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.


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


  • BOSS Magazine: The 5 Stakeholders to Consider in Your Post-Merger Integration Plan

    Signing on the dotted line means the merger or acquisition is really just beginning – it's when you stop discussing what's going to be done and start doing it. That's why it's especially important to create a detailed post-merger integration plan that carefully considers five key stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, capital providers and the organization itself. I enjoyed sharing my thoughts on meeting the needs of these important groups immediately after a merger...  Read More

  • SmallBizDaily: 5 Stakeholders to Consider During Post-Deal Integration

    The close of a deal is certainly cause for celebration, but it doesn't mean the work is over. In fact, what comes next is a far busier and more important season for the buyer. There are five key stakeholders that should be carefully considered during post-deal integration.   Read More

  • Who We Helped in 2019

    During the holiday season, our tradition is to reflect on the year and assess how we fulfilled our purpose as a firm. Maybe you do something similar.Oaklyn Consulting's purpose is to be a good citizen of the business communities where we operate.In particular, we serve fellow professionals who are seeking thoughtful, strategic financial advice for clients or situations that are hard for investment banking firms to serve.Our partners are the capital markets departments of banks and financial ...  Read More

  • Business.com: Venture Capital Winners and Losers: How to Stop the Bleeding From a Struggling VC Investment and How to Capitalize on Success

    Risk-taking is a natural part of venture capital. Many times, investments turn out just as expected. But other times, they can lead to either massive payoffs or problematic results.   Read More

  • Memphis Business Journal: How to stop the bleeding from a struggling VC investment

    Venture capital investors typically know how to handle their clearly winning and losing investments. The challenging ones are those that could be valuable, but are currently bleeding cash. It was a pleasure to contribute an article to the Memphis Business Journal offering four ways to stop the bleeding from a struggling VC investment. Read the full article here. “We’ve got to stop the bleeding.”My client was a venture capital (VC) investor, talking about a small ...  Read More

  • SmallBizDaily: Offering Entrepreneurs More Than a Checkbook

    Entrepreneurs dedicate their entire lives to building their businesses, so when it's time to sell, they're not always going to be interested in the largest sum of money. There are three things they often look for in business offers. I enjoyed sharing my thoughts on offering entrepreneurs more than a checkbook in SmallBizDaily.Read the original article here. Entrepreneurs invest their heart and soul toward the goal of making their businesses successful.So, it makes sense that, when t...  Read More

  • CFO: Not All CFOs Can Handle M&A

    Chief financial officers typically have a large sum of abilities, but expertise of the mergers and acquisitions process is rarely needed in this role, and it can be an expensive skill to hire for. Outsourcing the dealmaking skillset only while it's needed is beneficial for three main reasons. It was a privilege to share on this topic in my latest article in CFO. Read the original article here. Chief financial officers are an indispensable part of a company’s corporate structu...  Read More

  • Client Case Study: Axial Exchange, rest in peace

    Axial Exchange filed articles of dissolution on July 31, 2019. Its two predecessor companies, Register Patient and Ingage Patient, were incorporated in 2009 and backed by respected venture capital investors. A merger provided new energy in 2015, but it was clear by late 2018 that Axial no longer met the profile for VC investments.   Read More

  • Integra LifeSciences Acquires Arkis Biosciences Inc.

    Congratulations to our client Arkis Biosciences on its sale to Integra LifeSciences.See the transaction press release linked here.Innova Memphis, an early stage venture capital firm, led a syndicate of investors including Angel Capital Group, Lighthouse Fund, and other investors from across the U.S. that supported Arkis as the company grew and commercialized its product line.See the Innova press release linked here.Call Frank Williamson or Chris Wright at 888-983-1617 to discuss how we helped Ar...  Read More

  • Edge Magazine: Fee-based investment firm named most innovative company

    It's an honor to receive the Gold Stevie Award for the Most Innovative Company of the Year for businesses with under 100 employees. We are grateful to be recognized by our hometown newspaper for this accomplishment. You can read the original article in Edge Magazine here.Fee-based investment firm named most innovative companyAfter working on mergers and acquisitions and recapitalization plans for a decade and a half at Unum and Four Bridges Capital Advisors, Frank Williamson recognized that ...  Read More

  • Axial: 3 Steps to Take Before Launching a Family Office Direct Investment Strategy

    If you’ve been asked to design the direct equity investment strategy for a family office, there are some things you should first consider before making any decisions. I was honored to contribute an article to Axial offering tips to ensure you're protecting and growing the family's money.3 Steps to Take Before Launching a Family Office Direct Investment StrategyIn recent years, more family offices have been pursuing direct investment strategies as a way of achieving higher returns. ...  Read More

