• October 16, 2015 3:41 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    By a CEO Trustee (member)

    On Tuesday, October 13, I attended "Working Effectively with Private Equity - What You need to Know" at the Marriott Marquis in NYC.

    The event was very well attended by fellow Trustees and guests, refreshments and appetizers were excellent (thank you Ice Miller), and provided an excellent panel, composed of:

    • Lori Hess - Partner at L&E Partners (Executive Recruitment/Placement)
    • Michael Pfeffer - CEO Trustee and Co-Founder & Managing Director of Post Capital Partners (PE Firm)
    • Thomas S. Shattan - Principal at Shattan Mendel Enterprises (Merchant Bank)
    • Edward Braum - Partner, Ice Miller (Legal Counsel)
    The panelist brought years of experience of working with or in private equity (PE) and was able to cover many topics. Some of the topics covered were:
    • Owners selling their company to PE; both full sale and partial sale of owners equity.
    • Engagement and role of bankers and advisors in the process of working with PE (as both buyer and seller)
    • The function/role executives seeking to work with and possibly partner with PE for regarding ideas/deals in an executive's industry. Including the possibility of executive becoming a retained sponsor for a PE firm to source deals in the executive's industry/area of expertise.
    • The vital importance of sellers due diligence on any potential private equity buyer of their company to ensure the best "fit" and alignment of interests.
    • Deal structure, particularly PE capital structure in acquired companies has grown more sophisticated and complex. These more complex structures can have a significant impact on the value of any remaining minority interest the sellers may maintain.
    • These more complex deal structure also impact executives equity participation/value upon sale of a PE owned company........executives should pay special attention to the PE company's capital structure and executive compensation plans.

    The structure and pace of this event was excellent as the panel covered the myriad of subjects.  The panel easily engaged all of us in the audience as there was great give and take from the many questions asked of the panel.

    Many thanks to CEO Trust for organizing another great event, and a special thanks to the panel for making their time available for us.

  • September 29, 2015 4:51 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    By CEO Trustee, Robert Wolfe

    It was a perfect evening and setting to join Jeremy Cage at the Wilson Cove Yacht Club on September 24 for the CT Chapter’s most recent event.  During “Courage: Unleashing Your True Potential” Jeremy shared his adventures of sailing around the world with his wife and two young children and the life lessons he took from that experience.  Approximately 15 CEO Trust members and guests enjoyed delicious appetizers, drinks, and a lovely sunset during a mingling reception on the club’s wraparound deck overlooking the marina.  Afterward, all moved inside to the inviting clubhouse lounge for Jeremy's presentation. 

    Jeremy used his story to challenge all of us to be courageous and to follow our dreams as he had.  He said that taking this step changed his life and gave him and his family great fulfillment and confidence to pursue other dreams. 

    During the interactive discussion, Jeremy shared the insights that allowed him to successfully plan and achieve his dream.  One of his insights was to "dream specifically" (which is to say that the clearer you visualize your dream the more likely it will be successful), and to "dread vaguely" (which is to say you need to understand that most things keeping you from pursuing your dreams are not the insurmountable obstacles you first believe they are). 

    Jeremy noted that the lessons can be used to allow people and companies to become more creative, successful, and satisfied by unleashing their true potential.  The session definitely gave us all great pause to think about our dreams and how to think and act differently in order to realize them.

  • September 15, 2015 5:07 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    By Bryan Mattimore

    I attended my first CEO Roundtable Dinner at the Terrace Club in NYC on Wednesday, September 9th. I was pleased to have a seat at this sold out event with two full roundtables of CEOs.
    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised: it was one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve spent in a long time. Yes the food was very good, and the venue was welcoming… but what made the meeting special for me was the evening format, the insights of my table mates, and the feeling of camaraderie – dare I say trust – that I know we all experienced.
    After introductions, the facilitators asked us each to present a business challenge that our tablemates could help us “ideate”  solutions for. The lively discussions included insights, ideas, strategies, and referrals to friends/experts who might help solve the particular challenge, which ranged from how to:

    • deal with the government regulations/penalties associated with Obama Care for a business that employs hourly workers
    • better organize and manage an international non-profit with three different governing/country-based boards
    • launch a new college student activity software for US colleges and administrators
    • attract new, younger readers to a formerly, print-only publication - and, in my case:
    • how to promote our strategic war gaming service that is becoming a larger part of our innovation agency offerings. 
    Yes, I got a great idea to promote our war gaming service… but it was even more fun for me to help others with their challenges.

