July EPI LA Chapter Monthly Meeting @ Jewish Community Foundation
Jul 12 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Entrepreneurial Exit: I sold my business to enjoy myself and the buyers ran it into the ground. Hear about my second bite with the business.

Location: Jewish Community Foundation 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

Date/Time: July 12, 2018 / 7:30 – 9:30 am


As you’re thinking about selling your business, whether possibly this year or down the road, why not figure out how to maximize its value before going to market?  Long term value is created by identifying and strengthening the factors that build sustainable value.  It’s more than just driving EBITDA.

Jim Hart, the former CEO of Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, led the sale of Senn Delaney to Heidrick & Struggles in 1999.  Senn Delaney became the world’s leading “culture-shaping” consulting firm.  Jim and the co-founder of Senn-Delaney bought the company back in 2003 after a disastrous failed exit in 1999 (the earlier “all-stock” sale saw the price of the stock drop from approximately $26 per share to $.50, within six months after the 1999 closing).

Learn how they repositioned and grew the company to enable the very profitable sale in 2012.  This business situation is now the subject of a fascinating and suspenseful case study recently published by the USC Marshall School of Business.

A copy of the case study will be furnished to everyone who attends the meeting.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify areas to focus on that create additional value in your company
  • Learn how to set clear business objectives
  • Receive suggestions on ways to get buy-in with the senior management team
  • Decide where to invest
  • Assemble the right team to help plan and execute the best exit

Presenters:  James H. Hart led Senn Delaney to serve 150 of the Fortune 500 and 300 of the Global 1000 companies, and engineered the sale of Senn Delaney to Heidrick & Struggles for a cash purchase price and earnout that ultimately realized $75 million for Jim, Dr. Senn, and their five “legacy” partners.  Jim continued on as CEO of Senn Delaney for four years.  He now serves as a Director of one private equity-backed consulting and training company and is considering other opportunities to aid and advise private company CEOs and their leadership to grow and maximize their company’s market value by developing and implementing high-performance culture and leadership.  Jim previously founded, and led to its successful sale nine years later, a global business application software publisher for desktop PCs that twice appeared on the INC. 500 “fastest growing companies” list.  He was the 1982 Marshall School Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year and in 2016 was selected to the USC Marshall School Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame.

Jim will be interviewed by Jeff Weiner, a corporate partner in the LA office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  Jeff led the Steptoe team that assisted in the Senn Delaney sale to Heidrick & Struggles.

Greater LA EPI Chapter Summer Mixer @ Napa Valley Grille
Aug 1 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

Time: 6 – 8:30 PM

Location: Napa Valley Grille | 1100 Glendon Ave Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Parking: Valet at the front door, $6 up to 2 hrs with validation. $7.50 per car 2+ hours. Metered street parking & onsite parking garage(no garage validation)also available.

More information to follow.

August EPI LA Chapter Monthly Meeting @ Jewish Community Foundation
Aug 9 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Going Bust: End of the Line or New Beginning?
Location: Jewish Community Foundation 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Date/Time: August 9, 2018 / 7:30 – 9:30 am
When facing potential insolvency there are several options to consider. A panel of thought leaders will offer an in-depth discussion of bankruptcy alternatives, such as receiverships, general assignments, UCC foreclosure sales and out-of-court workouts to maximize shareholder value.

Learning Objectives
In this panel discussion, you will learn:

  • Why bankruptcy isn’t always the best option
  • Business considerations when selecting an alternative
  • General Overview of Alternatives
    • Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors
    • Receiverships
    • Article 9 Foreclosure
    • Out of Court Work Outs
  • Considerations when selecting an alternative
    • The advantages and disadvantages to each Alternative
    • Who controls the process
    • How each Alternative compares to bankruptcy

Learn some of the answers and approaches that the business owner can contemplate and choose from the best alternative to maximize any value in the business

Presenters: Jonathan J. Wernick, Vice President, Sherwood Partners, Inc. & Jim Felton, Managing Partner, Greenberg & Bass

Panelist Bios

Jonathan J. Wernick is a Vice president with Sherwood Partners, Inc., a financial advisory firm that focuses on restructuring and insolvency. He brings more than 20 years of strategic financial and operational experience servicing clients with forensic investigations, creditor negotiations, asset sales, litigation support, solvency analysis, financial restructuring, capital sourcing, and operational improvement.

