Pendleton Street Advisors

Experience OLD

We specialize in make-or-break moments.

 
 

Take off clients


Selling after Exponential Growth

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It all started with a blog post. When Mills came across Jessica’s anxious musings on the exponential growth of her business and whether she was ready to sell any one of the numerous investors who had come knocking at her door, he got curious. He found her contact information in the fine print of her trademark application. And then, he made a call.

According to Jessica, that conversation changed everything.

“When Mills contacted me, I knew that I needed financial oversight and advice, that there was information I wasn’t wrapping my head around” she says. “I had never heard of a firm focused on the needs of a creative entrepreneur like me — but I knew I couldn’t keep going it alone. It just felt like a no brainer to see if they could help.”


After signing an engagement letter with Jessica, the Pendleton team’s first order of business was to get her books straight. Once the team had established a firm grasp on the numbers at play, they helped Jessica increase both the manageability and profit margins of her business by helping her delegate operations, ensuring the business could maintain its value whenever she was ready to exit her role as founder and CEO. Along the way, they also helped her filter unqualified buyers and identify her goals so that — when the right buyer did come along — she could feel confident in her decision to sell.

That right buyer came along two years after Pendleton’s initial engagement. “The guys are great question askers. There were times when I would go to respond, and all of the sudden I realized I was speaking the insight I needed to make a next step,” Jessica says. “By the time I sold, I felt like I was getting what my business was really worth — and that we had left no stone unturned.”

Today, Pendleton continues to manage the proceeds of Jessica’s sale on her behalf. “I still feel like I can ask them anything,” she says. “And I know with their help that the money I’ve earned is going to work for me, not the other way around.”

Pushing through a Growing Company's Plateau

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After enjoying eight years of organic growth, Ashley’s business had hit a wall. “I was working harder than ever, but we had plateaued. I realized, OK, I’ve made it this far. But if I want to continue to have substantial and incremental growth, I’ve got to make even better decisions and bring in someone more capable than I am,” she says.

It was in talking to a current Pendleton Street client that Ashley realized she could benefit from the kind of services her friend described. She reached out, engaging Pendleton Street to help her breakthrough her company’s recent bout of stagnant revenues. Advisement came in the form of opening a line of credit that could smooth her cash flow and help her fulfill orders from major big-box retailers. Once Ashley had steady access to capital, she was able to buy out an early investor, consolidating her ownership of the company she had built.

This year, Ashley’s company reached 100 percent revenue growth. She attributes her success in large part to the help of Pendleton Street. “They’re my outsourced CFOs,” she says. “But it’s more than that. They’re not traditional finance guys. At every step, whether negotiating a buyout agreement with my business partner or thinking through compensation for my team or looking at how I can grow my customer base, they’re also thinking about whether these decisions fit my values and what’s going to benefit my business 5, 10, even 25 years down the road.”

Making the Most of a Quick-Turnaround Sale

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Where business begins, friendship ends. Or so the saying goes. But for Nathan and Jen, it seemed only natural to reach out to longtime friend and Pendleton Street senior analyst Mills Snell for occasional off-the-cuff business advice. When the couple was ready to sell their burgeoning lifestyle company, they knew it was finally time to engage in a formal relationship.

As Nathan recalls, “We were at the end of our ourselves. The business was doing well, but we didn’t have the time and energy to devote to it, or to make sure it kept growing. Selling seemed too daunting, so we announced we were going to close up shop. Then we got all these offers —I think that was when we knew we needed outside expertise.”

Pendleton Street Advisors engaged first to value the early stage company, and then to separate the serious offers from the unqualified. Once the field had been narrowed to two buyers, the team negotiated a buyout that would allow Nathan and Jen to retain 40 percent ownership of their business in exchange for Jen’s continued creative involvement. According to Jen, it’s been the perfect solution. “To be honest, we never thought our company would grow as quickly or be as successful as it was,” she says. “Now we have the best of both worlds, and I feel so at peace with our decision.”

