Performance Improvement

CEO’s, board members, and private equity investors face many challenges and questions in today’s difficult economic environment:

  • How can we improve EBITDA levels?
  • Will the company produce enough cash so that it can meet debt obligations?
  • Is the business plan optimal or could performance improve more with a more aggressive plan?
  • Has cost-cutting been carried out in a manner that maximizes EBITDA?
  • Do we really understand why the Company seems locked into flat growth?

Managers are often reluctant to retain outside resources, such as turnaround managers and other consultants, because they rarely deliver results and, worse, can be counterproductive due to the disruption they can create.

Given that consultants are typically paid for the amount of hours they spend, rather than the results they deliver, it is not surprising that they are frequently ineffective. In addition, the field of turnaround and business consultancy tends to attract autocrats and poor listeners.

Cornerstone is unique in that it is a turnaround firm with bedrock principles that encourage its professionals to act in the complete opposite manner of a typical turnaround professional or business consultant. Cornerstone professionals are collaborative, not isolated. Cornerstone professionals create focused business plans with the involvement of a wide variety of company employees and constituencies, not alone or through a tightly controlled group. Cornerstone professionals are not afraid to set clear benchmarks and report on their achievement on a disciplined schedule to key Company constituencies and to the employees responsible for creating these results. Cornerstone knows it can deliver results and thus is not afraid to be paid for delivering results, instead of for being rewarded as it spends more and more hours on a project, regardless of the effectiveness and usefulness of that time.

Fiduciary Services

Stakeholders of insolvent companies turn to Cornerstone to implement the optimal strategy and tactics to preserve and monetize assets of an estate in the most cost-effective manner. In managing insolvent companies, which can occur through serving as a Court Appointed Receive, Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors, Chapter 11 Trustee, and Chief Restructuring Officer of an insolvent company, Cornerstone professionals have a track record of optimizing value. These results have been achieved in the same manner as other forms of high performance within a Company are achieved – through leveraging the existing resources within the Company. Cornerstone relies on its broad industry experience and ability to combine true operational expertise, sound financial disciplines, and a comprehensive knowledge of the complexities of the restructuring process to achieve the greatest recovery possible.

Transition Management

Cornerstone professional have served in numerous interim management role, both to create stability during a pending merger or acquisition, or to provide interim leadership to accelerate results while a permanent management solution is found.

Cornerstone professionals are able to “hit the ground running” adding valuable support to the improvement process by filling critical vacancies.

We do not seek change for the sake of change but rather improve financial and operational change through carefully targeted intervention. We focus not only on processes and cash, but also on people and leadership. We are able to effectively bridge to permanent solutions, and maintain and improve Company performance during difficult transitions.

Refinancing and Funding

With deep contacts among lenders, CornerstoneAS can assist businesses, whether they be start-ups, late stage or distressed companies, in finding the right funding source. CornerstoneAS can assist in developing the business plan, financial analyses in support of that plan, and in negotiating with the lender.

Exit Strategies and Business Advice for Family-Owned Businesses

The recession has challenged many family-owned businesses, as smaller businesses have suffered most from decreases in available credit and cutbacks in purchasing and growth targets. In addition to the challenging economy, family-owned business increasingly face succession issues as the Gen X and Y heirs to the business may not have the interest, aptitude or work ethic for operating it.

Family-owned businesses may face other issues:

  • Cash flow and funding shortages
  • Inadequate estate planning
  • Poor tax planning
  • Transfer of ownership landmines
  • Business success heavily dependent on the founder
  • Suboptimal financial or operational systems and processes

CornerstoneAS works with senior executives of family-owned businesses to improve performance and enhance profitability so that the company can obtain maximum value at the sale of the company for the soon to be retiring senior executive and his/her heirs. CornerstoneAS also creates a succession plan for the business in those situations where the senior executive would like an alternative to a sale of the business on retirement.