I love business transactions. Deals.
I love the complexity. Soft and hard issues both at play. On the soft side, its people’s hopes, dreams, fears, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs and assumptions. It’s communication, likes and dislikes and family dynamics. On the hard side, it’s legal issues, taxation, accounting and finance. There are also tangible (inventory, equipment) and intangible assets (patents, brands, relationships, accounts, goodwill and know-how). And, of course, real estate.
“Lots of moving parts,” I like to say.
I make all of these issues my business. Having knowledge in these areas is my business. Knowing what to do with it all as it relates to deals, valuation and negotiation.
Growing up in Tulsa, my grandfather, father and various relatives owned businesses. Real estate development. Insurance. Oil and gas. Aerospace. Business was a common topic of conversation in our home. I was keen on the topics, amazed by the breadth, and could feel the passion with which family members – immediate and extended — talked about and lived it.
I saw how personal it can be for owners. How much it means. And how success and failure impacts families and loved ones.
At a young age, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was smart enough. Many around me shared the same concern! But, deep down, I wanted to work for myself, and work on deals.
In college, I went after what I referred to as the “soft skills.” I studied organizational psychology and organizational communication, and took electives such as “persuasion.”
My first job was commissioned sales. I sold enough in a few years to pay for most of a graduate school education at Notre Dame. I was class senator, president of the Entrepreneur Club, and earned an MBA with a concentration in accounting. When I graduated, my heart just would not let me follow my classmates to “Wall Street.” I wanted to work with smaller companies, and learn how they are run and interface with the “real people” that own and run them. I took a job as an analyst in Dallas for a large commercial bank , working with mid-size private companies. I later moved into lending, and enjoyed both immensely. I met fascinating and very successful people. I was exposed to a vast array of businesses, and learned so much about debt structure and debt finance, financial statement analysis, and cash flow analysis.
But I stayed focused on where my passion lay.
When I was offered a CFO job with one of my banking clients, I jumped at the chance to continue my education. I oversaw the accounting, cash flow, inventory, accounts receivable and billing, and helped raise debt and equity capital. When the time was right, I moved to learn M&A. I joined a well-established business brokerage/M&A firm and, just like with my first job after college, closed deals. I studied valuation and mergers and acquisitions at acclaimed institutions and earned various related designations, and ultimately obtained registration with the SEC as an investment advisor.
And then my employer fired me. I was unemployed. It was the hardest time of my life. Nobody would hire me. It seemed employers could see that I wanted to work for myself and did not trust that I would stay with them long term. I suspect they were right.
So with two children and a mortgage, I hung my shingle as a “business broker.” The year was 1999. Oddly, I talked to the guy that fired me before I made the final decision. I asked him if he thought I could be successful. My confidence was low. To my surprise, he said, “As hard as you work, I’m sure it would be just a matter of time.”
I cold called every business owner I could identify. Eventually, I had my first seller client. And closed the deal. And earned my first reference.
Fast forward to the present, I am so very fortunate that I found my place in the world. I work hard; study all the elements that impact deals; and now draw from the experience of literally hundreds of deals. I’ve received numerous awards for my writings on the subject, and – incredibly — my firm has twice been named “Mid-size U.S. M&A firm of the Year.” I don’t think we qualify as mid-size, but …
I’ve developed a very unique approach that garners results. And for sellers, a proprietary processes that ensure absolute confidentiality,; cuts the distractions and the workload on the business owner to the bare minimum; and virtually guarantees a top-price closing within six months.
Every business seller deserves a maximized payday, and the freedom to retire well and enjoy the later years of their life. Closing maximum-value sale transactions in a confidential, professional, and timely manner is my passion as well as my business.
When a business buyer or seller calls me – no matter the size – my goal is to help.
I look forward to your call.
David L. Perkins, Jr.
 University of Oklahoma
 NationsBank, which became Bank of America
 Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, among others
 Transaction sizes ranging from $18,000 to well over $100,000,000