Friday, July 30, 2010

Lots of changes at the new ZweigWhite

Mark Zweig offers an update on ZweigWhite's beefed-up management team:

It was 22 years ago this past July 13 that I started Mark Zweig & Associates, which later became ZweigWhite. We grew like a weed— being named twice to the Inc. 500 List of Fastest-Growing Privately Held Businesses in the U.S.— right up to the point we were acquired by a Chicago-based SBIC (Small Business Investment Corporation). I retired from active duty and moved to Arkansas to teach entrepreneurship and start my real estate redevelopment business. Our new owners merged us with a couple other companies, installed their own management, and we had some turnover. As the economy got tougher, our own performance worsened. It’s a classic story that has been told thousands of times before.

Help arrived some months back when our new parent company, Eli Research, came on the scene. After a period of observation and study, Eli Founder and CEO Greg Lindberg, an amazing entrepreneur himself, decided to make some changes. It’s been a wild six weeks or so! Here’s a quick rundown on some of the exciting happenings in our firm:

My old friend Ed Friedrichs has joined the firm as chairman. Ed is the former chief executive officer of the one of the largest and most successful and influential design firms in the world, Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm. Ed joined Gensler when the firm had 20 employees and helped lead the transformation of Gensler to a firm with 2,400 professionals worldwide. I have worked with Ed on a couple different boards of private companies and I can tell you that he is a veritable fountainhead of ides. Plus, anyone who can get that many design professionals pulling in the same direction is an amazing leader, if you ask me— and we are extremely fortunate to have him join our team.

Tracey Jeffers, MBA, CBA, CMEA, has joined the firm as head of our national business valuation practice and ZweigWhite is acquiring Tracey’s firm, ValuPath Advisors, Inc. ValuPath is a successful national valuation firm and will significantly enhance our valuation capabilities in the market. I worked with Tracey when she headed up the Small Business Development Center on the University of Arkansas campus. She is a tireless perfectionist who knows her stuff and knows how to get things done— just what our clients need!

Wendy MacColl has joined the firm as head of new product development and will serve as director of Distance Learning and Market Councils. Wendy will be working on several new innovative products for the AEC community to be launched in the coming months. I worked with Wendy (who is also a flat track motorcycle racer) when she served as the head of instructional design at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. She’s smart and her years of curriculum design experience for management education at a high level are going to be invaluable to us.

Jeff Clark has joined ZweigWhite as head of mergers and acquisitions in our Investment Banking Division. Jeff has worked for several years with ZweigWhite’s parent company, Eli Global, as an M&A consultant handling 19 successful engagements totaling over $150 million in transaction value. Before working with Eli Global, Jeff provided strategic consulting services to Syska Hennessy Group in the AEC space and for several Fortune 500 companies.

W. Hobson Hogan has joined the firm as principal in our Investment Banking Division. Hobson is a seasoned mergers and acquisitions professional with deep experience assisting AEC firms with strategy formulation and ownership transfer issues. Before joining ZweigWhite, Hobson was with FMI Capital Advisors, Inc.

I am very excited to announce that our Investment Banking Division is now offering full-service investment banking services, including a global capital markets team that can structure and place a variety of debt and equity products for our clients. We can help you raise debt and equity capital to help your business grow or complete an acquisition.

We have also expanded our advisory capabilities for acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, recapitalizations, spin-offs, and leveraged buyouts. ZweigWhite and its parent company, Eli Global, have extensive buy- and sell-side M&A experience to help AEC firms achieve their short- and long-term strategic objectives.

And finally, I have rejoined the firm once again on full active duty as our chief executive officer, and am working from our new office in here in beautiful and centrally located Fayetteville, Arkansas. I am really excited to be back involved with ZweigWhite in a meaningful way (and working about 80 hours a week!). We will return to the principles that allowed us to be named twice to the Inc. 500 List of Fastest-Growing Privately Held Businesses and reestablish our leadership in providing management information and advice to help make our A/E/P and environmental firm clients more successful. And we’ll have a heck of a lot of fun doing it!

If anyone has any questions about us or comments on how we could do better, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. My cell phone number is 508-380-0469 and my e-mail address is

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