  • Memphis Business Journal: Why Manners – and Southern Etiquette – Can Make a Difference in Business

    I enjoyed writing an article for the Memphis Business Journal about the importance of manners in the business world and the effect they can have on a person's career. You can read the original article in the Memphis Business Journal here. Why Manners – and Southern Etiquette – Can Make a Difference in Business As a Southerner by birth, I grew up in a culture where manners were of paramount importance.When interacting with authority figures and peers, I came to understan...  Read More

  • Middle Market Growth: Private Capital Stitches Up Physician Practice Space

    I was glad to participate in an article in Middle Market Growth's most recent issue, offering my thoughts on the trend of private equity firms flocking to physician-run practices. You can read the original article on Middle Market Growth's website here.Private Capital Stitches Up Physician Practice SpaceIndustry pressures and shifting attitudes drive consolidationBy Kathryn MulliganPrivate equity firms continue to flock to physician-run practices, a fragmented space where demographic and...  Read More

  • Oaklyn Consulting Honored as Gold Stevie Award Winner in 2019 American Business Awards

    Tennessee fee-based investment banking firm is named Most Innovative Company of the YearNASHVILLE, Tennessee, May 2, 2019 – Tennessee investment banking firm Oaklyn Consulting was named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year in The 17th Annual American Business Awards today.This is the first year Oaklyn Consulting has won a Stevie Award, widely recognized as one of the nation’s top business awards. Oaklyn won in the Most Innovative Company of the Ye...  Read More

  • EDGE: Why Southern Manners Still Matter in the Business World

    In the South, we’re taught to mind our manners early on, but etiquette plays a large part in a person’s professional success. In the business world, "Southern manners" translates to respect for others, a commitment to community and a work-life balance. Read my new column in the Chattanooga Times Free Press' EDGE magazine here.Why Southern Manners Still Matter in the Business WorldGrowing up in the South, we’re taught that manners matter.Maintaining proper eye cont...  Read More

  • CFO: How to Prepare for "Crossroads" Situations

    "Crossroads” situations occur when a company needs to make a decisive step forward — but a number of options look equally appealing. In my latest article for CFO magazine, I offer advice on how executives can prepare for "crossroads" situations before they arise. To read the original article, go here.Financial executives play a major role in influencing a company’s strategy.   Read More

  • 2018 Middle Market Thought Leader of the Year Finalist

    It is an honor to be a finalist for the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors 2018 Middle Market Thought Leader of the Year Award.I founded Oaklyn Consulting in 2016 to address a problem facing small and middle-market private companies and their professional advisors:Investment banking and corporate finance advice is available almost exclusively from service providers who work for success fees, and as a result they help most when a deal of a certain size is the best outcome. But deals ar...  Read More

  • Memphis Business Journal: Has Your Business Reached a Pivot Point?

    Has your business reached a pivot point? Choosing to pursue a different business model isn’t an easy decision for entrepreneurs. In my latest Memphis Business Journal column, examine the question of when it’s time to pivot your business — and the three paths for doing it successfully.   Read More

  • Client Case Study: SilverSage Physician Services fuels growth with bank financing

    One of the most valuable attributes of the Oaklyn Consulting model is our ability to align the efforts of a project with the unique needs of each client. Such was the case in a recently completed engagement with SilverSage Physician Services, a rapidly growing company providing outsourced physician services to post-acute and long-term care facilities across the country.Setting the Stage:Though this stand-alone company was only 18 months old when Oaklyn became involved, the founder had previously...  Read More

  • Small Biz Daily: When the Sale of Your Business Spurs an Identity Crisis

    We often think of business ownership as a financial commitment, but it’s a personal one as well. In my latest column for Small Biz Daily, I explain how business owners' personal identities can factor into their decision to sell their businesses.Read the original article here.As the CEO of your company, you’re ultimately responsible for its success or failure. It’s tied to your own livelihood, as well as that of your employees, who have helped to build your company and who you don’t wan...  Read More

  • Who We Helped in 2018

    During the holiday season, our tradition is to reflect on the year and assess how we fulfilled our purpose as a firm. Maybe you do something similar.Oaklyn Consulting's purpose is to be a good citizen of the business communities where we operate, by handling situations that do not otherwise attract thoughtful investment banking advice.1. We did this by responding to introductions to CEO’s from counterparts in the business community, like investment banking firms, wealth managers, law f...  Read More

