Business Insights From Conway MacKenzie
March 28, 2018

Blog: Pros and Cons of Master Limited Partnerships and Royalty Trusts

Q & A with Paul F. Jansen, Managing Director, Houston Question: Generally, who do you see as the ideal investor for these funds, and who should stay away, and why? Where in the portfolio do they belong — competing with stocks in the risky end, or with bonds in the safer, income-producing end? Over time, […]

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October 16, 2017

Blog: The New Retail Reality: Don’t Think “Retail”

Part three in a 3-part blog series. Sophisticated landlords know they can no longer operate as they have in the past. Philosophically, the thought of centers offering traditional retail fare needs to be replaced with the idea of offering consumer experiences. One area is in quasi-medical and office. Fairlane Mall in Dearborn, Michigan, has seen […]

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October 9, 2017

Blog: American Woman and the Amazon Factor

Part two in a 3-part blog series. In many ways the millennial retail revolution is three years behind similar attrition within the women’s apparel industry. There, a pre-2008 economic boom and still-strong traditional mall shopping audience would lead to what would eventually become an over-build of new stores. Retailers such as Coldwater Creek, Chico’s, J.Jill […]

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October 2, 2017

Blog: The New Retail Reality

Part one in a 3-part blog series. The wide world of retail finds itself today at a crucial crossroads. Lesser affected have been the elite, high-end shopping centers and, conversely the lower-end centers, each of which cater to a defined subset of shoppers. However, the majority of retail centers nationwide fall into the mid-range category. […]

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July 26, 2017

Blog: Warning Flags Rising for Private Equity Firms

This post was written by Brian Connors Private Equity (PE) firms and their limited partner investors could face significant headwinds in the coming years due to high company valuations, record levels of dry powder to invest, and more exit transactions akin to rearranging deck chairs by selling holdings to other PE funds rather than creating […]

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June 26, 2017

Blog: Discovering Amazon’s Impact on the CPG Industry With Announcement of the Whole Foods Bid

On June 16 Amazon announced its intention to buy Whole Foods with a cash bid of $13.7 billion, a deal that is expected to close during the second half of 2017. This 16-multiple figure is the highest price Amazon will ever have paid for a company and a good indicator of its desire to shake […]

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April 25, 2017

Blog: Transparency: The New Cost Reality for CPG Brands

In today’s marketplace, it is clear that the back of the product label has become as important as the front. Consumers —who are more aware than ever of ingredients and have a clear and defined perception of those ingredients — are increasingly demanding transparency. That level of awareness and demand has huge implications for consumer […]

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March 2, 2017

Blog: Automotive Middle Market – What’s the Play?

The following post was written by Managing Director John Pencak. Currently, we are in the seventh year of the latest automotive cycle that appears to be long in the tooth. Middle market automotive suppliers have performed well in recent years and have reaped the benefits of record North American production volumes. Now, for the first […]

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June 15, 2016

Blog: Detroit Post Bankruptcy: It took a village to save a city

The following post was written by Glenn Kushiner. Although the long-term success of the City of Detroit restructuring/bankruptcy is yet to be determined, the current signs (significantly reduced debt load, balanced budget and surplus creation, finance function organizational restructuring, population stabilization, etc.) indicate the City is on the right path. One of the biggest reasons […]

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June 13, 2016

Blog: Mike Musso on Keurig Carbonated Drinks

“Keurig hit a home run with coffee, but they overestimated taking their coffee experience into carbonated soft drinks with Keurig Kold. I think consumers find it convenient and easy to buy soft drinks everywhere outside the home, so having a machine inside their home didn’t provide them much value. Plus, the Kold price-value relationship was […]

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March 22, 2016

Blog: Challenges and Benefits of Private Label Supplier Consolidation

Written By Mike Musso Private label supplier consolidation creates challenges for retailers. As competition decreases, pricing increases and manufacturers have more leverage. Plus, consolidation forces suppliers to evaluate their brand offerings and profitability — leading to products or entire categories being discontinued. However, due to economies of scale and more efficient supply chains, pricing sometimes […]

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February 11, 2016

Blog: E-Commerce vs. Brick and Mortar: Pay Close Attention to the Former

E-commerce accounts for a small share of consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales today, but it’s accelerating rapidly. Shoppers have increasingly moved their purchasing online — 15% annually since 2010, per eMarketer, far outpacing brick-and-mortar stores. And now consumers have turned to their mobile device as the medium to research and purchase. Unquestionably, the shopping experience […]

