Member Spotlight - Reese Fields

April 2016

Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

Reese Fields

PMA is pleased to highlight Reese Fields, acquisition advisor for Cornerstone Capital Partners, Dublin, OH. As a privately owned direct long-term investor, Cornerstone commits capital and management time to the continued growth and development of its manufacturing companies while maintaining the foundation of dedicated employees already in place by developing a long-term plan with the current owners, including a succession/time plan for the business owner.

Read Reese's thoughts about activity in the metalforming industry related to debt and equity capital, whether the metalforming industry is a good bet for investment at this time, and more!

Q: Is there a lot of activity in the metalforming industry related to debt and equity capital?
A: Many business owners in the metalforming industry are baby boomers and are now actively seeking a legacy protection/succession plan for their businesses as they plan for their retirements in advance of any possible economic downturns in the future. They have successfully grown their business with excellent employees and are looking for answers as to how the company can continue to be successful without them.

Q: Is the metalforming industry a good bet for investment at this time?
A: Metalforming is always a good long-term investment as it is crucial to the manufacturing industry and always will be unless metal is no longer desirable for the manufacture of products. The industry is cyclical like the economy, a decrease in demand for products may affect the immediate or short-term economic value of metalforming companies, but it is always a good long-term investment.

Q: What has drawn your business’ interest to the metalforming industry?
A: We are based in the Midwest and understand the metalforming industry, the products that are produced, the culture of the companies and the work ethic of the owners and employees. We have successfully invested in the manufacturing space and look forward to committing greater capital to the industry.

Q: What kind of manufacturers are you interested in either acquiring or investing in?
A: We look for companies that are vertically integrated, offering more than just one service or product. In our experience, the most successful manufacturers have an integration strategy to secure a stable input of resources, become more efficient, gain higher economies of scale and market share and serve a diverse market. We prefer precision/high value-add manufacturing companies that solve their customers’ problems and satisfy their needs.

Q: In your line of work, what keeps you up at night about the metalforming industry and why?
A: Nothing about the industry keeps me awake at night. The things that I think about are specific to our manufacturing-company investments. Such as, are we serving the customer in the best way, have we maintained a winning culture in the company, are our employees motivated by their work, are we proud of the product we are delivering to the market and what can we do to make our company better.

Q: What was the best piece of business advice you were ever given?
A: My mentor during our early meetings provided me with a business card that in addition to his valuable contact information had the following advice on the back of the card. “When things go wrong, as they sometimes will; when the road you are trudging seems all uphill; when the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile, but you have to sigh; when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must but don’t you quit.”

Q: If you could have a dinner party with three famous people (living or dead), who would you invite?
A: Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone of my life. Leonardo Da Vinci, a brilliant artist and one of the most creative minds to have ever walked the earth, and Beethoven, whose beautiful music soothes the soul.

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