    Thank you, CEO Trust, for organizing and facilitating a memorable night that included delicious food, provocative intellectual challenges, great ideas… but above all, camaraderie.  

  • September 03, 2015 4:32 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    In his recent article for Harvard Business Review, CEO Trust speaker Shawn Achor gives tips for how to avoid “catching” others' negativity, stress, and uncertainty:

    Make Yourself Immune to Secondhand Stress

    By Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan. 

    Over the past decade, we have learned how our brains are hardwired for emotional contagion. Emotions spread via a wireless network of mirror neurons, which are tiny parts of the brain that allow us to empathize with others and understand what they’re feeling. When you see someone yawn, mirror neurons can activate, making you yawn, in turn. Your brain picks up the fatigue response of someone sitting on the other side of the room. But it’s not just smiles and yawns that spread. We can pick up negativity, stress, and uncertainty like secondhand smoke. Researchers Howard Friedman and Ronald Riggio from the University of California, Riverside found that if someone in your visual field is anxious and highly expressive — either verbally or non-verbally — there’s a high likelihood you’ll experience those emotions as well, negatively impacting your brain’s performance.

    Observing someone who is stressed — especially a coworker or family member — can have an immediate effect upon our own nervous systems. A separate group of researchers found that 26% of people showed elevated levels of cortisol just by observing someone who was stressed. Secondhand stress is much more contagious from a romantic partner (40%) than a stranger, but when observers watched a stressful event on video with strangers, 24% still showed a stress response. (This makes us question whether we, as happiness researchers, should watch Breaking Bad before going to sleep.)

    When your taxi driver honks angrily, you can carry his anxiety all the way to work. When a boss hurriedly stalks into a room, you can pick up her stress as you try to present your ideas. Even bankers on trading floors separated by glass walls can pick up the panic of a person across the room working in a separate market just by seeing their nonverbals.

    According to Heidi Hanna, a fellow at the American Institute of Stress and author of Stressaholic, secondhand stress is a result of our hardwired ability to perceive potential threats in our environment. She writes, “Most people have experienced spending time with someone who triggers a stress response just by walking in the door. This can be a conditioned response from previous interactions, but may also be an energetic communication delivered by very gentle shifts in bio-mechanical rhythms such as heart rate or breath rate.” The cues that cause secondhand stress can be very subtle changes in the people around us at work, yet they can have huge impacts.

    Read full article here.

  • August 12, 2015 5:32 PM | Anonymous member

    Hail ants

    The CEO Pay Ratio mandated by Dodd-Frank is finally here. The rule sounds simple enough: Companies must disclose the ratio of their CEO’s pay to that of their median worker. Interesting information, perhaps, but the SEC supposedly exists for a more lofty purpose than mandating nice-to-know data. It must, by law, act in the interests of investors. In fact, the Administrative Procedures Act requires the SEC to “base . . . decisions on the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other information concerning the need for, and consequences of, the intended regulation.” Read More

  • June 22, 2015 1:19 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    By Mark Spool - Friend of CEO Trust and Executive Coach at Management Development Solutions

    The PA Chapter's CEO Roundtable Breakfast on June 16th was well attended and had a great discussion among its participants (CEOs and C-Suite executives of different industries).  We started the discussion on how corporate culture impacts profitability, then moved into how strategy plays a key role in creating competitive advantage.  Real examples helped explain key points made, and the level of openness promoted a robust discussion.  The setting was great – a private room at the prestigious Old York Road Country Club in the Philadelphia suburbs.

  • June 19, 2015 3:40 PM | Anonymous member

    Hey you out there: Just kidding


    Let’s say that you hire a captain for your ship and for, say, tax reasons, decide that instead of running things from the bridge he should run things from the plank. You warn him that if anything goes wrong, he goes into the drink. But rough weather comes along, and you decide you still need him, so you don’t push him over the edge. At this point, you’ve hurt your credibility and pissed off the sharks. Read More

  • May 28, 2015 2:24 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    By Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

    Falling oil prices contributed to a 68 percent surge in job cuts last month, as US-based employers announced workforce reductions totaling 61,582 in April, up from 36,594 in March, according to the latest report on monthly layoffs released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

    The April total was 53 percent higher than the same month a year ago, when 40,298 planned job cuts were recorded. It represents the highest monthly total since May 2012 (61,887) and the highest April total since 2009 (132,590).