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February 3, 2016

Blog: How Beauty Brands Can Survive Walmart’s New Fees and Payment Terms

This article was written by Mike Musso and was originally posted on GCI Magazine For the first time in its history, Walmart is charging slotting fees. While this practice is common in mass retailing, Walmart has long stood apart by not participating in the pay-to-play game. Now, brands will have to pay to be on […]

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July 22, 2015

Blog: The M&A Advisor Releases Case Study on Detroit Bankruptcy

During its Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings, Detroit fought back against great odds and is in the midst of a historic comeback that few thought possible. The actions taken, lessons learned, and successes achieved by Detroit provide insights – and hope – for other struggling municipalities. Conway MacKenzie is proud of the leading role it played […]

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June 25, 2015

Blog: How to Maximize the Impact of Your Expert Witness in Developing Case Strategy

While expert witnesses are best known for their performance on the witness stand, the most important work done by experts is often that which helps their clients avoid trial altogether. By participating in and helping craft case, discovery and settlement strategy, experts can help clients achieve the best possible litigation outcome. When it comes to […]

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June 23, 2015

Blog: Conway MacKenzie Recognized by Turnaround Atlas Awards

The annual Turnaround Atlas Awards, presented by the Global M&A Network, honor excellence in the categories of best value-creating turnaround deals, sought-after professionals and outstanding firms from the international restructuring, special situations M&A, judicial and out-of-court reorganizations industries. Conway MacKenzie is proud to be recognized in several award categories this year, including: Middle Markets Turnaround […]

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June 11, 2015

Blog: Conway MacKenzie Professionals Share Insights on Higher Education Industry

The June edition of the Turnaround Management Association’s Journal of Corporate Renewal features articles from two of Conway MacKenzie’s top professionals. Both articles highlight thought provoking topics impacting the higher education industry: In “Higher Education Economics 101: Can Colleges, Universities Ace the Test?,” Managing Director Timothy Stallkamp dissects the financial struggles of a growing number […]

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June 3, 2015

Blog: U.S. M&A Market is Red Hot. But Will it Last?

The U.S. M&A market continues to rocket forward in 2015, and shows no signs of slowing. According to the Financial Times, U.S. dealmaking hit an all-time high in May with $243 billion in activity. Huge transactions, such as Charter Communications’ $90 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House, were prevalent during the record […]

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May 28, 2015

Blog: We Stand Ready to Help Build a Brighter Tomorrow 

Not surprisingly, a major point of discussion at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference is the restructuring and revitalization of Detroit. During its Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings, Detroit fought back against great odds and is in the midst of a historic comeback that few thought possible. The city is now a beacon of light and inspiration […]

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May 20, 2015

Blog: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast: How Building a Strong Culture Has Been Essential to Our Growth, and How it can Fuel Your Growth as Well

Having a strong company culture will not guarantee success, but it sure helps. Building, fostering and nurturing a great culture is one of the most important things a business can do to recruit, retain, and motivate a talented workforce – certainly one of, if not the, most important assets of a business. We speak from […]

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May 11, 2015

Blog: Market Machinations: What’s New in M&A

The mergers and acquisitions marketplace continued its torrid pace in the first quarter of 2015. According to Financier Worldwide, over $900 billion in worldwide M&A activity was announced in the first three months of the year, the highest first quarter total in eight years. United States targeted deals totaled $415 billion. Healthcare and pharmaceutical deals […]

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April 28, 2015

Blog: Growing Business, Shrinking Profits?

When times are good, businesses often invest – new hires, new equipment – to keep the good times rolling. When times are bad, businesses also invest – marketing, sales, new product or service offerings – to stem the tide. Investment is good when there is return on investment. But too much investment – in good […]

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April 8, 2015

Blog: What a Difference Six Years Makes: From Chapter 11 to Record Sales, the Domestic Auto Industry Continues its Resurgence

Nearly six years ago, the dominoes began to fall in the U.S. automotive industry. With U.S. market share down from 70% in 1998 to 53% in 2008, the domestic auto industry was struggling. To survive, General Motors and Chrysler secured government support, while Ford secured a line of credit through the private markets. With the […]

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March 25, 2015

Blog: As Energy Prices Drop, Consumer Goods and Retail M&A May Skyrocket

Mergers & Acquisitions’ February Mid-Market Pulse (MMP), a forward-looking sentiment indicator compiled from monthly surveys of approximately 250 executives, indicates that expectations for M&A in the consumer goods and retail sector have risen significantly over the last few months as energy prices have fallen. According to the MMP, dealmakers gave the consumer goods and retail […]

