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Evergreen Advisors is a prominent middle market investment bank and corporate advisory firm focused on guiding companies in the areas of corporate finance, growth and exit strategies, business valuations and CFO advisory services. The firm is pleased to announce that they have received regulatory approval for Evergreen Advisors Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to operate as a licensed Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.
“The firm has grown substantially over the past five years. The establishment of our own Broker/Dealer was a critical next step in the maturation of the company. Along with our emerging growth CFO Advisory Practice and Valuation Services, we are now a single-source provider of services for business consulting and transaction advisory. This makes our offering unique in this region. Our expertise, deep knowledge of the capital markets, and market insight provides our clients pertinent and uniquely tailored advice to maximize their value. ” stated Rick Kohr, Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen.
Evergreen Advisors is pleased to announce the addition of four new members to their team since the start of 2015 as well as share in their excitement about the growth of the firm.
D.J. Palmer joined Evergreen Advisors at the start of the year. D.J. is an analyst in the Investment Banking Practice of Evergreen Advisors Capital, where he assists on mergers and acquisitions, private placements, and corporate advisory engagements.
Eric Clarke was welcomed in March of 2015 as Vice President in the CFO Advisory Practice. He is responsible for helping expand the CFO Advisory Practice, which serves early stage and growing businesses that need quality financial management, strategic guidance, and development of infrastructure. He has been an incredible asset to the firm thus far.
Join Evergreen Advisors’ Rick Kohr and thousands of other industry professionals at the RSA Conference, in San Francisco, California. It is the premier information security event of 2015 and you don’t want to miss it!
Conference attendees will learn about IT security’s most important issues through first-hand interactions with peers, luminaries and emerging and established companies, and will therefore stay connected and educated as the IT security field continues to grow.
Taking place from April 20 – 24 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
For more information on pricing, location, speakers, and other details please visit: www.rsaconference.com
Evergreen Advisors is pleased to announce the addition of Eric Clarke and Jessica Stoehr to their team.
Eric Clarke joined Evergreen Advisors in March of 2015 as Vice President in the CFO Advisory Practice, and will be responsible for helping to build the CFO Advisory Practice here at Evergreen. Our CFO Advisory Practice serves early stage and growing businesses that need quality financial management, strategic guidance, and development of infrastructure.
Mark Gretz, another Vice President in our CFO Advisory Practice, stated, “We are thrilled to have Eric joining our CFO Advisory Team. This is an exciting time for our growth, and Eric will be a key part in helping us to serve our expanding list of clients.”
Jessica Stoehr has also joined the Evergreen team and will be serving as the new Marketing Coordinator. She brings with her both her knowledge and experience in marketing and client service. Prior to Evergreen, Ms. Stoehr worked on marketing and special projects at Stoehr Companies, Inc., a general contracting and commercial construction management firm based out of Eldersburg, MD.
Evergreen Adviosrs is attending the ACG National Capital 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference on March 9th and 10th. The upcoming 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Washington Technology Showcase and DealSource will feature the first ever Washington Technology Showcase, which aims to highlight some of the Washington area’s most promising technology companies. The two-day event will also feature keynote presentations from David Falk founder of F.A.M.E. and Michael Chasen, SocialRadar CEO and former Blackboard Co-Founder and CEO. See a line-up of events here: Event Schedule
Join us on Thursday February 19th as Joe Statter, managing director at Evergreen Advisors Capital speaks at XPX DC Metro on Financial Recapitalizations: Getting Liquidity While Preserving Future Upside.
Joe Statter will provide an overview of recapitalizations, and discuss the structure and the benefits to business owners of this strategy. Joe will present a case study of a recent transaction which provided the business owner with current liquidity and future upside as the business continues to grow.
In this Entrepreneur Spotlight we focus on LifeJourney. LifeJourney is a technology company in the education market that enables students to test-drive their future by living a day in the life of America’s STEM leaders. Schools use LifeJourney in their classroom to inspire students to pursue STEM careers. LifeJourney’s customers include middle and high schools, Community Colleges, Colleges and Fortune 500 companies. Some of their partners include General Dynamics, Intel, Lockheed Martin, COPT, Kaspersky, Cyberpoint, BAE, and Symantec. An example of a well known partner, the Baltimore Ravens, can be found here on their site (Ravens). We interviewed Rick Gertiz, CEO of LifeJourney, on how he got started in the business of STEM Education and how his background has helped him to succeed.
Where did the idea for LifeJourney come from?
