transfer of assets from the seller’s 401(k) plan, and the seller’s plan contains employer stock as an investment, the buyer needs to be aware of fiduciary concerns that may arise under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended. A recent decision means buyer 401(k) plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries must now engage in a process that separates fiduciary from non-fiduciary acts and carefully follows established procedures for implementing any required divestitures of former employer stock.
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