“Quote unQuote”: Cynthia LaConte

Cynthia LaConte, CEO, The Dohmen Company
Cynthia LaConte, CEO, The Dohmen Company

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 12:03 pm

At BizTimes Media’s recent M&A Forum at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, The Dohmen Co. CEO Cynthia LaConte shared her lessons learned about mergers and acquisitions. The company, which last year sold its Life Science Services business to Chicago-based Water Street Healthcare Partners and New York City-based JLL Partners, has divested and acquired several segments over the years. It recently transitioned from a family-owned corporation to a benefit corporation owned by a private foundation.


“Acquisition just shouldn’t be something that you do opportunistically.”

“For the folks in the room that tend to get a little squeamish about the soft stuff like vision and values, I would suggest to you to rethink that because your company’s core ideology is, in my opinion, the single most powerful tool that you can use to make decisions about your growth strategy.”

“You can recover from paying a little more for a company or conceding on a deal term or two, but you cannot recover from getting into a non-growth area or buying the wrong company within it.”

“Always run your business like you’re going to keep it forever. You’ve got to have the power to leave the table and walk away from the deal.”

“Compartmentalize and make interchangeable to the extent you can the operations of your business. If you want the flexibility of being able to sell a portion of your business while you build and grow other areas, you need systems that can easily unplug and plug into the buyer’s systems.”

“Just like you wouldn’t have one stock in your portfolio, never be just one thing in your business. And don’t let your business get stuck in the rut of thinking of itself as one thing.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.