I had often participated in mentoring of students and concluded that mentorship does not scale. Less than 1% of all students in America ever experience a mentor or participate in an internship. We needed a way to bring the nation’s leading STEM companies together to mentor a nation. LifeJourney enables a single mentor to guide 1 million students with fewer than 15 minutes of time commitment a month. LifeJourney is a platform to share your journey with the next generation.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing STEM education? Awareness. Ask a student in school the age-old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And you will still hear doctor, lawyer and athlete. Just in Maryland alone there are over 20,000 open and unfulfilled jobs in technology driven fields. Still we do not hear “data scientist” or “forensic analyst.” This occurs because students cannot connect their classroom experience to the STEM jobs in their future. They need to understand the path. They need to understand the journey and they need someone to guide them toward that. Parents struggle with guiding their students, as technology is the new alphabet and modern days skills are essential to compete in this new digital economy.
Evergreen Advisors is pleased to announce that today Gov – elect Larry Hogan announced that he has appointed Mike Gill, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), the state’s chief economic development agency.
Mike is Chairman and a Principal of Evergreen Advisors, LLC, a Mid-Atlantic investment bank with strong capabilities in Mergers and Acquisition, Corporate Finance, Valuation and CFO Advisory Services.
Rick Kohr, CEO of Evergreen Advisors, commented on the announcement, “I am excited for the people of the State of Maryland and, in particular, the business community of the state. Mike has a passion for creating a great ecosystem for the business world – this creates jobs, tax base and a stronger community. His high energy, business acumen and positive outlook will be an important ingredient for improving this ecosystem in Maryland.”
“I’ve been a pretty vocal advocate out there talking about the need for a renewed focus on economic development and a need to grow the private sector,” Hogan said at a press conference Thursday announcing the appointment. “I believe Mike is the right man.”
In a recent article titled Accounting’s Big Data Problem, published on CFO.com by David M. Katz, the author dives into the world of Big Data and how its use is slow to be adopted in the accounting profession. His underlying belief is that generally,
we as accountants, are behind the curve in utilizing Big Data, most specifically unstructured data. While the jury is still out on its impact in the financial reporting and audit functions, the use of unstructured data in Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) is critical.
As many experts will tell you a financial model is only as good as the inputs. True as that might be, it is the process of identifying the inputs through review and analysis of unstructured data which can identify the strategic correlation between the drivers and KPIs.
Key stakeholders from operations, sales & marketing, R&D, etc. should be viewed as important resources during the process, not only to provide easily identifiable data such as customer churn rate, but equally as important insight into unstructured data such as the customer onboarding process. Through this process an organization might identify a strong correlation between certain aspects of the onboarding process of a customer and their churn rate. Below are a few examples of structured data which has an equally important unstructured data component.
Please Join us for: Digital Health
Opportunities Enabled by the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act is enabling a new generation of companies to leverage information and technology to transform our healthcare ecosystem. Areas such as electronic health records, care coordination, wellness, remote monitoring and data analytics are changing the healthcare system while helping traditional participants comply with the requirements of the ACA — an entrepreneurial perfect storm. Panelists will address the innovations that are arising to enable payers, providers, patients and pharma to reduce costs and improve outcomes.
Following the panel, several innovative growth-stage digital health companies will provide a three-minute overview and will be available for private meetings.
What is my Company worth today as I go to market? The easy answer is a multiple of revenue or earnings. It is desire to take an art and make it science. We love the scoreboard in sports and the business world.
But for me, it is clearly more than that. How does an investor look at this? Often times it is implicit but maybe not ….. you can really look at this more analytically then one might think. Looking at this objectively — as an investor or buyer might – can be very helpful in looking at valuations ranges more precisely (dangerous word but we will use it anyway today).
Joe Statter, Managing Director and head of the Washington / Northern Virginia office of Evergreen Advisors recently took part in roundtable focused on special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACS. Prior to Evergreen, Joe an investment professional and acting CFO to Capitol Acquisition Corp, a $262m SPAC, which launched in 2007 and merged with Two Harbors Investment Corp to create a REIT. He now advises clients on a range of corporate finance transactions, including SPACs.
The article discussed how while SPACs have become an increasingly common means of raising capital for private companies over the past decade, many PE houses have been eyeing these structures as a possible exit route or a means of raising capital for single deals. The Private Equity Findings Journal showcases new PE and VC related research from leading international academic thinkers, discussed and challenged by senior academics and practitioners.
A copy of this article can be found by downloading the pdf at the bottom of the article of Issue 9 within the maroon button. http://www.collerinstitute.com/Research/Findings
The 2014 RSA® Conference in San Francisco kicked off at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Evergreen Advisors is attending the event being held February 24 to February 28, which brings together the top information security professionals and business leaders to discuss emerging cybersecurity trends and formulate best strategies for tackling current and future threats.
