Due Diligence Services

Financial Industry Due Diligence Services

CBC Due Diligence Services, an affiliate of Centarus Legal Services, provides due diligence services for broker dealers and registered investment advisers. Our affiliates have been providing securities legal services and consulting services to issuers and broker dealers since 2008. Our firm furnishes sponsor-level and deal-level due diligence opinions and serves as a reviewer of due diligence opinions prepared by other firms.

Our consulting team is comprised of consultants, investment bankers and attorneys with top credentials. Their education and experience afford them the ability to provide our clientswith the most valuable guidance possible. The majority of the members of our team are graduates of top institutions, and each consultantis, at a minimum, a ten-year veteran in the securities, banking, and/or the consulting industry. We believe that our consultant’s education and top-tier corporate experience, as well as our commitment to excellent service, enablesour firm to provide an unparalleled opinion as to the viability of an offering.

Due to our diverse array of available internal and external subject matter experts, our industry specializations are broad and include nearly every asset class, to include multifamily, retail, office, TIC, DST, oil and gas, hospitality, senior living, storage, and other asset classes. We are one of the few due diligence firms in the country that can boast this level of experience. In addition, our reports provide not only simple facts and figures, but we provide actual guidance as to the ranges of acceptable risk of an offering based upon our years of experience.

Our Report Content:

Our reports are written to provide broker dealers and registered investment advisors with clear indications of the level of risk involved with a sponsor or selling its offering. How do we do this?

  • Team Approach: We utilize a team approach to providing due diligence analysis and report.
  • Our team is comprised of at least one veteran securities lawyer who has been practicing securities law actively for the last decade (not simply as a staff member of a due diligence firm), a current or former investment banker who has been involved in underwriting deals, and an asset specialist who is an expert in the asset class that a sponsor is selling
  • Opinions Not Just Facts: While facts are valuable, we believe that opinions provide additional value. Our reports do not simply provide facts because we believe that our clients are seeking advice and opinions.
  • Reports Analyzing the Competence of the Sponsor: Sponsors are evaluated based on their industry experience, the performance of other deals, the backgrounds of the principals, the systems used to manage offerings, and the credibility of the sponsor overall.
  • Reports Analyzing the Strength of the Sponsor’ Deal: Deal analysis is conducted using the above described team approach, and our team of experts is able to consider the strength the company, the proposed asset(s), the viability of the market(s), the exit strategy, and the pricing of the offering.
  • Independent Reviews of Other Due Diligence Reports: Our firm also provides independent reviews of other due diligence provider’s reports. That is, frequently broker dealers receive sponsor and deal reports from two or more due diligence providers. Our firm is able to summarize and compare and contrast the results of these reports and make recommendations based upon the information in these reports.
  • Risk Mitigation Software and Services: Managing a broker dealer can be a demanding task, and our Risk Mitigation Software assists broker dealers with managing and reducing risk and compliance. We do so by allowing broker dealers to spend less time managing the business and more time making money.

Why Us

A differentiator between our organization and others in our industry is the fact that our due diligence teams is comprised of veteran investment bankers, lawyers, accountants, and consultants. Many due diligence firms possess varying degrees of consulting and legal experience, but many due diligence firms lack the type of tenured, veteran legal and consulting staff that we possess. Every one of our due diligence team members has over a decade of high level experience. When selecting a due diligence expert to provide an evaluation of your company, we recommend that you consider the following:

