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MARCH 2021| JAMES THOMPSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR


Half of my career has been spent in corporate finance (banking, investment banking and PE/venture capital) followed by 14 years operating a company as CFO and then CEO. After selling HaloSource to Strix, PLC in early 2019, I returned to join the Alexander Hutton team as an advocate for the entrepreneurial “company builder” community. It has been fun working with great entrepreneurs across many industries. With all Alexander Hutton Managing Director’s being former CEOs, we have sat “in their shoes”. We understand the demands of company building. So many moving parts in “making and selling” …and lots of it out of your control! While you are not hiring an investment banker to run your company, but a liquidity event (full or partial) is a journey with many twists and turns. Your banker should be able to advise you on both the strategic and tactical decisions that are made and their impact on value. We believe strongly that advice should come from a place of familiarity.


That understanding has been deployed numerous times over the past several years, especially as entrepreneurs have had to confront the many challenges of COVID-19. I can remember at Halosource doing our pre-IPO financing in London in 2008, right as Lehman Brothers was collapsing and going down. Much like the pandemic, we didn’t know whether the capital markets would even function going forward, or would there be an appetite for an IPO at all.

This past December, we closed on the recapitalization of Missoula, Montana-based Dayspring Restoration by Trinity Hunt of Dallas. The restoration business is not a “repeat revenue” business but one, if run correctly, can be very successful. PE buyers are often laser-focused on finding big markets, recurring revenue and TTM (trailing-twelve months) of high EBITDA margins. Helping Mark Springer (CEO) and Dirk Conniger (CFO) articulate the opportunity that exists in Montana was a lot of fun. When we got into the “nitty gritty” of how the operation is run, it was our “operational roots” that kicked in and provided valuable insights on how we should market the deal. As they weighed their multiple offers, we also provided insights on which type of buyer made sense given their objectives. We at Alexander Hutton have sold the businesses we ran, so that familiarity was helpful.


Important advice to entrepreneurs looking to “monetize” their life’s work, you should definitely use an advisor. There are huge selling benefits to having a competitive process. There are many Advisors out there whom I respect, but the ones that have “carried the water” are the firms that are best positioned to offer key insights and make sure you get the best price, best terms and most importantly the right cultural fit.


We look forward to being helpful to you. Please be in touch with us.

Scott Hardman James Thompson Kent Johnson

1.206.792.1964 1.206.792.1963 1.206.792.1962

scott@alexanderhutton.com jt@alexanderhutton.com kj@alexanderhutton.com