Business Philosophy & Style
Building new ventures, running businesses and managing family affairs requires total commitment, personally and professionally, which is why, after years in the corporate world, in start-ups, and in seed-stage financing, my personal and professional lives are completely converged. What I like to do personally and professionally, what I think about, and how I spend my time, all run together, by intention.
Part of what I do now is to manage the business end of my wife’s (she’s the gifted one) well established and successful pediatric dentistry practice, in Los Angeles. The practice is highly specialized, focusing on early and optimal oral and whole-body health and development, via an integrative and multidisciplinary approach. I also serve as trustee and advisor for a number of family trusts, with assets including investment portfolios, business holdings and real estate.
The “other part” of what I do (actually, everything that I do blends together, synergistically) is to share decades of knowledge and experience, from the corporate world, from start-ups, from seed-stage finance, and from healthcare, to help other professionals to reach their goals.
I help my clients to see opportunities, solve problems, and take action. My perspective and my style of operating draw upon my professional background and domain expertise in research-based, science and technology-driven, knowledge-intensive industries and professions. From a practical perspective, I provide useful and actionable feedback, suggestions, guidance, referrals, and ideas for further investigation, as well as hands-on assistance, when and where it’s needed.
That’s all there is to it. No steep learning curves. No dancing around. No risk. No obligations. Just productive interaction (in person, by phone, online, e-mail, text; even scribbled on paper; whatever makes sense), when you need it, without complications.
Consulting, Advisory Work and Trusteeship
It’s what I do, by choice, after years of starting, funding, managing and leading companies. Now, it’s your turn, and I will listen intently and share my thoughts as we discuss your objectives, your strategy, your challenges, and your opportunities.
Clients appreciate my wide breadth of knowledge, my domain expertise, my holistic approach to analyzing business problems and opportunities, and my candid, conversational style of communication.
As a family trustee, I offer knowledge about how to initiate and coordinate the activities of trust and estate attorneys, wealth managers and tax advisors in a professional, well coordinated manner. I am also finely attuned to the issues and sensitivities involved in preparing families for intergenerational transistions.
Wealth Transition, Aging Parents and Technology
One of the most challenging, time consuming and sometimes, frustrating aspects of wealth transition is for the “next generation” (the children of elders) to get a handle on their parents’ online accounts—investment and banking, credit cards, utilities, telecom, healthcare, important vendors and service providers, etc.
With today’s account security features (two-factor authentication and other means of verifying identify), and today’s automated telephone account service systems, trying to login or conduct business over the phone on behalf of aging parents can be a real pain. Compounding the problem is the failing memory of aging parents, inability to locate account records, and the fact that, with older parents, many online account profiles may be using old, out-dated phone numbers (including land lines) or addresses, and also, the names of companies may have changed over the years, due to corporate M&A—and aging parents have not kept track of these changes. To add to the fun, older parents may be technology-challenged, and/or physically and/or cognitively challenged.
Another practical and also, emotional and potentially divisive challenge for children of aging parents is dealing with parent habits and attitudes about money and “control,” and also, dealing with siblings. Discussions about family wealth transition tend to bring to the surface all sorts of relationship issues that date back to childhood or that have arisen over years and decades as the composition of families changes—due to marriages, grandchildren, divorces, the spreading of families around the country, lifestyle difference, career demands, inevitable declines in health of parents, etc.
Editing, Proofreading and Critiquing.
I read a lot. I like words. I like wordplay. I can write. I can also review, pick apart, correct and polish what other people write, while understanding the content and the intended audience. Science and technology. Medicine and dentistry. Academic stuff. Business stuff. Scholarly stuff. Special interest stuff. Your stuff.
How Much Does it Cost?
Actually, the important question is, what makes sense, given the topic at hand, the nature of the work, the required time commitment, and the expectations? My consulting and advisory work is billed at an hourly rate, except for projects of predetermined scope and duration, for which a fixed fee may be appropriate. My trustee rates are determined by common practice in the market and the terms of specific trusts. My rates for editing and proofreading follow industry standards that you can easily verify online, although my review and annotation of written material would likely include a consultative component as well, when conducted as part of a larger consulting engagement.
I want to make doing business as easy on clients as possible, thus, Convergent accepts old fashioned paper checks, as well as bank ACH and online credit card payments, through QuickBooks/Intuit. Convergent Management, Inc. is a corporation, thus, no need to worry about issuing 1099s.
The Convergent-Client Relationship
I provide big company professionalism with small company personalization and treat clients as I would family. After all, some of my clients are family members. That’s intentional, because building small businesses and managing personal wealth is a family affair; if not mine, then yours.