Eugene DeVilliers 16 FinTech Firmof the Year
Global Awards2022 FM Welcome to the 2022 edition of the Finance Monthly Global Awards. Every year, Finance Monthly has the privilege of recognising the achievements of the most ambitious and high-achieving in the financial services sphere. At a time when market uncertainty and the spectre of widespread recession dominate, it is these leaders who have gone above and beyond to steer their organisations through challenges and deliver true value to their clients. The winners of these awards are selected through a combination of industry research and voting data. Our team has worked to pinpoint the most impressive talents from a broad range of sectors and geographical regions, ensuring that they truly represent the leading minds of finance today. Featured among this year’s winners are the likes of Eugene de Villiers, Nick Cantrell and Christine Nicholson. In a series of exclusive interviews, these pioneers in the sector discuss their career development to date and what may be on the horizon for financial services the world over. We at Finance Monthly are proud to present this special publication. Congratulations to all of our winners and finalists. Congratulations to our winners! Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Introduction
Introducing the Winners... Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 6 www.finance-monthly.com Global Awards2022 FM
EUROPE Czech Republic HAVEL & PARTNERS HAVEL & PARTNERS Tax Advisory Firm of the Year Denmark Steen Amby International Credit Brokers Alliance Credit Brokerage Adviser of the Year France Olivier Dupin Ares & Co Management Consulting Adviser of the Year 47 Germany Thomas Paul Böker&Paul AG Financial Planning Adviser of the Year Arndt Gossmann DGTAL AG Liability Management Solutions Company of the Year Fritz Esterer WTS Germany Tax Adviser of the Year 48 Alexander Sperber SPERBER Steuerberater Tax Advisory Firm of the Year Hungary Guy Libot K&H Bank Banking & Financial Services Adviser of the Year 50 Ireland Grace Burke Amundi International Investment Funds Adviser of the Year Joe Thompson Joe Thompson Tax Advisors Specialist Tax Adviser of the Year Italy Luca Spazzadeschi LABS Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year 52 Luca Zanin Prometeia Economics Expert of the Year Parva Consulting Parva Consulting Financial Services Consulting Company of the Year Katiuscia Baggio Improvise and Succeed Academy Personal Coach of the Year Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 7 www.finance-monthly.com Eugene DeVilliers 16 FinTech Firm of the Year Tenacity Financial Services F E A T U R E D W I N N E R
Latvia Laura Kunstberga LK Life and Business Coaching Organizational Leadership Development Coach of the Year Luxembourg Nicola Alvaro Generali Luxembourg S.A. Tax Adviser of the Year Netherlands Robbert Geluk CreditDevice Credit Management Adviser of the Year Eloy Rietveld B4Y Services Insurance Software & Consulting Company of the Year Karin van Baardwijk Robeco Investments Adviser of the Year 54 Poland Sylwia Raczynska Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) Restructuring & Turnaround 56 Management Adviser of the Year Spain Gonzalo Gortázar CaixaBank Banking & Financial Services Adviser of the Year 58 Switzerland Katia Gutknecht LINK KCG Method Management Consulting Firm of the Year Maurice Ephrati Bedrock Group Asset Management Leader of the Year 60 Afsheen Ismail-Wey The Phoenix Coaching Co. Leadership Coaching Adviser of the Year Turkey Prof. Dr. Betül Saf BESTPRO Academy Organizational Leadership Development Coach of the Year United Kingdom Phil Woodward Leumi ABL Asset Based Lender of the Year Colin Tansley Enquiries Intelect Asset Tracing Expert of the Year Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 8 www.finance-monthly.com RyanClark 22 USA’s Leading Mergers & Acquisitions Expert The Veld Group F E A T U R E D W I N N E R
Susanna Reay Susanna Reay Business Mentor of the Year Christine Nicholson Nicholson Hall Consulting Ltd Business Mentoring Adviser of the Year 62 Adriana Woronkowicz The Wings Coaching & Consulting Ltd Executive & Corporate Coach of the Year Simon Tyler Simon Tyler Coaching Executive Coaching Expert of the Year 36 Gayle Butterworth Bulk Tainer Logistics Ltd Finance Director of the Year 64 Jean-Dominique Puccinelli Marsham Investment Management LLP Fund Management Advisory Firm of the Year Alexandra Vind Chapter House Wealth Management Inheritance Tax Adviser of the Year Luke Ellis Man Group Investments Adviser of the Year 61 Adrian Ashton Adrian Ashton Management Consulting Firm of the Year Phil Hearn MRDC Software Market Research Firm of the Year Rachael Hall Sandringham Medical Pension Advisory Company of the Year Donna Powell HCA Healthcare UK Private Healthcare Tax Adviser of the Year Rachael Hall SEVEN STAGES Ltd Private Wealth Management Advisory Firm of the Year Patrick Granby Pinsa Wealth Ltd Savings & Investments Adviser of the Year Kain Ramsay Kain Ramsay Ltd. Self-Awareness Training Adviser of the Year David Collins NMT Tax Limited Tax Adviser of the Year Raju Gajurel UK Property Accountants Tax Planning Adviser of the Year 66 Martin Holden MJH Tax Consultants Tax Planning Advisory Firm of the Year Sarah Williams The Walt Disney Company Limited Tax Team of the Year Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 9 www.finance-monthly.com Marc Kramer 28 Family Business Coach & Business Planning Expert of the Year Stress Free Family Business F E A T U R E D W I N N E R NickCantrell 32 Sustainable and Responsible Investment Adviser of the Year Green Future Wealth Management F E A T U R E D W I N N E R
