Profile of the Week

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Joe Froehlich, managing director with Corporate Financial Advisors LLC

Name: Joe Froehlich
Title: Managing Director
Company: Corporate Financial Advisors LLC
City of Residence: Brookfield
Family: "Two kids, one a sophomore in college and one a senior in high school. When I die, I want to come back as one of my kids – they have the life that I want."
How does the market look to you? "The market looks solid but not spectacular. There is still a lot of activity, perhaps driven by the political environment and expected changes in the capital gains tax, but everyone is more cautious (buyers, sellers, financiers, advisors). This is affecting deal activity – it has not dampened it, but it has changed it.  We are seeing more MBOs than ever before. Company performance is becoming an issue as buyers and sellers try to bring deals to closure."
What are you working on now? "We have 12 active engagements involving companies in the manufacturing, service and retail industries. All are either sale or MBO assignments, and many involve helping to arrange financing."
What was the best deal you’ve been involved in? "The most satisfying deal I remember was the sale of Town Bank to Wintrust Financial. This was a case of a successful institution outgrowing the financial capabilities of its owners, a management team that had a proven business plan but were being limited by these financial constraints and a buyer that was a perfect fit. We added tremendous value to this situation by finding the best buyer and positioning the bank in a way that allowed the owners to realize a price of $43 million when their expectations were $34 million. The bank’s owners, management and the buyers were all delighted with the outcome."
What was the funniest or most interesting moment of your career? "Quite a few years ago (before Mapquest) we were working on a deal with a company in Rochester, N.Y. We arranged to have a buyer visit the company, and were waiting with management and the owners for the buyer to arrive. After a half hour of waiting I tracked him down on his cell phone and learned that he was having trouble finding the facility. We spend 15 minutes on the phone with him while he described the streets he was on and the buildings he was passing and none of us could make sense out of where he was. Finally he said he was coming up to signs for Mayo Clinic, which led us to speculate that he was in Rochester, Minn. instead of Rochester N.Y. Needless to say, he didn’t make the tour, but he did end up buying the company, so all’s well that ends well."

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