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Introducing Embark’s Valuation Practice and the Ideal Leaders Guiding It Forward

by Clancy Fossum - May 2021 6 min read

Choosing the right valuation specialists comes down to more than just accounting prowess. Yes, data wizardry is a must given the complexities involved in most valuations. However, when a company welcomes outsiders through its doors – and books – traits like trust, transparency, flexibility, and efficiency quickly become necessities as well.

That’s exactly why valuation services and Embark make such a perfect pairing. Which, of course, makes us delighted to announce our new Valuation Practice helmed by two outstanding new Embarkers – Senior VP Will Carroll and National Service Leader John Erickson. As we’re about to explain, Embark’s bringing a unique combination of experience, expertise, and leadership to valuation services that will make CFOs breathe a sigh of relief.

 

Putting Service Back Into Valuation Services

Coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, many leaders are looking at operations from a different angle. Although efficiencies were obviously always important, they’re at an absolute premium now as companies are running leaner and meaner to account for the unknown. Because if the last year taught us anything, it’s that things can go sideways in a hurry, and in the most unexpected of ways.

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Therefore, most CFOs simply don’t need a fleet of consultants divvying up a purchase price allocation into a hundred different sub-tasks. Instead, they want the right-sized solution for their specific needs, all while providing excellent services that can scale if needed.

The end of that last sentence – if needed – is really what’s so important going forward, making Embark’s new Valuation Practice an especially critical partner for businesses at every growth stage, big and small. Sure, some clients might need a team from our other service lines – perhaps our technical accounting or digital finance teams – to accomplish all of their objectives, and that’s great. But others might just need a few hours on the phone with one of our valuation specialists, and that’s also great.

As we enter into a space that admittedly has some big names in it, we’re going to differentiate ourselves by putting service back into valuation services. We’re going to listen to what the client needs and not shoehorn them into a boilerplate of services they probably don’t have any use for.

Just as importantly, we’re going to do it all quickly with little to no ramp-up time or the reams of red tape that come part and parcel with many providers. Whether a company needs valuation services for purchase price allocation, impairments, fair value measurements, business combinations, fresh start accounting, or options and securities valuations, we bend to every client’s unique circumstances. Kind of a breath of fresh air, right?

 

A Valuation Dream Team: The Client, External Auditor, and Embark

While Embark’s fluency in accounting-ese is right up there with the biggest names in the industry, we’re not external auditors. Nor do we want to be. Nothing against auditors, of course. Far from it. We only make this declaration to prove a single point – we don’t have any independence restrictions or conflicts of interest that complicate matters.

People, Culture, & Leadership: What Makes Embark Different

In fact, rather than looking at external auditors as an adversary, our approach is to act as a cohesive unit with the client and auditing group. The result is a greater level of transparency and efficiency, with no secretive posing around our valuation models and methods but, instead, open lines of communication that better serve the client. It’s the same approach we use across all of our service lines, and we know CFOs are going to appreciate the difference.

 

Client Success Starts at the Top

Granted, how we just described our Valuation Practice is nothing but lip service without the right people walking our talk. That’s what makes Will Carroll and John Erickson essential pieces of the puzzle, both operating from our Houston office. They’re the boots on the ground, the ones leading our charge with the ideal combination of knowledge, skill, experience, and the Embark secret sauce.

Will Carroll, Senior VP

Will joins Embark after spending the better part of the last two decades in the Big 4, serving as a Senior Manager with Deloitte and later a Managing Director with Ernst & Young. Although the majority of his years with EY focused on the oil and gas industry – upstream, midstream, downstream, OFS, and manufacturing – he has worked in virtually every sector imaginable during his career.

A sixth-generation Texan, Will brings vast experience in financial and tax reporting, purchase price allocations, impairments, cost segregation, and property tax to Embark. Combined with hundreds of valuations and countless hours on due diligence, strategic value rate equations, restructuring, and assisting audit teams, it’s easy to see why Will is a perfect choice for Senior VP of our Valuation Practice.

Just as importantly, Will is also a natural people person that loves rolling up his sleeves and solving problems for clients. Obviously, that’s one of Embark’s hallmarks as a firm, using a people-centric approach to management and culture that spills over to our clients. Will speaks with a passion for his work, our clients, and the future that people can’t help but gravitate toward.

John Erickson, National Service Leader

John began his career in the oil and gas industry with Marathon Oil Company in 2002. During his roughly six years with Marathon, he took on a number of different roles, including financial planning, tax, and treasury.

After Marathon, John spent seven years as a Business Development Executive with Centrica, a British conglomerate in the energy space. There, his responsibilities included evaluating assets and companies across the energy value chain, including power plants, structured energy products, oil and gas assets, and different energy businesses.

After Centrica, John changed career paths, moving from industry to the consulting side of the fence. As a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young for nearly six years, he focused on valuations, primarily for financial reporting and tax purposes. In that role, he covered purchase price allocations, impairments, strategic valuations, restructuring, and essentially anything else valuation-related.

Like his counterpart in Will, John also sees his new role as National Service Leader for Embark’s Valuation Practice as something much more than just a tremendous business opportunity. With roots in both industry and consulting, John understands just how unique our approach is to virtually everything we do, from our vision and culture to our genuine commitment to providing absolute excellence to our clients.

 

A Peek Into the Future

With a broad range of services that translate across the industry spectrum, Embark’s bringing a new level of cost efficiency and agility to valuation services. Our practice is a perfect fit for companies wanting flexibility and options without sacrificing expertise. And with Will and John at the helm, we have no doubt our Valuation Practice will make serious waves in the market, and we mean that in the best of ways. It’s what we do here at Embark, and we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

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