Interviews

Our goal at Morgan & Westfield is to provide you, our readers, with high quality information and valuable resources to help you navigate through the process of buying or selling your business. In this section, we provide interviews from various professionals somehow involved in the process of buying or selling a business.

As you read through the interviews, you will see several of the questions are repeated in different interviews. While we think it is important to ask each professional a wide range of questions, it is equally important to ask professionals some of the same questions we find particularly important. This way, you can get various perspectives and different opinions on the most important issues you will face as you go through the process of buying or selling a business.

We encourage you to read through multiple interviews and we hope that as you progress through the interviews you will not only become more informed about the issues and trials you will face, but that you will feel confident as you embark on the journey of buying or selling a business.

Business Appraiser Interviews

Dan Doran | Certified Valuation Analyst

In this interview, Dan Doran, explains to business owners that planning ahead is a must, and it will generate more value and return on investment in the end if planning for a sale is included in the startup of the business. While many owners are pouring money into starting the business, they do not realize an extra few thousand dollars now can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in value at the time the business sells. Mr. Doran is the Founder and Principal of Quantive Business Valuations and a seasoned valuation professional.

Walter Blijleven | Certified Valuation Analyst and Business Valuator

In this interview, Walter Blijleven discusses how you can avoid a faulty sale through due diligence, how you can protect yourself from paying too much for a business, whether you need to have your business and real estate appraised separately, how to secure funding for a purchase, the proper ways to exit your business, and the importance of a buy-sell agreement. Mr. Blijleven is a highly experienced finance professional, a Dutch CPA and a US business valuator.

Marcus A. Sullivan | Certified Valuation Analyst

In this interview, we discuss business valuation and appraisal with Marcus Sullivan, CVA. Mr. Sullivan is a certified valuation analyst, as well as the Founder and Managing Partner of Sullivan Consulting, a boutique consulting firm based in Puerto Rico. Today, Mr. Sullivan tackles topics such as the importance of due diligence and how you can get a premium value for your business. Not only does Mr. Sullivan explain the why and how of business valuation, he also shares with us the three most critical factors that improve the value of a business.

Michael Bankus | CVA, MBA

In today’s interview, we speak with Michael Bankus, Principal at Goriano Experts & Advisors, a business valuation consulting firm. Mr. Bankus knows that when it comes to buying or selling a business, a strategic plan must be created and executed. According to Mr. Bankus, business appraisal and valuation should be at the top of every business owner’s list. Not only does he discuss what is needed to prepare a business for sale, Mr. Bankus also breaks down the anatomy of buy-sell agreements, minority interest appraisals and exit plans.

Brad Van Horn | ASA, CBA, CVA, CPA, MBA

Today we were given the opportunity to interview Mr. Van Horn, the president and founder of Business Appraisal Services, LLC. Mr. Van Horn has over 23 years of business valuation experience and has been involved with over 3,000 valuation engagements. In this interview, Mr. Van Horn discusses various aspects of appraisals, such as real estate appraisals, appraising a minority interest, when to get an appraisal done, and the benefits of having a business appraised.

John G. Mack | ASA, MCBA, ABAR

John G. Mack, the managing member of Mack Business Appraisals, LLC, is here today to talk with us about how to sell a business and how business appraisals play a role in that transaction. He launches into a discussion about when and why it is a good idea to have your business appraised, and he moves on to talk about what goes into a business appraisal, the different types of business appraisals, and why different appraisals may offer different information.

Garrett M. Wilson | CFA, CVA

Today it is our pleasure to interview Mr. Garrett Wilson, a Senior Manager in the Denver office of RGL Forensics. Mr. Wilson specializes in the field of business and security valuation and his work includes financial, economic and valuation analyses for financial reporting purposes, mergers & acquisitions, asset and securities valuations, manager selection, corporate strategy and litigation. Mr. Wilson explains earnouts, working capital adjustments and normalized salary. He goes on to give factors that can improve the value of your business and discusses how long it can take to sell your business. Those are just a few of the topics discussed in today’s interview!

Steven J. Siefert | CFA, ASA-BV/IA

In this interview, we speak with Steven Siefert, Accredited Senior Appraiser and Business Valuator at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Anyone who is thinking of selling a business will want to pay close attention to this interview. Here, you will learn about the most important things you can do in order to build business value before a sale. Mr. Siefert points out which types of buyers are likely to pay more for a business. He shares with us his expertise regarding topics such as the different types of business appraisals, the ins and outs of structuring a business sale, and the critical role of timing in the sale of a business.

Michael S. Blake | CFA, ASA, ABAR, BCA

In this interview with Michael Blake, the Director of Valuation Services at Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP, we take a look at what you need to know about appraising your business before you sell. We discuss different methods of appraisal and why you need an appraisal, as well as how you can keep your costs low when you do need to appraise your business. We will also take a moment to look at buy-sell agreements and what you need to know when creating one.

