In what part of town do you live?
How long have you lived in the area?
We moved here in 2017, but I grew up here back in the day.
Did you always plan to move back to Miami?
My wife and I were in New York but always wanted to come home when it was time to start a family. She grew up here too.
How’d you meet?
We met through some of my best friends who went to college with her. They made an introduction one summer that we were all home.
What keeps you busy during the week?
I’m a mergers and acquisitions attorney. I basically buy and sell companies, mainly for private equity investors.
At what stage of the deal do they bring you in?
They have the deal or what they are looking to buy in hand. We help with all the legal elements, the structuring, the diligence, and negotiation of all transaction documentation. We advise them through the whole process.
What are typical hurdles you deal with?
The gamut, every deal is a bit different. Sometimes there’s regulatory issues that might arise. Other times it’s appreciating or trying to figure out the right structure that puts both sides of the table in an optimum position. You problem solve, you think outside the box, and you figure out the optimal outcome.
Do you have any examples of ‘making it work for both sides?’
Some of our clients are buying mom and pop businesses that have had an opportunity to take out like a PPP loan. I’m going to get a little technical. You’re not allowed to do a change of control transaction if you have a PPP loan outstanding. We have to get consent from the bank and the SBA. These banks are inundated with requests, and they’re often not on the same timeline as the transaction. So, we’ve gotten the buy-side clients comfortable with closing without the consent of the lenders by holding the PPP loan money aside in escrow. Everyone wants transactions closed, so we find a way.
‘Not on the same timeline’ is a very understanding way of looking at the situation. Why do you phrase it like that?
In my world, the expansion of time will create uncertainty. The way to assist your clients in the most efficient way is to eliminate any sort of deal uncertainty, they want deals completed and they want to be protected. Part of my job is to get past those third party timelines and make sure that we find solutions.
What do you enjoy most about the whole process?
The problem solving. I love the fact that we’re constantly thinking outside the box to get to a finish line. You have to work collaboratively, not only with your client, but with opposing counsel to reach optimal outcomes. No set of facts are the same. Leverage is constantly shifting. Motives are always different. It’s great when people are really happy with the outcome. People sell businesses and all of the hard work over 20, 30, 40 years pays off.
What is the average size of a mom and pop business that gets acquired? What would a deal sell for?
Privately equity works in EBITDA, which is Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation Amortization. EBITA looks at how much cash the business generates. Anything from 5 million to a hundred million in EBITA. If you have a 5 million business, you can sell it for 30 to 50 to $75 million.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy?
My kids. COVID has been really hard on my family. On the flip side, the saving grace is all the time I get with my four year old, Stella. We’ve developed some amazing rituals, one of which is our weekend smoothie. And just being present has been phenomenal. It’s stressful to work from home all the time and try to be present. I won’t have that opportunity as often as I do now once we return to normal.
What’s your experience like coming to our drive-thru?
It’s always a hell of a lot of fun. I try to bring my wife, but we’re beholding to our newborn’s schedule. It only takes about five minutes to get Stella ready, because she’ll be super excited to get in the car. It’s a great distraction from the day to day at home. She always goes with the Sapodelicious. Sometimes we’ll get the Frice Creams or the Turmeric Cookies. It’s always like a nice little treat for the family. When you guys were at the market, Stella was six months old and probably one of the first solids she drank were your smoothies. The drive through has been a nice saving grace.
What other places have you all been to?
We’ve done Hometown Barbecue take out a bunch. They’re awesome. I go to Babes Meat & Counter all the time. There’s a great Nikkei-inspired Peruvian place called Itamae. Macchialina on the Beach is always a favorite of ours. Of course, there’s A pizza Brooklyn and Ghee. Those are the big hitters. Right now, we’re doing some Joe’s because the season is here.
And my new favorite, which I’ve done practically every week is the Lazy Oyster. A bunch of guys are doing delivery oysters from all the big spots, Washington, California, Massachusetts, and they are phenomenal. The price is fantastic. They’re on Instagram. They shuck them and leave them in the shell. My daughter loves like the oyster water. She’ll help me prepare my oyster with mignonette. It’s become another ritual. It’s so cool – like you guys – people have become creative and resilient in what they’ve done to adjust to the new reality. We are happy to support these businesses.
What’s Miami best kept secret?
I’m very big into natural wine, low intervention, often organic, no pesticides, no added sulfites. There’s a store that just opened near your drive-thru, called Primitive Selections. He and his mom opened it up in a small warehouse. They’ve just been really cool with customer service. I don’t think many people know about them yet. They’ve got a great selection.
What community groups or philanthropic groups are important to you that you might like to promote?
I sit on the board of Common Threads. It’s a mission that’s close to our hearts – food education and food security for children. They help children understand what a healthy meal is and help parents make quicker, healthier food decisions at home. It has been a challenge through COVID, but a wonderful mission and a great organization.
Is there a question you’d like to ask us?
(AC) What’s your game plan when we can start hugging and shaking hands again?
(A+W) Sunday’s will plan to return to the market, Saturdays we will keep the store open.
Is there a challenge, a question, or words of advice that you would like to pose to the community?
I think everyone has had their hardships. My dad died of COVID, I had COVID, and my experience has been terrible, but everyone’s had some level of terribleness arise from this. The resilience that we’re seeing from everyone is inspiring. People changing perspective, not only on life, but everyone’s had a moment to pause and reassess where they stand, whether it be in their personal relationships or their careers or their overall outlook on life and where they want to be in 10 years. I’m curious whether that kind of shift will go to the wayside once people are back in their groove. I’m hopeful it doesn’t, but I’m curious if anyone’s reflected upon how to maintain the new viewpoints.