M&A Bankers Suffer 35% Drop in Fees as Deals Dry Up From Record  

As reported in Bloomberg

 

March 31 (Bloomberg) — Mergers and acquisitions bankers suffered a 35 percent drop in fees during the first quarter, just weeks after cashing bonuses from a record year.

Advisory fees fell to about $8.7 billion from $13.4 billion in the first three months of 2007, data compiled by analysts at New York-based Freeman & Co. show. Executives at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bank of America Corp. predicted in December that takeovers would decline about 20 percent this year.

“As recently as three months ago, we thought we had seen the worst and it was going to begin to get slowly better,” said Eduardo Mestre, 59, the former head of Citigroup Inc.’s investment banking unit and now vice chairman of New York-based advisory firm Evercore Partners Inc. “It only got worse.”

The collapse of the U.S. sub prime mortgage market threatens to stifle economic growth and further curb corporate purchases. New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the world’s leading M&A adviser, reported a 47 percent decline in revenue from providing takeover advice in the first quarter from the fourth.

Our Perspective 

Is bigger always better?

Companies are looking to expand their footprint, increase their brand awareness.

Once a merger or acquistion is proposed, all the due dilligence is done upfront. Attorneys and accounts pour over documents and make recommendations as to the feasibility of the proposal.

Once all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s are crossed, signatures are placed on the contract. The next step is that all these papers must be sent to the state(s) to be registered.

The wheels come off the cart 

Once the contracts have been signed, all the focus goes into reviewing the existing operations and implementing efficiencies. What most companies fail to realize is that the states have a very difficult time recording these transactions.

 50% error rate 

The Department of Labor statistics show that 50% of the companies who have been involved with a merger or an acquisition have been assigned the wrong rates and as a result are overpaying payroll taxes.

How can this be? Isn’t this 2008! 

Again, let me make this clear. These errors have nothing to do with all the due diligence that was done prior to the acquisition or merger. Companies fail to take the next step and determine if these transactions were properly recorded.

Our clients are taking the next step.

We have a 90% success rate.

Our clients’ rates are corrected. 

They are getting refunds. 

Has your company been involved in a merger or acquisition within the last 3 years?

What rates were assigned to your company?

These errors can effect as many as 5 different tax rates.

Are you overpaying payroll taxes? 

Our services are done on a contingency fee.

There are no upfront costs.

Let us know your thoughts?

Do you have a question?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.  

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company. 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

As reported on Bloomberg.com March 25 (Bloomberg) — U.S. consumer confidence fell more than forecast in March as Americans’ outlook for the economy dropped to the lowest level since Richard Nixon was president.

The Conference Board’s confidence index fell to 64.5, a five-year low, from a revised 76.4 in February, the New York- based research group said today. A report from S&P/Case-Shiller showed home prices in January fell by the most on record.

Declining stock and property values have unnerved Americans, heightening concern spending will falter. A drop in spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, would deepen what economists say is almost certainly the second recession of the decade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average remained lower after the report, while Treasury notes held gains.

“Consumers are going to pull back pretty sharply,” said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. “The labor market is starting to deteriorate and income growth is barely keeping pace with inflation. These are all pretty negative omens for what’s to come.”

The Conference Board’s gauge of expectations for the next six months slumped to 47.9, the lowest since December 1973, when the Watergate scandal rocked the Nixon administration and an embargo by a group of Arab oil exporters was in effect, the report showed.

Our Perspective:

The whispering has stopped. People are now communicating their fears about the economy. I stopped at a friends shop the other day and one client told him that this is the worst they have seen the economy in 25 years.

Everyone has been holding their breath with an eye toward summer. We keep pushing the recovery out in hopes that it will work itself out. We all like instant gratification, however we may find this will not be the case.

If you are a business owner, what steps are you taking?

Are you being proactive, looking at your cost?

There is no silver bullet. Baby steps must be taken to review specific cost that will provide savings and increase efficiencies.

Complacency may not be prudent in this case.

Let us know your thoughts?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go. 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

Commodities Drop, Rally in Dollar, Stocks Vindicate Bernanke

As reported in Bloomberg.com 

By Pham-Duy Nguyen

March 21 (Bloomberg) — The biggest commodity collapse in at least five decades may signal Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has revived confidence in U.S. financial firms.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its first weekly gain in a month, and the dollar leapt from its lowest level since 1973 after the Fed stepped in March 16 to rescue Bear Stearns Cos., the fifth-largest U.S. securities firm, and expanded its role as lender of last resort to embrace the biggest dealers in Treasury notes.