Angela Sadang | ASA, CFA

We recently had the distinctive opportunity to interview Angela Sadang, CFA, ASA, and a Director in the Litigation and Corporate Financial Advisory Services Group at Marks Paneth LLP in Manhattan.Today, Ms. Sadang discusses how to determine what your business is worth, how to get a premium value for your business, using online software to value a business, getting paid for the potential your business has, and so much more!

Jason Kwiatkowski | CPA, CA, CBV, ASA, CEPA

In this interview, we cover topics covering valuing and appraising businesses with Jason Kwiatkowski, co-founder and the President at Valuation Support Partners Ltd. Mr. Kwiatkowski has completed numerous valuation and expert reports for various purposes, including but not limited to share transactions, tax and general corporate planning, corporate reorganizations, succession/exit planning, commercial and shareholder disputes, tort disputes and insurance claims. He was more than willing to sit with us and answer a few questions in regards to business evaluations, differences in appraised values, and how location can affect the value of a business.

Michael A. Gould | CPA/ABV/CFF, ASA, CFE, CVA

Michael A. Gould is a Director at Rotenberg Meril Solomon Bertiger & Guttilla, P.C. Mr. Gould is a CPA, ABV, ASA, CFE, CVA, CFF and specializes in fair value accounting for financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, sales of a business, split-ups/spin-offs, succession planning, liquidation/reorganization, mediation/arbitration and more. Today, Mr. Gould shares with us his wealth of knowledge and answers questions about valuations and more.

Jerry Horton | MS, MBA, CBA, Ph.D.

In this interview, we discuss exit planning, business appraisals, valuations, normalized salary, working with a CPA, Business appraiser, and Attorney, and more. Dr. Horton has owned, operated and started several high tech businesses in the past twenty-five years and has many years of experience performing forensic accounting on seller’s financials, analysis of financials during due diligence phase of acquisition and business valuations.

Joshua Johnson | Accredited Senior Appraiser

In this interview with Mr. Joshua Johnson, a senior valuation analyst at Shenehon Company, we have the pleasure of discussing some very important topics that all business owners should familiarize themselves with before selling their business. Mr. Johnson has valued hundreds of holding companies and family-owned businesses. Today, Mr. Johnson explains the difference between an appraisal and a valuation and discusses how an appraisal works, including what types of property can be appraised.

Attorney Interviews

Francis Boyer | Esquire

Francis M. Boyer, Esq., is a member of the Bars of Florida and the District of Columbia. Mr. Boyer is also one of the few attorneys in Florida to be Board Certified by the Florida Bar as an Expert in International Law. In this interview, Mr. Boyer explains when a business owner should hire an attorney, how to avoid a lawsuit, buying and selling businesses in different countries, minimizing post-closing problems, and more.

Adam Gana | Attorney

In this interview, we discuss business law with attorney Adam Gana. Mr Gana is the managing partner of Gana LLP in New York, NY. His practice focuses on all aspects of securities arbitration, complex commercial and business litigation, insurance litigation, employment law, class actions and appeals. In this interview, he discusses financing a business, the precautions a business owner should take when selling a business, getting the most out of working with an attorney, and more!

Hae Kyung (Ella) Lim | Attorney

Today we have the opportunity to interview Ms. Ella Lim, the managing-member of Lim & Company, P.L., which services all of Florida! In this interview, she shares insight on how a sale can affect a lease and whether, legally, a business owner must inform a landlord about the sale of a business. Ms. Lim also explains escrow, customer contracts, and how an attorney can help business owners.

Jamie Sasson | Managing Partner at The Ticktin Law Group, P.A.

Jamie Sasson is a managing partner at The Ticktin Law Group. Mr. Sasson’s concentration is in the area of business law, real estate law, and commercial litigation. In this interview, he discusses attorneys’ fees, disclosure obligations, how an attorney can help with the sale of a business, and much more.

Royce Lanning | Attorney

In this interview, Royce Lanning gives you pointers on how to stretch your money and decrease fees when working with an attorney when buying or selling a business. Mr. Lanning, an associate attorney with the Strong Firm, has experience working on both sides of a business sale. Here, Mr. Lanning discusses the most successful tactics he has seen work to the advantage of clients. According to Mr. Lanning, the three most important things to keep in mind when working with an attorney include preparing questions ahead of time, finding an attorney you trust, and doing some of the work on your own.

