We engaged Shepherd Partners and Tony Natale to help accelerate Carma’s evolution to a modern, forward thinking, and growth-oriented business. Tony provided candid, practical, and well-optioned solutions to me and others as we navigated what can be a sensitive balance between culture and accountability. Tony had a unique ability to get to the heart of a matter quickly, as to exert energy only on strategies and tactics to address those matters. “If it is good for the business, it is good for all of its shareholders” was essentially the motto that underpinned his approach. This obvious, yet simple clarity allowed a very efficient process to move topics forward. He provided an unmeasurable amount of practical intelligence for choosing the right approach, with the right tool, for the right outcome. Tony provided the needed boost and framework for helping us help ourselves. I strongly recommend Tony as a positive, and well-balanced change agent when circumstances require a fresh approach.
In a very short period of time, Tony was able to understand our business, operations, and client base. He offered immense experience and a balanced approach, being sensitive to some of the unique characteristics of our business and client relationships, but first and most importantly, listened. While engaged with us, he was completely dedicated and focused on our business. Tony was able to provide an unbiased third-party review of our business and performance, strengthening our relationship with our financial partners. I highly recommend Tony, he brings the tools, expertise, experience, and creativity needed.
Tony is a good communicator. He not only identifies the problems that the business is facing, but he presents alternative solutions and the reasons behind his recommendations. He is smart, creative and tenacious when he needs to be. I look forward to working with him again soon.
It is never a pleasant position to be in when you are a creditor, and when your customer is in financial distress. However, working with Tony was a refreshing and enjoyable experience. Tony is a man of his word, and more importantly a man of integrity. I experienced frequent communication, and updates throughout the entire process. Everything he said he was going to do and promises made, he came through. I have since recommended him to other companies in need of a “turnaround professional” consultation. Knowledgeable, straight forward, and friendly. Overall, I truly admire his innate ability to tackle such immense challenges with style, grace, and ethics.
Shepherd Partners provided our firm with perspective and coaching we simply couldn’t find anywhere else. His familiarity with distressed situations was invaluable as we assessed options and developed strategies to resolve the company’s difficulties. He lent a skillful hand to negotiations with creditors and government agencies, eventually also assisting in the sale of the company to satisfy the secured position holders.
Tony was my advisor during a stressful forced shut down of my operations and eventual liquidation of my businesses’ assets. He is skilled in working with lenders and their clients and he helped me manage my relationships with my lenders, vendors, employees and customers in a time of crisis. After being in business for 22 years, I had hoped that I would never need the kind of service Tony provides in these circumstances, but when the metals market declined in 2015, I found myself in turmoil with my lenders. It was an emotional, stressful and unpleasant time in my life, but I was confident I was in good hands with Tony as he helped me navigate the troubled waters. He is a top notch negotiator, communicator, numbers man and leader. Tony brought all of the tools necessary to manage the whole process. I only wish I had called him a year earlier.
A Family Company In Need: Our family company used the business turnaround services of Tony and his Shepherd Partners team back in 2001. We had a very challenging situation with our lenders and suppliers that had been caused by a troubled acquisition. Not only did Tony and his team successfully guide us through the complicated negotiations, communications, and corporate planning, he also helped us to protect and actually enhance the culture and commitment of our organization while all of this was transpiring. I would highly recommend Shepherd to any closely held business like ours that might be going through significant trials and tribulations.
A 2-Sided Perspective: I had the unique opportunity to get to know Tony and experience his true effectiveness in leading companies through change from two perspectives – as his client, and as the buyer of one his clients. Tony had already left a lasting positive impression with me (and my family and fellow executives) when he successfully guided us through a very tumultuous restructuring of our family company’s financial structure and leadership & governance organization. More recently, I had the good fortune to work with Tony again, as he led another family company through the maze of receivership and related organizational change – ultimately enabling its sale to our company. During that transaction and afterward, it has been clear to me that Tony brought the same expert and caring guidance to that situation as he did in his previous engagement with my family’s company. I’d highly recommend Tony to any closely held business like these that might be going through similar traumas.
Tony did an excellent job serving as independent director for a distressed company. His sophistication and discernment in the board deliberation process were very valuable.
I had the opportunity to work with Tony Natale on a unique, troubled situation, which required our borrower, along with a variety of their customers as well as vendors, to all come together to mutually work through a resolution to a shared problem. In very short order Tony assessed the issues, brought all of the parties to the table and laid out the framework for a restructuring that made sense for both the lender and the company.
Madison Capital has retained Shepherd Partners for a variety of engagements. Tony and his team were critical in assessing a lender-owned multi-branch building products distributor and identifying underperforming branches and inefficient processes. With Shepherd’s help, the company’s management instituted procedures, customer profitability metrics, and route and branch management software that vastly improved the company’s performance, leading directly to the company’s and the lenders’ recovery of their entire investment.
On Madison Capital’s behalf, Tony and his team successfully navigated a foreclosure process and the debtor’s bankruptcy and sale. The situation demanded firmness in dealing with the company’s uncooperative senior executives and delicateness in managing employees, vendors, and customers. With Shepherd’s help, Madison Capital accomplished a 100% recovery of its loan and interest.
Tony is versatile, smart and has the ability to quickly determine and manage a critical path for a business. I have been adverse to Tony, used him for internal analysis and recommended him to important clients. When I brought Tony into situations to help the largest as well as smaller banks, our clients have been very satisfied. Tony’s most desirable ability is his skill to reach the right plan of action in a crisis when circumstances limit the available facts or time to perform extended analysis.
I have known Tony for over 15 years and have found him to be the “right guy” on several opportunities; I have worked alongside Tony and Shepherd as well as referred them in to situations. He and his teams have shown consistent responsiveness, speed, and effectiveness on engagements. Tony presents very rational and well thought out solutions to issues confronting organizations delivered in a compressed time frame. He’s a tough negotiator but not combative, which is key to a successful outcome. Shepherd brings a world of knowledge and experience to complicated situations.
His work has made me look good to the company, the ownership and the other stakeholders in the company.
Tony brings total dedication to his projects and immerses completely in the operations of the company and its fine details to assure the best possible results. In my experience with Tony, I also credit his keen awareness of and balanced approach towards the constituencies he encountered on our project including: the employees, trade creditors, senior lender group, potential asset purchasers, original ownership, and even the surrounding community. His professionalism and commitment gained the respect of these competing interests and resulted in an award-winning transaction and turnaround engagement. I give Tony the highest possible recommendation.
Shepherd and Tony get the job done under very challenging conditions. His level headed teams keep focused on the goals, move fast, pay attention to details and don’t get derailed by distracting issues that we see in the Distressed space. Tony was very supportive of our investment bankers’ due diligence needs and saw to it the prospective Buyers’ due diligence demands were met. They are a very professional group that works collaboratively to deliver exceptional results.