Todd Taskey | Wealth Management, Selling a Business to Goldman Sachs, and Helping CEOs and Entrepreneurs Buy and Sell Businesses

Todd Taskey has been an entrepreneur, business owner, investment banker, and business finance advisor for over 20 years. He is currently the M&A Advisor at Potomac Business Capital, where he helps CEOs and entrepreneurs maximize their company’s value and develop a successful exit strategy. His specialties include M&A, strategic acquisition, divestitures, and more.

In addition to his role at Potomac Business Capital, Todd is an angel investor at multiple companies including Zoomph, StreetShares, and LiveSafe. He is also the host of the Second Bite podcast, where he talks with top CEOs and entrepreneurs about creating valuable companies through creative transactions. 

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran interviews Todd Taskey, M&A Advisor at Potomac Business Capital, to share valuable insights for entrepreneurs and business owners interested in buying or selling a business. Todd discusses how his background as a financial advisor influenced his perspective as an M&A advisor, the complex (but rewarding) process of helping businesses sell their assets, and the people that inspired him along the way.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • What led Todd Taskey to become an M&A advisor for CEOs and entrepreneurs?
  • Building trust with clients in the M&A process
  • What successful M&A transactions look like across industries
  • The rewarding process of helping businesses sell their assets
  • Todd walks through a few case studies
  • How to make informed decisions about M&A transactions
  • The people that inspired Todd along his journey

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:40

All right, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here and I am the host of this show. And if you are new to this program, check out our archives got all kinds of great, interesting interviews with smart CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of companies and organizations ranging from Netflix to Kinkos YPO EO Activision Blizzard, we’ve had a great series of interviews recently with the CEOs or co founders of Quicken, GrubHub, and redfin, so go check out some of those. I’m also co founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. My guest here today is Todd TaskeyI. He’s an m&a advisor for CEOs and entrepreneurs. He’s also an angel investor, and a podcast host host of the Second Bite podcast, which we’ve been privileged to help him with. And it’s one of those shows that I almost never miss an episode of because I love his perspective on buying and selling and businesses. So if you are an entrepreneur or business owner, and you’ve ever thought about that topic, this is gonna be a slightly different topic because of Todd’s unique take on it. So I think you’re gonna really like it, he actually spent 20 years as an investment banker and business advisor. So he has deep experience in this area. And before that was a wealth manager before that, and actually sold a business that was acquired by Goldman Sachs. Of course, this episode brought to you by Rise25 where he helped b2b businesses get clients referrals and strategic partnerships with done via podcast and content marketing. And you can go to our website to learn more about that. Alright, Todd, we’ve chatted offline many times before, never for a podcast episode. So I’m excited to finally put you in the chair and get to grill you and ask you all the questions that I’m curious about.

Todd Taskey 2:21

I’m excited to be here, do I have to speak at the same velocity that you do, or you

John Corcoran 2:25

have, you have to it has to be fast. I like to move things along quickly. So moving things along, you have an entrepreneurial background, we talked before and a little bit about, you had a paper out as a kid, you’re constantly reading different books about buying and selling and businesses and ways to kind of make a buck in business. So you’re interested in this and along for a long time. But kind of the way that you got into the world that you’re in now, which is buying and selling businesses helping other businesses to buy and sell and m&a. It was you’re actually a financial planner, that was kind of your first career and groups sold to Goldman Sachs. And then you had a client, it turned around and said, Todd, I want you to help me sell my business. And it wasn’t it’s kind of like wasn’t even something you were thinking about doing before. Right? You just kind of got into because of that.

Todd Taskey 3:13

Yeah, you know, when when you’re a financial advisor, you know, that requires or creates a lot of trust between clients. And so I had a client that was ready to sell his business, and he wanted me to help them and I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. So I reached out to some people that I had known and we were able to get him a successful transaction. And I realized how important that process is, how complicated and challenging it is, and how rewarding it is to when you actually get a transaction completed. So, you know, that led to another and another. And, you know, we’ve kind of found our way over the last 20 years to be in pretty focused for the people that we work in, serve most often.

John Corcoran 3:57

And talk a lot about how having that background as a financial advisor kind of changes your perspective as an m&a advisor. I imagine I don’t wanna put words in my mouth, but I imagine just kind of a deep understanding of the financial consequences. And the fancy financial implications of a transaction for your business is probably, you know, core to what you do.

