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April 21, 2016

Exit Summit Harvard (complimentary); CEO Retreat for 8; General McChrystal event

"…out-learning the competition"


Private CEO Gathering for 8 — more below, but first…

Harvard Summit on Exit Strategies — are you planning to sell your company in the next 36 months for $25 million to $500 million or more? Maximize your exit by applying to attend (no charge) this 2-day symposium hosted at Harvard Aug 23 – 24. I'll be one of the speakers discussing the strategies PE firms and larger companies use to "rob" owners of their firms. It's a first class faculty aimed at helping you make the most of this big (and final) decision – and how to handle the challenges you face after exiting.

Strategic vs. Financial Buyers — sponsoring the "Strategies for Maximizing Your Exit" Summit at Harvard is STS Capital Partners. Rob Follows and his team focus on finding strategic buyers (100+ for each deal) vs. financial buyers. This means you escape a simple formulaic (multiple of earnings) valuation of the company and find the right fit that will multiply both the acquirers value and yours. STS Capital Partners is often able to get 20% to 100% more for the firm than what the owners even think is possible using this strategy.

Problem with Large Investment Banks  – the last 34 years I've heard horror story after horror story of how owners were convinced to use one of the big firms to sell their company because of their global reach, size, etc. In reality, these firms know they are only going to do one deal with you; but they have the opportunity to do many deals with the large firms they hope to sell you to. So, whose side do you really think they are on!! Wink, wink – behind your back they are bragging to the acquirer how they were able to help them save tens of millions in acquiring your firm. Often the seller finds out, after the deal, that the acquirer was prepared to pay the tens of millions more! Plus, the big firm just wants to get the deal done quickly.

But Don't You Want a Quick Deal?  – those acquiring you count on you suffering battle fatigue. Most owners reach a point where they just want to get the deal done. Now, I've seen a few totally unreasonable owners that have outsized ideas of what their company is worth. But most tend to undervalue their company – and after 15 – 50 years (family business), this isn't the time to leave millions on the table because you're tired. It's time to pump up the vision (and yourself) and learn how to maximize this final decision – and survive the process. Knowledge is power. Take two days in August and come learn from those that have sold their companies (good and bad) and how they handled the process.

John Ratliff is One of Them  – John scaled his call center business through a series of 24 acquisitions (all debt financing!); increased its earnings from an industry average 4% to over 21% (using Rockefeller Habits); and drove down employee turnover from 115% to 18% (creating an amazing culture). And when he sold the business, he received 14 times EBITDA, thanks to STS Capital Partners. A serial entrepreneur and investor, John is now an advisor and Managing Director with investment bank STS Capital Partners. He'll be one of the owners sharing stories since he's been on both sides of the table. Apply now – 80 owners will be chosen to attend as guests ($2500 value) at this Exit Summit at Harvard August 23 – 24.

Private CEO Gathering  – The Retreat in Marathon Key – John and his team are also hosting a fantastic gathering for growth company entrepreneurs at The Retreat in Marathon Key, Florida on May 10-13, 2016. This event is for people who love to discuss big ideas and spend social time in a luxurious setting with other CEOs. Content and discussions will focus on:

  1. Employee engagement strategies
  2. How to design and implement world class business systems and processes; and
  3. Preparing to sell your company

Those that have participated before offer their testimonials on the sign-up page, enthusiastic about the actionable ideas and new connections they've made to help them scale their businesses. The cost for the event is $6,500 per person. This will be an intimate gathering and there are only 8 spots available. Rooms will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please contact Denise Richmond at (610) 299-6466 or [email protected]

General McChrystal  – join the author of Team of Teams, which I named one of the top five biz books of 2015 (plus Brad Pitt is starring as the General in an upcoming movie); plus a half-dozen other leading biz authors at our upcoming ScaleUp Summit and User Conference May 24 – 26, Atlanta. We don't repeat speakers (unless they write a new book), so don't miss an entire body of knowledge – while "reading" the equivalent of a dozen books in 48 hours. Noted partner Charlie Munger when asked the secret to Warren Buffett's success:

His (Warren's) first priority would be reservation of much time for quiet reading and thinking, particularly that which might advance his determined learning, no matter how old he became.

Leaders are readers/learners. And work fills the time you make available, so coming to the Summit will be a nice forcing function to get your work done! See you in Atlanta.

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.