Blog Archive

We tailor our BOLD Value BLOG posts below for owners of private companies with focus on Executive compensation, Equity strategies and Exit & legacy planning. Please click on the Title or Read More to go straight to the full-length BLOG post within this page.

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Good Incentives, Bad Incentives

I have never met a business owner who made the following request: "Let's put in a long-term incentive plan to destroy company value". Sounds implausible, right?

Which Succession Pathway Are You On?

After guiding over 100 ownership teams on runway planning, I am often asked: "what is the most powerful lesson leading to a successful owner succession process?" What leads owners to successfully take off and land?

Build Business Value and Personal Wealth

Business owners and executives understand the painful truth: taxes often eat up nearly 50% of their high-earner compensation. Once compensation is paid, a short list of deductions, losses, and credits are the only way to lessen the tax bite.

Equity Models via Sell·Pay·Convey®

Equity models are strategic because: “Who gets What” defines “Who You Are!” That is, the way owners share value with those who create it has a profound impact on the firm and the owners’ ability to attract, retain, and reward senior talent.

Solving the Buy-in Paradox

Top talent drives company growth and value. Higher company value dissuades top talent from buying into an illiquid company. Frustrated talent leaves and company value falls.

Profits Interest and Why We Need it

Founders who still own and run their businesses may bring on executives to get to the next level and/or to free themselves from being a slave to their success.

A Wide-Angle Lens to Shareholder Agreement

A building contractor granted 10% of the company to a newly promoted COO. Given its large accounts receivable balance, the company had to borrow nearly $2M to cover the taxes on this grant.

Getting Beyond a Band of Experts

Owners of professional services firms (engineering firms, consulting firms, etc.) have a critical choice: Decide what type of business they want to be in the future. Do they want to be a “band of experts” where most of the company value is in the expert? Or do they want to create a true collaborative firm with material value beyond the expert? This is not a trick question.

Does Skin in the Game Really Work?

Private equity Groups (PEGs) have a very successful model. Leverage access to equity and debt capital and acquire companies with lots of upside potential. Bring in proven, value-centric management to create material equity value via organic and M&A growth. All this with a single focus in mind: exit to pay back its investors.

When Conventional Wisdom is Wrong

Conventional wisdom is that an ESOP is almost always inferior to a strategic sale. The common view: an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) provides liquidity at a painful discount. Real owners sell to strategic buyers, financial buyers or executives. Only the desperate use ESOPs. Conventional wisdom can be a blunt object. The truth: the ESOP option can be a truly competitive choice for owner liquidity and value.

Thinking Outside of the 401(k) Box

Want to double the value of your business? Bain Consulting says: work first on building customer loyalty. The benefits: retain the lifetime value of a customer, reduce customer acquisition cost, reward yourself via higher margins from loyal customers. Customer loyalty is why AT&T, Subway, Nike, and Costco dominate their respective niches.

Are Equity Grants Truly the Holy Grail?

"I am going to make you a 20% equity partner." These are some of the sweetest words that a 2nd in command will ever hear. Unfortunately, this could also be the beginning of the end. In many cases, the cost of transferring equity can starve the company of growth capital.

Paying Fair Without Distortion

Public company equity-based pay practices, such as stock grants, restricted stock, and employee stock options are often a poor fit for private companies committed to rewarding leaders for performance, growth and capital succession.

Will Hidden Taxes Derail your Succession Plan?

A new client asked us to help administer their new management buyout plan crafted by very qualified attorneys. Our review shocked her. I pointed out that her management buyout ("MBO") plan directs 60% of succession capital to the IRS and only leaves 40% for her. Unfortunately this outcome is all too common.

Can Employee Stock Options Make You Sick?

Too often, employee stock options and similar ownership plans are put into the wrong hands for the wrong reasons. The result: these plans may infect your business and may be undetectable until a downstream leadership or capital event.

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