Frequently Asked Questions
Do you work for the lender or for the company?
While we are referred to most clients by lenders, in all cases if we are engaged by the company, we work for the company. Our job is to maximize enterprise value. Doing so has the natural effect of preserving value for many stakeholders in a company, including both the owners and the lender.
Why should I use MorrisAnderson if they don’t have an office in my town?
Geography is a poor indicator of one’s knowledge of an industry or knowledge of the highly charged environment of turnaround management. The experts at MorrisAnderson come not only with years of individual experience, but also with hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge and experience in precisely this field of expertise. That knowledge cannot be trumped merely by geography. Further, it is often the fresh set of eyes coming from an outsider that provides the broadest set of new solutions. Local solutions from local participants may in fact limit the search for optimal solutions.
What happens if management does not agree with your observations or recommendations?
A turnaround is a process and one that operates in a space of limited resources and options. Disagreements do arise. However, through years of experience, we have developed a process of working with management to build consensus around recommendations and execution. MorrisAnderson provides options for management that align management with its various stakeholders. Management is rarely at odds with MorrisAnderson’s recommendations after this process.
Can MorrisAnderson help us implement their recommendations or do they just provide analysis?
Our experienced team of managers and executives have concrete operational experience. We recommend strategies that we know can work and can implement to whatever degree our client requires – from establishing the process to taking full responsibility for all aspects of implementation.
How should we decide which consultant to hire?
Experience and chemistry are the two best criterions to use. Understanding what the consultant knows about your industry can be helpful; however, their knowledge of turnarounds gained from years of experience is even more important. It is more helpful to have a diversity of skills rather than overlap. You are very likely knowledgeable about your business and industry; it helps to hire a consultant that knows a lot about turnaround situations to complement your skill set. However, the other important factor in success is chemistry with the consultant. If you are not comfortable with the consultant, or don’t trust their advice, then seek another competent professional. You may not see it now, but most of what you accomplish in a turnaround is through cooperation. We caution you to not go shopping for an advisor that you can manipulate – or one which you do not have good chemistry with as that can lead to failure.
How do we know we can work with the MorrisAnderson team?
You will know when you meet our people, understand the depth of our experience and our genuine concern for your business and reputation. The MorrisAnderson website includes testimonials from clients that were in your situation. The questions and concerns they had were similar to yours. The outcomes vary with each situation, but the process is clearly about being able to collaborate with management to maximize enterprise value.
How do you bill for your services?
Almost all engagements are billable by the hour. We cannot control the final outcome so our system is similar to attorneys; we bill for the effort and work toward success knowing that our reputation is on the line.
What do you do when you come into our company?
We work collaboratively with the owners and management on-site at your location. While we need to know just about everything we can about your business, we tend to stay close to and collaborate with the senior management team to facilitate a plan management is able to implement. You can expect a lot of tough questions and fact-based searches for answers. The process is intense, but eye opening and rewarding for the management teams that can dedicate themselves to the process.
Do you work on a contingent fee basis?
We never work exclusively for contingent fees. We are not in a position to guarantee the outcome of a turnaround or envision its conclusion completely, therefore we have to be paid as we move toward a desired set of results. We do allow for contingency fees in circumstances with clear outcomes. A typical example is when we assist a company with refinancing or selling assets. These goals and fees tend to be definable subsets of a plan that came from our initial assessment.
How is MorrisAnderson different from its competitors?
MorrisAnderson is clearly distinguished by the background of its staff. We are executives and operators from middle market companies who have developed a sense for financial communication that builds trust and transparency in difficult circumstances. We have cultivated a team environment that facilitates not only cooperation and compassion for our clients and their employees, but also a keen interest in your company’s survival and respect for your investment. Culturally, we aspire to the acronym “COATS”, which stands for:
- Communication that is consistent and reliable;
- Operational excellence as we know what it’s like to run a business;
- Action-oriented as we help set your plan in motion;
- Trusted advisor relationship as we have an extensive history of working with business owners; and
- Solution focused, as we assist in formulating plans to succeed.
Why do I need to hire a financial advisor, I know more about my business than any consultant will?
Perhaps this is true, but a financial advisor knows more about the financial relationships in and around your business in a financially distressed situation and how to make them work better. Our combination of industry knowledge and financial expertise makes for a higher probability of a positive outcome during the high pressure circumstances that face a company that is financially underperforming.
Can MorrisAnderson help us with working out problems with our suppliers and/or customers?
Yes, our experience in working with businesses in financially distressed situations allows us to understand the relationships with stakeholders like suppliers and customers. Often times it is the arrival of a fresh face in these circumstances that allows negotiations or other efforts with outsiders to move past a previous roadblock or otherwise irreconcilable difference.
What if we need new sources of capital or debt, can you help us find them?
Yes. We have a successful track record of providing additional access to financing.
How can I afford to pay for MorrisAnderson services?
In the vast majority of cases the cash flow improvements we are able to generate from intense and active management of the operational and financial affairs of the business far exceed the costs for our services. In effect, you are paying for MA’s services from the improvements we help to generate from your business. In our experience, the cost of our services is small relative to the cost of making the wrong decisions and jeopardizing the viability of the business.
Do you work with my attorney?
In the vast majority of cases, we work collaboratively with the company’s attorney or in cases where the company does not have an attorney, we are able to refer an experienced and strong attorney from our network of business relationships.