Investors who had poured money into gold, oil and corn, seeking a hedge against inflation and a weak dollar, sold commodities to raise cash or buy stocks. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities tumbled 8.3 percent this week, the most since at least 1956, after touching a record on Feb. 29.

“Bernanke took care of the commodity bubble,” said Ron Goodis, the retail trading director at Equidex Brokerage Group Inc. in Closter, New Jersey. “Commodities are coming back to earth. The stock market looks OK, and Bernanke is starting to look a little better.”

Concern that the central bank would let inflation get out of control eased after the Fed cut its key interest rate by 0.75 percentage point on March 18, less than the reduction of at least 1 point that investors had expected.

“Clearly they’ve gotten some stability,” said Keith Hembre, a former Fed researcher and chief economist at FAF Advisors Inc. in Minneapolis, which oversees more than $107 billion in assets. “You have to stand back and say, for the time being, it looks to be a pretty successful combination of moves that have worked.”

 Our perspective

This seems like good news. We have all been looking for some sort of stability. However the market is so fickle and the current volatility urges us to proceed with caution.

Let’s see how things shake out over the next couple of weeks.

Will energy prices stabilize and start to drop? Natural gas prices are still inflated, reserves are still at an all time high. Temperatures continue to be moderate.

Let us know your thoughts. You can reach us @

george@hbsadvantage.com

Should you want to learn more about us, take a minute to look at our website.

www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Your CFO on the Go.

Creating Opportunities Today…….Defining Savings for Tomorrow

Gold futures hit $1,000 an ounce for the first time Thursday, pushed past the benchmark by the sinking dollar and record crude oil prices.

The dollar fell below 100 yen during Asian trading Thursday, its weakest level against the Japanese currency in 12 years. The dollar also dropped to all-time lows against the euro.

Crude oil futures hit a record high above $110 a barrel Thursday, after first crossing that level Wednesday, also due to investors abandoning the weak dollar.

Oh boy, hold onto your seat!

Can anyone make sense of this?

There are so many opinions flying around, who will get hurt in the end?

Someone may be making money but it’s not Middle America.

We try to stay focused, making it thru another day with our eyes focused toward a brighter future. 

The Federal Reserve’ is meeting next week and could provide more encouragement for gold prices since the Fed is widely believed to be considering cutting interest rates again.Another rate cut could reduce the dollar’s value further, making gold an even better investment.

Is your head spinning yet?

Too much information, I am beginning to feel like a daily trader. 

Sometime you have to take a moment to step back and ask;

How is all this affecting me and what can I do to insure my business and family’s security. 

You have just taken the first big step by asking this question.

HBS has great success creating opportunities that define future savings.

Our clients are saving 15% to 40% on everyday business services.

Many clients are receiving refunds for overpayments of Payroll Taxes and Sales Tax. 

Dou you qualify?

Why not ask!

Contact us and learn what opportunities are available for your company.

george@hbsadvantage.com

To learn more visit our website

www.hbsadvantage.com

Where did my day go?

November 16, 2007

 

Where did the day go? I had a whole list of things I wanted to get done but that went out the window as soon as I walked in this morning.

 

 

Sound familiar! Are you running your day or the day running you?

 Ever think of outsourcing? 

Companies have come to realize that outsourcing is a fairly powerful and effective management tool. It allows you to address an issue, provide a solution; increase efficiencies and profits while keeping your pulse on daily activities that demand your attention.

 

 

When a company approaches outsourcing for the first time the most challenging question is the most basic one:

 

Where do we begin?

 

 

 

 

A recent executive forum favored starting with generic, transaction based business processes such as finance, accounting and information technology. They felt that these fields offer quick wins, attractive returns with relatively low levels of risk.

Hutchinson Business Solutions….Your Outsource Solution

Today it is more important than ever to take an objective look at your operating expenses.

 

Below are areas with great opportunities for savings.

