All posts by Michael Roth

About Michael Roth

Michael Roth Advisors (MRA) provides clients with expertise in marketing and sales, both in turnaround management situations and in generating value for middle market companies.

A Niche Revenue Platform for Turnaround Management Firms

Sales meetingIn a slow Turnaround Industry, TM Consulting firms may want to consider an “all of the above” strategy for generating revenues including the deployment of supplemental marketing and sales advisory services.

Recently, and over a 10+ year period, these services proved pivotal for a prominent TM firm in helping them to win multiple long term, incremental engagements. Continue reading A Niche Revenue Platform for Turnaround Management Firms

Due Diligence and Generating Growth in the PE Industry

Every day there seems to be a new article in the PE industry press about the importance of PE firms generating growth from their portfolio companies. Many of the articles conclude that in today’s brave, new PE world, that generating portfolio company growth is now more important to a PE firms’ overall investor returns than are a firms’ proprietary deal flow or  its financial management/expertise.

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This short article on PE Industry growth begins by commending the ACG on the webinar it sponsored today: “Advanced Customer Due Diligence – 5 Tools to Improve Integration & Accelerate Growth.” The informative, well produced and moderated webinar focused on a growth related platform for PE firms that was developed by Walker Information, Inc. (http://www.walkerinfo.com/) and executed by Driehars PE (http://www.driehauspe.com/).

Walker’s approach seems to be onto something. It is a PE growth platform that is straight forward, proven effective, measurable and affordable. To get the best results from their platform, PE firms use it to pre-plan for growth at a target company during the due diligence process. The specifics of how they help PE firms and their target companies to segment and then plan for growth at the target company’s customers is intriguing and well worth a review. I wanted to hear a bit more about the challenges of implementation, but the PE executive from Driehars PE gave his testimony as to how well it worked for them.

The Walker approach and Walker’s historic positive results for PE firms are all the more impressive in light of today’s slow growth markets. In slow growth markets, PE firms that need growth from their portfolio companies (i.e. all PE firms) need a pro-active organic growth planning process and Walker seems to have it.

Like Walker, MRA has also been blogging about its growth planning process and results for PE firms. The MRA process is also best used at the time of due diligence work and like Walker, MRA’s process is straight forward, proven, measurable and affordable. While Walker is far more detailed and precise on customer related segmentation and planning, MRA’s process is much more encompassing of broader target company sales and marketing issues and plans. For more information, see http://michaelrothadvisors.com/brave-new-pe-world/#more-477.

Both platforms can be the difference in a PE firm succeeding in generating immediate target investment growth and overall PE firm investor returns.

April 23, 2014

Who is Correct, Bain & Co. or Bain & Co.?

On 3/5/14, Mary Josephs wrote for Forbes magazine that based upon a Bain & Co. report, that there were several reasons why middle market companies would not be getting more attention and investment from PE firms in 2014. In her article which is called “Four Reasons Middle Market Owners Shouldn’t Wait For Private Equity” which can be found at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/maryjosephs/2014/03/05/four-reasons-middle-market-owners-shouldnt-wait-for-private-equity/, Ms. Josephs gives a couple of reasons for why this is to be, including: Continue reading Who is Correct, Bain & Co. or Bain & Co.?

The Surprising “Most Frequent” Reason for a Failed Acquisition

MRA recently helped a PE firm on an acquisition through due diligence and post-acquisition strategic advisory. Regrettably this acquisition is not working out well. Simply stated, the PE firm that acquired the Company ignored some of the “softer” issues needed for success. Most notably the PE firm allowed the acquired company’s brand equity to atrophy and it fought the existing company management’s very unique, yet very pronounced cultural norms. Continue reading The Surprising “Most Frequent” Reason for a Failed Acquisition

The Nov/Dec 2013 Issue of “JCR” – TM Growth Opportunities Identified but, Some Missed

In the Nov/Dec 2013 edition of the Journal of Corporate Renewal (JCR), the editor sought to cover some of the “Hot Topics in Turnarounds and Corporate Renewal”.  Of course, the over-arching “Hot” issue discussed was the weakness in the TM industry. However, rather than just dwell on the negative, the articles in the magazine sought to point out ways that turnaround firms could still grow despite the weak conditions. Continue reading The Nov/Dec 2013 Issue of “JCR” – TM Growth Opportunities Identified but, Some Missed

The Brave New PE World

The PE industry has evolved since the 1980’s. Back then, the industry used leverage to generate investor returns. In the 1990’s the PE Industry made money by buying companies and expanding them. The 2000’s ushered in a period of earnings growth fueled by strong beta market growth trends. And now, for better or for worse, the industry is being driven by returns PE firms are generating through management of and operational improvements in their portfolio companies. Continue reading The Brave New PE World

Fundamental Changes in the TM Industry Requires Fundamental Changes by Consultants

The Turnaround Management Industry has been trending down for at least 5 years. While many industry experts had hoped that trends would have moderated by now, the industry weakness continues. Many of those same experts now think that the turnaround industry may never again return to the way it was in the early – mid 2000’s. They as I believe that the changes to the industry have been so fundamental and structural in nature that the industry is changed forever – and at a much smaller size. Continue reading Fundamental Changes in the TM Industry Requires Fundamental Changes by Consultants

Many Ignore Top-Line Issues in the Due Diligence Process

At the October 2013 TMA Annual I spent a morning with a senior due diligence professional from a “Big 4” firm. He told me that his target clients were PE investors and lenders who were seeking better information on the quality of a potential investment company (or new debtor). At one point, I asked the due diligence professional about what role growth and top-line related issues played in most of his reports. His answer: “growth related issues usually are covered in an asterisk”. Continue reading Many Ignore Top-Line Issues in the Due Diligence Process

How Operational Consulting is Working in Two Current TM Cases

It is well documented that there are fewer and fewer turnaround industry cases and that turnaround consulting firms both large and small are hungry for additional case work. This space has been advocating that turnaround firms use operational consulting to generate incremental revenues and two currently unfolding cases demonstrate how this process works. Continue reading How Operational Consulting is Working in Two Current TM Cases

Generating Alpha Growth in the Middle Market

It is reaffirmed in 2013 that specific alpha growth planning is necessary for most middle market companies and their PE sponsors. After 2 years of contraction (2008-2010), markets have rebounded, but with only tepid growth. Moreover, the IMF and others just revised downward again – even before DC’s latest shenanigans – growth projections for at least 2 more years. Continue reading Generating Alpha Growth in the Middle Market