Business Broker, CBI
Transworld Business Advisors
Email Address: [email protected]
Address: 3000 Lawrence Street, Suite 145, Denver, CO 80205
I grew up in North Carolina, the son of an advertising executive and a full-time mom. I was the first of three kids – two boys and a girl.
After attending public schools, I graduated with a BA in Economics from Wake Forest University, but found that there was not much demand for that degree without adding a graduate degree. I kicked around in a couple of jobs before deciding to go to grad school.
After earning an MBA, I entered the corporate world with Burlington Industries, the world’s largest textile manufacturer. I did market research and economic analysis, and soon found myself leading a team of analysts whose job it was to monitor and forecast over 30 diverse end-product markets.
International trade was a huge factor in our business, so I also got involved in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations. Some of the bigger deals I worked on were the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, and the Caribbean Basin FTA.
Because trade was so important to our markets, I also became an ad hoc member of our investor relations team, traveling to investor conferences with the CFO and CEO. When our Investor Relations Officer was lured back to her former company, the CFO said “you already know the job, you might as well take over Investor Relations too.”
In that role, I worked with Securities Analysts and Fund Managers daily, walking the fine line of answering their questions while trying to keep from disclosing any “material non-public information.”
During the market decline after the Dot-Com bubble, Burlington became the target of a hostile takeover. As a result, all management jobs were eliminated, as billionaire investor Wilbur Ross did a “roll-up” in the textile industry.
After searching in vain for another investor relations position that was located somewhere that we actually wanted to live while, my wife and I decided to reverse the process: choose a place we wanted to go and then find something to do there. I started working with business brokers to find a company to buy.
I ultimately settled on a commercial painting business in Denver. The company specialized in repainting apartments when they turned over. We served over 35 communities and repainted as many as 200 units a week.
But then The Great Recession hit, killing off the housing market. When people can’t buy a house, they don’t move out of their apartments. Our core business nosedived, so I had to find another market.
After chasing the homeowner repaint market for a few years, I hit upon the General Contractor market. The GC’s choose large projects and then solicit bids from potential subcontractors in the various trades. Our projects have ranged from a simple Tenant Finish for a new retail or office space to major renovations in school buildings during summer break.
A great thing about this market is that the GC’s send out bid invitations via email with links to the plans which are stored in the cloud. No more running all over the metro to look at prospective jobs! In fact, I found I could outsource the bidding to freelance takeoff services. I averaged receiving 2 to 3 bid invitations per day. All I had to do was choose which jobs were a good fit.
By also subcontracting the actual project work, I cut my job down from 60 hours a week to around 10-12 hours. I needed something else to do to keep me out of trouble!
About that time, I ran across an ad on LinkedIn. Transworld was looking for an additional business broker in Denver. That was my “light bulb” moment. A solid financial background from my corporate tenure, combined with my experience as a small business owner has proved to be a good fit.
I have found that working as a business broker is the most satisfying work I have done in my career. I get to tap into my wide range of experience from my life in the corporate world and as an owner of a small business. I see a never-ending variety of businesses and often find that large doses of creativity are required to get deals done. That keeps my life interesting.
Our office has been the most successful franchisee of Transworld for the past couple of years, and halfway through 2017 we are on pace to double our sales volume for a second consecutive year. After only four years in Denver, are now the largest business brokerage in Colorado.
Earlier this year (2017) I received the designation of Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) from the International Business Broker Association. Becoming a CBI requires a combination of tenure in the job, focused education, and passing a comprehensive written exam.
The reason that I find the work so satisfying is that at the end of the day, I have helped people. The buyer gets a new career as a business owner and the seller gets paid for what is usually the largest asset he owns: a small business.