Arxan – www.arxan.com
Chesapeake Innovation Center – www.cic-tech.org
CyberMaryland – www.cybermaryland.org/
As the year comes to a close, we are starting to think about 2014 and the resolutions we want to set for the new year. Every year, the top New Year’s Resolution is too eat healthy and exercise regularly.
In the spirit of the New Year we have selected RightSize Health and Nutrition as our entrepreneurial spotlight for this newsletter.
RightSize has been in the health and wellness business for over 10 years and is focused on delicious weight loss meal replacements. For the spotlight, we recently sat down with the management team at Rightsize to learn more about weight loss trends, the impact they have on their business, and branding.
Tell us about the company’s signature product, the RightSize Smoothie?
RightSize Smoothies are delicious, satisfying weight loss beverages packed with protein, fiber, and over 20 essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body nourished. They conveniently replace breakfast and lunch and stave off hunger with a unique combination of protein, fiber and a low glycemic index–keeping you full for hours!
The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you no matter what your task may be.
“Make the Best, Someone will buy it”
A conversation with Alan Wilson,
Chairman and CEO of McCormick & Company
It’s probably appropriate that you are reading my interview with Alan Wilson, Chairman and CEO of McCormick, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, two pretty important holidays to the McCormick Company. Recently, Shelley Lombardo, our Vice President of Marketing at Evergreen, and I visited Alan at McCormick’s headquarters in Sparks, Maryland. When you grow up in Baltimore there are certain things that matter to all Baltimoreans: The Orioles, the Chesapeake Bay and McCormick Spice- they define us.
My first up close and personal familiarity with McCormick was in the late 70’s when I was with IBM and had account management responsibility for McCormick. I was in awe of their leadership (Wells, Wilson, Thomas, Yates, Shelhoss, and Nordhoff), the way they treated their people, and their innovative approach to management development (inspired by C.P. McCormick).
And now it’s 2013, almost 2014 and the foundation whose first cornerstone was laid 124 years ago, gets stronger each year. The greatest spice company in the world.
Alan is in his 20th year with McCormick and completing his 6th year as the leader of this great company.
Thank you, Alan, for sharing your time with us. You carry the torch of responsibility and stewardship well.
Evergreen Advisors, LLC
Print the Full Interview Here – EA Interview Alan Wilson
“We see tremendous growth and opportunity in our Washington, D.C./ Northern Virginia Office and Paul will bring significant depth to our team. Having known and worked with Paul for over a dozen years, he is a high-caliber investment banker with a strong network of contacts, and a solid track record of execution in the Technology, Media, and Telecom space. He will be an impact player and an outstanding addition to our banking team.” said Joseph Statter, Managing Director and head of the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia Office.
“I am excited to be joining the Evergreen team. I was impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit, the team first approach, and the broad experience the firm has already assembled. Evergreen has a great reputation and is highly regarded by its clients. I look forward to working with Joe again, am eager to begin building new opportunities with the Evergreen team and I am excited to help grow the firm.”
Recently, Susan Kim covered the Investment Maryland Challenge in the Business Monthly. The InvestMaryland Challenge is a national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development in partnership with Inc. Magazine. The Challenge will award $400,000 in grants and a host of business services to companies in the life sciences and high tech industries. Grants are provided by the Department’s Maryland Venture Fund and the BioMaryland Center.
She reached out to Rick Kohr of Evergreen Advisors, a second year judge, to provide thoughts on the program. “This is leading-edge program that promotes the entrepreneurial energy in the state,” he said. “This, in conjunction with the $84 million investment dollars generated last year for the Maryland Venture Fund and numerous other venture funds with a presence in this state, creates a new level of much-needed support for new businesses and ideas. There had been a dearth of monies and commitment before these efforts.” Read more here.
Wall Street Journal – September 26, 2013 – Of course, traditional metrics still matter to investors. Startups need a competitive advantage, profitable business model and high-quality entrepreneurs to attract funding. But social media is playing an increasingly important role, investors say—especially as more people in their 20s and 30s rise to positions where they can back new companies. “Ten years from now, social media will be the starting point of any investment,”says Ted Leonsis, a partner at venture-capital firm Revolution LLC and chairman of the board at daily-deals site Groupon Inc.
Read more here and see top 8 tips for how to look good for investors on social media – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324659404578499702279196058.html
You are cordially invited…
Space is limited, so register today.
Third Annual Liquidity and Capital Raising National Forum which takes place on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore.