Ekaterina Mouratova | Attorney

Business law attorney Ekaterina Mouratova, founder of Ekaterina Mouratova Law Firm, PLLC, represents both individuals and companies in a broad range of business industries, including manufacturing, e-commerce, entertainment and others. In this interview, Mrs. Mouratova offers professional insight into the complex world of entrepreneurial business law. She also discusses business transactions, non-disclosure agreements and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

Robert Shipley | Attorney

Robert Shipley is problem-solving trial attorney with experience arguing cases on the Illinois Appellate Court. He is a considered a trusted advisor by many business owners, and is here to share his knowledge with us today. In this interview, he discusses some of the legal issues that may arise when you are selling a business, such as what happens when you have disputes with the buyer during the sale. He also address issues you may have with your landlord.

Richard Leissner, Jr. | Attorney

Today, we interview Attorney Richard Leissner, a Partner at Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A. Mr. Leissner has extensive experience in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate sales and acquisitions, leases and various other real property transactions. In this interview, Mr. Leissner discusses how selling a business can affect your lease, earnest money deposits, how to benefit from working with an attorney, and more.

Chris Cali | Attorney

In this interview, we have the opportunity to discuss wth attorney Chris Cali the legal aspects buyers and sellers should consider when buying and selling a business. Mr. Cali offers excellent insight on an array of topics, including: third-party contracts, due diligence, working with an attorney and attorney's fees.

Peter C. Brehm | Esq, CVA

In this interview, we discuss the importance of having a business appraised with Peter Brehm, an attorney and certified valuation analyst. Mr. Brehm is a partner at Business Law Center, PLC, where he advises small business owners on tax issues, buying and selling businesses, estate planning, succession planning and shareholder issues. Today, Mr. Brehm answers a variety of questions regarding business appraisals and valuations, and shows us how this complex process is much more than just extracting a number. He also offers advice on how to choose the best appraiser, as well as the best time to sell, merge or recapitalize a company.

Hanwei Cheng | Attorney

In this interview, we discuss a variety of topics with Hanwei Cheng, Senior Counsel at Adli Law Group, P.C. As a practicing attorney specializing in business litigation, transactions and real estate law, Mr. Cheng was named “Top Attorney” for Civil Litigation by Pasadena Magazine in 2012 and 2013. Here, he discusses a broad range of topics such as business purchases and sales, business appraisals and intellectual property law. Mr. Cheng also emphasizes and explains the importance of due diligence when buying or selling a business.

Robert A. Shipley |

Robert Shipley is problem-solving trial attorney with experience arguing cases on the Illinois Appellate Court. He is a considered a trusted advisor by many business owners, and is here to share his knowledge with us today. In this interview, he discusses some of the legal issues that may arise when you are selling a business, such as what happens when you have disputes with the buyer during the sale. He also address issues you may have with your landlord.

Richard P. Leissner, Jr. |

Today, we interview Attorney Richard Leissner, a Partner at Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A. Mr. Leissner has extensive experience in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate sales and acquisitions, leases and various other real property transactions. In this interview, Mr. Leissner discusses how selling a business can affect your lease, earnest money deposits, how to benefit from working with an attorney, and more.

Chris Cali |

Legal Aspects to Consider When Buying and Selling a Business

In this interview, we have the opportunity to discuss wth attorney Chris Cali the legal aspects buyers and sellers should consider when buying and selling a business. Mr. Cali offers excellent insight on an array of topics, including: third-party contracts, due diligence, working with an attorney and attorney's fees.

Julie Lusthaus | Esq.

In this interview, we discuss an array of topics with attorney Julie Lusthaus, partner at Einbinder & Dunn. Ms. Lusthaus has been practicing law since 1996 and has substantial experience representing franchise and private business clients. If you have any questions regarding the legal aspects of buying, selling or appraising a franchise or private business, then this interview is a must read. Not only does Ms. Lusthaus cover the basics of buying and selling a franchise business, she also offers insight into the problems that could arise during the sales process, as well as important information such as a non-compete agreement.

Peter C. Brehm | Esq, CVA

In this interview, we discuss the importance of having a business appraised with Peter Brehm, an attorney and certified valuation analyst. Mr. Brehm is a partner at Business Law Center, PLC, where he advises small business owners on tax issues, buying and selling businesses, estate planning, succession planning and shareholder issues. Today, Mr. Brehm answers a variety of questions regarding business appraisals and valuations, and shows us how this complex process is much more than just extracting a number. He also offers advice on how to choose the best appraiser, as well as the best time to sell, merge or recapitalize a company.

Hanwei Cheng |

In this interview, we discuss a variety of topics with Hanwei Cheng, Senior Counsel at Adli Law Group, P.C. As a practicing attorney specializing in business litigation, transactions and real estate law, Mr. Cheng was named “Top Attorney” for Civil Litigation by Pasadena Magazine in 2012 and 2013. Here, he discusses a broad range of topics such as business purchases and sales, business appraisals and intellectual property law. Mr. Cheng also emphasizes and explains the importance of due diligence when buying or selling a business.

