Has your business reached a crossroads?

Has your business reached a crossroads?

You're faced with a decision

What do you do about succession? Or the offer you’ve received from a competitor? Maybe you’re considering an acquisition? Then again, are you in the market for financing? Where do you turn for perspective?

Meet the Founder

Frank grew up on a farm. That’s where he developed a sincere appreciation for risk management. He attended Williams College. Earned an MBA from Harvard. Has handled numerous M&A transactions, a $40 billion investment portfolio, and managed organizations. But that’s enough about him. Frank’s here to listen. He wants to help you answer those questions about your business that might be keeping you up nights.

Frank-Williamson

Looking for a needle in a haystack?

Find the Ideal Successor

The whale swallows the Minnow

Private Equity Makes Your Company an Offer

Saying goodbye to the angel and hello to...

Is it Time to Seek Venture Capital?

The forecast calls for sunshine but you get rain

Why Can't My Portfolio Company Forecast Results?

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

How Do I Maximize the Value of My Company?

Life in the fast lane? Whoops, red light ahead

How to Get to the Sale and Avoid the Legal Mumbo Jumbo

News

  • Medical Practice Buyout Offers: To Sell or Not To Sell?

    A recent Physician’s Foundation Survey of 17,000 doctors found that healthcare providers “struggle to maintain morale levels, adapt to changing delivery and payment models, and provide patients with reasonable access to care.” These findings, along with the current uncertainty of U.S. healthcare legislation, indicate that it may be a good time for independent medical office owners to consider an acquisition by a “roll-up” practice or entertain hospital acquisition offers.However enticing a quick...  Read More

  • What to Do When Your Boss Sells the Company

    When a company is put up for sale, it creates a uniquely challenging situation for CFOs and other senior executives.At some point in their career, most employees are taken by surprise by a change in their job situation.But when a company is put up for sale, it creates a uniquely challenging situation for CFOs and other senior executives, who may find themselves in the unenviable position of having to ensure the success of a deal that will likely result in the loss of their jobs. During that unce...  Read More

  • Medical Practice Buyout Offers: To Sell or Not To Sell?

    A recent Physician’s Foundation Survey of 17,000 doctors found that healthcare providers “struggle to maintain morale levels, adapt to changing delivery and payment models, and provide patients with reasonable access to care.” These findings, along with the current uncertainty of U.S. healthcare legislation, indicate that it may be a good time for independent medical office owners to consider an acquisition by a “roll-up” practice or entertain hospital acquisition offers. However ...  Read More

  • Is Debt or Equity Better for Your Business?

    Our friends at Axial Forum reached out to 4 investment banking professionals for advice to business owners about when debt or equity financing is the right fit.  My contribution was that the decision is determined by the type of business relationship a business owner wants with her funder, and it is fundamentally the choice between entering into a contract or a partnership.Other contributors highlighted these points:It depends on a business’s risk tolerance. Some companies may not be ...  Read More

  • Mergers/Acquisitions Are Not for the Faint of Heart

    It’s easy for CEOs to catch deal fever. The symptom is that good things about a merger or acquisition appear closer than the risks.Our experience is that deal fever can be dangerous unless someone splashes cold water on the person who has it.In May, the Memphis Business Journal published our tips for sobering up people who are considering mergers and acquisitions. They are:Buying a successful business does not mean you are buying success. Be as aware of merging company cultures as you...  Read More

  • How To Do It Right: Transfer of a Family Business

    Frank's advice on transferring ownership of a family business was featured in the May issue of BOSS Magazine. Find the original article here or read below.  How to do it Right: Transfer of a Family Business Many issues arise when considering the transfer of a family business: Timing the transition.   Read More

  • How Oaklyn Consulting Worked with Physicians Toward an M&A Solution - Or Not

    We pride ourselves on helping clients reach a ‘no-deal’ solution when it’s right for them. That was the result of our recent work with a family medicine practice. Here’s the story in 5 steps:  A practice was approached by a ‘roll-up’ practice which had recently acquired several similar doctor offices.   Read More

  • Help When We Needed It

    One of OC's first assignments was referred by an investment bank. A group of veteran healthcare executives wanted to build a services roll-up. Naturally, they needed a platform acquisition on one side of this plan, and a financial sponsor on the other.   Read More

  • Policy Uncertainty and Its Effect on Healthcare Transactions

    For the last six months Oaklyn Consulting has seen an uptick in healthcare activity.  We’ve worked with providers, payors, and healthcare services and technology companies on engagements of varying size and scope.  However, our increase in healthcare business seems to run contrary to the market as a whole.   Read More

  • Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Private Equity Firm’s Offer to Buy Your Business

    On April 5, Midlands Anchor published Frank's article on why you should respectfully decline an offer for your company. You went into business because you believed in offering great choices for yourself, your clients and your employees; a sale should further that value.  Here are a few reasons why 'no deal' can sometimes be the best strategy. To read more, follow this link to the Midlands Anchor article or download the attachment.OC- Midlands Anchor - Why You Shouldnt ...  Read More

  • Oaklyn Consulting Adds Two Seasoned Business and Finance Professionals

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., March 16, 2017 — Oaklyn Consulting, a business financial strategy firm, announced today that Jack Rainer and Chris Wright have joined the firm.In their roles at Oaklyn Consulting, Rainer and Wright will help business owners use financial analysis to navigate strategic issues and challenges. Those challenges might include responding to an offer to buy the company, determining why and how to pursue growth funding or how to transition management within the business. They w...  Read More

  • Market Color: Middle Market Valuations 2016

    Our friends at GF Data® produce unusually good information about how private companies are valued in M&A transactions. For 2016, a few headlines from their analysis and a round-table meeting of M&A lawyers and investment bankers this week in Atlanta are:Record high valuations for companies $10-250 million in enterprise value. 6.9x EBITDA.High valuations were achieved by very well performing companies.   Read More

  • Market Color: Financial Advisory Firms

    We've been talking lately with brokerage and financial advisory firms about their strategic plans. The number one concern is the DOL's Fiduciary Rule and its impact on their businesses over the next few years. The rule itself is on hold, but many brokerages have already made the decision about how they will conduct business going forward, even if they haven’t stated it publicly.   Read More

  • Talent Management Tips for a Merger or Acquisition

    Our experience is that employee communications is just as important as deal negotiations in many mergers. In February, Startup Southerner published our tips for business owners planning merger integration and concerned about employee communications. In short, be clear, current and candid.   Read More

  • Nelson Mullins' Rhys Wilson - "How To Prepare Your Business for Sale"

    In December, Nelson Mullins lawyer Rhys Wilson wrote a very good article for Industry Today about how to prepare a business for sale. I liked both the content of his points and the order that he addressed them:1st - Know your minimum sales price. Not second, not later, not based on what the market says.   Read More

  • Acquisition or Expansion As the Best Route to Growth

    Companies that ask our advice are often seeking funding to grow. Sometimes by acquisition, sometimes expansion.Both options are viable and both can be risky. Acquisition-driven growth can be fast, and complex.   Read More

  • What Makes an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

    It's hard to build a business in isolation. The impact of industry clusters is significant, and businesses grow when communities support them.A good example is the expansion of TCube Solutions in Columbia, SC: founder got experience in a big company in the industry in Columbia and became executive at an offshoot company; this business was incubated at the University of SC; public support funded specialized training programs for employees; and in 3 years, TCube has grown to 100 employees in C...  Read More

  • Can Your Startup Generate Venture Scale Returns? Check the Math.

    My good friend Elizabeth Clarkson at Sapphire Ventures spots the best articles. This one, by a partner at JME Venture Capital, shows one way for company founders to see their businesses through investors' eyes.I've summarized the article here, so the post is longer than usual.Remember the business investors are in - getting their money back plus a risk-adjusted return that makes sense measured against the size of their fund.This is just math. The author highlights these rules of thumb:An early-s...  Read More

  • Who We Helped in 2016

    As the holiday season arrives, Oaklyn Consulting is 6 months old. The firm was founded on the idea that we could help more business owners considering mergers, acquisitions or fund-raising in a way that “just don’t do it” stayed on the table as an option.We are responding to a need among small and mid-sized businesses for 'investment banking' advice delivered as 'consulting' rather than 'brokerage', with everyone aligned around making the best decision r...  Read More

  • Four Takeaways for Any Business Owner

    OC was honored to sponsor the VentureSouth Summit in Greenville, SC on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.We took away 4 lessons valuable to both angel investors and business owners at almost any stage of development:Selling a business is just one strategic option for a founder, but it is an important one.   Read More

  • Getting Financially Savvy with Your Finance Department

    On November 14, the Nashville Business Journal ran a Career & Workplace blog post by me.  The takeaway is that it's expensive and probably unnecessary to hire for all the "Chief Financial Officer" skills a growing company will need, just like you probably wouldn't hire a full-time lawyer for all the "General Counsel" skills you might need.  But it's wise (1) to know your and your staff's limitations and (2) to develop a relationship with someone ...  Read More