Landing Clients


Increasing a Printing Company's Value in Preparation for Sale

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Almost without realizing it, Henry had begun preparation for the sale of his three-decade-old printing business. First, he bought out his brother’s share of the company. Then, he brought in two executives to manage the day-to-day leadership of his XXX employees. “I knew I’d have to get out eventually,” he recalls. “I also knew we’d gotten to the point where continuing to grow the business would require a greater investment of time and capital than I was willing to invest at my age. It just felt like time.”

After Henry became a client, the Pendleton Street team worked with him to determine what his business needed to be worth in order for him to sell and live comfortably. It took another year to bring the business value up to that number. While Henry had always run a tight ship and been an excellent manager of day-to-day operations, there were little tweaks — like allowing existing equipment to depreciate rather than expensing new equipment for tax write-off purposes — that made the health of his bottom line more attractive to prospective buyers.

“The beauty was that I wasn’t in a hurry to sell,” he says. “That’s why I wasn’t interested in a business broker. But if the right people came along with the same values I have, enough money, enough know-how to take the company to the next level … when those things fit together, I wanted to be ready to go.” Eventually, the right buyer did come along. Henry sold to a private equity group for more than the true valuation of his company. Today, Pendleton Street continues to manage Henry’s individual portfolio and his children’s trust funds.

Managing Assets after an Insurance Industry Merger

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Chris’s family wasn’t interested in taking over his privately held insurance company. Neither was his staff. And so, when he felt like it was finally time to cash out, he knew he’d have to look for an outside buyer. He quickly found a business broker who could handle the merger of his company. Then, he went looking for a team that could handle everything after.

“I needed someone who could take care of my portfolio and the assets that came out of that merger, someone who could maximize the return without me having to be hands-on — that’s when I was referred to Pendleton Street Advisors.” Pendleton Street Advisors has helped Chris convert assets to cash, and then manage that cash so that it continues to serve him well into retirement. A serial entrepreneur, Chris now has liquidity available to shepherd new ideas and projects without risking his family’s financial security.

“At the end of the day, it’s about a relationship,” Chris says. “Pendleton shows a genuine interest in what I want out of life. They stay one step ahead of me in terms of suggestions, and they do so much more than manage our stocks.” From questions about his mother-in-law’s estate to advice on end of the year donations, the Pendleton Street team is there to make sure all Chris’s financial concerns are addressed.

Divvying Up a Family-Run Sand and Trucking Operation

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After four generations of family ownership, Jason and his two older brothers had begun to question whether it was time for an exit strategy. While Jason wanted to continue working for a few years, his brothers were ready for retirement. Not wanting to be left in a bind, Jason contacted his estate planner to see what his next step should be. The suggestion? Work with Pendleton Street Advisors to formulate a plan.

“Anytime you have a business that you grew up with, when that’s all you’ve ever done, it’s a big step to think about giving all of that up,” Jason says. “We also wanted to make sure everyone — my wife, my brothers’ wives, all the family involved in our two companies — was comfortable with whatever we decided. We didn’t want to put strain on our relationships. And then of course, there was our worry that we wouldn’t find a buyer with our same values. Just a lot of moving parts.”

Pendleton helped all three couples involved unbraid their personal and company finances, sell the family’s sand business for eight times the profit of the company, and then negotiate so Jason was able to buy out his brothers’ share of the trucking operation By adding a layer of compassionate remove to the process and showing each stakeholder what he needed to retire, Pendleton Street was able to facilitate a deal that all involved parties felt was fair.

Today, Jason and his wife, Leslie, continue to run the family’s trucking business, although they’ve begun to transition leadership to Leslie’s daughter. As they prepare for the fifth generation of family-led management, Pendleton Street will be right alongside daughter and parent to help them structure a succession plan that benefits both sides. “Going through the process we did, building that kind of trust — it just all meshed,” Leslie says. “They really fit into our environment here, as far as our work and family business, and we feel like we’re getting really good guidance.”