Pete Butler, CFA, ASA
I’ve known John Borrowman (albeit strictly by telephone) since 1996. I re-connected with him more seriously in the summer of 2003. I was looking for a change, and was interested in his insight on the market for business valuation talent like mine. We both concluded there was a limited chance of my staying in BV in my home city of San Diego. Despite this handicap, I had really hoped to stay. After some 18 years there – including time as a naval officer – it truly was home. John stepped aside, though stayed in touch while I launched my own search.
Wanting pretty badly to stay in San Diego, I expanded my search into related areas of investment banking, investment management, private equity, venture capital and corporate finance. After a few months of mostly fruitless efforts, I began to reassess my strategy and my commitment to staying. While San Diego is a beautiful place to live, you have to have a job to enjoy it! In the meantime, the real estate market had become very hot – almost mania-like. I began to think maybe I could take advantage of the market and relocate to an area with a more reasonable cost of living.
I began a nationwide search and circled back to John, knowing he had a wealth of relationships with BV/LS consulting firms across the country. Once again, he was willing to listen and provide welcome guidance. More importantly, he presented me with opportunities in Irvine, CA; Portland, OR; Long Island, NY; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and Boise, ID. I pursued three of the five, simultaneously. During this time, and without John’s assistance, I also (finally) received an offer of a finance-related position in Washington, D.C.
Although I was pleased to be seeing some interest in my skills, I was also beginning to feel the stress of it all. I was interviewing across the country (in person and over the telephone), providing samples of my work product, and trying to decide what would be the best for my family.
John was there for me through the entire process. He prepared me thoroughly for the various interviews, told me what to expect, offered important insights into the personalities of each interviewer, and provided other guidance on life in general. I also very much appreciated his guidance regarding the offer in Washington, D.C. If I had accepted that job, all of John’s efforts on my behalf over the previous few months (and since 1996, for that matter) would have resulted in no monetary compensation for him. Even so, he didn’t sway me from that opportunity, pointing out some of the benefits, instead. In short, he let me decide for myself about what opportunity would be best for my family and me. This was yet another example of how I could trust him to look out for my best interest, not simply his own. I felt that his number one priority was my well-being.
So, where did I end up? I moved my family to Boise, Idaho, where I work for Hooper Cornell, a diversified CPA firm with a strong BV/LS practice. As you read this, I will have been here roughly eight months and all is going well. The corporate culture is collegial and the work challenging. I’ve been plenty busy working for one particular partner, an outstanding mentor who has a wealth of financial and business valuation knowledge. Though it’s probably not on a lot of ‘top ten’ lists, Boise is a great town, especially if you like the outdoors. I’m looking forward to raising my two children here.
In short, if you’re looking for career guidance and opportunities in the world of business valuation/litigation support, I highly recommend you contact John. He has the pulse of the industry, and will have your best interests at heart.