  • When NOT to Accept an Offer For Your Business

    On November 8, Startup Southerner published an article by me about exit strategies for entrepreneurs.  Take-away: Be careful about offers to buy your company.  Sometimes "no deal" is the best deal, and sometimes saying this early, before you've sunk time and effort into the huge project of responding to interest in buying your company, takes a lot of discipline.   Read More

  • Seth Faler, Former Unum Executive, Joins Oaklyn Consulting

    Seth Faler served as director of corporate development and capital management for Fortune 500 insurance companyCHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Sept. 9, 2016—Oaklyn Consulting, a business financial strategy firm that launched in August, announced today that Seth Faler has joined the firm as a consultant. Faler comes to Oaklyn Consulting from Unum Group, where he was director of corporate development and capital management.In his role at Oaklyn Consulting, Faler will help business owners use financial analysi...  Read More

  • Former FourBridges Capital Advisors Managing Partner Launches Oaklyn Consulting – A Business Financial Strategy Firm

    New firm helps businesses evaluate their financial position to make decisions about funding growth, managing challenges, selling the company and other strategic matters  Unique á la carte CFO services for growing or transitioning companiesCHATTANOOGA, Tenn. August 16, 2016—Business strategy and finance expert Frank Williamson announced today the launch of a business consulting firm that focuses on the financial side of a business, versus the marketing or operational approach of...  Read More

  • Going Big at BIG Council: An Overview of the M&A Market

    Every few months, North Carolina’s BIG Council coordinates must-attend events for regional business owners. At their January event – which focused on strategies to build, scale, and monetize a high-performance business – I co-led a presentation on the region’s mergers & acquisitions (M&A) market with DecisionPoint Advisors’ Managing Partner Doug Ellis. It was a point-counterpoint discussion: I talked about traditional businesses while Doug spoke on tech comp...  Read More

  • 6 Ways to Get Your Business in Shape as 2016 Rolls In

    Looking back, 2015 has proven to be a banner year for middle-market companies looking to sell or seeking outside investment. And with interest rates remaining low and ample capital ready to be deployed, the new year could continue this positive trend. But mental and operational preparations are key to taking advantage of what opportunities may lie ahead.   Read More

  • FourBridges’ Leader, New Tech Point Man on a Rising Breed of Southern Entrepreneurs, Upcoming Opportunities

    **This post was originally published by Southern/alpha.Interview by: Geert De LombaerdeThe leaders of Chattanooga-based investment FourBridges Capital Advisors earlier this month announced they had recruited Atlanta technology executive Doug Johns to be a senior advisor. Johns is a former senior executives at Internet Security Systems and Compaq Computer, among others, who now is chairman of HDJ Wireless Enterprise, an Internet of Things venture that runs Atlanta-based sensing and control networ...  Read More

  • The Data has Spoken: The Southeast is a Seller's Market

    **This article originally appeared in the Nashville Business Journal on Sept. 30, 2015.Dust from the recession has settled and an estimated $400 billion in private equity funds alone are chasing down businesses to buy or invest in. Nashville companies, you’re at the center of one of the best deal environments since 2007.In April, Investment Banking South conducted a survey on M&A activity in the Southeast with investors, business owners and business advisors.   Read More

  • What the Recent Sale of Southern Tool Steel Tells Us About the M&A Market in the Southeast – Part 2

    Frank Williamson is managing partner of FourBridges Capital Advisors— a middle-market investment bank that specializes in serving privately owned businesses in the Southeast and the company behind Investment Banking South. He has a 20-year career managing mergers, acquisitions and financing as an investment banker and corporate executive. He holds a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College.This is a continuat...  Read More

  • What the Recent Sale of Southern Tool Steel Tells Us About the M&A Market in the Southeast – Part 1

    Frank Williamson is managing partner of FourBridges Capital Advisors, a middle-market investment bank – and the curator of IB South – that serves privately owned businesses in the Southeast. Frank has a 20-year career managing mergers, acquisitions and financing as an investment banker and corporate executive. He holds a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College.Key Takeaways:The sale of Southern Tool St...  Read More

  • Mergermarket Report: M&A Activity Spikes in the South as Anticipation of Bubble Burst Builds

    M&A activity spikes in the South as buyers and sellers anticipate bubble burst, rate hikeAnalysis by Deborah Balshem, MergermarketJuly 15, 2015M&A activity in the Southern US in the first half of 2015 showed no signs of fall off from the prior year, according to five industry sources.“Usually there is a drop in the number of transactions from 4Q to 1Q, as tax-driven deals cause a flurry of year- end closings, but this was not the case in 2015,” according toFrank Williamson, m...  Read More