AMERICAS Argentina Fabián Kon Grupo Financiero Galicia Financial Services Adviser of the Year 70 Brazil Erika Constantino MANDATTO Family Office Estate Planning Adviser of the Year Corrado Varoli G5 Partners Financial Advisory Leader of the Year 72 Canada Winnie Tong Focus Asset Management Asset planning Advisory Firm of the Year Ahmed Naciri UQAM Economic & Fiscal Studies Adviser of the Year 74 Emeka Udeagha IG Private Wealth Management Financial Planning Adviser of the Year Mike Waller Waller Financial Financial Planning Company of the Year Douglas C. Brown Newport Private Wealth, Inc. Wealth Management Adviser of the Year 76 Columbia Andres Mauricio Duran Preciado Grupo Bancolombia Capital Wealth Management Adviser of the Year Mexico Ernesto Aguilar Navarro Honda de México, S.A. de C. V Strategic Planning Adviser of the Year 78 USA Aida Stocking Miami-Dade County Office of Appraisal Adviser of the Year 38 the Property Appraiser Stephanie Roemer Roemer Consulting Group DEI Coaching Firm of the Year Magdalena Gomes Kaleso Estate Planning Adviser of the Year 80 Marc Kramer Stress Free Family Business Family Business Coach & Business 28 Planning Expert of the Year Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 10 www.finance-monthly.com SimonTyler 36 Executive Coaching Expert of the Year Simon Tyler Coaching F E A T U R E D W I N N E R
David Warren Bridgeford Trust Company Fiduciary & Trustee Services Adviser of the Year 83 Paul Share Riveron Financial Advisory Firm of the Year Howard Lashner Primerica Mortgage, LLC Financial Planning Leader of the Year 84 Shane Yonston Impact Investors Impact Investing Expert of the Year Trish Perry Harmonize Coaching Individual Coaching Expert of the Year Robert Paulson Robert Paulson Coach International Executive Coach of the Year Kristy Busija Next Conversation Coaching Life and Business Coaching Firm of the Year Bryan Johnson Private Wealth Asset Management Private Wealth Management Firm of the Year Gary Pickens United Properties Southwest, LLC Real Estate Adviser of the Year Jamie Vogel Vogitt Appraisal Real Estate Appraiser of the Year Rob Matney Howard HannaReal Estate Services Real Estate Agent of the Year 85 Brian Iversen Iversen Law Real Estate Lawyer of the Year Nancy Batchelor Nancy Batchelor Realtor of the Year Noelle Tietz Realty Rents and Sales, LLC Realty Agency of the Year Michael Grainey Michael W. Grainey Consulting LLC Renewable Energy Adviser of the Year 86 Nick Cantrell Green Future Wealth Management Sustainable and Responsible 32 Investment Adviser of the Year Afsaneh Beschloss RockCreek Group Sustainable Investments Adviser of the Year 88 Ryan Clark The Veld Group USA’s Leading Mergers & Acquisitions Expert 22 Catherine Kruse Hauk Kruse & Associates USAs Leading Business Planning Experts ASIA China Eric Xiandong Jing Ant Group Fintech Adviser of the Year 93 Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 11 www.finance-monthly.com Aida Stocking 38 Appraisal Adviser of the Year ASA, SRA, CFE F E A T U R E D W I N N E R
Hong Kong Barrie Ho BARRIE HO Architecture Interiors Ltd Architectural Design Firm of the Year India Soumya Rajan Waterfield Advisors Wealth Management Adviser of the Year 94 Israel Lara Levin Lara Levin Coaching Leader of the Year 96 Malaysia Samantha Tai Boardroom Corporate Services Accounting Adviser of the Year 97 Qatar Haithem Katerji Al Rayan Investment Investments Adviser of the Year 98 Saudi Arabia Tariq Al-Sudairy Jadwa Investment Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year 100 Singapore Keith Han Oon & Bazul LLP Insolvency Adviser of the Year United Arab Emirates Seven Insurance Brokers Seven Insurance Brokers Financial Advisory Firm of the Year 40 Paul Baker Paul Baker Financial Planner Retirement Planning Adviser of the Year 40 Vietnam Adon Beddoes Infinity Solutions Retirement Planning Adviser of the Year Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 12 www.finance-monthly.com Paul Baker 40 Retirement Planning Adviser of the Year Financial Planner F E A T U R E D W I N N E R
AFRICA Nigeria MiriamChidiebele Olusanya Guaranty Trust Bank Limited Banking Leader of the Year 104 South Africa Americo Carneiro MOORE Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year Mbuso Mabuza Mbuso Mabuza Financial Planning Adviser of the Year Wilma Jordaan Eminent Wealth Pty Ltd Financial Planning Advisory Firm of the Year Etienne de Waal PSG Wealth Financial Services Adviser of the Year 105 Koko Khumalo Motlanalo Chartered Accountants Financial Regulation & Digital 106 & Auditors Inc. Transformation Adviser of the Year Eugene De Villiers Tenacity Inc FinTech Firm of the Year 16 Hubert Sherratt Financial Junction Investments Leading Expert within Investment Services Molly Kain Mentor Coaching Mentor Coaching Company of the Year Michiel du Toit JWE-Corp South Africa’s Leading Financial Planning Expert Gisela Pieterse EY South Africa Tax Adviser of the Year 42 AUSTRALASIA Australia Marianne Bateup Abilitise Pty Ltd Leadership Coaching Firm of the Year Stacey Ashley Stacey Ashley Leadership Expert Professional Coaching Adviser of the Year Will Hamilton Hamilton Wealth Management Wealth Management Adviser of the Year Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 Index 13 www.finance-monthly.com Gisela Pieterse 42 Tax Adviser of the Year EY South Africa F E A T U R E D W I N N E R
Featured Winners Eugene De Villiers Tenacity Financial Services Ryan Clark Veld Mergers and Acquisitions Nick Cantrell Green Future Wealth Management Marc Kramer Stress Free Family Business Simon Tyler Speaker | Coach | Author Aida Stocking ASA, SRA, CFE Paul Baker Seven Insurance Brokers Gisela Pieterse EY 16 22 28 32 36 38 40 42
16 FinTech Firmof the Year
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 South Africa 17 www.finance-monthly.com About EugenedeVilliers “After leaving school, I started my career in retail, working as a sales assistant in the Edgars chain while studying parttime. I was recognised and fast-tracked on a management development path and managed a store by the age of 21. After completing my degree, I moved into the Edcon Centralised credit head office before being chosen to start a regional bank’s credit card division (Boland Bank). The bank’s most notable achievements during my tenure were achieving notoriety for acquiring the largest food retailer and representing 12% of the national acquiring market. We also founded the second retail in-store credit card in the country – that being Ackermans, who are part of the Pepkor Group. This is where my journey with the Pepkor group started, back in 1995. After a stint with RCS (now part of BNP Paribas), where I set up the only non-branded credit card in the country, I moved back to retail at Pepkor, where I set up Tenacity Financial Services. We serve all the CFH (clothing, footwear and home) retailers in the group. Pepkor is the largest CFH retailer in South Africa. Our CFH brands include Ackermans, Pep Stores, Shoe City, Tekkie