Starting off in banking he became fascinated with the business of buying and selling businesses. Long before there was an Internet he pioneered the creation of FirstList, a publication that connected acquisition, financing and equity capital seekers and sources and thus learned about how the entire market for business sale and business valuation really works.
But it was the transaction itself that really held his interest. How does one sell a business? How does one get more than an average price? How do you make sure that the deal actually closes? What makes some businesses salable and others not?
Michael became a founding member of Sirrah Corporation; a Chicago based investment banking firm specializing in representing privately held businesses, and eventually became the managing director of the firm. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s he worked with hundreds of business owners representing them in the search to sell their business, recapitalize, and find debt or equity financing. Michael initiated, worked and closed transactions with a total value well in excess of $500 million during this period.
But as he progressed along in his investment-banking career, Michael became disenchanted with what deal doing could do for his clients. He found far too many clients were unhappy despite getting very good prices for their businesses. He decided that a different approach was required.
Moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico he founded The Podolny Group in 1994. The concept of The Podolny Group was assisting clients to achieve tangible results to difficult end of business transitions – results that would give his clients’ satisfaction rather than the frustration he had seen during his investment-banking days.
Michael developed proprietary methods to help business owners in reconciling the personal and business issues that were critical to getting business sale, retirement, and succession programs that actually worked and left clients satisfied.
He found that to get the best results one needed to integrate disciplines that are almost never delivered in a coordinated fashion; disciplines such as business operations improvement, personal financial planning, human capital management, investment-banking, internal accounting and information technology, business valuation, wealth management, insurance, and estate planning.
And he learned to do so in a manner that delivers results quickly, efficiently, and at a cost to value ratio that made sense for smaller business owners.
Today Michael and The Podolny Group are one of only a very few companies nationally that can provide an integrated approach to the owners of smaller businesses to assist them with their retirement plans from business, increasing the value when they sell their business, and develop meaningful succession when they want to keep their business.
In 2007 Michael published his seminal book for small business sale, succession and retirement, Shortcut To Security: Make Your Business Worth More to You.
He is also the author of Make Your Business Serve You: The Business Owner’s Guide to Personal Wealth, Self-Satisfaction and Peace of Mind, and publishes The Podolny Group Newsletter.