  • Three Reasons You Should Sell Your Business in 2015

    After nearly a decade of tumult and uncertainty, the U.S. economy has not only stabilized — it’s growing. Finally out of the winter of recession, unemployment rates are at their lowest point since June 2008, consumer spending and growth predications are both looking sunny, and Mississippi State Economist Derrin Webb predicts strong revenues and GPD growth for the Magnolia State.The business-for-sale market is also feeling the boom.   Read More

  • Why TN Business Owners Should Consider Selling Now

    There’s little room for modesty in Tennessee these days. It’s no secret that Nashville’s thriving economy and eclectic cultural scene have energized a similar narrative for the state at large.National business media have heralded Tennessee as a top place for conducting commerce of all kinds. For starters, Nashville’s considered the third best city for starting a small business according to MSN Money and a top city in Forbes’ list for young entrepreneurs.   Read More

  • You Need to Sell Your Business in 2015. Here's Why.

    Over the course of this past year, we in the middle market heard a near-constant refrain: this is the year to sell. And for many people, that was true. At a macro level, the economic outlook was positive, unemployment figures finally appeared to be cheerier, and interest rates were low.   Read More

  • An Interview with Start It Up Radio

    Our dedication to the startup community means that we've listened to our faire share of pitches from early stage companies. Some have been good, others bad. In his recent Start It Up radio interview, Frank revealed his tips for making that 10-minute presentation count.   Read More

  • Southern Manners Matter

    Three of the top five merger and acquisition deals of the first part of 2014 in the Southeast happened in Georgia, totaling $5.6 billion in only one quarter. That deal volume doesn't stop at the state line. Georgia’s momentum is shared elsewhere in the region.   Read More

  • There is Capital...You Just Don't Know How to Ask for It

    When faced with hurdles in obtaining financing, some business owners throw up their hands and conclude there is no capital to access. That’s not true. While investors are inclined to say “no” in this post-recession environment, there are dollars out there.   Read More

  • Private Equity at Work: Tennessee, Georgia Draw More Investment

    The Tennessee Valley is known for its gritty factories, soaring dams, Southern hospitality and mountain views.It's not known for its hopping private equity scene.But perhaps it should be.Investors committed $7.7 billion in private equity through 53 transactions in Tennessee during 2013, putting the Volunteer State among the top 20 states in the nation. And not to be left behind, Georgia cracked the top 10 with $11.5 billion in private equity across 78 transactions, according to the Private Equit...  Read More

  • Showcasing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Charleston, South Carolina

    I had the opportunity to represent FourBridges at DIG SOUTH earlier this month, participating in a panel on crowdfunding. DIG SOUTH founders Stanfield and Sunny Gray are doing a great service in my home state, drawing attention to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Charleston, and bringing together two important groups: people who are building businesses and those who can help them grow and secure funding.I was honored to be part of a panel discussion with an engaging group of experienced investor...  Read More

  • Most Common Problems with Family-Run Midmarket Firms and How to Correct Them

    According to Family Enterprise USA, there are 5.5 million family-owned businesses in the U.S. These companies employ 63 percent of the workforce and contribute 57 percent of America’s gross domestic product, making them a crucial piece of our economy.Based on my experience advising family-owned businesses, the most common problems hindering a family business’s growth, profitability and value often stem from the lack of formality, leadership and process structure.This article will tak...  Read More

  • Understanding Your Company’s Worth—A Step-By-Step Guide to Business Valuations

    Because business owners are not immortal, every business faces one of two fates at some point: sale or closure. And every business owner—at least, every one I’ve known—prefers the former over the latter.Yet, very few of the 15,000 business owners in Greenville—much less the 70,000 in all of South Carolina—have a realistic idea of what their business is worth. This knowledge is not only essential to selling a business; it can also provide a marker for gauging the ong...  Read More

  • The 12 Days of Christmas for Your Business-Complete List

    With holiday hustle and bustle in high gear, many business owners are winding down—carving out time for the annual office party and preparing for a smooth coast into 2014. Though distractions tend to be abnormally high, the month of December is a valuable time to plan for success in the new year.Make the last few weeks of December count by implementing these 12 holiday housecleaning tips—our version of the “12 Days of Christmas for Your Business.”1. On the first day of Ch...  Read More

RSS Feed

You have questions?
We want to hear them.

Schedule an Initial Call


Get started