    Year to date, employers have announced 201,796 planned job cuts, which marks a 25 percent increase from the 161,639 layoffs tracked in the first four months of 2014. This is the largest four-month total since 2010.

    Driving the increased pace of job cutting in April and for the year is the dramatic decline in oil prices, which is forcing producers and suppliers to cut production. Of the 61,582 job cut announced last month, 20,675 or 34 percent were directly attributed to oil prices.

    For the year, oil prices were blamed for 68,285 job cuts, or about 34 percent of the 201,796 planned layoffs announced between January 1 and April 30.

    “Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Halliburton have all announced multiple rounds of job cuts in recent months, including April. The largest job cut of the month came from Schlumberger, which announced that it will shed 11,000 workers, in addition to the 9,000 laid off in January,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

    “The jobs that are most vulnerable are those in the field – engineers, oil rig operators, drill operators, refinery operators, etc. Managers and executives in the corporate offices are more secure, but the drop in oil prices is leading to increased merger activity, which could put more executives at risk of job loss,” said Challenger.

    Read full report here.

  • May 22, 2015 2:09 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    by Stephanie Grayson

    Even with the luxury properties "going, going, GONE!", the excitement of last week's exclusive event still lingers, as do the connections made during the networking portion of the CEO Trust/Concierge Auctions special event that took place on May 14, 2015 in New York City.

    With a stunning birds-eye panoramic view from 46 floors up as the backdrop, CEO Trust colleagues enjoyed an exclusive cocktail reception and luxury auction event at Trump Soho's SoHi room in Manhattan that was a blend of the traditional and the modern. Concierge Auctions' auction event combined live, in-person attendee bids hosted by an expert, old-school style auctioneer along with  modern telecommunications staffed and equipped to accept offsite bids from prospective buyers who could call in with their offers for the luxury properties offered.

    Auctioned properties included: a 46-acre oceanfront resort on Barbuda's western coast, a 13,600 s.f. oceanfront estate in coveted Princess Isle on Grand Bahama Island, and a breathtaking lakefront retreat in renowned Reynolds Plantation, Georgia.

    The conversation and networking before and after the auction event was lively and animated, in between bites of elegant hors d'oeuvres, and wine and cocktails. One of the favorites from the bar was a unique concoction called, appropriately enough, "The Gavel". 

    Although with the final swing of the actual auctioneer gavel, the auction came to an end, the evening's reception continued as the reception-goers enjoyed the view and each other. Attendees agreed that the connections and memories made at the CEO Trust/Concierge Auctions event that night at Trump Soho will surely continue.

  • May 04, 2015 2:12 PM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

    We had a terrific gathering at the Union League of NYC on April 20th learning about lessons from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, how to capitalize on the very unique talent of our veterans, and how to better support those who were wounded with jobs and housing.  The CEO Trust's own, John Connolly led the discussion, followed by Major General (retired) Tim McHale, CEO of Homes for Our Troops, and Luke Murphy, a wounded combat veteran.  It was both inspirational and helpful as CEOs look for ways to bring vets into the workforce, particularly those with disabilities.

    Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with attendees commenting:

    "Excellent event to gain a better awareness of the opportunities and sensitivities required to successfully onboard a wounded vet into our organizations.   We often forget the sacrifices that these young men and women make for our country.  It is nice to be reminded and to understand what is, and can be, done to support them as they return to civilian life."  

    "Thank you... I was privileged to learn from Tim in more detail about Homes for our Troops and from Luke his personal story and extraordinary accomplishments.  Your stories and work are profound; thank you again for your ongoing service to and example for veterans with disabilities."

    "This was a wonderful evening and event.  Very well organized, excellent speakers and interesting attendees.  It was also an opportunity to shed even more light on a wonderful cause."

    "Touched, moved, and inspired."

    Thanks to Tribridge for hosting at the historic Union League.

    - CEO Trustee Event Chair