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Staying Clear of Round Two -- Insights Gained From Turnarounds

Date: Sep 16, 2015 @ 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Turnaround Management

Consider some of the following:

  • Do you have people to turn to in a time of need for both business and personal issues? As somebody once said to me regarding excuses and justifications – your friends don’t need them and your enemies won’t believe them, so why bother. Do you have that person on your bench who if you called at 2:00 a.m. and said I need a favor, they would be on their way immediately?
  • Do you have a financial reserve? I am going through a financing opportunity for a client who is looking at some excellent growth opportunities and has a positive trajectory. The best time to ask for money is when you do not need it. Look at a client’s cash flow history. Is your client always operating and pushing against the top of their line of credit or investors’ cap or do they operate with an adequate capital structure?
  • How is your client’s vision? Is the owner planning out a year or more in advance? Does he or she know their anticipated sales volume in 2016 and 2017? Understanding the answers to these questions will provide significant insights. When I talk with clients, it is clear which ones have a handle on the market, their position, the opportunities and threats that lay ahead, and what their customers expect to purchase in the near term. After a short meeting with your client, do you know whether he or she has the pulse of the market?

Some Sudden Thoughts and Second Thoughts

First and foremost, be a difference maker!

One of the most overused clichés in lending is that everybody’s money is green. However, great companies figure out early on how to differentiate themselves and make an impact. Two examples come to mind.

  • Back in 2008 and 2009 when the financial world was falling apart, the leader of a relatively new private equity fund, Ted Koenig of Monroe Capital, was on a panel at an industry event. All the panelists except Ted indicated that they saw tightening markets and more problems on the horizon, appearing very cautious about their futures. Ted’s view was very different: they had money, their people could manage risk and they were looking to lend. When everyone is running to the hills, it may be the best time to run toward town. When fewer people are in the market there are more opportunities to seize.
  • Many years ago I was talking to a seasoned credit executive who had left a large established lending institution and was going to join a new fund called LBC Credit Partners led by John Brignola, Chris Calabrese and Nate Cohen. They had a vision and plan and at the time saw an underserved place in the capital structure. Their early entry, customer service and the networks they developed provided the foundation for their continued success and growth. More importantly, everyone who comes into contact with them and their team quickly realizes they are the bluest of blue chip companies.

Always look ahead.

It is so easy to criticize and blame others and circumstances for failure but remember the saying that when one finger points out, four fingers point inward. Take time daily to not only recognize and celebrate success but also to be self- aware of improvements that can be made to achieve even greater success. Take time to strategize for the future and find ways differentiate your company. The impact will be long lasting and make a world of difference.

Change is coming and happens to all of us whether we are ready or not. Being as prepared and proactive as we can be is the difference between success and failure.

Robert D. Katz
Managing Director | EisnerAmper
Robert D. Katz, CTP, CPA, MBA is a Managing Director at EisnerAmper and is the former President of Executive Sounding Board Associates, LLC. Katz has been named one of the top restructuring consultants in the United States. He has led numerous operational and financial turnarounds for both publicly traded and private companies, generating substantial cash flow and operating improvements. He has acted as an interim restructuring officer for companies both in and out of bankruptcy. He sits on the CFA’s Education Foundation; is a former TMA Executive Committee member and a current TMA Board Member.

He is also an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Strategic Management at Temple University. He can be reached at (215)738-5542 or
Comments From Our Members

Walter Einhorn • View APN Profile
Rob, One of the best learning expierences I ever had in all my years was working with your dad, Marty Katz. I can see you have been fortunate to be taught by the master business pro. Good luck in your new endeavor. Best to you and your family. Walter
9.30.2015 @ 12:02 PM
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