When dealing with difficult business decisions and conflicting interests, I've learned how to filter the noise, deflate emotion and deliver the news as it is.
“In 2000, I was the CFO of a $90-million company. Thanks to the economic impact of the dot-com implosion and the subsequent 9/11 terrorist attacks, we wound up breaking several financial covenants. The company spent three years in Special Asset land until a recapitalization was completed. It wasn't easy, but we came out stronger on the other side of it. What was the perspective gained? There will always be something you didn’t see coming, events you can’t control, parties you can’t appease. When those challenges collide head-on, success means knowing how to play traffic cop. And remembering: never quit.”
Andy began his investment banking career at Raymond James Financial. For nine years, he was a Senior Vice President and Department Head, and he reported to the Chairman. Andy was one of six members of the firm’s Capital Markets Commitment Committee. As a Syndicate Manager, he was responsible for the pricing, distribution and aftermarket trading of IPOs, follow-on financings and debt offerings.
During his time with Raymond James, Andy cultivated and managed relationships with major Wall Street investment banks and regional firms. He served a term as Chairman of the Southern States Securities Industry Association and sat on SIA committees relating to Governmental Affairs and Syndicate Affairs. He also was a member of the Investment Association of New York.
Andy later accepted a partner role at a financial advisory firm, where he structured and funded direct investments in several private companies and acted as a consultant in helping a company complete an IPO.
In the mid-1990s, Andy left the deal business to become CFO of Big River Grille and Brewing Works, a $7-million-revenue company that grew to more than $90 million over the course of his tenure. In that position, he completed a $50-million acquisition of Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, a stock buy-back, sale/leaseback transactions, and a $60-million recapitalization. These transactions involved negotiating with private equity groups, mezzanine lenders, senior lenders and existing shareholders. Andy's operating responsibilities included implementing and managing the company functions relating to accounting, finance, human resources, information technology, risk management and purchasing.
"When I got back into the deal business after my time in the restaurant industry, a prospective client asked me about my experiences, I proudly talked being on the IPO team for Outback Steakhouse in my early years. And I reluctantly included a description of my time in Special Assets. Instead of congratulating me for being involved in one of the most popular deals in the early '90s, he said, 'The Special Assets stuff…I’m sorry you had to go through all that, but it sure makes me feel better to know you’ve been there.' At FourBridges, we have the knowhow, resources, degrees and licenses to successfully structure and negotiate a deal. But we've also lived what our clients are going through. I think that's the reason they place their trust and confidence in FourBridges."