Peter J. Butler, CFA, ASA
It seems like the Great Recession of 2009-2010 spared no one if my experiences are typical. My old firm, in a very small market in Boise, Idaho, was hit particularly hard. They had to make decisions which at first only adversely impacted my pay, and then ultimately took my career in a new and hopefully better direction. Mind you, this was a particularly humbling experience, as I was the “Butler” in the Butler Pinkerton Calculator.
You may have different ideas on the relative contribution of this technique, but I was competing, writing, debating, speaking nationally and bringing exposure to my firm, Pinkerton and me. In other words, I hope this doesn’t sound cocky but if a layoff can happen to me, it can happen to a lot of people. So, be prepared.
Always be on the lookout for better fits and when and where you can advance your career. As we know in the world of finance, options are valuable. Keep them open. It is just business – and your career. No one cares more about it than you.
As this “drama” unfolded, I relied upon John Borrowman for trusted advice. He was available in a timely manner and always provided good insights – sometimes advice that was not in his best financial interest. In any event, my first reaction was “Pete Butler Valuation”. So, I was marching down that path when John introduced me to two different opportunities with much larger, regional firms in different parts of the country. These were both exciting opportunities with well-known firms, so I explored them both. Each would have been significant career advancements with much more leadership and business development responsibilities and geographic diversification. Alas, I could not come to a meeting of the minds with either firm. While both were very viable opportunities with excellent firms, the idea of finally “running my own show” with all of the excitement, flexibility, and, yes, uncertainty was too great.
John has the pulse of the industry, and I believe would have introduced me to other opportunities in larger markets, if I requested. However, I finally had to call off my search. What John provided me, however, was the peace-of-mind that I was making a well-informed and confident decision in opening my own shop. After all, some valuation shops were doing well or wanted to do better and were hiring during the Great Recession – the recession that took me out of my comfort zone.
By getting out and competing in the industry for my old company, I developed the confidence to give “Pete Butler Valuation” a shot. Make sure you are competing when and where you can. Ask for more responsibility when you are ready. If you are ready for expert witness work and testimony, for example, but the partner keeps you under wraps, consider moving on. John will be an excellent sounding board when you do.
I am cautiously optimistic about “Pete Butler Valuation” chances. If, however, there comes a point where that optimism fades, the first person I will call will be John Borrowman. I am sure he will have outstanding career options across the country for me to consider.
(Ed. Note: After authoring this article, Pete Butler successfully opened Valtrend. You can read more about his firm at www.Valtrend.com)