What Has ACG Done For You Lately?

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Mergers & Acquisitions: The Dealmaker’s Journal
March 2005
Franz von Bradsky

Nearly 20 years ago, I joined ACG Los Angeles. ACG’s growth since then has been remarkable and many changes have taken place. However, one thing that has endured is the many relationships I’ve forged.

Over the years, it has been my good fortune to serve with many of ACG’s fine leaders. After two terms as president of ACG Los Angeles, I became a member of the board of directors on the global level in 1992 and served until 1997 when I chaired ACG InterGrowth Conference in San Antonio.

Serving as InterGrowth chairman was an incredible opportunity to build countless relationships across the entire ACG spectrum.

Prospective members often have asked me whether ACG is a good organization to join to generate business. My reply is always as an early mentor once advised: You join an organization for one of three reasons: 1) what the organization stands for; 2) the organization’s programs; 3) the people that belong to the organization. If you happen to get business as a result, that’s the icing on the cake.

ACG’s record speaks for itself. The quantity and quality of the programs offered today have probably grown tenfold since I joined in 1985. The depth and breadth of these programs have made ACG the preeminent organization in the field of corporate growth.

About the people and “the icing,” here’s my story…

In 1993, I opened the Northern California office for Green Tree Capital, joined ACG San Francisco in 1994, and served on its board of directors from 1994 to 1997 and again from 2001 to 2004, including a stint in 2001 as the chapter’s president after having been “retrofitted.

During my initial term on the ACG San Francisco board, I became close friends with a fellow board member and offered to help him start the new “breakfast roundtable” programs. This evolved into a close working relationship on the ACG San Francisco board and the following year blossomed into a very successful business partnership.

In 1995, his firm engaged Green Tree Capital to conduct an acquisition search that was successfully concluded in the spring of 1996. And thus began a business relationship that resulted in Green Tree Capital’s consummating three acquisitions, selling two companies, arranging three financings and one refinancing for this client.  In addition, our client was directly or indirectly responsible for referrals to four other companies, and the referrals resulted in Green Tree Capital’s completing four acquisition searches and arranging the financing for two of the acquisitions.

The moral is, don’t just join an organization, become an active member and take the time and make the effort to build as well as nurture those relationships.

Which leads me to my thoughts on Patrick Hurley’s piece, What Has ACG Done For You Lately? (January 2005 issue of Mergers & Acquisitions). Last October, I was asked by ACG Vancouver to participate in a financing panel as a replacement for a panel member who had to cancel. It was now late Friday afternoon, and the event was the following Wednesday. My presentation was to be on the state of the private equity market _ with which our firm was very familiar.

To assess the latest trends and developments in the market, I composed an e-mail and sent 250 plus copies of it first thing on Monday to ACG members across the United States mostly to private equity firms but also to some investment bankers and senior debt lenders, for an added perspective. Thanks to the many relationships I’ve developed and nurtured over the years, I received more than 150 responses by Tuesday, enough to provide a representative and statistically valid sample for inclusion in the presentation.

In my view, ACG possesses all three attributes that my mentor many years ago advised me to look for in an organization.

Franz von Bradsky
President Green Tree Capital
ACG San Francisco

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