Profile of the Week

Greg Gorlinski, managing director, Cleary Gull Inc.

Name: Greg Gorlinski

Title: Managing Director

Company: Cleary Gull Inc.

City of Residence: Mequon

Family: My wife Ann and two beautiful daughters, Kate (9) and Megan (6)

How does the market look to you? "Slow.  Like the economy, the M&A market has slowed considerably over the past few months. However, I see a lot of opportunity for our firm. We have been busy promoting our ‘Special Situations’ practice which provides advisory services to distressed and over leveraged companies. As the economy worsens, we are seeing more and more opportunities in this area. Once the recession passes, I expect to see a number of business owners and private equity groups look to sell that previously put their transaction plans on hold."  

What are you working on now? "I am in the process of preparing three companies for a sale transaction early next year. One is a manufacturer of pet products, another one makes seating products and the third is a supplier of industrial products. I am also working with several others in the hope of converting them to a Cleary Gull client."

What was the best deal you’ve been involved in? "It’s difficult to point to one deal as there have been several resulting in terrific outcomes for our clients. Many of these companies were owned by families or entrepreneurs who often came from very humble beginnings and overcame tremendous obstacles or took on enormous risk in getting to where they are at today. Not only is it interesting to work with them and learn about their experiences, but it’s great to see them sell their business and receive substantial liquidity."

What was the funniest or most interesting moment of your career? "There have been many funny moments, unfortunately most cannot be printed in this profile. Many of these moments are the direct result of working with a wide variety of interesting people from disparate backgrounds including commercial lenders, lawyers, accountants, CEOs, private equity firms and other investment bankers. As you might suspect, I get to interact with a variety of personalities, egos, etc.  One CEO that we worked with had an unusual way to reduce stress. When a difficult situation arose during a transaction, he had to drive to a Dairy Queen to get a Blizzard. In another situation, we sold a client to a company whose CEO liked to negotiate from his hot tub. That deal closed in the month of December. Needless to say, he wasn’t based in Wisconsin."


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