Town, Refinery and Dunns. As previously mentioned, I studied part-time to achieve my Bachelor's degree in Commerce, but learning cannot stop there. Through the years, I have continued my formal education through Oxford Business School, Stanford and MIT, but I ammost proud of recently completing my Master’s degree in the Business of Fashion through LIM College in New York. This was a two-year journey, requiring time sacrifices every evening and early rising over weekends and holidays to ensure I stayed on top of things and met all the deadlines. Being awarded my Masters with Honours was the culmination of the dedication and passion that I put into my studies. I believe in always keeping busy, so if I am not working or studying, I love to read, walk (trail-walking), cook, or spend time with my photography. In a highly structured financial working environment, I believe creativity needs to be nurtured. Of my hobbies, cooking is my great passion, followed shortly by photography, where I concentrate on wildlife. I spend time in the bush as often as time permits and am particularly fond of Phinda in Northern Natal and Kenya.” CEO | Tenacity Financial Services Eugene DeVilliers Inahighly structured financial working environment, I believe creativity needs tobe nurtured.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 South Africa 18 www.finance-monthly.com Howhaveyou seenTenacitygrow anddevelopsince its foundingas a subsidiaryof thePepkorGroup in 2007? What began in June 2007 with a small team and a vision to help retailers grow customer loyalty and improve relationships with their credit customers has grown in leaps and bounds. We have increased our initial debtors’ book from R15 million in the early days to R3.5 billion, grown our turnover to R4.5 billion, and today we serve over 1.5 million customers at six retailers across four countries! Indeed, we have become one of the Pepkor Group’s best-performing companies. All of our cards carry the A+ logo on them, which indicates interoperability at all our stores. The retailers generally refer to their in-store card as an ‘APlus’ card. The past 15 years have been an exciting journey, and while I am extremely pleased about what we have achieved to date, it is the people who made this journey possible that I ammost proud of. None of our successes would have been realised without the hard work, commitment, passion, perseverance and tenacity of the people that make up our organisation. Inwhatways has this growth enhanced the skills andcareer development of yourself andyour team? As the company has grown, we have increased the management team from the original three founding members to an executive of eight, managing the in-store credit portfolio, as well as managing a personal loans business (Capfin), extending loans to our retail clients. The executive team have been at the organisation for over seven years and have grown tremendously in that time. Some of the team have changed portfolios while remaining part of the executive, a testament to their versatility and cross-organisational strength. Tenacity has proved a valuable asset to Pepkor, which opened the opportunity to house the personal lending business with the team and allowed us to grow in the payment and lending space within Pepkor. How isTenacity’sworkwithcredit programs helping toenhance financial services throughout Africa? We believe in an inclusive credit approach. For many South Africans, their in-store credit card is their first entry into the credit market. We are conservative in our approach but believe in supporting our customers to build a credit record for themselves and make the unaffordable affordable. We operate in the lower LSM market and believe in a ‘low-to-grow’ strategy, meaning that where we are uncertain of the risk of a client, we
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 South Africa 19 www.finance-monthly.com will allow a small limit – and then, based on a proven payment record, allow limit increases over time that meet both the company risk profile and the customer's affordability situation. Since the APlus card supports sales in our retailers, it is in our interest to keep customers current on their accounts and support them should they fall into arrears. We believe that we help customers to build a solid credit record that will stand them in good stead one day when they may require further credit, such as home loans and vehicle finance (neither of which we provide). Doyouhaveanymajor projects in thepipeline that youareable to sharewithus? We have just launched our in-store card into the largest of our retail partners, Pep Stores. We will launch our BNPL product (PayD’Lay) into our eCommerce space early in 2023. As is the case in many countries, the BNPL phenomenon has taken root in South Africa as well. We believe that many younger clients see this as a means to enter the credit space with small transactions that are paid off in short amounts of time and, in so doing, do not land in a debt trap. We also believe that the younger clients form the future in-store clients, and we need to maintain our relationship with them. What excites youmost about your role? The two most fulfilling aspects of my role are, firstly, providing responsible, affordable products to our client base in the retail service, helping them to live their lives with dignity and respect. You may not know that each January, when schools are about to return, more than half the purchases on our cards are for schoolwear. The second area is working with an amazing team of people. Many of us have been in this company for more than 10 years, and more than half of us have been here for more than five years. In fact, three of my colleagues have been at the company from the day I started it. Seeing staff grow, learn and become fulfilled is very rewarding.