Open Letter to Business Founders

I wanted to share with you some thoughts in regard to doing business with Founders Trust. Most owners spend a considerable amount of time building their business. It is their personal creation, and it is part of their legacy. Building a business is a trial-and-error process, and it takes a lot of personal involvement and soul depositing. The business becomes a direct reflection of its creator, a representation of who the founder is and what he stands for. The founder’s culture reflects itself in the business, and that’s why, many times, people confuse the founder with the business itself.

Founders trust is not the only possibility you have for an exit. There are many companies that might consider buying your company. And we are not necessary the best option for every owner. But we are an excellent option for exit for a very particular category of owner. Let me explain:
I would say that usually, potential buyers belong in two main categories, strategic and financial:

1) Strategic buyers consider that they already know the business better than you and you don’t run your operations efficiently as non-professional manager/founder. They consider you emotional in your decision making and they are looking forward to getting you out of there and “make your operations efficient”. They consider you to be emotional with your personnel and with your long-term client’s relationships, and they see a lot of “fat” they can cut. If you choose to go with this type of buyer, it will be like your business never existed, most likely a lot of your long-term trusted personnel will be terminated as “efficiency opportunities” and no one will know anything about your creation and legacy in a short period of time.

2) The financial buyer doesn’t necessarily have the interest to stick around for a long time. The approach there is to apply some commoditized financial engineering, use its in-house managers to do some quick fixes, and the exit will be performed whenever that market is ripe for it.
For many sellers, the purpose is to have an exit as soon as possible, and get the best price they can in the market today. For those sellers, there is nothing wrong with any of these buyers. These buyers focus on larger companies, and, the larger the company, the higher the multiple. Above $100 million, the real competition starts, because these financial buyers really need bulk, and large acquisitions, to be able to deploy a lot of capital.

Nevertheless, for the owner that cares about his creation, his legacy, the employees that helped him get where he is today, all the people that worked by his side all these years to create the business, and he wants to see his creation achieving its potential, Founders Trust is a great option.

If you choose to do business with Founders Trust, we will not announce the deal, except in rare cases when we all mutually agree to do so, and there is not going to be any broker involved. Everything is confidential and discreet. We will need all your human capital that is currently working in your business. We consider the human capital as the most important asset of the business. Your business will operate autonomously to a great degree. We don’t intervene in the day-to-day operations. We just need to be on the same page regarding any capex of the business and about how we compensate and aligned interests with the head of the business. All your employees will become part of the ownership (without out-of-pocket expense to them). We consider that very important to create owners’ mentality among all the people in the business. We create alignment of interest with all the employees that way. Your participation in the next phase of the company will be necessary. If you choose to stay on board and keep running the company, having taken some chips off-the-table, that would be ideal. If it is your time to go do something else, we will discuss how we can achieve that too. For our decision, if your business is the right one for us, we need only big picture information. If we come to an agreement, you will know exactly who you are dealing with, and there will be no suggesting adjustment after we have agreed.

If you are possibly interested in selling, you can call me directly, or click to schedule a call, and I look forward to speaking with you.


Matt Williamson