With the first month of 2018 now nearly wrapped up, those with their ear to the ground when it comes to major financial shake-ups are patiently waiting. These individuals are waiting for economic heavyweights like Amazon and Apple to pull the trigger on moves that the rest of us have long suspected of taking place. For Todd Katz of Quest Integrity, news of these impending mergers and acquisitions remind him of the major moves he oversaw during his successful career in M&A.
According to a Jan. 3, 2018 article from the financial market experts at Nasdaq.com, other major names like Netflix and Target could be making headlines. When it comes to the former, the article predicts that tech giant Apple could finally commit to an enormous investment to acquire streaming content provider Netflix. Per the article, “Apple has defied these speculators time and time again, opting instead to invest in itself.” However, the article goes on to say there’s a 40 percent chance of Apple committing to the Netflix move. Online retail giant Amazon took on up-scale grocery store chain Whole Foods in 2017 in exchange for a $13 billion asking price and now some experts expect Target will be the next massive operation in its sights. As the Nasdaq article notes, “Target certainly makes sense within the context of the online retailer’s ongoing war with Walmart.”
In 2017, the Nasdaq article notes that the Aetna health insurance company’s partnering with the CVS chain was a major power play. While with Quest Integrity, Todd Katz saw similar efforts during his eight years with the company. For example, Mr. Katz was part of a team that increased the pipeline inspection company’s revenue five-fold, from $14 million in 2008 to $75 million in 2016. The company’s total employment increased similarly during that period. As a strategic chief financial officer (CFO) with Quest Integrity, Todd Katz was able to spearhead the sale of this company to a publicly-traded entity.
While with Merrill Lynch in California, Mr. Katz was a Director in the mergers & acquisitions group where he oversaw teams of investment bankers, attorneys and clients as they carried out mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and spin-offs. While only time will tell if the Amazon and Apple deals play out as many financial experts expect them to, Mr. Katz will continue to intently watch, wait and learn.
It’s a sign of the times, and it would behoove investors to pay attention. According to a November 7, 2017 CNBC article, Wall Street and the White House are seemingly on board with blessing massive mergers and acquisitions that could see billion-dollar entities join forces. What’s driving these moves that are in some cases “unsolicited” as CNBC puts it? “…Irreversible shifts in consumer behavior and fierce competition from technology-savvy competitors,” the article reads, adding that the likes of Walt Disney Co., 20th Century Fox, CVS and the wireless and broadband company Broadcom are getting in on the action. According to Todd Katz, previously CFO of Quest Integrity and a former Director in mergers and acquisitions at Merrill Lynch, large-scale M&A can offer substantial financial benefits in the form of enhanced revenue growth and cost savings.
According to the CNBC article, examples of high-stakes deals include the $103 billion bid from Broadcom to take over San Diego-based Qualcomm, another leading telecommunications company. Wall Street appears to be looking forward to such major shifts. According to the article, Goldman Sachs’ CEO said in a recent conference call that bankers were “seeing a pickup in client dialogue” regarding “deal making.”
What’s more, the possibility of major tax reform in the U.S. is spurring large companies to “consider strategic acquisitions and sales right now,” the Goldman Sachs CEO said. Speaking of tax reform being floated by the White House, the article notes that the current administration’s pick for head of the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division was approved in September 2017. That’s good news for companies like AT&T and Qualcomm. The former is eyeing an $85 billion deal to take over Time Warner, according to the article.
Former Quest Integrity CFO Todd Katz is no stranger to the inner workings of these deals. While with the international pipeline inspection company for eight years, Todd Katz oversaw its 2010 sale for $45 million. Add that figure to the $75 million that Quest Integrity earned in 2016, the year of Todd Katz’s departure, and it’s clear that this chief financial officer knows how to make smart business moves. As a previous Director in mergers and acquisitions for Merrill Lynch, Katz worked alongside bankers, attorneys and clients as his operation earned some $34 million in fees for the firm.
It’s a move where the intention is to remain competitive, but it could cost 4,000 workers their jobs in the process. The Associated Press reports on Sept. 20, 2017 that Thyssenkrupp in Germany and Tata Steel of India have signed on to merge the operations both have running in Europe. The tentative deal would thus launch the continent’s second-largest steel company, according to the Associated Press, which adds that one of the driving factors behind the consolidation is to be able to compete with cheaper steel that has been coming out of China. What’s more, the report cites plenty of figures that could be realized as a result of the merger. For example, the merged operation that would be based out of the Netherlands would rake in $18 billion annually, employ some 48,000 workers and ship 21 million tons of steel annually.