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 South Africa 20 www.finance-monthly.com What drives you toachieve the best possible results for your clients? The Group CEO of Pepkor, Pieter Erasmus, has always taught us that before we tackle any initiative, we should ask ourselves: What problem of my customer are you solving? This approach keeps us on an even keel while we direct the organisation with the following values: respect, accountability, and passion. Maintaining our client relationships through all their life stages is something that we are very proud of. Canyou tell usmoreaboutwhat you like to read? I am an avid reader and constantly have two to three books on the go at any point in time. I read philosophy, psychology, business, management, fiction and fantasy. I believe that forming your own opinion on any subject requires consultation across a broad spectrum, and to remain creative in life and work, you need to exercise the creative part of your brain – hence the fantasy. The business author that I most relate to is Tony Manning. He is forthright, insightful, brief, to the point, and very smart. Inbrief, canyoudescribe Tenacity’sproject initiation methodology? Tenacity has been established for some time now, but we approach development with a typical fintech start-up mentality. We identify a group of dedicated resources and we dress a room for them to all sit in together, filled with foosball machines and bean bags, coffee makers and ‘open fridges’ and allow the team to gel, chill and develop together. The big differentiator is that once we have the product developed, we can integrate it into a well-oiled and well-run operation with sufficient clients to offer it to. This is where many start-ups fail; they have good ideas and even good development, but they fail to operationalise or have no clients to offer their great idea or product to. Doyouhaveacreedor philosophy thatmotivates yourwork? Keep it simple, take responsibility, retain the customer as frontand-centre and execute with passion. This philosophy is inherent in our values, our general approach to business and problemsolving, and the way we deal with each other. In a working environment, we often spend more hours with work colleagues than with family, so the work environment and reward structure need to be nurturing without losing focus on the goals and, ultimately, the customer. Is thereaparticular career accomplishment that youaremost proudof havingachieved? I believe that every day is an achievement, but the two milestones that really stand out for me are starting a credit card
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 South Africa 21 www.finance-monthly.com division of a bank at 28 and fulfilling my ambition of starting a retail payment and lending company (Tenacity) while returning to the retail industry. I have always loved the retail world, but found myself on the financial side in my career path. So being able to combine my love of fashion with my banking experience and business drive has culminated in the formation of Tenacity. What does this awardmean to you? We all like to receive recognition when we do things well. I have worked for many years and feel fulfilled in my life and career choices. I do not work for awards; I am driven to serve our customers, staff and shareholders. But in doing that, one can be recognised for their dedication, and it really means a lot. Eugene de Villiers CEO, Tenacity Financial Services Tel: +27 (0)21 928 1001 | +27 (0)82 801 9038 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tenacityinc.co.za
22 USA's Leading Mergers & Acquisitions Expert
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 23 www.finance-monthly.com About RyanClark Ryan Clark is an entrepreneur, former world-class athlete and Director at Veld Mergers and Acquisitions, who is responsible for leading initial interviews and subsequent client engagements. He works with all parties to guide them through the transaction process, and is one of the most prolific intermediaries in the nation when it comes to transactions in the lower middle market. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Finance at The University of Nevada, Ryan joined Citigroup as a Senior Financial Planner for high net worth individuals and gained considerable experience in corporate retirement planning, investment management, insurance and estate planning. In the late 1990s he relocated from Las Vegas to Southern California to establish the US sales force for a multinational sales organization, and in 2003 he joined his childhood friends in launching The Veld Group. Since its founding, and due in large part to Ryan’s contributions, The Veld Group and Veld Mergers and Acquisitions has completed over 350 formal and 5,000+ informal business valuations and orchestrated over 1,000 sell-side transactions with an 80%+ success rate versus the 30% industry standard. Since entering the industry in 2003, Ryan has regularly orchestrated 30-40 transactions per year. While many of these sales are in the under $5 million range and do not strictly qualify as M&A deals, Ryan makes up for this in sheer volume and activity of these and larger deals. In fact, he consistently finds himself engaged in simultaneously managing 10 or more signed transactions at any given time! Ryan readily admits that he is only able to accomplish this because of the 20 years of experience he has gained through orchestrating transactions of all sizes. “Without having completed as many smaller sales, I never would have developed the skills or gained the experience necessary to juggle as many larger or more complex transaction at once. Selling a small company can be more challenging than a larger one. In most smaller transactions there are fewer buyers with less capital, and owner expectations and personality can play an even greater role. Having spent so much time in the dealmaking trenches managing and completing a diversity of transactions of all sizes and across all industries is how I’ve honed my skills and learned where my sweet spot is.” “We consciously choose to focus on businesses doing between $1 ml - $5 ml in EBITDA for a reason. It is because these are the owners that I can provide the most value to and that can most benefit from my expertise,” says Ryan. He explains that businesses in this income range, which usually translates to less than $20 million in enterprise value, are in ‘No Man’s Land’ when it comes to the marketplace. These firms are clearly too small for the blue-chip middle-market intermediaries to work with but far too large and complex for main street brokerage firms. Ryan considers this No Man’s Land segment to present greater challenges, but after manufacturing over 600 transactions himself he knows precisely how to navigate the intricacies of deals in this