LBMC's Joey Harwell
For the first time, Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain has hired someone to market the firm's diverse services to private-equity groups and companies in the funds' portfolios.
Joey Harwell has been at it about five months, and says he's already done a couple due-diligence projects and has a proposal out to manage a wind-down. He told VNC in a recent interview that the new LBMC service "seems to resonate with the venture-backed businesses," in part "because it's just one headache you can get off the management team's list."
Harwell said LBMC offers, among other things, to do "deep dives" on portfolio-company financials at reasonable rates, using analytical tools LBMC has onhand. Using analytics, he said, a company can get early warning when something starts to "go sideways" in a portfolio company.
Harwell also noted that entrepreneurs who own companies "in transition" often find belatedly that "they've been training their competitors," when key executives leave a company as it matures. Harwell offers to help smooth such transitions. His portfolio includes financial modeling, due diligence, ongoing financial analysis, debt and equity capital services, ownership transitions, turn-around and restructuring, and liquidation management. He is also prepared to served as interim or part-time CFO.
David Morgan (left), managing partner of the 24-year-old company, told VNC in the same interview that while family-owned businesses may be a bit less prevalent, there are more private-equity-owned companies. Morgan noted that companies in transition from family to professional management and moving toward ownership by private equity-holders face major transition challenges and tougher metrics and much more aggressive reporting expectations. That produces a very different culture, may require recruiting new talent and other changes, all of which LBMC feels it is now equipped to handle more seamlessly.
The company says Harwell, 49, is a CPA with more than 25 years' experience, primarily in the manufacturing, distribution, and healthcare industries. He has also held C-level roles with private-equity-controlled companies, including Manchester Tank and Noranda Aluminum. Earlier, the Pulaski native was with Arthur Young consulting services, and an auditor with KPMG. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from David Lipscomb University and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt. ♦