Finance Monthly - Global Awards 2022

Finance Monthly Global Awards 2022 USA 23 About RyanClark Ryan Clark is an entrepreneur, former world-class athlete and Director at Veld Mergers and Acquisitions, who is responsible for leading initial interviews and subsequent client engagements. He works with all parties to guide them through the transaction process, and is one of the most prolific intermediaries in the nation when it comes to transactions in the lower middle market. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Finance at The University of Nevada, Ryan joined Citigroup as a Senior Financial Planner for high net worth individuals and gained considerable experience in corporate retirement planning, investment management, insurance and estate planning. In the late 1990s he relocated from Las Vegas to Southern California to establish the US sales force for a multinational sales organization, and in 2003 he joined his childhood friends in launching The Veld Group. Since its founding, and due in large part to Ryan’s contributions, The Veld Group and Veld Mergers and Acquisitions has completed over 350 formal and 5,000+ informal business valuations and orchestrated over 1,000 sell-side transactions with an 80%+ success rate versus the 30% industry standard. Since entering the industry in 2003, Ryan has regularly orchestrated 30-40 transactions per year. While many of these sales are in the under $5 million range and do not strictly qualify as M&A deals, Ryan makes up for this in sheer volume and activity of these and larger deals. In fact, he consistently finds himself engaged in simultaneously managing 10 or more signed transactions at any given time! Ryan readily admits that he is only able to accomplish this because of the 20 years of experience he has gained through orchestrating transactions of all sizes. “Without having completed as many smaller sales, I never would have developed the skills or gained the experience necessary to juggle as many larger or more complex transaction at once. Selling a small company can be more challenging than a larger one. In most smaller transactions there are fewer buyers with less capital, and owner expectations and personality can play an even greater role. Having spent so much time in the dealmaking trenches managing and completing a diversity of transactions of all sizes and across all industries is how I’ve honed my skills and learned where my sweet spot is.” “We consciously choose to focus on businesses doing between $1 ml - $5 ml in EBITDA for a reason. It is because these are the owners that I can provide the most value to and that can most benefit from my expertise,” says Ryan. He explains that businesses in this income range, which usually translates to less than $20 million in enterprise value, are in ‘No Man’s Land’ when it comes to the marketplace. These firms are clearly too small for the blue-chip middle-market intermediaries to work with but far too large and complex for main street brokerage firms. Ryan considers this No Man’s Land segment to present greater challenges, but after manufacturing over 600 transactions himself he knows precisely how to navigate the intricacies of deals in this size range. “Companies doing $1-5 million in EBITDA have much more in common with a smaller business sale than they do with investment banker-backed deals,” he says. “Many of our clients first went to a larger boutique banker they perceived to be more prestigious and assumed that they were better suited to manage their sale. After a few false starts or broken processes, they returned once they realised that working with a specialist in their exact size range was more appropriate. Several of the techniques applied in larger sales are not applicable to this size offering or buyer pool.” Ryan is a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) with the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors and a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) with the Exit Planning Institute. He is also highly active in ProVisors, a community for professional trusted advisors, where he serves on his chapter’s Executive Committee. Director | Veld Mergers and Acquisitions Ryan Clark

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