  • Let us help you to determine whether you really need a Business Plan Consultant or a Business Strategy Consultant: A Business Plan Consultant is someone who is provided all necessary and pertinent data for drafting a business plan, and is hired to simply draft the plan. A Business Strategy Consultant is someone who is hired to review and comment on the business and investor offering strategy, in advance of drafting any materials. Many early-stage companies don’t recognize that they should hire a Business Strategy Consultant before beginning to draft a business plan. Instead, they begin creating marketing materials and selling their offerings based on an offering strategy that is unknowingly flawed. Frequently, the only time companies recognize this grave oversight is when they fail to raise capital, only reach a small percentage of their capital target, or when they finally hire an experienced consultant—and the errors are explained. By this time, the company principals have wasted a lot of time and money.
  • Let professionals like us evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your current marketing materials. What do you really need to get you closer to your capital raising goal?• Do you need a review of your business plan?
  • Do you need a makeover of your plan?• Do you need a financial projection review and financial “reality check”?
  • Don’t work with business plan experts that can’t step into the “batter’s box” and offer to raise capital for your offering. It is too easy for a well educated writer to call himself a business consulting “expert.” The real experts, on the other hand, are the consultants who not only have years of experience drafting offering marketing materials, but also have a great depth of experience overseeing the sales of such offerings.
  • Ask our competitors a few simple questions:• What type of marketing materials do they utilize to compel institutional investors to invest?• How much do they seek to be paid before producing a capital commitment?• Our fees are based on the services that we provide, and we receive deal equity if you retain us for a prolonged engagement. This approach produces an alignment of interests.
    Additionally, most of our competitors have no method of integrating the required and necessary legal services associated with capital raising into their consulting services menu. Their only option for clients is to refer them to costly and experienced or inexpensive and semi-experienced outside securities law firms, where there tends to be little or no communication between the legal and business professionals. In contrast, our business consultants work hand-in-hand with our affiliated law firm so that the legal and business aspects of an engagement are fully and seamlessly addressed.

CBC Due Diligence Services is a dba of Centarus Business Consultants, Ltd. Below is the staff at CBC Due Diligence Services.

Matt Dwyer

Compliance Management Consultant

Matt C. Dwyer specializes in compliance consulting for hedge funds, registered investment advisors and broker-dealers.  Specific areas of specialization included registration and formation of registered investment advisors and broker-dealers, annual testing, conflicts of interest, supervision, suitability, branch office operations and anti-money laundering.  He also provides litigation support and expert witness services in securities related arbitrations.

Prior to consulting, Mr. Dwyer ran the Internal Audit Department at Mesirow Financial, a leading regional brokerage firm.  While at Mesirow, Mr. Dwyer led the oversight of investment advisor and broker-dealer affiliates. Areas of review include retail and institutional investment management, private equity and hedge funds. Mr. Dwyer also created and directed the annual branch office review program, which included review of all investment advisory and broker-dealer branch offices on an annual basis. As head of Internal Audit, Mr. Dwyer also coordinated regulatory exams with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Matt Dwyer began his career at FINRA where he served in a number of positions, including Senior Compliance Examiner.  While at FINRA, Mr. Dwyer led and conducted investigations of FINRA firms and representatives opened through arbitration filings, customer complaints and employee terminations. He also conducted on-site investigations regarding potential rule violations by member firms and registered representatives in the areas of sales practice supervision, suitability, brokerage operations, brokerage accounting and Anti-Money Laundering. These investigations required that he issue reports of investigation and provided testimony at FINRA and NAC disciplinary hearings.

Matt Dwyer serves as an Adjunct Professor at Olivet Nazarene University, where he earned an MBA.  He teaches classes in the areas of Finance and Statistics.

David Robinson

Regulatory Legal Consultant

David M. Robinson is a tax attorney and CPA with over thirty years of experience practicing law and working as in-house counsel for several large diversified financial service companies. In his practice, David has worked in various areas of federal tax law including federal income, estate and gift tax law with high net worth individuals as well as small to medium sized businesses.  Mr. Robinson also has significant experience in federal securities laws as well as broker/dealer regulation. As In-house counsel, David has worked in numerous positions with responsibility for insurance regulation, product development as well as broker/dealer compliance with FINRA regulations. He also has significant legal and tax experience with pensions, 401(k) plans as well as non-qualified deferred executive compensation plans. David has also authored numerous tax opinions and memorandums of law regarding complex tax and legal issues in order to give clients needed guidance. His in depth tax analysis in the tax opinions have assisted clients in addressing complex business transactions. David understands the challenges that many businesses face in navigating the legal issues facing them, and he uses a collaborative approach with client input to reach out and find creative solutions to legal issues. Mr. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law, an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law and an MBA from St. Mary’s University. David is licensed to practice law in the States of Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

Eric La Brecque

Management Consultant

Eric is a branding and business story-telling expert. He has advanced the brand marketing discipline through the introduction of influential, highly regarded tools and processes. Eric has developed successful solutions to complex challenges for leading brands in virtually every category of business, including DisneyABC, Intel, Lexus, Nationwide, Neutrogena, Qualcomm and Roxy/Quiksilver, among many others.

In addition, Eric has generated corporate and product names under which billions of dollars of business are conducted annually. Looking past his experience with established brands, Eric is deeply engaged in startup and early stage business development. He is an advisor to a number of innovative companies in the financial services, data analytics and online peer-to-peer marketplace sectors.