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March 11, 2015

Blog: Robust Medical Device Deal Pipeline Sets Stage for Strong 2015

Last year was a very strong one for transactions in the medical device space. According to a Mass Device article, the number of deals in 2014 rose 39 percent to 57 announced transactions, and deal value surged to $86 billion, up from $14 billion in 2013. Fulfilling many analysts’ predictions for an equally robust (if […]

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March 9, 2015

Blog: Melting Ice Cubes in Chapter 11: How Fast is too Fast for a 363 Sale?

Bankrupt Radio Shack Corp. is looking to sell, and recently responded to objections to its proposed auction procedures. While the Creditors’ Committee argued that the proposed process was too fast, Radio Shack responded that, “Although the committee closes its eyes to it, the debtors’ estate is in fact a ‘melting ice cube’ that is losing […]

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February 27, 2015

Blog: No Fluff Allowed: Realism and Rationale Win the Cupcake Wars

How does one with a passion for baking and an entrepreneurial drive enter the gourmet cupcake marketplace without getting burned? Think small, and let “big” happen at its own pace. This is a key lesson to be learned by aspiring entrepreneurs in any industry from the tale of two business owners in the once-booming cupcake […]

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February 24, 2015

Blog: Does Apple Really Want to Build an iCar? And If It Does…Should It?

If you took a break from technology media over the weekend, you may have missed news that Apple is moving into the automotive space, though reports on what that means varied widely across editorial sources. While the buzz mill began with a Wall Street Journal article reporting that Apple “has several hundred employees working secretly […]

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February 2, 2015

Blog: American Bankruptcy Institute Issues Report Focused on Improving Chapter 11 as Data Shows 2014 Business Bankruptcy Filings Continue Downward Trend

While merger and acquisition activity roared in 2014, Chapter 11 business bankruptcy filings ended the year with a whimper. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), total commercial filings were 34,455 for the year, a 22 percent decline from 2013. These numbers reflect the continuation of a downward trend in business filings over the last […]

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January 15, 2015

Blog: Soaring Sales, Falling Fuel Prices and Very Cool Vehicles Dominate NAIAS 2015 Dialogue

The North American International Auto Show is back and it’s proving yet again to be a microcosm of the marketplace. Media preview week has set the stage for bold sales predictions indicative of broader economic recovery, debate about the relevance of fuel-efficient vehicles in the face of plummeting fuel prices, and palpable enthusiasm and optimism […]

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January 6, 2015

Blog: The Automotive “B” Word, and How to Avoid It

Buggy whips, the tools used to prod buggy horses, were functional – even innovative – in the 19th century, but it’s the last thing an automotive or technology business wants to be associated with today. “Buggy whip” has come to represent not the tool used for keeping horses moving (later becoming irrelevant as motorized automobiles […]

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December 30, 2014

Blog: 15 in ’15: Mid-Market Trends to Focus on in the New Year

“What are your plans for New Years?” It’s likely a question you’ve been asked by friends or family, and we at Conway MacKenzie want to know, too: what are your plans for the New Year? We’re not as interested in your Dec. 31 social calendar, however, as we are your business outlook and strategy for […]

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December 17, 2014

Blog: Another Big Year for M&A

We recently shared on this blog how corporate bankruptcy filings continue to trend down, with filings expected to come in at multi-year lows in 2014. But there is a flip-side to every story: as bankruptcy continues to soften, M&A continues to heat up. Mergers & Acquisitions recently reported that, despite a dip in deals in […]

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December 16, 2014

Blog: Radio Shack’s Turnaround Keeps Turning Around

A special committee ruled unanimously on Nov. 12 that a credit event was not triggered when RadioShack secured a line of credit from Standard General in October. Salus Capital, one of the company’s major lenders, had accused RadioShack of breaching the terms of its $250 million loan as part of a refinancing agreement, and demanded […]

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December 3, 2014

Blog: Bankruptcy Filings Continue Downward Trend; Healthcare Services Filings Up

Bankruptcy filings are down. Business and personal filings are expected to be at the lowest level in years at the conclusion of 2014. The recently released 3rd Quarter 2014 Report for the FBT/TrBK Distress Indices confirm these trends. According to the report, the Chapter 11 Distress Research Index was 43.41 for Q3 2014, a decline […]

