I have been an advisor, entrepreneur, investor, and/or board member for over 40 years. During that time, I have founded several businesses, helped rapidly scale the growth of over three dozen, and advised over 300 more. All have been controlled by entrepreneurs, private families, or family offices.
I am also passionate about the important purpose, role, and value that private family enterprise businesses bring to our economy, communities, and society. When such businesses are growing and profitable, the owners tend to operate them with a purpose beyond profit. I have dedicated my life’s work to support the growth and stewardship of such companies.
Since 1982, I have advised business owning families and family offices on matters related to growing larger, more valuable operating businesses; financing the growth of their companies while maintaining family control; completing generational transitions of their businesses; and designing and implementing shareholder liquidity plans. I have personally advised the principal owners of hundreds of upper middle market and middle market companies in a wide range of industries. Most of my clients have been second to seventh generation family-controlled enterprise businesses.
I have also served as a trustee, board director, committee member, or advisory board member to various family business holding companies, family owned businesses, and business owning estates. I have either chaired or served on finance, strategy, investment, risk management, or nominating and governance committees of the boards of various multi-generational family businesses.
In 1982, I was a co-founder of an advisory and consulting firm that was eventually branded Headwaters SC, LP (HWSC), which exclusively served business owning families through two divisions: Family Enterprise Business Services (FEBS) and Family Office Direct Investment Services (FODIS), and which was affiliated with the middle market investment bank, Headwaters MB, now Capstone Partners. In 2017, Ernst & Young, LLP (EY) acquired the FEBS division of HWSC and I joined EY as a Managing Director and national practice leader to support the expansion of FEBS on the EY Family Enterprise platform in the United States and internationally.
I also co-founded in 2004 with Francois de Visscher the Business Growth Alliance (BGA), which organized a curated international group of professional services firms that provide corporate development and performance improvement consulting, or investment banking services to privately owned businesses.