Todd Katz, formerly of Quest Integrity, says that this is an interesting development for many reasons. First, such fiscal figures are often held close to the vest until at least the ink on the agreement has dried. Todd Katz’s ability to comment on the possible merger stems from the fact that while with Quest Integrity, he was a hands-on chief financial officer. He played an active role as the international pipeline inspection company grew from a mere 55 employees to a total of 285 in 2016 and earned $75 million in revenue that same year. Since Todd Katz was both the strategic CFO and a global hands-on controller, he became well aware of the quirks of the international pipeline inspection market. Given Mr. Katz’s extensive experience as both a global CFO and before that a decade of experience in global M&A, he is well qualified to discuss the issues surrounding large-scale M&A like Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel.
Remaining on the global stage, Todd Katz worked to lead Quest Integrity’s implementation of a worldwide enterprise resource planning system that handled nine currencies across 11 countries. He also oversaw the global implementation of a customer relations management system and oversaw external and internal financial audits. While the Thyssenkrupp/Tata Steel deal likely won’t close until 2018, some government officials wasted no time sounding off on the news. According to the Associated Press, Germany’s labor minister felt that Thyssenkrupp’s properties in that country “must be maintained and compulsory layoffs ruled out.” Todd Katz, who is no stranger to weighing the risks of international M&A, will watch the outcome of this possible business merger closely.
The $13.7 billion deal that brought upscale grocery chain Whole Foods under the ever-evolving umbrella of Amazon has had at least one immediate effect on consumer: Lower prices at a store known for anything but. Problem is, according to a recent Chicago Tribune report, these slashed prices aren’t enough to compete with the likes of Walmart and Kroger markets. According to Todd Katz, who has eight years of financial leadership experience as a CFO and helped oversee the finances of a global pipeline inspection company, competing on a national scale will be a healthy exercise for Amazon. That’s because Todd Katz says Amazon, which already has the online product-shipping market cornered, would do well to learn a little bit from its competition and come away with better business practices.
According to the Tribune article dated Aug. 31, 2017, Amazon wasted no time cutting prices at Whole Foods. For example, Kettle Sea Salt chips cost $2.69 at Whole Foods while they rang up for $2.98 at Walmart. However, that’s a lone example in a longer list of items still costing less at the discount superstore. According to the report, the majority of fruits and produce were still cheaper at Walmart while some meat was far less expensive. “It was a bold statement on the first day, but it wasn’t that many items that were moved,” a Bain & Co. consulting firm grocery expert told the newspaper.
However, another driving force behind the purchase is to encourage online grocery shopping. Amazon clearly has its eyes on the future, says Todd Katz, who oversaw massive growth at his former employer. For example, his company saw revenue climb from $14 million in 2008 to $75 million in 2016; employee count go from 55 in 2008 to 285 in 2016; and the fine-tuning of a highly-efficient finance team of 12 members come 2016.
Whole Foods is unabashedly an upscale grocer and has for years operated on this premise. Penny-pinching was rarely a concern for regular Whole Foods shoppers, so Amazon’s move might not convert too many of those on a budget to give this outlet a shot. As previously stated, Amazon is already offering its grocery delivery service in many cities across the country and the Tribute report adds that it has been eyeing a “convenience store concept.” Why not expand their portfolio to wrangle in a well-known brand that gives them a physical footprint and not just shipping centers dotting the globe, asks Todd Katz.
The stock market is a great way to boost your bottom line – if you know how to play the game. That knowledge comes from years of research and first-hand experience earned by those who’ve been immersed in the New York Stock Exchange or any stock market. They’ve been “bulls” at times and “bears” at others, but have come out on top through patience, a little luck, some good planning and sheer dedication. Publicly-traded companies need investors to buy in as to boost their shares and fund initiatives; private investors need the stocks to make money. It’s a straightforward relationship, but learning a little bit about the industry never hurt anyone. According Todd Katz, formerly of Quest Integrity, a publicly-traded company offers members of the general public many ways to profit. Continue reading for some general stock market advice that could leave you feeling a bit more bullish about the market.
