Meet Our Team Richard J. Szekelyi
Meet Our Team

Richard J. Szekelyi, CPA

Managing Director
Years with Phoenix: 9
Years of Turnaround Experience: 25

Richard Szekelyi is a Managing Director at Phoenix and directs the Cleveland office. He has more than 30 years of executive management and advisory experience working with companies facing challenges from various causes, including fast growth, economic downturns, inadequate capitalization, changing industries, and operational deficiencies. Richard’s diverse background includes senior management positions such as CEO, COO, and CFO for a number of middle market companies in a variety of industries and senior positions in private equity, public accounting, and commercial banking. In addition, he is experienced in acquisitions, crisis management, and international business.

Leveraging his experience, Richard has assisted clients with refinancing their troubled debt, developing and implementing plans to improve operating performance and avoid crisis, managing out-of-court restructurings as well as bankruptcy proceedings, and developing plans to improve competitive positioning. As a principal in a private equity fund and as an advisor, Richard’s acquisition expertise includes candidate searches, business valuations, capital raises, transaction structuring, negotiations, business and financial due diligence, and post-closing integration activities management.

Richard has also served as an expert witness in more than 35 cases involving business practices and valuations.

PHOENIX MANAGEMENT SERVICES ® EXPERIENCE

  • Turnaround Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Interim Management
  • Operational Assessments
  • Financial Forecasting
  • Cash Management
  • Strategic Advisory
  • Bankruptcy Advisory
  • Liquidation & Business Wind Down
  • Due Diligence Reviews
  • Litigation Support & Expert Witness

SELECTED ADVISORY EXPERIENCES

  • Served as interim CFO of a manufacturer of outdoor products, reestablishing the Company’s banking relationship after it had been transferred to the workout department. The Company was placed in workout after reporting a material loss and the bank realizing that its loan was under-collateralized. To stabilize the situation, he made improvements to the financial management and reporting functions, including implementing a cost accounting system to more effectively price the Company’s product. To reduce cash requirements, Richard improved the Company’s working capital position through better collection of the accounts receivable (specifically those due from “big box” retailers) and implementing an MRP system to improve inventory management. Lastly, he raised funds to refinance the bank debt and bring fresh equity capital into the Company. The new equity firm retained Richard as CEO to further develop and implement post-investment strategies. These tactics included improving profit margins by establishing a wholly owned operation in China to produce finished goods and source components for the U.S. operation. This enhanced the Company’s competitive position by executing aggressive product development and branding initiatives.
  • Served as Financial Advisor for shareholders of a leather processing company to identify courses of actions to preserve the value represented by the family’s investment in the Company. In carrying out this assignment, Richard assessed the Company’s competitive position in this changing industry, reviewed its operations for profit improvement opportunities, and developed various alternatives, such as restructuring the Company, potential joint ventures, and divestitures. Based upon his recommendations, the majority of the Company was sold to a competitor at a significant multiple, which monetized the families’ value in the business.
  • Retained by a U.S. public company, following the termination of the President and CFO, to assess prospects and advise the Board of Directors on a course of action. The Company operated in the satellite communications industry in China. After determining that the potential of the Chinese business would not justify the amount of additional capital required to turn the operations around, the Board of Directors placed the Company in bankruptcy in an attempt to achieve recovery for the creditors.
  • Served as President of a high-end, residential furniture manufacturer, managing the Company’s turnaround and eventual sale. The owners made several attempts to divest the business that failed due to weak financial performance and a history of losses. Richard curtailed cash flow losses by implementing changes to the Marketing and Sales programs that had a buildup of excess inventory. The Company regained profitability by instigating staff reductions, establishing price increases, and making significant changes to sales representative commission structures.
  • Retained as interim COO for a fast-growing distributor of promotional products that was near failure, having outgrown the capabilities of its management team, systems, and operating procedures. He forensically reestablished the Company’s unpaid accounts receivable, collecting significant money owed to the Company. He also installed a new operating/accounting system, improved procedures and operational practices, and recruited a new general manager and staff with the capabilities to effectively manage the Company.
  • Served as Financial Advisor for an office equipment dealership, managing the Company through Chapter 11 and a §363 sale. This resulted in full recovery of the bank debt and eliminated the exposure of the owner’s personal guarantee.

INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Banking
  • Financial Services
  • Foundries
  • Manufacturing of Abrasives
  • Manufacturing of Architectural Products
  • Manufacturing of Consumer Products
  • Manufacturing of Residential & Office Furniture
  • Medical Services
  • Metal Stamping
  • Office Equipment Dealerships
  • Plastic Injection Molding
  • Professional Services
  • Radio Program Production & Distribution
  • Recording Industry
  • Retail

CAPITAL ADVISORY EXPERIENCE

  • Recapitalization
  • Refinancing
  • Expansion/Growth Financing
  • Management of §363 Sales Process
  • Divestitures
  • Balance Sheet Restructurings

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

Prior to joining Phoenix, Richard was the managing partner of a boutique business and financial advisory firm that he founded in 1996. His career includes senior bank management positions, Director of Entrepreneurial Services for Arthur Young & Co., Managing Director of a regional CPA firm, and Director of Corporate Development for a private equity fund. He also held senior management positions for various companies, including manufacturers of outdoor products, plastic abrasives, and architectural products, as well as a radio programming and Syndication Company and an importer of castings.

EDUCATION / AFFILIATIONS

Richard holds a MBA from Xavier University and a B.S. from Ohio State University. He also is a graduate of the Stonier School of Banking at Rutgers University. He currently is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Ohio Society of CPAs, the Business Valuation and Forensic section and Litigation Service section of the AICPA, the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Turnaround Management Association.

richard j. szekelyi

Contact Information

Office Location: Cleveland
 

Mobile: (216) 832-6977

Fax: (216) 472-8788


Email:
rszekelyi@phoenixmanagement.com

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