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December 1, 2014

Blog: Value Add: Research Indicates a Connection Between M&A Communications and Market Performance

A recent report finds a correlation between a company’s M&A announcement activity and its outperformance in the market. The research, conducted jointly by technology provider Intralinks and the M&A Research Centre at Cass Business School, focuses on the drivers of shareholder value creation. It is the first of a two-part report that more broadly examines […]

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November 25, 2014

Blog: A New Detroit – One of Many, yet One of a Kind

A new Pew Charitable Trust report shows that while Detroit is the largest U.S. municipality ever to file for bankruptcy, it is not alone in its post-Recession economic miseries. The report, “Recovering from Volatile Times: The ongoing financial struggles of America’s big cities,” tells an all-too-familiar story for those of us following – and in Conway MacKenzie’s […]

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November 21, 2014

Blog: The Real Deal: Who’s Growing and Who’s Closing

Whoever said “change is the only constant” was probably making a profound statement about life in general, but he or she may as well have been referring to some of the major industries Conway Mackenzie serves. The last seven days have been filled with news of major moves in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and gaming industries, […]

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November 12, 2014

Blog: Emerging from bankruptcy, Detroit is not broken – it is better.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor said, “There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested.” And in the wake of a federal judge approving Detroit’s bankruptcy exit plan last Friday, those of us who participated in the restructuring couldn’t agree more. Brokering a deal that eliminated $7 billion in debts, protected community […]

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November 10, 2014

Blog: A New Day. A Bright Future. 

We are proud to serve as operational restructuring advisor to the City of Detroit during its restructuring. We wanted to honor the city, its leaders, and the talented professionals that led its historic comeback with this ad in The New York Times, which ran on Sunday. We can’t wait to see what Detroit has in […]

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November 7, 2014

Blog: Conway MacKenzie Serves as Operational Restructuring Advisor for the City of Detroit

Today marks the beginning of a new, exciting chapter for the City of Detroit. This afternoon, Judge Rhodes confirmed Detroit’s Plan of Adjustment, bringing the largest municipal bankruptcy proceeding in history to a conclusion. Pursuant to the Plan, $7 billion in debt will be eliminated, $1.7 billion will be invested to improve services and infrastructure, […]

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November 5, 2014

Blog: Conway MacKenzie is the Premier Sponsor of TMA Chicago/Midwest Chapter Event

Conway MacKenzie is sponsoring the upcoming Turnaround Management Association Chicago/Midwest Chapter Annual Executive Speaker Forum as the Premier Event Table Purchaser. The event, which is being held on Monday, November 24, 2014 in Chicago, will feature 2012 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as the keynote speaker. While the TMA has announced […]

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October 28, 2014

Blog: Be Prepared for Black Swans

In his 2007 best-selling book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that history has been shaped by unforeseen events – both positive and negative – whose probabilities are underestimated because they are difficult to comprehend. Taleb calls such events black swans, which he defines as “an event […]

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October 19, 2014

Blog: Colleges Either Change Course or Falter

There’s a sea change coming to the model of higher-education, and Greg Charleston knows how to build the raft. Our Senior Managing Director outlined three ways that college and university administrators can enable their institutions for survival in the coming decades, discussed here in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  

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October 17, 2014

Blog: Atlantic City’s Former Revel Casino Hotel Sells for Pennies on the Dollar

The Atlantic City casinos can’t seem to catch a break. Four casinos have closed – with a fifth on the brink of closure – and more than 7,000 people have been laid off. The latest sale of Revel Casino Hotel was recently approved by a federal bankruptcy judge for just 5 cents on the dollar […]

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October 15, 2014

Blog: The Importance of Valuation

“If business schools could offer just one course, it would not be on stock trading, the efficient market hypothesis or modern portfolio theory. Rather, B-schools should be encouraging students to learn the boring, but critically important, discipline of business valuation.” This quote from Warren Buffet underscores why valuation is such an important issue in business. Having […]

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October 10, 2014

Blog: Business Lessons and the Bacon Bowl

Although it’s usually best to be diversified in business, sometimes you have no choice but to have all your eggs in one basket. Or, in the case of one small Mississippi company, all your bacon in one bowl. According to The Wall Street Journal, a “down on its luck” small town of 1,500 got a […]