Prior to joining Sherwood Partners, Mr. Wernick served as an interim CFO/Controller for public and private companies on behalf of ownership or equity sponsors. Jonathan has also held management roles at Trader Joe’s Company, Softline Software and Restaurant Associates, a Division of Compass Group. Jonathan started his career as a CPA with KPMG LLP where he focused on middle market compalnies in the distribution, manufacturing, healthcare and retail sectors.

Mr. Wernick holds an MBA from the University of Southern California, a BS in Accounting from Yeshiva University, and received a certificate in culinary arts. He is also a CPA (in-active) in California and New York, and a Certified Global Management Accountant

James R. Felton is Managing Partner of Greenberg & Bass LLP. Mr Felton practices in areas of business, commercial and real estate litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and insolvency-related matters. He routinely handles business dissolution matters, shareholder, partner and guarantor disputes, breach of contract matters, asset recovery issues, and collections related to structured settlement payments. Mr. Felton is also experienced in healthcare and administrative law, and appellate matters.

Mr. Felton was selected to Super Lawyers from 2009- 2016 for his work in the area of Business Litigation


September EPI LA Chapter Monthly Meeting @ Jewish Community Foundation
Sep 13 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Winning the Deal! Power Negotiating Strategies II: A Case Study
Location: Jewish Community Foundation 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Date/Time: September 13, 2018 / 7:30 – 9:30 am
Negotiating is a skill utilized by everyone in all aspects of their lives. For many business owners most of their wealth is tied up in their business. For this reason, the sale of a business is a high stakes situation that needs to be carefully navigated by a masterful negotiator. In this session, advisors and business owners will learn practical techniques that can be learned, mastered and applied in a wide range of business situations through a multi-faceted case study.

Learning Objectives
In this panel discussion, you will learn:

  • Win-win negotiations – what is it and how to employ it
  • Pre-negotiation preparation
  • Active listening skills
  • Setting the framework for an optimal outcome
  • Dealing with difficult negotiators
  • Overcoming objections

Presenters: Selwyn Gerber, CPA, Gerber & Co Inc.

Panelist Bio

Selwyn Gerber, a CPA, Personal Financial Planner and Economist founded Gerber & Co Inc., a mid-sized local full service accounting firm with a broad range of clients. The firm includes accounting services, a Family Office and a Business Management Unit, which provides comprehensive outsourced CFO services to affluent families and to entertainment celebrities. Mr. Gerber has been involved in a multiplicity of negotiations covering real estate, acquisitions and sales of businesses, personnel issues and in the representation of affluent clients. He has taught Power Negotiating around the globe to businesses, non-profits and at Universities. And, Mr. Gerber founded RVW Investing, LLC in 2007 – a wealth management firm managing portfolio for affluent individuals, trusts and pension funds.

Selwyn Gerber did his undergraduate and post-graduate training in South Africa. He emigrated in 1977 and has worked for the Big CPA Firms both in South Africa and in the USA prior to forming Gerber & Co Inc. He holds numerous leadership positions in a diverse group of philanthropies.

LA EPI Business Owner’s Forum 2018 @ Pacific Palms Resort
Oct 9 @ 7:00 am – 11:30 am
October EPI LA Chapter Monthly Meeting @ Jewish Community Foundation
Oct 11 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Finding the Pot at the End of the Rainbow: Your Liquidity Event
Location: Jewish Community Foundation 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Date/Time: October 11, 2018 / 7:30 – 9:30 am
Hear from a Transactional Attorney and Investment Banker as they provide an overview of the state of the M&A Markets  oriented primarily to sales of privately held lower and middle market companies, including factors affecting these markets such as the economy, financing markets and tax changes. M&A transaction data for 2016 and 2017 will be presented.

The presenters will discuss trends in deal terms and common negotiating and closing issues in the context of a typical transaction structure from signing the letter intent through the closing.

Learning Objectives
In this panel discussion, you will learn:

  • Understanding the current state of the market for sales of middle market private companies
  • Learning of current trends and typical issues that affect deal terms and structures that might facilitate better seller preparation

Presenters: John O. Johnson, Managing Director and Founder of The Spartan Group, and Alan B. Spatz, shareholder of TroyGould PC.

Panelist Bios

John O. Johnson, The Spartan Group

John Johnson co-founded TSG and has over 25 years of Investment Banking experience covering public and private Technology, Industrial Growth and Business Services companies and completed over 300 transactions. Industry coverage has lead to Board memberships at SEMA and active engagement at ITSA. Prior to TSG, John was a Managing Director and co-founder of the West Coast Corporate Finance Group of Banc of America Securities.