size range. “Companies doing $1-5 million in EBITDA have much more in common with a smaller business sale than they do with investment banker-backed deals,” he says. “Many of our clients first went to a larger boutique banker they perceived to be more prestigious and assumed that they were better suited to manage their sale. After a few false starts or broken processes, they returned once they realised that working with a specialist in their exact size range was more appropriate. Several of the techniques applied in larger sales are not applicable to this size offering or buyer pool.” Ryan is a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) with the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors and a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) with the Exit Planning Institute. He is also highly active in ProVisors, a community for professional trusted advisors, where he serves on his chapter’s Executive Committee. Director | Veld Mergers and Acquisitions Ryan Clark
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 24 www.finance-monthly.com What hasbeen thegreatest driver of VeldM&A's success? Our comprehensive knowledge base, ability to overcome the variety of obstacles we encounter, and dedication to delivering on our client’s ultimate goal. Howhaveyou seenyour own skills developduring this time? Over the past couple of years, uncertainty has influenced the marketplace unlike any time in recent history. By drawing from a depth of wisdom gained from real transactional experience, my dealmaking creativity has expanded exponentially. In order to create a win-win situation where all sides are satisfied has forced me to dig deep into my toolbox to find solutions and chart a clear path forward. Inanutshell, howwouldyou describeyour firm'smission? To manufacture situations, deliver value for clients and capitalize on our experience to create the outcome they desire. Canyou shareanythingabout the company'splans for 2023? We are continuing to formalise and systematise the method we have developed over the past 20 years, so we can offer it with greater ease to even more clients at scale. It will provide them additional value and the resources to progress at their own pace and gain a clearer understanding of all of the exit options and future opportunities available. Myobjective is to create anatmosphere where all sideswork together toward the commongoal.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 25 www.finance-monthly.com Howdidyouget started in the industry? Our core team is comprised of three M&A professionals who have been best friends since 1986. Each of us went our own way after high school, developed different skill sets and gained our own experience. We then came together and set out to have the largest positive impact we could on SMEs. We first engaged in consulting services and gained a lot of traction doing business valuations. We then discovered that the clients that needed valuations in order to sell their companies did not ultimately transact when they went to market. If they did, they traded for less than we felt they should have. After completing an industry study, we discovered an unmet market need. There was no shortage of qualified intermediaries for larger companies, but the marketplace for smaller companies was extraordinarily fragmented and abilities varied dramatically. We set out to create a more efficient system. Rather than hiring externally, we developed all of our methods in-house and have achieved remarkable results in terms of productivity. While the industry success rates stand at 30-33%, ours is just over 80%. Atwhat point of adeal doyou derive themost satisfaction? My objective is to create an atmosphere where all sides work together toward a common goal. I genuinely enjoy finding that middle ground so when the agreement is signed, both sides feel satisfied. When you can accomplish this, the path to the ultimate goal will feel less like a competition and more like a collaborative team effort. We only engage in sell-side representation, so I am always putting my clients first, but at the end of the day no deal will begin or close until the parties reach an agreement that they are comfortable with. What about theprocessdoyou like the least? If bringing the parties together to achieve an outcome that both deal teams are comfortable with provides satisfaction, then managing the whirlwind of emotions that will present themselves throughout the process is the least enjoyable. They say that every deal dies three deaths before closing. I can attest to that. Each is an emotional rollercoaster for our clients and the buyers. I play psychologist as much as business advisor. Fortunately, I feel that I was made for it. I am a middle child with four siblings, so I grew up figuring out how to maintain the peace. When a transaction finally closes and all parties are satisfied it is all worth it, but the long that road between getting a signed Letter of Intent (LOI) and closing should never be discounted. That is where deals are lost and often defines the difference between seasoned versus newer intermediaries. What drives you? I am a natural helper and I genuinely enjoy assisting the most vulnerable or those in need. I find that my clients are not typically familiar with the sales process. Most have never bought a business, let alone sold one. Since this is likely their largest asset, the sale proceeds are critical to meet their retirement needs. Buyers on the other hand are serial entrepreneurs. Many have bought several companies, and in the case of private equity they are literally professional buyers. This creates significant asymmetry between buyers and sellers, so it is where I can provide clients the largest added value. The knowledge gap is not as large when working with smaller companies, since the buyers tend to have a similar background or experience level. It is in the $5-20 million range that the chasm is the greatest and multiple parties and measures are required to bridge the differing levels of sophistication. Because there is more money at stake, business sellers face more risk than ever. At the same time, there are far fewer intermediaries that specialise in navigating transactions in this size range, so expertise is rare precisely where it is the most critical. In a $100 million+ deal, the key executives and Board of Directors can manage a sale with seasoned internal and external attorneys and accountants. These resources are scarcer for clients in ‘No Man’s Land’.