Paul Belanger

Management Consultant

Mr. Belanger possesses over 20 years of finance and accounting experience, and for the past 10 years he has been providing consulting services to a range of clients that include everything from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Mr. Belanger’s specialties include raising capital, management turnaround and cost reductions. Over $100 Million Dollars has been raised for his clients over the past 3 years, and he has also initiated cost savings of $32 Million for companies. Some of Mr. Belanger’s Fortune 100 clients include: Waste Management, Staples, Timberland Footwear, Dunkin Donuts, and Bose. In 2010 Mr. Belanger raised $38 Million Dollars for Annie Leibovitz with Colony Capital to refinance her well publicized debt. He currently provides equity fund raising to enterprises in the technology, life science, and retail sectors.

Edward Rhodes

Management Consultant

Edward Rhodes possesses over 29 years of investment banking and consulting experience. Since 2000, Mr. Rhodes has provided M&A, valuation, capital raising, strategic advisory, due diligence, financial modeling and business plan writing services for startup, small and middle market clients. During his career he has closed transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $400 billion across a variety of sectors, including, but not limited to energy, utilities, social networking, industrials, media/telecom and healthcare.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Rhodes served as an Investment Banker in New York with JP Morgan and BMO Capital Markets. He has closed significant M&A, Leverage Finance, Project Finance, Equity, High Grade and High Yield transactions for a wide variety of Fortune 1000 clients and strategic buyers. Prior to his investment banking career, Mr. Rhodes managed the closure of defaulted savings and loan institutions as a Case Manager/Financial Analyst with the Resolution Trust Corporation in Washington.

Mr. Rhodes holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia.

John Russo

Management Consultant

John Russo possesses over 15 years of Financial Services and Investment Banking experience. Since 2000, Mr. Russo has provided New Business Procurement, Capital Raising, Structured Lending, Banking and Wealth Management Solutions for Small Businesses and Middle Market clients. During his career he has closed transactions with some of the largest Exxon Mobile Franchisees in the Northeast, where he assisted them with complex Cash Management Strategies.

Previously, Mr. Russo served as a Banker in New York with JP Morgan Chase, a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and a Risk Management Consultant at Goldman Sachs Position Control Group.

Prior to his Financial Services career, Mr. Russo Founded Wrapid-Pull, A Dispenser for the Restaurant Industry. He patented the design and sold the rights to a Restaurant Industry Manufacturer in New York City.

Mr. Russo Holds Multiple Financial Industry licenses including the FINRA Series 7, Series 66, Series 55 and Series 24 Licenses. He graduated From Pace University Lubin School of Business with a Bachelor Degree in Business.

Gobind Singh Khals

Management Consultant

Gobind Singh Khalsa is a Sr. Consultant at Centarus Business Services. He leads engagements providing business leaders and organizations with strategy, finance consulting services and business coaching. Gobind Singh’s knowledge and expertise include business planning, finance, creating and implementing strategy and leadership development. His extensive background includes 18 years experience in leadership, consulting and finance. He has led consulting engagements for executive management, human resources, operations, finance, and technology teams.

His engagement leadership includes servicing clients as a management consulting and CFO – providing leadership, developing creative solutions and project management in finance, business planning and strategy, organizational development, change management, merger integration, finance/technology transformation, process improvement and regulatory reporting. His clients include start-up, medium-sized, and Fortune 500 companies in the technology, energy, financial services, health care, LOHAS, marketing and consumer products industries. Some of the clients he has served include Eagle Energy, ECO Power Design, Kaiser Permanente, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Union Bank. His previous employment includes: Manager at Ernst & Young LLP within the FS – Business Consulting practice and a Controller at the boutique investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette.

Tim O’Connor

Management Consultant

Tim O’Connor is a tremendous asset to our Consumer Products practice area and brings the innovation and passion of a proven entrepreneur plus the enormous volume of results from his classic brand marketing experiences on some of the world’s best known brands including Betty CrockerR, TropicanaR Juice, CoorsR, Star WarsR and many more.