The stock market is more like a roller coaster than an elevator so jump in and hang on. The price of stock goes up and down and as such, so does the value of your investment portfolio. While it’s easy to get in on the ground floor and purchase a share of a company for a few cents, the payoff is minimal. Todd Katz, of Quest Integrity, led that company through a five-fold worldwide revenue growth, climbing from $14 million in 2008 to $75 million in 2016. It wasn’t long after that high water mark that Todd Katz oversaw Quest Integrity’s sale to a publicly-traded company. Some other financial experts suggest reading educational books and articles from the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg to better understand the ebbs and flows of the market movements on a daily basis. It’s also possible to look at the moves such legendary entrepreneurs as Warren Buffet and George Soros to see what works and how long it could possibly take to turn a profit.
Todd Katz, formerly of Quest Integrity, was a hands-on CFO who spent nine years overseeing mergers and acquisitions at leading investment banks. As such, he advised senior executives, private companies and boards of directors on sales, spin-offs, buyouts and more. With such knowledge readily available, it would behoove any potential investor to consult Todd Katz for his wealth of financial experience; it may just prove to be the best monetary move you’ll make in a lifetime.
Starting a new business can be as confusing as it is overwhelming – and don’t misconstrue the two. Confusion can be figured out in time, but an impending sense of dread is a little harder to overcome. Fortunately, those who’ve climbed similar mountains before you are happy to offer their advice and experience when it comes to navigating the nuances of launching a new business venture. One such knowledgeable financial executive with decades of experience is Todd Katz of Quest Integrity, who previously helped lead a company from $14 million in revenue and 50 employees to $75 million in revenue and 280 employees. It’s that kind of first-hand experience which will help lead those in the beginning of the business career toward profitability. Below, we’ve outlined a number of tax tips for the new business owner that Katz has identified as important aspects to understand. This can be one of the most confusing sectors of starting a new operation, but eventually overcome with a helping hand that’s also pointing in the right direction.
– Business and pleasure: If you want to keep your fiscal matters in order, then don’t mix business and personal accounts. Not only is this an important step if you want to keep things from getting too confusing, but a possible audit around tax time could prove to be an enormous headache.
– Deductions: One of the tax aspects unique to being self-employed or running your own business are deductions. “Ordinary” and “necessary” expense as well as automobile expenses and the home office set-up are ways to get more money back around tax time.
– Helping hand: For the first few years, you’ll probably want to enlist the help of a certified public accountant to help you complete and file your taxes. While it’s important to remain within the boundaries of the law, it’s equally important that you pay attention to the work that’s getting done so that you’ll eventually be able to do your taxes on your own.
Everyone has a dream. Those who follow that dream are sure to plant the seeds of success along the way. For the business-minded entrepreneur who wants nothing more than to lead an operation of his or her own, Todd Katz Quest Integrity says go for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re flush with cash or going to have to pinch pennies at first, launching a successful business of any kind is possible if you thoroughly plan first. Below, we’ve gathered some of the best advice for prospective entrepreneurs everywhere who are bound to benefit from proper planning and effective execution.
– Those who fail to plan: You know the other half of the old saying… they plan to fail. If you’ve got a marketable idea, take a look around and make sure it hasn’t been capitalized upon already. Is a large sector of the general public, or at least those in the area where you’d like to make your mark, going to benefit from your service? If so, Todd Katz — whose own business experience includes leading a start-up to national-level success — says it’s time to move to the next phase of planning.
– Money matters: Once you’ve created a list of expected expenditures and a budget, it’s time to look around for a source of funding. Are you going to take out loans? Use your credit card to finance the project? Find investors to help you along? These are just a few of the fiscal options those about to strike out on their own in the world of business management must consider before truly being viable. Those who have overseen business footprint growth and employee hiring — such as Todd Katz, formerly of Todd Katz of Quest Integrity — know that neither of those prospects are possible without having the money to cover the costs.
– The little things: Once you’re up and running, it’s important to devote as much as you can to your new venture. Some industry experts suggest hiring a copywriter or doing all the blogging yourself to spread the word about your new business. It’s also important to deliver on every promise your business makes during these months. You know what they say about first impressions; well customers won’t be coming back if their first experience with your company isn’t a pleasant one.