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 26 www.finance-monthly.com What is apieceof advicewouldyou giveapotential seller? A piece of advice I would provide every owner is to ‘know thyself’. The number one deal killer is having a seller with unrealistic expectations. When we engage a seller and learn more about their company it is hard not to see it through the eyes of the marketplace. Our perspective allows us to gauge the concerns a buyer will have, whether justified or not. If a seller does not head our advice they may go to market with an unrealistic price expectation, which may thwart any chance of selling. The same holds true for deal terms, structure and timing expectations. Until we are on the same page with respect to value range we are just treading water, or worse, potentially adversely impacting value. Leverage plays a significant role in any negotiation. If a seller does not know exactly what they have, they will never correctly appreciate how much or how little leverage they can exercise. What is your ‘secret sauce’? I really think the ‘secret sauce’ is my commitment to our craft. I have invested over a hundred thousand hours in an attempt to master the art and science of this industry. This has allowed me to develop the ability to manage human beings through a long, emotional and complex transaction process. In 2003, we began selling consulting services and business valuations. When we entered the brokerage marketplace at 30, we had to figure out how to compete with large main street franchise business brokerages on the one hand and seasoned investment bankers on the other hand. We had to figure out how to build a better mousetrap. We developed a highly efficient system for screening sellers, qualifying buyers, preparing companies for sale, marketing them and ultimately guiding all parties through a surprisingly long multi-disciplinary process. In the beginning we needed a system to be competitive and to survive. That system has now allowed us to thrive. We were also able to leverage one another’s strengths and experience in order to operate at scale through the efficiencies our internal familylike relationships provide. Another key to successful dealmaking that is often overlooked is the deal team. This may include a client’s legacy advisors such as their attorney and accountant, but we typically also introduce any number of new advisors as appropriate. These may include financial, wealth and insurance professionals or several more. No one party knows every aspect of each client’s personal and business life, but the two naturally intersect in a sale. Sometimes ‘it takes a village’ to achieve the desired outcome. I am highly active in cultivating relationships with complementary professional advisors. Just like no surgeon would enter the operating room alone, I am sure to have those Ryan Clark Veld Mergers & Acquisitions 1 Park Plaza, 600 Irvine, CA 92614 www.VeldMA.com Thedeal teamiskey. Sometimes ‘it takes a village’ toachieve the desiredoutcome.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 27 www.finance-monthly.com Whileyou represent business owners, doyouhaveany advice for businessbuyers? From your or your counsel’s initial contact to subsequent discussions, it does not benefit you to be coy as to what you are looking for or what your financial and other abilities are. Information that you share with us will not be used against you. Quite the contrary, it will provide me valuable insight into the opportunities I should share at that time and in the future. That is how buyers can truly gain access to gems that will otherwise remain off their radar. Also, while a company’s past and its historical performance are always critical to understand, buyers should not lose sight of the company’s future. After all, that is what you are acquiring. I see deals go south because a buyer cannot reconcile all aspects of the past, despite it having no bearing on the future. In those rare instances where deals may take a turn, it is often because an analytical buyer is missing the big picture during diligence. Finally, a strong seller relationship goes a very long way to ensuring future success. It is shortsighted for buyers to jeopardise this during the deal process. Buyers often feel they have the leverage to try to exact unreasonably concessions out of a seller at the end of a transaction. This is always a mistake in the long-run. “There is a reason why we have large windshields in our cars, but small rearview mirrors. It is so we can focus on what is ahead, not what was behind us.” parties necessary for each transaction included as well as those that may be necessary should anything go awry. I genuinely enjoy also being a resource to them and their clients. These relationships are critical and last beyond any given deal. This a key facet of a successful practice that most do not appreciate. Doyouhaveany favourite tricks toclose somany transactionsor maintain suchahigh ratio? I don’t think there are many “tricks” per se, as everyone will know that they are just that. The intermediary must be genuine with all parties at all times, or trust and confidence – which is everything – will be lost. Without maintaining your integrity, you cannot have a long-term career in this industry. One piece of advice that I share with all intermediaries is to always maintain a strong stable of buyers to keep everyone honest, motivated and to maintain deal momentum. We represent sellers, but having the ability to pick up the phone and call any number of buyers that may be suitable for a new client’s company is gold. We have over 30,000 executed NDA and Buyer Profiles on file. Since we have these contacts’ search criteria, financial ability, and notes on our prior interactions captured in our CRM, I can pick up the phone and reach a dozen prospects within the first few days of an engagement. I close perhaps 20-30% of my transactions this way, prior to the business going on the open market. Abuyer’s strong seller relationship goes avery long way to ensuring future success. It is shortsighted to jeopardise this during the deal process.
