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Richard J. Szekelyi, CPA

Richard J. Szekelyi, CPA

Managing Director


Rick 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.

Rick’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, Rick 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, Rick’s acquisition expertise includes candidate searches, business valuations, capital raises, transaction structuring, negotiations, business and financial due diligence, and post-closing integration activities management.

Life Before Phoenix

Prior to joining Phoenix, Rick 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

Rick holds an 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.

Featured Transactions

Interim CEO, Mitigation and Restoration Company: Installed as interim CEO after performing an assessment of this underperforming company to implement initiatives to improve performance and manage the company through a recapitalization/refinancing transaction.

Interim CFO, Manufacturer and Distributor of Parts to the Aerospace Industry: Managed the Company’s banking relationship, budgeting and planning system, and other financial aspects that became strained due to poor financial performance.

Interim CFO, Manufacturer of Outdoor Products: Made improvements to the financial management and reporting functions of the company, reduced cash requirements, and raised funds to refinance the bank debt and bring fresh equity capital into the Company.

Financial Advisor, Shareholders of a Leather Processing Company: Identified courses of actions to preserve the value represented by the family’s investment in the Company. This led in the sale of the majority of the Company at a significant multiple, which monetized the families’ value in the business.

Advisor to the Board of Directors, Chinese Based Satellite Communication Company: Advised the Board, following the termination of the President and CFO, on a course of action which resulting in filing bankruptcy in an attempt to achieve recovery for the creditors.

President, High-End, Residential Furniture Manufacturer: Managed the Company’s turnaround and eventual sale.

Interim CEO, Food Processing Operation:  Performed a comprehensive assessment of the Company, including its operations and financial functions, leading to an effective senior management team, improved planning and control over operations, significant improved financial performance, and renewal of the bank financing on favorable terms.

CRO, Precision Machining Operation: Developed initiatives to improve plant efficiency and reduce labor and scrap costs after the bank had become fatigued with management’s lack of ability to bring about a turnaround. 

Office: (216) 274-0522

Mobile: (216) 832-6977

Office Location: Cleveland

Years with Phoenix: 16

Years of Experience: 34

Service Specialties:

Turnaround / Crisis Management

Interim Management

Operational Assessments

Financial Forecasting

Cash Management

Strategic Advisory

Bankruptcy Advisory

Winddown & Recovery Services

Litigation Support & Expert Witness

Quality of Enterprise

Quality of Earnings

Operational Diligence

Sell-Side Preparation

Buy-Side Preparation



Expansion / Growth Financing

Management of §363 Sales Process


Balance Sheet Restructurings

Industry Specialties:


Financial Services


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


Let’s create value together.

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