  • Mergers & Acquisitions: How Mid-Market Companies Can Manage 'Crossroads' Situations

    In my new column in Mergers & Acquisitions, I explore so-called "crossroads" transactions — complex situations that can turn potentially good companies into bad investment banking clients. Read the original article here.How Mid-Market Companies Can Manage 'Crossroads' SituationsAcross the spectrum of middle-market mergers and acquisitions, there’s a great big middle ground that specialist investment banking firms handle very well.The investment banking business ...  Read More

  • Client Case Study: Hotel Equities Joins Forces With Virtua Partners

    In the recent investment in Hotel Equities by Virtua Partners, we advised Hotel Equities on a mutually beneficial transaction by providing background advice, market benchmarks for business terms, risk assessment and negotiation support.After a year of discussions about the business partnership that they could create together, the owners of Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based hotel management company, and Virtua Partners, a Phoenix-based private-equity firm specializing in commercial real estate, de...  Read More

  • Journal of Private Equity: Capital and Financial Strategies for Private Companies

    I'm very proud to share the news that my academic article "Capital and Financial Strategies for Private Companies: Lessons from Their Publicly Traded Brethren" has been published in the fall 2018 issue of The Journal of Private Equity. An abstract is below, and you can read the full article here.Most businesses monitor their sales, marketing, and supply chain strategies. However, the companies with the best governance and risk management also regularly evaluate their...  Read More

  • Client Case Study: Professional Disability Associates sells to The Advocator Group

    In the recent sale of Professional Disability Associates to The Advocator Group, a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, we facilitated a mutually beneficial transaction by helping to manage the deal while the owners kept running the company. Deal or no deal, our eyes stayed on what was important and best for PDA’s owners.Issues & concernsAfter a year of discussions about how to team up with The Advocator Group, the owners of Professional Disability Associates sensed an offer to buy their company...  Read More

  • Nooga.com: 6 Steps for Entrepreneurs to Capitalize on the Strong Economy

    I recently spoke with Chattanooga news website Nooga.com about my advice for business owners seeking to take advantage of the current strong economy.Read the original article here.One local expert said the economy is strong and business owners can take advantage of that and grow their companies if they know the steps to take.Chattanooga-based Oaklyn Consulting advises clients about a range of business issues, including corporate finance, mergers, acquisitions and capital raising. Found...  Read More

  • Business.com: 5 Ways to Grow Your Business in Today's Economy

    In my new article for Business.com, I discuss five ways that business owners can capitalize on the strength of the current economy. Read the original article here.These are good times for business owners. The stock market continues its nine-year rise, unemployment is low, bank loans are cheap and, perhaps most importantly, consumer confidence is up.Although we’ve been on an upward trajectory in the U.S.   Read More

  • Client Case Study: Distribution Company, M&A Consulting

    In the recent sale of a distribution company, we tailored a project that was very different from traditional M&A engagements... and it closed the deal.Issues & concernsBusiness owner desired investment banking advice and was disappointed that he was not able to engage a traditional M&A boutique due to the size of his companyWhile confident that he could identify and attract potential buyers, he worried about his lack of market and process knowledge to respond to bidsWhile experienced...  Read More

  • Business.com: When Selling Your Business Causes an Identity Crisis

    I recently contributed an article to Business.com offering guidance for entrepreneurs whose personal identity may be tied to their role as business owners. Read the original article here.When you run a business, you're tied to it both financially and personally.The financial side is obvious: Your company's success or failure ultimately rides on your shoulders, affecting not just your personal livelihood but that of your employees.The emotional aspect of being a CEO is something that'...  Read More

  • Small Biz Daily: How to View Your Business Like an Investor

    My latest column in Small Biz Daily offers advice to entrepreneurs on how to make their businesses more attractive to potential investors.Read the original article here.Starting a business takes a lot of effort and commitment. Because of this, it’s likely that your business means more to you than just a source of income.The company that you’ve created is an extension of you. It’s a community you’re the leader of, a place you call home for a large part of your waking life....  Read More

  • Memphis Business Journal: Approaching Your Business As If You're an Investor

    In my latest column for the Memphis Business Journal, I offer advice to entrepreneurs on how to understand and maximize their company's appeal to potential buyers.Read the original article here.When you build a business from the ground up, it means more to you than dollars and cents. It’s an embodiment of your vision and years of hard work.Moreover, your company is a community; as a business owner, you’re the leader. A time comes when you need to consider a future for your business that doesn’t ...  Read More