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October 7, 2014

Blog: How to Eat an Elephant

Sometimes we’re called in to help a company in distress overcome a set of challenges. Other times it’s to assist a company that’s hitting on all cylinders capitalize on an opportunity. Regardless of the situation, from strategy to execution there’s much to plan and do to ensure a successful outcome. So what’s the best way […]

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September 9, 2014

Blog: No Dice: Atlantic City Trump Casinos File for Chapter 11

Another day, another Atlantic City casino Chapter 11 filing. Today Trump Entertainment Resorts, which operates Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware, case number 14-12103. This filing follows the closing of two other iconic Atlantic City casinos, the Showboat and Revel Casino Hotel, over Labor Day […]

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September 8, 2014

Blog: Fewer Bankruptcies, Fewer Defaults…For Now

According to Epiq Systems’ monthly bankruptcy update, there were 357 Chapter 11 business filings in August 2014. That’s a 41 percent decline from last August when there were 604 filings. On a year to date basis, there have been a total of 3,722 Chapter 11 business filings in 2014, compared to 4,599 over the same […]

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September 4, 2014

Blog: U.S. Auto Sales Surge in August 

The auto recalls over the past few months barely made a scratch in sales, it seems. Despite numerous recalls for car manufacturers, automakers sold 1.6 million vehicles in the U.S. in August – up 3 percent from the same period last year. In fact, sales this past August surpassed sales from last year, even though […]

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September 2, 2014

Blog: Atlantic City’s Revel Casino Shuts Down After 2 Years

Sometimes high hopes are not enough. After just two years, the $2.4B Revel Casino Hotel shut its doors this morning. The casino’s closure is a huge hit to the Atlantic City gaming industry, and calls for a focus on the future of New Jersey’s gaming industry as a whole. With its loss of Revel, Atlantic […]

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August 26, 2014

Blog: Procter & Gamble to Shed Brands in Order to Boost Profits

Procter & Gamble recently announced that it will shed up to 100 of its brands, focusing on its top 70 to 80 brands that account for 95 percent of its profit. According to CEO A.G. Lafley “If it’s not a core brand – I don’t care whether it’s a $2 billion brand, it will be divested. […]

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July 3, 2014

Blog: U.S. Private Jobs Spike in June

A recent report from payrolls processor ADP reported that the U.S. private hiring sector hit a 1-1/2 year high in June. According to the report, private employers added 281,000 workers to payrolls last month, which is a 179,000 increase from May. Read this Reuters article for an overview of the findings and how some are comparing […]

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June 11, 2014

Blog: Hospital Survival Through Smart Purchasing

On Dec. 17, 2013, Time published the “Top 10 Google Searches of 2013.” It should come as no surprise that the top search question was, “What is twerking?” Rounding out the list was a concept that will surely test our notion of currency and will likely be a topic of future articles: “What is bitcoin?” […]

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May 22, 2014

Blog: Distinguishing Quality of Earnings From the World According to GAAP

Whatever the reason for its commission, Quality of Earnings must be distinguished from GAAP accounting. A common misconception is that an audit can be performed in lieu of a Quality of Earnings analysis or vice versa. Though an audit can be helpful in determining the reasonable values of balance sheet accounts, it is fairly mutually […]

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March 15, 2014

Blog: Out-of-Court Restructuring Solutions | ABI Conference

Joseph Geraghty of Conway MacKenzie will participate in a panel discussing out-of-court restructurings for middle market companies at ABI’s 32nd Annual Spring Meeting. Friday, April 25 from 2:15 – 3:45 pm The Financial Professional’s Role in Out-Of-Court Restructurings and Dissolutions JW Marriott | Washington, D.C. About the Panel Discussion: In today’s marketplace, more and more […]

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March 6, 2014

Blog: John Young, Jr. Appointed as Chief Restructuring Officer by Buccaneer Energy Limited

Buccaneer Energy Limited (ASX: BCC) advises that it has engaged Conway MacKenzie, Inc., to assist the company in its financial management and evaluation of strategic alternatives. Mr. John T. Young, Jr., will be leading the evaluation and has been appointed to Chief Restructuring Officer for Buccaneer, effective immediately, reporting directly to the Board. Mr. Young […]

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February 18, 2014

Blog: Stakes are High in Las Vegas Transformation

Las Vegas has long been known as the center of the gambling universe. However, over the past five to ten years, Las Vegas has received increased competition from Macau/Cotai Strip, Singapore, Atlantic City, Regional Indian Casinos, Regional Commercial Casinos, and the ever popular Regional Racino. The current gaming market is as saturated as ever and […]

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