  • Payroll Taxes – There is a 50% chance you are overpaying payroll taxes.
  • Sales Tax – Long thought to be the “cost of doing business.”
  • Telecom – Clients are saving from 10 % to 40%.
  • Fleet Management – You can now “put your fleet in the palm of your hand.”
  • Data Solutions – Ask about our Virtual CIO Managed Service Program.
  • Utilities – Deregulated savings for large volume users.
  • Insurance – Cost continue to trend from 10% to 20% a year.

Many clients are enjoying the savings and have received refunds for overpayments.

A new global study on business outsourcing relationships finds that:

·        74% use “business outcomes” to measure performance

·        61% say outsourcing helps their companies perform better

·        74% are satisfied with their outsourcing experience

Thinking of outsourcing? Call 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com to discuss what opportunities are available. 

Hutchinson Businees Solutions…Your CFO on the Go

Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Take the First Step Today

November 16, 2007

HBS goes beyond the “bottom line” by introducing fresh, bold ideas that set the pace for future profitability.  Opportunities to increase profits are available; take the first step today and continue reading …

Below is an overview of some of the projects HBS has been working on recently and the opportunities presented to our clients. We invite you to be one of our success stories.

Opportunity: Payroll Tax

Client spun off from major area bank and set up new company in spring of 2004. New Federal ID numbers were issued and tax rates were assigned by both State and Federal agencies.

 Solution:

Upon reviewing the assigned tax rates, it was determined that the client made duplicate payroll tax payments in three areas. Our client received a substantial 5-figure refund from these agencies.

  

Opportunity: Voice and Data

Major South Jersey non-profit health organization invited HBS to review their current voice and data configuration and costs.

 Solution:

Multiple solutions were initiated to provide substantial savings as well as insure quality of service. All Verizon platform lines were converted to a local carrier, servicing the Verizon network, for over a 40% savings. The long distance was also ported to the same provider for a 50+% savings. Total annual savings totaled over $50,000.

  

Opportunity: Sales Tax

Major South Jersey Company, building multiple locations in three states, retained HBS to review the effects of sales tax liability in those states.

 Solution:

Upon reviewing multiple invoices of multiple vendors involved with the construction of these locations, it was determined that our client had overpaid sales tax on real property issues in all three states. Customer received over a $3m refund.

  

Opportunity: Voice and Data

Growing area Mortgage Company requested that HBS review their current voice and data configuration and costs.

 Solution: Multiple solutions were initiated to provide substantial savings as well as insure quality of service. All Verizon platform lines were converted to a local carrier, servicing the Verizon network, for over a 40% savings.  As a result of our efforts, the customer was able to cancel multiple lines that showed no usage. We are currently reviewing their long distance and data contracts – potential savings over $100,000.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

 

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions has a 90% success rate providing savings and getting refunds for our clients.

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions…Your CFO on the Go. 

Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Unemployment is the 2nd  highest employer mandated tax, yet no one seems to question it.

What is your current rate?

Your Unemployment account is similar to having an open checkbook with the State:

  • The State assigns your rates

  • The State has total control of all monies in the account

  • The State determines the amount of each payment and disburses payments from this account

  • The State sends a quarterly reconciliation of all activity in the account

Would you handle your personal account this way?

How much did your company pay into Unemployment last year?

What is your reserve balance? (How much is in your State Checkbook)?

 Did You Know:

  • The State of New Jersey has a 12% error rate in the payment of unemployment claims.
    •  The state is overpaying the amount of the claim
  • The US Dept of Labor states that there is a 50% chance a company is overpaying taxes if they have been involved with a merger, acquisition or restructuring
    • All the due diligence is done prior to the above activity
    • The papers are then sent to the state to be recorded
    • Who validates that the transaction was recorded properly by the State

Hutchinson Business Solutions ( HBS ) works as an advocate for our clients. The onus is on the company to show that their rate is incorrect and that you may have overpaid Payroll Taxes.

 We have a 90% success rate 

Our team of experts deals only with Unemployment and other payroll related taxes only. We are able to look back over the past 3 to 4 years and determine if your rates were calculated properly. If there is an error, we will review the information with the client and take the necessary steps to have it corrected.

There is no upfront fee, we are only paid if there is a mistake and the client receives a refund and or credit to correct the rates. 

This is a Win / Win

  • HBS will validate your unemployment rates are correct.

  • There is no upfront cost; we work on a contingency basis.

  • These taxes have already been paid!

 You may qualify for a Refund!

