"Investment Banking is 10% Financial Analysis and 90% Psycho-analysis" – André Meyer  This blog is about the "other 90%"…

Non-core is (not!) waste

We wasted time on non-core activities – lamented a client the other day. – “Our business would be worth more, if we didn’t” – he drew the conclusion. I first sympathized with his plight, which was as easy as feeling sorry for my own failed attempts at innovating in my business. If only I had […]

Mortgage and Payroll

“Business Man” – read the status description of a former colleague on an association website. Last I checked, he was the employee of a bank… and sure enough, he still worked for the same. “Intrapreneur” – quipped a retired executive upon my question of what he did for a living. “This is what you call […]

Watch the return on assets

The private equity industry is obsessed with EBITDAs. Not that they don’t know it’s not money, but the banks treat it as such, so they play along. We don’t mind, as it magnifies profits and makes deals easier to sell. EBITDA makes businesses look larger than life. Talking “dividends paid” destroys the party. Similarly most […]

Systems replace experience

Lower middle market companies are dependent on their founders. Such founders are often not just the President but the CFO, the Sales Director and the Head of Operations as well. If the President was to depart, a huge abyss would remain, disrupting the company’s operations and diminish its growth prospects. How is it possible then […]

Wind behind the sail

The late copywriter Gene Schwartz, author of legendary “Breakthrough Advertising” stated that one should never try to create demand for a product or service. Demand is too great for anybody to create… it must rather be spotted and channeled into your product or service. It is foolish to aspire to “true originality”. Steve Jobs was […]