Todd Taskey 4:23

Yeah, that part’s true. You know, as a financial advisor, you’re always asking the question, you know, what are we doing here? Right? Why are you saving this much? Why are you spending this much Why are you doing this? What do you want to do? What do you want your future to be? All those kinds of things? And, and so that really does carry over to any business? And the question really becomes, I think the first question is, Can Can this thing really work? Can I can I build a business or have a business can it provide for me and my family? And then you know, you move up that hierarchy, right, can it can it provide me a purpose In my life, does it allow me to make the world a better place? Does it allow me to serve people in a way that’s important to me? And if you do all that, and if you make a good living doing all of that, at some point, the question becomes, you know, what’s the next best step for me and for my business? Because typically, it’s not just me and my business, there’s a bunch of people that have devoted a unimportant chunk of their life to this endeavor, my endeavor, right with this business? And what’s the best way for all of those constituents to do better? Is there a better way? And that’s when we usually step in and help with a transaction?

John Corcoran 5:42

Yeah, I’m really curious about what drew you to both different professions, because I haven’t been any of those professions. But my observation is that someone who’s in wealth management, that’s a really long term game takes a while to acquire a client, you often have them for years and years, you’re helping them to build towards retirement. So it’s a long horizon. In m&a, a lot of the people that are in the world of m&a, they’re, you know, they’re kind of like drawn to the transactional nature of it. There’s a there’s a high there’s a euphoria every time you close a deal. So very different type of profession. What is it about both that made made it that you could spend 20 plus years in both professions?

Todd Taskey 6:23

Yeah, you know, it’s a really insightful question. Because it was the biggest really the biggest adjustment for me when, after we sold our business, because it was there was no long term relationship. And, and that’s not quite as true. If you develop, we have a lot of relationships that we’ve had years and years in advance of a transaction. And I think now, what I focus on most is that when somebody sells their business, it is a meaningful transaction that they will literally remember for their entire life, and to participate in that process. And to get them the outcome that hopefully makes their life and their business and their entrepreneurial journey better and more rewarding and more enriching. Yeah, that’s just a tremendous thing that to play a role in and something I enjoy a great deal.

John Corcoran 7:20

Yeah. It talks about the advisory nature of it, you know, what I found when I was practicing law, that so much was an expectations game, you had to set the right expectations from the beginning, and in work to exceed them, and oftentimes adjust them as you go along. And that’s the case whenever people are parting with a lot of money or dealing with very significant transaction. So talk a bit about, you know, how you need to manage your clients expectations as you go through into and through a transaction.

Todd Taskey 7:52

Yeah, that again, good question. So I tell the story, oftentimes, that for a few years, I was a eighth grade boys football coach. And so

John Corcoran 8:04

perfect for training for helping people it

Todd Taskey 8:06

really is. And here’s why. Because on the first day of, of football practice, let’s say we had 50 Kids, we had 30, quarterbacks and 20 running backs. That’s all we had. And so I would always talk to these kids, I would say, listen, here’s our challenge. Challenge is that your parents have lied to you. Because they love you. And because they want to encourage you. But one of the great things about sports, is that we’re going to find out the truth right now. So I know you think you’re the fastest, we’re going to line up, we’re going to run 40 yard dash is and we’re going to find out who’s fastest. And we would do five or 10 of those things. And usually the same five or six kids are finishing first and the same five or six kids are finishing last. And the message to all of them was we need you here. I don’t care if you’re not fast, man, if you’re a big body, or if you can learn to move your left foot first, and get your arms up and swing your hips. Ma’am, we need you online offense or defense. And so part of what we tried to do is make sure that your skill set fits into what is needed out there in the world. And so to translate that, two things, number one, our job is to go and ask the market. What the value of this business is. I don’t much care what you think it’s worth, because you already own it. That will help you decide if you want to do a transaction or not. But I can speak with great certainty if I’ve get if I get four or five offers for your business that are all between 11 and $12 million. I feel pretty certain that’s how much your business is worth. If you think it’s worth $20 million I can honestly tell you that you’re wrong. Because we went to the market and nobody was even close to that, then we can help you interpret what that means, right. And most importantly, we’ll understand why everybody came in at the ranges that they did, what they liked about your business and what they didn’t like about your business. And with that data, it becomes very easy to make decisions about how you want to move forward and how you go forward. Yeah, so so from that standpoint, that’s, that’s really at the core of what we do is help people ask the market and then interpret the answers that we get from the market. One