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions…Your CFO on the Go. 

Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Why pay more taxes?

November 6, 2007

You work hard for your money. The government has imposed taxes that all individuals and companies must pay.

 

An individual hires an accountant to review their earning and verify they pay only their fair share. Tax laws are complicated so you rely on these professionals to review applicable codes to make sure the amount paid is correct.

Corporations pay multiple taxes; they hire professionals’ to review annual revenues and calculate corporate taxes due both the state and federal government. Yet companies fail to review two of the largest taxes they pay on a recurring basis.

Unemployment Taxes – This is the 2nd highest employer mandated tax. Think of having an open checkbook in the state’s hands. They tell you what your rate is and how much you should put into the account. (The states average a 10% error rate in the calculation of these rates.)  Then they send you a quarterly statement outlining how much they took out of your account.

Would you handle your personal checking account this way?

 10% error rate!! Could you be paying too much?     

Sales Tax – Talk about being complicated. Do you know the laws of what is a taxable item? You are not alone!

It seems when in doubt; tax it.

Why aren’t companies taking the time to look at these taxes?

Is paying taxes a sign of patriotism?

We all agree that we should pay our fair share!

Remember, the government is not asking you to overpay? They have taken the time to detail what should be paid.

We have a 90% success rate recovering overpayments of sales tax.

If you have not taken the time to ask yourself these questions, maybe now is a good time to start.

Next Step

We have a 90% success rate in getting refunds for our clients.

 Remember these taxes (Unemployment Taxes or Sales tax) have already been paid.  

All these issues are time sensitive. We have seen cases where clients have lost out on an opportunity to secure a refund for they hesitated and the statute of limitations to process the claim had run out.

There are no upfront costs for our services. We are only compensated by our ability to identify issues and provide refunds for our clients

Take the step to act now!

Ask the question!

 You may qualify for a refund!

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

 

 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230.

Hutchinson Business Solutions has a 90% success rate providing savings and getting refunds for our clients.

HBS…Your CFO on the Go. Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Where does the money go?

November 6, 2007

How much do we have in the checkbook? Are we expecting any checks? Payroll is coming up again the end of this week.

 Can you hear yourself saying this? 

How much do we have on our Line of Credit?

 Does this sound familiar? 

What bills can we push off for week or two?

 Do you ever find that cash is tight? What if we can show you how to increase your cash flow? 

Does that interest you?

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions has great success increasing cash flow by providing saving and efficiencies. We review cost that most companies take for granted and find better ways to produce the best results.

 

Why wait? Take the bite out of trying to collect slow receivables.

 

We will help you to lower cost.

 

Call Hutchinson Business Solutions.

 Let the cash flow so you can meet your commitments more timely.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230.

Hutchinson Business Solutions has a 90% success rate providing savings and getting refunds for our clients.

HBS…Your CFO on the Go. Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

How much are we paying?

November 5, 2007

Each month, new invoices are received and processed for payment. Not much thought goes into them, for the amount normally falls into a comfort level. As long as you don’t see any spike in charges, they are approved and paid.

 Savings is a parity of how much you spend! 

If you are spending $200 a month for one of your services and can save 20%, does that get your attention?

Let’s say you are spending $500, $2000 or even $10,000 a month for a service, can you see how a 20% savings grows.

  Do we have your attention yet?  

Our clients find value with our services for they see tangible results in lower cost and increased cash flow. Many times we are asked to look for additional savings in other areas of their business. That is our forte. We review and validate specific cost and provide opportunities to increase efficiencies and profits.

 You get what you pay for! We all have heard that line before. The real question should be, “Are we getting what we paid for?”  

We all have spoken to customer service reps or sales reps and requested changes on specific accounts. Remember spending all that time on the phone adjusting your cell phone minutes?  That was really going to lower your bill? The invoice comes in the next month and it’s even higher. You find yourself back to square one. The changes were never processed.

 Does anyone ever do what we ask? 

Promoting Accountability

 We pride ourselves in being an advocate for business. Any business, no matter how small or how large, we find the same scenarios.

“We are not getting what we’re paying for.” 

This can change!

Let HBS be your advocate promoting accountability and savings.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230.

 Hutchinson Business Solutions has a 90% success rate providing savings and getting refunds for our clients.

HBS…Your CFO on the Go. Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.