First Bankers is a Leading Provider of ESOP Fiduciary Services

First Bankers is a nationally recognized provider of specialized fiduciary services. First Bankers is headquartered in Quincy, Illinois with offices throughout the United States. First Bankers provided its first ESOP trust services in 1989 and today represents more than 60,000 plan participants in over 180 employee-owned companies across the nation.

Our Services

First Bankers helps ensure that the plan is operating in accordance with plan provisions and applicable federal regulations.

Services include:

  • Annual valuation of company stock held in the ESOP
  • Selecting, engaging, and monitoring plan advisors
  • Voting company stock
  • Monitoring plan compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • Evaluating and executing ESOP purchase and sale transactions
  • Administering ESOP loans, employer contributions, and plan assets
  • Completing participant distributions and tax reporting for retirees and terminated employees

To meet our clients’ needs, we serve in three different capacities, including:

  • Directed Trustee – The plan sponsor directs First Bankers on certain fiduciary matters.
  • Discretionary Trustee – First Bankers acts in a discretionary capacity on all fiduciary matters involving the plan.
  • Custodian – First Bankers holds the assets of the trust and makes distributions as directed by the plan sponsor.

Key Contacts

First Bankers is dedicated to providing the highest quality fiduciary services in the country. Our dedicated and nationally regarded team of professionals focuses on the specialized and unique fiduciary and administrative needs of our ESOP clients. With deep competencies in the legal, regulatory, and financial requirements governing ESOPs, we are uniquely positioned to provide customized fiduciary and administrative solutions for ESOP plan sponsors, participants, and beneficiaries.

Dawn Goestenkors – Executive Vice President

Quincy Office

Dawn brings vast experience and knowledge gained from more than 10 years in trustee services for employee stock ownership and qualified retirement plans. Dawn’s past work experience includes commercial credit underwriting and lending. She has a concentration in plan administration and DOL regulatory issues, as well as deep ESOP transactional experience. Dawn is a member of The ESOP Association, Employee Owned S‐Corporation of America (ESCA), the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and frequently speaks on trustee and fiduciary topics. Dawn joined First Bankers in 2007.
BS Finance, Quincy University, MBA Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

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Merri Ash – Senior Vice President

Philadelphia Office

Merri has over 40 years experience in Employee Benefits services. Her past experience includes work as a Senior Trust Officer with SunTrust Bank, Employee Benefits Consultant with Wyatt Company, Benefits Manager with Jonathon Corporation, an ESOP company, and Team Leader and Senior Benefits Consultant with the National Automobile Dealers Association. She is a past chairperson for the Administrative Advisory Committee of The ESOP Association, current Board of Governors member for The ESOP Association, and current Board of Trustees member for The Employee Ownership Foundation. Merri has been with First Bankers since 2002.

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Frank “Chip” Brown CFA, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA – Senior Vice President

Atlanta Office

BS Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, MS Accounting, Virginia. Chip’s past work experience includes providing valuation and transaction financial advisory services as a managing director for a national valuation firm where he served as the firm’s ESOP practice leader. These services included fairness opinions, solvency opinions, fair market valuations, and other financial advisory opinions to various parties, including ESOP fiduciaries. Chip has served an expert witness in state and federal court on a variety of matters pertaining to valuation and economic damages. He is an active member of The ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership. He has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and presentations related to ESOPs.

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