For 30+ years I've worked with founders, CEOs, senior management teams, boards, and investors to create value and strengthen decision-making at public and private companies and nonprofits. I've helped to coalesce visions, develop value-maximizing strategies, discover new opportunities, identify value traps, discard unsuccessful ideas, adjust financial and operating structure, and evolve board culture, to be better at collaborating with leaders to create value.
I've been involved across various sectors, with a core focus on creatively-led, consumer-facing companies: brands and national omni-channel retailers. I've engaged across the size spectrum and business lifecycle, helping to develop and finance startups, evolve and grow mid-size companies, plan and finance turnarounds, execute value-maximizing exits for leadership teams and investors, and oversee restructurings and workouts. I've been particularly focused on situations involving uncertainty, change, and financial pressure, involving a need to re-examine assumptions, re-plot strategy, and restructure balance sheets.
My initial work was as an academic, studying companies in the midst of governance and performance controversies. Through that work I developed a core interest in the complexity, nuance, and challenges of board decision-making. I became focused on a tension in the process: boards are urged to be rigorous, independent, data-driven, dispassionate, and evaluative, but the visions of leadership teams are driven by intuition, instinct, experience, shared culture and values, and sheer conviction. In times of stress, the resulting schism - in perspectives, expectations, language, mindset - can become the single biggest obstacle to change (and also, the single biggest risk factor).
After a dozen years in academia and policy, I established Integrity Brands, an investment and advisory platform, to engage full time with companies as an investor, board member, board leader, adviser, and occasional interim leadership team member. Since then my focus has been on supporting, critiquing, and helping tackle the difficult reality of key decisions - guided by the core belief that respecting visions, convictions, and culture as much as (often, more than) data, analysis, and evaluation leads to better outcomes. Evolving board culture in that direction also leads to deeper, more stable, more supportive relationships with leaders.
One colleague - a former management team member at a company where I was an investor and board member, and with whom I've served on boards, was kind enough to say (and I'll be immodest enough to repeat): "His strategic thinking, ability to evaluate the needs of both small and large companies, and his capacity to understand the nuance of how management teams interact has proven invaluable."
Please email me to start a conversation.