28 Family Business Coach &Business Planning Expert of the Year
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 29 www.finance-monthly.com AboutMarcKramer Marc Kramer is the former Executive-in-Residence at Saint Joseph’s University Haub School of Business, working with family businesses, and president of marketing communications firm Kramer Communications, He is also the executive director of the Private Investors Forum, which runs the Angel Venture Fair, bringing together the largest gathering of angel investors and entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic region. As executive director of the Private Investors Forum, Marc has worked with close to 1,000 companies from all over the world and introduced them to angel investors across the US. Marc has been on the cover of Profit magazine and featured in Inc, Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications for his achievement in establishing the country’s formally organised angel investor network, the Pennsylvania Private Group. The Wall Street Journal selected Marc to be one of their main speakers on early-stage investing at their national conference in Atlanta in 1994. He was also a project faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Global Consulting Practicum and Executive Education, adjunct professor at Drexel University, adjunct professor at Temple University and mentor faculty at the National University of Singapore. In addition to this, he is a professional speaker and lectures on topics such as family business, leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing and innovation. Marc has been writing on angel investing and entrepreneurship for over 35 years as a national columnist for the American City Business Journal chain and columnist for the SmartCEO magazine. He has also written for Forbes.com and TheStreet.com, the world’s top online service for money managers, company leaders and individuals that manage their own money, and was a columnist for The Bulletin, Philadelphia’s third largest daily. Marc also provided a one-minute entrepreneurial commentary for KYW News in Philadelphia for 14 years. Marc is a former trustee of Cheyney University, the oldest African American University in the US, and was on the board of the Entrepreneurs Forum of Philadelphia and the Technology Resource Alliance. Marc has a Master’s in Management from Penn State University and a BS in Journalism fromWest Virginia University. Founder & CEO | Stress Free Family Business Marc Kramer Parents realise theyhave an obligation to their employees tomake sure theheirs are bothready andpassionate about the building, so that factors intohow theyprepare their children.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 30 www.finance-monthly.com Canyou tell us about your role? I am the founder and CEO of Stress Free Family Business. I know the title sounds like an oxymoron, because working with your family is always stressful. The reason for the name is that every family aspires to a stress-free interacting among family members. I do my best to make sure that people are prepared and in the right position with good communication and transparency. I want to set them up for success individually and as a family. Inwhatways haveyou seen the landscapeof familybusiness changing in thepast year? I do not know if family business has changed so much as it has from one generation to the next. What I mean is that I am 61 and my parents’ generation typically expected you to join the family business. Every family I work with tells the children they should only join the family business if they want to, not out of obligation. They parents also tell them that they will start at the bottom, reporting to someone other than themselves, and that they have to earn their way through hard work and on merit. Parents realise they have an obligation to their employees to make sure the heirs are both ready and passionate about the building, so that factors into how they prepare their children. What concerns do you most often help your clients to address? There are a few big concerns. One is the family members, mostly children, who are believed to be the rightful heir to the business because they are the first born or have the right education is the rightful heir. Unfortunately, half the time the selected heir is not the best choice and I have to tell the family. This often leads to lifelong dreams and expectations being shattered. The second thing is getting rid of incompetent or crooked family members, which often leads to hurt feelings and sometimes permanent estrangement. Lastly is family members who are not working in the business owning stock in it or getting some monetary compensation. I encourage families to sell all of the stock, unless it is a large business of $100 million or greater, to the family members that are working in the company and give those who are not participating cash compensation from the sale of the stock. Ihavehadmany mentors inmy career. Evenat 61, I still seekmentors.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 31 www.finance-monthly.com Canyou tell us aboutwhat ledyou to specialiseas a familybusiness coach? I grew up in a family business. My grandfather started a business that my father took over and my cousin took over his father’s business and brought his son in. I realised I had great inside information and experience that could help other families. I was relatable. I really enjoy working with families, especially the kids in preparing them to take over. Whatdoes thisawardmeantoyou? The reward acknowledges my experience, expertise and contributions to working with family businesses and hopefully will encourage family business leaders to call me to assist them. Is thereaparticular personormentor figurewhohas inspiredyourwork to date? My dad, who passed away almost 20 years ago, was my inspiration because he was a solid businessman who made sure he lead a balanced life so he was always present. I have had many mentors in Marc Kramer Founder & CEO Stress Free Family Business Email: email@example.com Tel: 484-288-0594 My philosophy is tobedirect, honest, ethical, sincere and authentic while trying tomaximise the skills of my clients andmake sure the family cancelebrate holidays and major family events. my career. Even at 61, I still seek mentors. Many of my mentors are entrepreneurs who have built great businesses. Is thereaparticular creedor philosophy that informs yourwork? My philosophy is to be direct, honest, ethical, sincere and authentic while trying to maximise the skills of my clients and make sure the family can celebrate holidays and major family events. Howdoyouplan todevelopyourself andyour organisation in thecoming year? I plan to write a book that will guide families through the leadership and generational transition process along with how to improve all aspects of their business and make sure family members remember that the relationships are most important. Writing this book will allow me to speak to successful family businesses and different business experts.