John also co-founded General Finance Corporation, a public rental services company, as Chief Operating Officer in 2005 and led 14 acquisitions totaling nearly $400 million.

Alan B. Spatz; Troygould PC

Alan is a corporate lawyer with TroyGould PC in Century City. He advises public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions as well as private and public financings, strategic partnerships, licensing, employment contracts, marketing and distribution agreements and general corporate matters. He has represented numerous family owned and closely held businesses in their sale to financial buyers, such as private equity firms, and strategic corporate buyers.

Alan was a director of the Los Angeles Venture Association and is the immediate past President of that organization.

Since 1970, TroyGould has been a nationally and internationally recognized law firm for business. TroyGould’s corporate department has eleven shareholders averaging more than 25 years legal experience, and as a result the firm is one of the leading independent corporate law firms in Southern California. The attorneys in the corporate department have represented companies in several hundred M&A transactions, more than 100 SEC-registered public offerings and thousands of private placements. The firm’s contacts with investment bankers, financial institutions and other sources of capital are extensive, which are valuable to its clients looking to sell their business, acquire a business or raise capital.

In addition of corporate legal services, the firm has experienced a

November EPI LA Chapter Monthly Meeting @ Jewish Community Foundation
Nov 8 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Death, Disability, Divorce and Termination: How will you and your business partner plan for the Unknown
Location: Jewish Community Foundation 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Date/Time: November 8, 2018 / 7:30 – 9:30 am
Summary:Written terms for the orderly transition of business ownership interests are needed to address such events as (but not limited to) an owner’s retirement, incapacity or death. The terms of the agreement are between or among the shareholders, members or other types of equity owners of a corporation, LLC or other entity.
The terms of the agreement can specify conditions under which and to whom, and at what price an owner, partner, shareholder, etc. can or must sell his or her interest in a business.
This presentation will cover the scope of reasons for needing a buy-sell agreement, how it assists with owners’ estate planning and how obligations to buy out another owner are funded. Two case studies will be used to provide examples of considerations that need to be applied to
how a buy-sell agreement is structured, how it is funded and how the agreement is executed.

Learning Objectives
In this panel discussion, you will learn:

  • Gain an overall understanding of when and why a business needs a buy-sell agreement
  • Learn key issues that are addressed in a buy-sell agreement and the triggering events it defines
  • Learn about techniques for cost effectively providing funding to buy out a fellow owner
  • Understand the consequences for a business and for the owners when no buy-sell agreement is in place

Presenters: Peter Fischer, M&A Attorney at Sklar Kirsh and Kathleen Adams, CFP, CFBS at Mass Mutual Financial Group. Heath Goldman will moderate the panel discussion.

Panelist Bios

Peter Fischer, Partner with Sklar Kirsh LLP
Peter R. Fischer is a partner with Sklar Kirsh LLP and a member of the Firm’s real estate and corporate practice groups. He is an experienced commercial real estate transactional attorney, whose clients include developers, operators, syndicators, private equity providers, investors and lenders. Peter’s practice involves all aspects of the real estate industry, including acquisitions, dispositions, equity investments, syndications, fund formation, development, joint ventures, leasing, and financing (including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and EB-5 transactions), and he
routinely works on transactions involving multi-family, assisted living, construction, industrial, office, and raw land, as well as mobile homes and self-storage facilities.
In the corporate realm, Peter focuses on private, mid-market M&A matters, stock and asset transactions, fund formation, syndication, and private placements. Peter represents a broad range of companies, funds, investors, and entrepreneurs, and he also counsels his clients on crisis management, pre-litigation workouts, and investor, partnership, and shareholder disputes.

Kathleen Adams, CFP, CFBS, CLTC with Fraser Financial Group
As an experienced Certified Financial Planner, Kathleen Adams provides fee-based financial planning for clients, helping them to clarify and define the financial benchmarks they want to reach, and helping to provide a rich, comprehensive context for their tax, estate, business and family planning. She works closely with clients’ other advisors to promote a coordinated approach reviewing and selecting optimal legal, tax and financial strategies. As a Certified Family Business Succession Specialist Kathleen works closely with business owners, assisting them with the process of preparing themselves, their businesses, their retirement and estate planning for a sale to an outside buyer or key person, or for transfer of their businesses to family members.
She works closely with other key advisors to pull together people with skill sets needed to achieve favorable outcomes to the succession process. This work includes properly funding buysell agreements, and providing strategies and financial vehicles for rewarding and retaining key employees who add to the sale value of the business and its ongoing ability to replicate favorable revenues for the buyer.