We will be joined by a panel of seasoned M&A and capital markets experts who will share their insights, advice, and experiences. This year’s forum is being moderated by Bloomberg, the national leader in global business and financial information. Bloomberg television and radio personality Carol Massar will bring her own unique style and perspective to the forum.
CohnReznick’s Third Annual Liquidity and Capital Raising National Forum offers a discussion of the latest trends and success stories for liquidity events and capital raises. It is designed for the key decision makers in companies — CEOs, CFOs, and Presidents — and will provide an ideal networking venue for attendees to connect, exchange ideas, and further develop beneficial relationships.
Loyola University Alumni – On Friday, Sept. 20, meet Meet Rick Kohr, ’81, MBA ’86, the founding member and CEO of Evergreen Advisors LLC. Rick will provide a look at the cyber landscape here in Maryland and the ecosystem including education, incubators, commercial, and government. Rick has more than 25 years experience in advising early stage growth and middle market companies, growth financing, business evaluations, executing exit strategies, and CFO advisory services. The Company works with cyber companies on financing alternatives and exit strategies including raising capital, recapitalization, merger, sale and ESOP’s.
Rick is also managing member of the Chesapeake Emerging Opportunities Club, an early stage venture capital fund. He holds his License in Series 65 and 7, the 63 Uniform Securities License and 79 General Securities Agent License.
Rick serves on the Board of Directors for Meta Source, Healthcare Interactive, Pathsensors Inc., Emerging Technology Council, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Howard County Economic Development authority, and ICAT Logistics, Inc. He has held past board of directors positions and has also served on the Howard County Cyber Commission.
You are working hard to build your company – but now what? Rick Kohr, CEO of Evergreen Advisors, will cover a variety of topics, including capital raise, how one prepares to exit a business, what one should be preparing, and deciding which moves to make.
Register before the seats are gone http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7654670325/?ref=ebapi
Evergreen Advisors is a leading middle market investment bank and advisory firm focused on assisting companies in the areas of corporate finance, growth and exit strategies, business valuations and CFO advisory services. They serve clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic with offices in Columbia, Maryland and Vienna, Virginia.
Few individuals have had an impact on higher education and on the lives of thousands of students, faculty, and staff as Dr. Freeman Hrabowski.
And what an incredible run Dr. Hrabowski has had. Founder of the nationally recognized Meyerhoff Scholars Program, named President of UMBC in 1992, named #1 up and coming university in America, whose graduates are pursued by Harvard, Princeton and Yale…
In 2008, US News and World Report named him one of America’s Best Leaders. In 2009, Time Magazine named him one of the Top Ten College Presidents and in 2012 Time Magazine named Dr. Hrabowski one of the top 100 Most Influential People in the World.
We sat down recently- actually we spoke on the phone, as he was in his car, out and about “telling and selling” one of the greatest stories in higher education- UMBC. This is the conversation that followed.
Thank you, Freeman!
President & Chairman, Evergreen Advisors
Print a Copy of the Interview here – EA Interview Dr Freeman Hrabowski
We are starting a new feature that provides a short spotlight on entrepreneurs and companies in our area. For this interview we reached out to Social Toaster to hear how it all started and what advice they would give entrepreneurs starting out today.
Who are your customers?
Good examples of our customers are Media, Entertainment, Music, Publishing, Non-profit and Education. When determining if an organization could be a customer of ours, we ask 2 questions.
1. Do they have an existing fan base, following or database of people they’re connected to who would be willing to share content on behalf of that company to their personal social networks?
2. Is that organization creating content regularly that’s meaningful enough that people will want to share it?
Congratulations to Plasmonix for winning the Tech Transfer Award at the at 13th Annual Incubator of the Year Awards. Our client, Plasmonix is a life sciences company based at bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park.
“Plasmonix is delighted and proud to be selected as a 2013 Maryland Incubator Company of the Year. The competition for this award is stiff and to be selected from the large pool of deserving candidates is truly an honor.” said Bill Gust, CEO of Plasmonix.
Outstanding Maryland Businesses Honored at 13th Annual Incubator of the Year Awards
“The Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Awards honor the level of entrepreneurship achieved within our State’s business incubator network,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “The companies recognized today are bringing technologies to market, creating jobs and strengthening our State’s economy. Congratulations to this outstanding group of Maryland businesses.”
Each day, our Business Valuation practice fields inquiries from business owners seeking a valuation of their company. Almost as often, they want to know exactly how we go about determining value.
We typically respond with an explanation of the three traditional approaches to completing a business valuation – Cost, Market, and Income.
On March 8, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a newly revised Employment Eligibility Verification form, Form I-9, which employers are required to use to verify the identity and employment authorization of newly hired employees. Employers should start to use the new Form I-9 immediately. Use of prior versions of the Form I-9 will no longer be permitted beginning May 7, 2013.