Harry J. DiDonato | Esq. LL.M. The Necessary Legal Steps of a Business Transaction

In this interview, Harry DiDonato, transactional attorney and business advisor at MacElree and Harvey Law Firm, utilizes his 25 years of legal experience to discuss topics, such as: business aquisition and sales, corporate matters, real estate transactions and tax planning. Mr. DiDonato also explains the unique advantage that you will gain with the assistance of a seasoned mergers and acquisitions attorney during the purchase or sale of your business.

Andrew R. Silverman | Esq.

In this interview, we discuss an array of topics with corporate law and business litigation attorney Andrew Silverman. As associate attorney of the MacElree Harvey Law Firm, Mr. Silverman has helped numerous corporate and business clients litigate and negotiate a variety of claims and issues, including shareholder oppression, LLC member disputes, advancement and indemnification rights and fiduciary duties of officers and directors. He also discusses the steps you can take in order to negotiate a business separation agreement on favorable terms.

M. Blen Gee Jr. | Attorney

Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Blen Gee, a partner at Johnson, Hearn, Vinegar & Gee, PLLC. Today we discuss valuation, taxation, financing, franchises, and what business owners can do to protect themselves from being sued and what to do if they are sued. Valuation is very subjective. I frequently see a broad range of values for similar businesses. Very often a business will be valued quite low for tax purposes. A similar business may be valued quite high in the event of a litigation. There are “rules of thumb” for various industries. This can give the prospective seller a ballpark idea of the value of his company. However, a more sophisticated valuation is essential in setting the market price.

Accountant & CPA Interviews

Russel T. Glazer | CPA/ABV, MCBA, ABAR, ASA, CVA, MBA

In this interview exclusive, Russell Glazer, CPA, discusses buy-sell agreements, buying out an owner, working with a CPA and hiring an attorney. Mr. Glazer is a Partner with Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C. and is a member of the firm’s Business Valuation & Litigation Services Group. Mr. Glazer is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Valuation Analyst, Master Certified Business Appraiser, is accredited in Business Valuation and is an Accredited Senior Appraiser.

Scott R. Miegel | CPA, CBA, CrFA

In this interview, we talk with Scott Miegel about the reasons why a business owner would hire a CPA, the role a CPA should play in buying or selling a business, and more. Mr. Miegel is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Florida, a Certified Business Appraiser with the Institute of Business Appraisers, and a Certified Forensic Accountant with the American College of Forensic Examiners.

Rick Adamy | CPA/ABV, ASA, CBA

Today we have the opportunity to interview Rick Adamy, a CPA and the founder of Adamy Valuation Advisors. In this interview, Mr. Adamy gives us an overview of several very important topics, including: valuations, equity value, working capital adjustments, earnouts, enterprise value, private equity groups and a venture capital groups. If your primary goal is simply to get the best price, watch two things: market multiples and what’s going on in your industry. Published data on market multiples show history and current levels. The market is strong right now, recovering from the low point following the recession.

Sam Bachstein | CPA

As is common with any medium or large-scale business transaction, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) plays many roles in the buying and selling process. In today’s interview, we interview Sam Bachstein, an audit partner and CPA at Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, LLP. With 15 years’ experience as a CPA, Mr. Bachstein is the ideal professional to answer our most complex questions as they relate to the CPA’s role in various business transactions. Above and beyond the topic of how CPA’s can assist in business valuations, purchases and sales, Mr. Bachstein also introduces us to some important accounting principles as they relate to a successful business transaction.

Matt E. Turpin | CPA, CVA, CMAP, CGMA

A Certified Public Accountant is able to play a multitude of roles when it comes to the purchase or sale of a business. In today’s interview, we speak with Matt E. Turpin, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst at Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC. Mr. Turpin is just the professional to answer our most complex questions as they relate to both the CPA’s and CVA’s role in various business transactions. Above and beyond the topic of how a CPA is able to assist in tasks such as due diligence, Mr. Turpin also introduces us to some key concepts, such as how Working Capital Adjustments relate to a business purchase or sale.

Elliott Chester | CPA, CFE, CVA, CGMA

Today we interview Business Appraiser and Certified Public Accountant Elliott Chester, who specializes in Business Valuation, Litigation Support and Forensic Accounting. In this interview, he discusses the different factors that come in to play when buying or selling a business, and how those factors can impact a sale. Mr. Chester explains how and why book value, equity value and enterprise value can affect the sale or purchase of a business. Mr. Chester also shares with us some valuable advice about getting to know the buyer of your business.

Brian D. Bornino | CPA/ABV, CFA, CBA

In this interview, we discuss a wide variety of topics with Brian Bornino, the Director of Valuation Services at GBQ Consulting LLC. Mr. Bornino has led, managed, or completed nearly 2,500 valuation engagements during his career and is here to share his wealth of knowledge on the subject. He also discusses exit planning, business appraisals, and how working with various professionals can help you successfully sell your business.