  • MidMarket Talk: 6 M&A Lessons That Even Experienced Pros Forget Sometimes

    I recently penned an article for the Alliance of M&A Advisors' "MidMarket Talk" newsletter discussing some takeaways from a recent M&A forum that I participated in.Read the original article here.Being an M&A advisor is an experience of constant learning. No matter how long I work in this profession — and I’ve been doing it for more than 20 years — I never cease to encounter situations that present unforeseen challenges.I recently participated in a foru...  Read More

  • EDGE Magazine: 5 Actions to Grow Your Business in Today's Economy

    I recently contributed a column to the Chattanooga Times Free Press's business magazine, EDGE, offering advice to business owners looking to expand in today's economy. Read the original article here.Our economy is thriving and it has never been a better time to be a small-to-midsize business owner. Here are five action items your business can implement to take advantage of the current economic climate:Sell.   Read More

  • Small Business Today: 4 Questions You Should Ask Before Taking on a Business Partner

    I recently contributed an article to Small Business Today magazine examining the big questions any entrepreneur should ask themselves before taking on a business partner. To read the article on the magazine's website, click here.It’s been said that the closest thing to being a king in the United States is owning your own business.You can decide everything you want about your work environment. Though many entrepreneurs might not admit it, there is a certain emotional charge from being the boss.De...  Read More

  • Memphis Business Journal: Three situations when you may want to sell your business

    The prospect of selling one's business isn't something to take lightly. Yet, there are some situations when an offer might merit serious consideration. Jack Rainer recently wrote an article for the Memphis Business Journal examining three situations when a business owner should pay attention to an offer to sell.Read the original article here.When you own a business, you tend to focus on the here and now.   Read More

  • Mergers & Acquisitions: 4 things private equity firms can do when faced with an underperforming investment

    Mergers and Acquisitions recently featured an article by Christopher Wright exploring the various options for private equity firms when they're trying to extract value out of an underperforming investment. Follow this link to read the original article.Businesses fail for any number of reasons. A company could be decades old with a track record of healthy profit margins before taking a sudden downturn; conversely, distressed investments can easily pivot with the proper guidance. Particularly...  Read More

  • 2018 Is Coming. 6 Things to Think About As The New Year Starts.

    As we close out 2017, it’s obvious that times are awfully good right now. A lot of things are working in the economy. The Dow is hitting new highs.   Read More

  • MidMarket Talk: How an Hourly Billing Model Helps Us Reach Underserved Clients

    The Alliance of M&A Advisors' MidMarket Talk newsletter recently featured my latest column, in which I discussed situations where our hourly billing model helps us serve clients more effectively. Find the original article here or read below.One reason my career as an investment banker appeals to me is because I see how our work directly benefits people and the economy.Like other investment banking firms, my firm assists investor groups and startup-to-middle-market private businesses with...  Read More

  • Who We Helped in 2017

    In this season of giving thanks, we’d like to extend our gratitude to the entrepreneurs and investors we’ve worked with this past year. Thank you for the strong working relationships we’ve shared and for entrusting us with the big decisions concerning you and your business. We value your vote of confidence.Mergers & Acquisitions ConsultingIT Systems integrator in talks with a Fortune 100 corporationInsurance services company in talks with a publicly-traded insurance brokerReal estate managem...  Read More

  • Small Biz Daily: Managing Investor Relationships With Family and Friends

    I recently wrote a column for Small Biz Daily featuring advice for navigating investor relationships with family and friends. Find the original article here or read below.We’ve all heard the advice many times before: Don’t do business with friends and family.The reasons why are obvious. You don’t want to risk damaging close personal relationships because of a misunderstanding over money, or because of philosophical differences in how a business should be run.In spite of this, the mixing of perso...  Read More

  • Our Time-Based Billing Approach Helps In These Four Situations

    Our by-the-hour-model allows us act as a counselor, working alongside our clients to help them achieve their objectives. It seems like a little tweak, but the billing model allows us to help in many situations where traditional investment bankers cannot. Here are the stories of a few recent assignments:“One-off deal” - when our client knew who they wanted to negotiate with and they didn’t want to create an auction.   Read More

  • Midlands Anchor: 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

  • CFO Magazine: What to Do When Your Boss Sells the Company

    This article originally appeared in CFO magazine. To read the original version, click here.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 ensur...  Read More

  • Midlands Anchor: 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

  • Axial Forum: 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 able t...  Read More

  • Memphis Business Journal: 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

  • BOSS Magazine: 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

  • Midlands Anchor: 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 Accept a Pri...  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 will al...  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

  • Startup Southerner: 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

  • Small Business Daily: 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

  • Midlands Anchor: 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

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