Timothy R. Lee, ASA is the firm’s Managing Director of Corporate Valuation services and is a member of the firm’s board of directors. He provides litigation support services in cases involving economic damages, business valuation, dissenting shareholder rights, marital dissolution, and tax matters. Tim also provides valuation and corporate advisory services for purposes including mergers and acquisitions, employee stock ownership plans, profit sharing plans, trust & estate planning and compliance matters, corporate planning, and reorganizations.

What attracted you to a career in business valuation?

Timothy Lee: As a “late” starter in financial services, I sought a path that would leverage years of practical experience gained from real world selling and managing in my teens and 20s. Business valuation has exposed me to a great diversity of business models and allowed me to learn from the successes and challenges of our clients.

Over the years, the core valuation discipline bridged into a multi-line financial advisory practice that places me in a position to assist clients facing both difficult and opportunistic events in the lifecycle of business ownership. For me, the bet on valuation and the fortitude of nearly 30 years of financial and industry breadth has placed me and my Mercer Capital colleagues in the enviable position of offering services with uncompromising credibility and with broad ranging experience well beyond a pure-play valuation shop.

As a Managing Director at Mercer Capital, what services do you provide to clients?

Timothy Lee: Mercer Capital offers services across three broadly defined groupings: 1) valuation for tax, financial reporting, and other compliance and corporate finance purposes, 2) dispute resolution services ranging from unmatched buy-sell functionality to expert witness services for corporate and personal litigation matters, and 3) buy- and sell-side transaction advisory services primarily covering the middle-market M&A space and including large business concerns in numerous financial and non-financial industry verticals.

My personal practice has become more focused on the diverse needs of larger private companies whose regular needs require all three service buckets in real time and where reconciling these needs is essential for ownership success and strategic execution. Organizationally and personally, we are focused on the forest of client needs, which over time have become more business and industry centered while maintaining our legacy leadership in business valuation services.

What type of engagements give rise to your involvement in litigation matters?

Timothy Lee: Mercer Capital has worked diligently to parlay Chris Mercer’s longstanding success in significant litigation matters into a diverse dispute resolution practice with growing depth regarding industry coverage, legal setting, and dispute scenario. Today, we have several litigation-focused senior professionals who handle everything from business-heavy marital dissolution to corporate damages and fair value matters across the country.

Like most senior professionals at Mercer Capital, my litigation involvements are generally allied to certain industries and/or are related to certain dispute scenarios. For me, industry depth is broad ranging and particularly deep in numerous areas: construction contracting, trades, and building materials; food & beverage ranging from multi-unit franchise models to alcoholic beverage distribution; equipment dealership industries including earth-moving, agricultural, and material handling networks; manufacturing industries in metal fabrication and processing; vertically integrated agricultural concerns; real estate, hospitality, and hotels; specialty chemicals; professional practices; warehousing and merchant wholesale distribution models; transportation and logistics. I also have significant experience assisting clients in buy-sell design and dispute matters offering a functional path toward collaborative resolution.

What should clients understand about valuation and the services a firm like ours can provide?

Timothy Lee: Valuation perspective and financial market comprehension are lacking among a great many business owners, boards, and management teams. Relegating valuations to critical (often stressful) events as opposed to maintaining a programmatic discipline is very much like the saying: failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Self-serving as it may sound, I see basic business valuation as an elemental and regular need of business owners.

Businesses have employees dedicated to daily cash management, inventory control, and capital investment; but owners and boards rarely seek the all-important measurement of business value. Harsh as it sounds – that is preparation to fail and an abdication of wealth accountability. Understanding business value and how it changes in response to industry, market, and organic forces is what we help business owners understand. That is the essence of the service we provide.

What is one thing about your job that gets you excited to come to work every day?

Timothy Lee: Well, if I am limited to just one thing, I’d have to say the excitement is one of living up to the incredible trust and responsibility of informing clients with meaningful and actionable financial information.  The derivatives (now I’m cheating) of that one thing are the countless benefits I get from interacting with clients and colleagues to do meaningful work.