This HIA-LI CEO Brief appeared in the June 2018 issue of the HIA-LI Reporter.
Tell us about how you/your company started.
I am lucky enough to have been an executive at companies that ended up being acquired by Microsoft, IBM, and EMC, in positions such as General Counsel, SVP Human Resources, and Director of European Operations. I’ve also been responsible for identifying acquisition targets as SVP Corporate Development.
Protegrity Advisors was established to address a gap in the market, on Long Island and elsewhere, for family-run or closely-held businesses with revenue from $5 million to $100 million that want to confidentially explore the sale of their business but don’t have this experience.
We manage the entire process, allowing business owners to maintain focus on running their company, and helping them to maximize valuation.
What was a turning point for you/your company?
The turning point came about five years ago when I learned of several business owners who sold their companies at an undervalued purchase price, and to the first potential buyer that came along.
These companies – which are the lifeblood of Long Island – are typically below the threshold of traditional investment banks, but above the sophistication and relationship level of business brokers.
That’s when I knew that I had to leverage my 20 years of experience on all sides of M&A transactions and start Protegrity Advisors.
What is your philosophy at Protegrity Advisors?
My philosophy in my business is simple and is the same as in my personal life – treat others as you would want to be treated.
It is a tremendous responsibility to be trusted with selling a company that may have been started by a prior generation and whose proceeds are meant to take care of future generations, and we take on that responsibility with the commensurate level of dedication and respect.
In addition to applying this philosophy, most of the members of our team and our advisory board have started and sold their own companies, so we are able to understand the myriad issues involved from our clients’ perspectives.
Tell us about your company’s profile today.
I am very proud of our team and Protegrity’s accomplishments, and that we have the expertise in-house to navigate the entire M&A process and sell our clients, many of which are family-owned through multiple generations, to public and private companies, private equity firms, family offices, search funds, and other types of sophisticated buyers.
Our services generally consist of preparing companies ahead of time and before being under the scrutiny of potential buyers; researching, identifying, qualifying and contacting prospective buyers; developing marketing materials; preparing and presenting financial statements in a manner consistent with buyer expectations; negotiating the purchase price and related terms in letters of intent; supervising the exchange of information and the due diligence process; quarterbacking legal, accounting, wealth management, and other services providers; and providing other assistance as may be needed in furtherance of completing the transaction.
What opportunities do you see in the future?
I see a bright future for Long Island and for Protegrity Advisors.
Long Islanders have an entrepreneurial spirit and we are home to a substantial number of successful companies in a wide range of sectors, from manufacturing to healthcare, technology to construction, and almost everything in between.
Our demographics and population, location in the New York metropolitan area, the number of airports with direct flights across the country and internationally, and the quality and number of universities, all make Long Island an ideal platform for future growth and expansion.
I believe that these factors position many Long Island business owners for successful exits, and at the same time, makes it attractive for buyers to remain, hire, and invest in Long Island post-transaction and for the long term. It is our goal to be an integral part of accomplishing these objectives.