What Does This Mean for My Company?
Employers should begin to use the new version of the Form I-9, “(Rev.03/08/13)N,” immediately. USCIS is providing employers with a period of 60 days to make necessary changes to their current Form I-9 protocols.
Starting with the Consumer Electronics Show which just occurred in early January, several major trade shows relevant to emerging growth companies including ITEXPO, NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), Data Center World, Networld + Interop, and CTIA Wireless to name a few, are being held through the Spring. These events are great opportunities for entrepreneurial companies to:
- Identify, meet, and acquire customers;
- Meet with potential business development partners;
- Scope out competition;
- Recognize developing trends;
- Assess your place within your particular industry ecosystem; and
- Pitch investors.
The ability to do all this at one venue within a few days is a fantastic opportunity. That being said, whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee, you want to maximize your investment.
Here are a few things to consider to help you get a return on that investment.
A recent article in the New York Times, “Do You Know What Your Business is Worth? You Should,” reviewed the use of “online valuation calculators” as an inexpensive alternative to providing owners of small companies with a value for their business. These calculators provide formula-based approach to valuation cannot possibly address the subjective nature and “art” of valuations. There are multiple factors to be considered in an “opinion” of value, not the least of which is the purpose of the valuation and numerous subjective factors for which the judgment of an experienced business appraiser is necessary.
However, a more important take-away from this article is the importance of business valuations as a planning tool for the owners of closely-held businesses. As the article observes, most business owners don’t become concerned with a “business valuation” until a transfer of equity is involved, either through the acquisition of the interest of another shareholder — or the business itself. Here are some useful lessons regarding business owners and valuation:
The Department of Business and Economic Development of Maryland announced that Plasmonix Inc., a life sciences company based at bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park, received $100,000 from the startup funding initiative.
Plasmonix, based at the UMBC Bio Park, is a nano-materials company focusing on Assay Enhancement Products for the Life Science Industry. “Plasmonix is grateful for the continued support from the Maryland Venture Fund and the Department of Business and Economic Development,” said William Gust, president and CEO of Plasmonix. “These funds are critically important to the ongoing development and commercialization of Plasmonix’s technology and we would not be where we are today without this support. We hope to repay the confidence demonstrated in Plasmonix by adding jobs and growing the company here in Maryland.”
Plasmonix was also recently awardee with a $100,000 MIPS Award (Maryland Industrial Partnership Award). The award is to support ongoing collaboration between CFS (The Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (HTTP://CFS.UMBI.UMD.EDU/) and Plasmonix to develop and commercialize products utilizing approaches developed by CFS in the area of Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence, Plasmonix’s platform technology. More information regarding the MIPS program can be found at HTTP://WWW.MIPS.UMD.EDU/.
As the year winds down to a close, have you scheduled time to work on your business and not in it. As the CEO, your daily goal should be figuring out how to run your business and move it forward – not be focused on the minutia of running it daily. The best future exit strategy is a growth strategy today. Yet, the fact is that it’s easier said than done. Here is a very simplistic way of making it a reality starting right now:
Ideas for setting time aside right now:
1. Right now, schedule a half day offsite for you and your key management team within the next 30 days or;
2. Right now, set up a series of after the New Year Breakfast meetings on the calendar now with each of your key business area team leads.
Once you have assembled your team you can begin by focusing on the following areas and strategic conversations. They key here is to drive conversation, derive key goals for next year, and commit to key performance indicators that can measure your progress. This is a process and not a one-time event and each idea garnered from these meetings will lead to better ideas and a stronger business overall.
1. 2013 Marketing Plan
a. How many new prospects do you want to touch?
b. What market or segment will have the most focus in 2013?
c. What are a few Key Performance Indicators you can set to measure against?
a. What systems are in place today? Are they working?
b. More importantly, if they are working is everyone using them?
c. If they are working, look for small improvements and document them.
a. How do you hire more A players
b. How do you plan to retrain or eliminate C players?
c. How are you communicating your expectations and realigning your expectations?
Your business is an asset that you have invested your time and money in developing. By focusing on working on your business and not in it, you can take control of your destiny and drive the value of your asset even higher.
Evergreen Advisors is a leading middle market investment bank and corporate advisory firm focused on assisting companies in the areas of corporate finance, growth and exit strategies, business valuations and CFO advisory services. As entrepreneurs and founders, we have real world experience of the challenges our clients face and the market experience to assist them in driving value. Give us a call today, we welcome confidential consultations with you regarding your exit strategy.