With more than twenty years of experience in traditional consumer marketing, Tim is a hands-on leader in product development, strategic planning, sales management and operations issues. As an executive leader, Tim has built a reputation as a marketing & sales driven executive in corporate turnarounds and brings a level of analysis and urgency to strategic decisions facing large and small organizations. Tim has developed countless strategic plans and presentations in such areas as marketing strategy, business model innovation, consumer research, channel management, new product development, brand renewal and product launches to name a few.

Tim is also the Founder of Brightspot Brands, the company he created to focus on the emerging functional candy segment. His company created the world’s first healthy candy brand known as, gimmeR. The brand featured great tasting, premium chocolate candy packed with nutrition like real dairy calcium, Omega3 from flaxseed and probiotics. The business was sold to a strategic investor in 2010.

Tim earned his undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Minnesota and earned his MBA from the JL Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with emphasis in Finance and Marketing.

Jan Knight

Management Consultant

Jan Knight’s primary focus is on providing customized secondary market research to consulting companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs and small-medium sized businesses. Much of her work in the past 13 years has helped to shape business plans, strategic marketing plans and new business development in a diverse set of industries.

Having access to professional, subscriber-based databases that provide authoritative data, nationally and internationally, helps her to research far beyond what the Internet alone can offer. Her information gathering skills are also incorporated in her research-driving writing of white papers, her reviewing of global information products for a UK publisher, and the multiple presentations and workshops she provides on the topic of market research. Jan also brings marketing and advertising experience to her role as a market research specialist.

Currently, a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals, she has been active in their committees and conferences since 2001. Jan has previously served as a Board Member for a local Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), is also active in various trade groups including the Arizona Technology Council and the Business Marketing Association, and is currently involved as a partner/mentor at a number of Arizona-based business incubators

Jan earned her M.A. in Information Resources & Library Science from the University of Arizona, and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Deree Kobets

Management Consultant

Deree Kobets brings to the team over 14 years of experience working with start-up companies. Her specialties include business plans, raising capital, cost reductions, creating organizational efficiencies, conducting due diligence and developing working cash flow and proforma financial statements.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Kobets designed a fundraising strategy and sourced target investors to raise $170 million for Apex Venture Partners, a technology-based private equity firm in Chicago. Not only does Ms. Kobets have experience with helping startup companies, she is an entrepreneur herself. Ms. Kobets is the founder of Grow Modern Kids, a unique brand which sold organic and modern products for children. Annual sales grew 20% consistently over five years. In 2012, she successfully sold her business for a profit.

During the last two years, she has provided consulting services to small companies in high growth stages and in need of funding. She assisted these companies with growth plans, systems restructuring, and the preparation of business and financial documents. From her experience with investors, she is skilled in writing business plans and knowing what investors want. Due to her experience with entrepreneurs, she is adept in assisting start-up companies prepare their systems and financials for investment sourcing.

Deree earned her undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with emphasis in Management and Strategy and Marketing.

Dharmesh Patel

Management Consultant

Dharmesh Patel is a tremendous asset to our Management Consulting practice area and brings the innovation and passion of Silicon Valley plus the Strategic Planning domain expertise from blue chip firms like Adobe, Schwab, Visa USA, Merrill Lynch, and Prudential Financial.

With more than thirteen years of experience in Product Marketing and Business Development, Dharmesh is a hands-on leader in product development, marketing, strategic planning, organic/inorganic growth and operations/process improvements. As an executive leader and hands on strategist, Dharmesh has built a reputation as a quantitative “Growth Hacker” leading business growth while meeting ROI and ROE objectives. Dharmesh has developed numerous strategic plans and business cases in such areas as marketing strategy, business model innovation, market/product research, customer acquisition & retention strategies, new product development, M&A/Capital Raise and Investor Relations.

Some of the notable highlights from Business Development/Product Launches include:

  • Over $90 Million in Capital Raise stretching across the major stages—Seed (~$100k), Series A ($8M), Private Placement ($2M), IPO ($80M)
  • Eight M&A Deals totaling over $400M
  • Twenty + product launches for both startups and larger blue chip firms bringing in over $160 M in incremental Revenue

Dharmesh earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Maryland – UMUC and earned his MBA from the Warrington College of Business at University of Florida with emphasis in Finance and Strategy.

Hillary Finne

Operations Manager

Ms Finne is the Operations Manager and lead paralegal at Centarus Professional Services. She provides us with more than 20 years of business experience in industries, to include, legal services, financial, and manufacturing. Educationally, she possesses a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law and a Masters and a Bachelors degree from Northern Illinois University.