32 Sustainable and Responsible Investment Adviser of the Year
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 33 www.finance-monthly.com About NickCantrell Nick Cantrell is the founder of Green Future Wealth Management and one of its Senior Wealth Advisors. He has worked closely with clients as a financial advisor for over 15 years. In 2020, Nick founded Green Future Wealth Management to provide independent and values-rooted holistic financial planning for his clients. He specialises in advising on complex retirement income planning, with a particular focus on integrating government pensions and Social Security plans with invested assets to maximise income, tax efficiency and legacy benefits. He also works with clients to engage in values-aligned financial planning through the use of charitable funds and socially responsible investments. Nick holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses and is licensed to advise on life, health and variable insurance. He is also a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, a Chartered Financial Consultant®, a Chartered Life Underwriter®, and a Chartered SRI Counselor®. Founder | Green Future Wealth Management Nick Cantrell It is really important forus to focus on the specific values of our clients, rather thantryingtoshoehorn themintoa one-size-fits-all ESGinvestment portfolio.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 34 www.finance-monthly.com Whatwas your vision in foundingGreenFutureWealth Management? When founding Green Future Wealth Management, I wanted to create a firm dedicated to helping clients manifest their values in their financial lives while planning for what is ahead. I wanted to build a large firm with a regional and, one day, national footprint. Now, only two years after our founding, we have three office locations throughout New England and have expanded into offering tax planning and preparation as well as helping businesses and organisations integrate sustainability into their retirement plans, in addition to our focus on financial planning, investing and wealth management. Inwhatwaysdoyour team enshrine sustainabilitywhen it comes toassistingclientswith financial decision-making? It is really important for us to focus on the specific values of our clients, rather than trying to shoe-horn them into a one-sizefits-all ESG investment portfolio. Part of our client engagement process entails helping our clients explore which values are most meaningful to them in their investments as well as their lives in general. Sustainable or socially responsible investing means dramatically different things to different individuals and organisations, so we try not to come to the table with any preconceived notions about what our clients may want. Whatmotivates you toachieve strong returns for your clients? We are motivated by helping our clients to achieve their goals and by helping them solve problems. One of the reasons we focus so much on financial planning and tax planning with our clients is because we believe it is where we can bring the most tangible value to our clients. It is really difficult to accomplish a financial goal in the future if you do not know how much money you need, when you need it, and what your plan of action is along the way. Most of our clients already have ‘enough money’, but they are not certain that they are taking advantage of all of the opportunities available to them. Most of them have a lot of questions about how their current investments stack up on the issues that are most important to them, like climate change and sustainability. Being able to help our clients navigate through retirement, sending kids and grandkids to college, selling a business, and achieving their philanthropy and legacy goals while also aligning their assets with their values is incredibly rewarding work. Howareyour teamutilisingnew technology tomake this happen? We are lucky to be able to work closely and collaborate with some of the most cutting-edge fintech tools out there. In particular, we have developed a strong relationship with our sustainability data tool, YourStake. Through our relationship with them we are able to customize client portfolios using over 100 different sustainability metrics. They have been really great partners and have worked with us on developing customised sustainability metrics that we can use when a client has a particular ethical value that they want incorporated in their investment portfolios. We also use YourStake’s values-screening questionnaire to help us engage with clients and prospects and gain greater insight into the issues that are most meaningful to them. Outside of the ESG analytics space, we utilize Y charts within our investment committee to analyse our investment solutions from a purely financial view. We are lucky tobe able toworkclosely andcollaboratewith some of themost cutting-edgefintech tools out there.
Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 35 www.finance-monthly.com Nick Cantrell CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CSRIC® Founder, Senior Wealth Advisor Green Future Wealth Management 324 Grove St, Worcester MA, 01605, 243 King Street, Suite 104, Northampton, MA 01060 Tel: (774) 633-9810 | (978) 333-2144 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.greenfuturewealth.com Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc, a Registered Investment Adviser. Green Future Wealth Management and Cambridge are not affiliated. What does this awardmean toyou? It is quite humbling. When I founded Green Future Wealth Management in the early months of the pandemic, I set out to help clients align their assets with their values by offering customised, sustainable investing and financial planning. To now, only two years later, be receiving such an important award seems just mind-boggling, until I start to realise that this is really an award that recognises the work that has done not just by me, but also by my team. Once I consider that it all makes sense, as I have a tremendous team at Green Future Wealth Management, as well as at home – particularly my wife, who has always believed in and supported me. Canyou shareanythingaboutwhatmight beon thehorizon forGreenFutureWealth Management? We just completed our first practice acquisition this year, which was really exciting and allowed us to add some really great teammembers and clients. Through that acquisition, we added tax preparation and planning. We have also recently begun offering sustainable offerings within workplace employer plans, having developed the first sustainability-focused pooled employer plan 401k in the country. Having really increased our capabilities this year, I predict that the next couple of years will be focused on scaling our business as we continue to grow quickly and add clients, although I think that based off of the conversations that I have been having we are going to have some good acquisition opportunities in the near future. Further down the road I have some ideas for some proprietary software that I would like to build that will enhance our ability to serve values-based investors.