Corporate Governance To Achieve Spectacular Results

Experience + Industry Knowledge + Methodology + Discipline

Learn More

Download Our Business Development Presentation

Download Our Business Development Presentation


GDI’s Owner & Investor Services Practice

GDI’s Owner & Investor Services Practice provides professional services that focus on increasing shareholder value by delivering exemplary corporate governance, sophisticated operational due diligence and valuation enhancement services. We primarily work in manufacturing and distribution industries. 

We help our clients build effective Boards of Directors, provide Directors with appropriate governance tools, training and coaching; and evaluate their ability to govern effectively. 

We demand integrity, expertise and professionalism from Board members and we emphasize sustainable growth in shareholder value as a primary goal of the Board.

What We Do For Shareholders

We help you to improve the productivity, professionalism & risk oversight capabilities of your Board of Directors by: 

What We Do For Shareholders
  1. Assisting public & private manufacturing & distribution companies to establish, strengthen & reconfigure (when necessary) Boards of Directors and various Board committees. We sit on Boards of Directors, always bringing strong operational and economic perspectives to the governance process. We are well know for making important questions inescapable.
  2. Executing comprehensive operational analyses prior to and after acquisitions. Many of our operational due-diligence engagements have resulted in significant changes to acquisition scope, price and terms. 
  3. Assisting clients to understand precisely how to increase enterprise valuation by defining specific ways to generate more cash flow from a company’s suite of gross assets, and identifying the best use of the increase cash flow. 

Our job is to significantly increase the value of your business through improved governance practices.

Primary Services

FOUR Services to Boards & Investors

Benefits of Using GDI’s Owner & Investor Services Practice

Experience + Industry Knowledge + Methodology + Discipline

Governance Benefits


  • Improve the Productivity & Professionalism of Your Board… Unambiguous Results!
  • The Value of Your Business Will Increase With Solid Governance.


  • Get the RIGHT Directors, the First Time!
  • Informed & Unbiased Advice.
  • Governance Will Finally Work the Way It Should.
  • Untangle Family Dynamics From Sound Business Practices.
  • Manage Shareholder Discord.


  • Train Business Owners & Directors in Wealth-Building Governance Skills.
  • Bring a New Level of Expertise To Your Company.
  • Know What You are Buying – Operational Due-Diligence.


  • Strengthen the Business To Grow.
  • Strengthen the Business In Anticipation of a Generational Transfer.
  • Prepare the Business For Sale and/or Merger.

Investor Benefits

We can help Private Equity firms make better, more informed decisions by providing expert evaluation of target companies:

  • Pre-investment due diligence; offer an “operational due diligence.”
  • Identify key performance issues and metrics for the target company; drill down into details and not rely on traditional, superficial metrics.
  • Evaluate the efficiency and quality of manufacturing and distribution operations. Identify opportunities for improvement and items that may require further study.
  • Identify opportunities to improve worker safety and reduce operating risks.
  • Assess professional competencies and personal qualities of senior management team members, and make recommendations for training to fill knowledge gaps or changes to executive team.
  • Build competency models for key executives; consult on compensation also.
  • Contribute to the strategic plan that will build long term value.
  • Improvement recommendations.

Our Strengths

Our Strengths

Download Our Business Development Presentation


  1. Skills
    • Comprehensive Knowledge of Finance, Accounting & Business Operations.
    • Experts in Business Valuation Principles & Value Enhancement Techniques.
    • Experts at Family Business Dynamics.
    • Expert at Resolving Conflicts of Interests, Boardroom Disputes & Director Conflicts.
    • Expert at assessing operational performance and risks of private equity targets.
  2. Experience
    • Extensive Hands-On Governance Experience in the Boardroom:
      • Numerous Public & Private Companies.
      • Diverse Industries.
    • Substantial Experience In Strategy Formulation.
    • Decades of Professional Fiduciary Experience.
    • Substantial Experience in Recruiting High-Performance Directors.
    • Substantial methodologies and experience for assessing potential manufacturing & distribution private equity investments.
  3. Reputation
    • National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) 2007 Director of the Year Award.
    • Recognized Thought Leaders on Executive Performance Metrics & Compensation.
    • Frequent Speakers, Authors & Educators in Corporate Governance & Related Disciplines.
    • Have performed numerous operations due-diligence projects for investors across the globe.
  4. Network
    • Demonstrated Ability to Identify & Recruit the Best Directors.
    • Alliance With an Exemplary Network of Governance Support & Related Professionals.
    • Alliances with several valuation experts and risk management professionals.
  5. Sustainable Results
    • Track Record of Sustained Shareholder Value Enhancements Driven By Better Governance.
    • Millions of Dollars of Value Increase.
    • Trusted by Shareholders.
    • Trusted by private equity investors to provide fast, honest, accurate and supportable operations due diligence prior to acquisition closing.

Samples of Governance & Investor Service Engagements

GDI’s Owner & Investor Services Practice Has a Solid Portfolio of Past & Present Clients

Private Equity Company Acquisition

Our Engagement: Executed operational due diligence on a consumer-packaged goods company that our investment client was interested in acquiring.

Engagement Findings: Using our proprietary “Operations Due-Diligence MethodologySM,” we determined the target company had seriously deficient quality management processes, inefficient conversion processes and construction defects that could require >$34 million to correct after a potential acquisition price of $164 million.

Engagement Results: With the after-close capital expenditures disclosed, the transaction failed economic scrutiny. The client withdrew their LOI to acquire.

Private Automotive After-Market Manufacturer First Formal Board

Our Engagement: Assisted client to create and staff their first Board of Directors with independent Directors and appropriate committees.

Engagement Findings: The company had an executive committee that included only salaried executives, and no Owners. The Owners believed that some prior executive-level decisions should have been reviewed by Owners before capital was committed. The hired executives disagreed and pushed-back on the Owners. We were engaged to create an oversight Board, audit committee and a compensation committee. We were also engaged to recruit some independent Directors.

Engagement Results: A Board of five was installed. Board design included an Owner as Chairwoman, two qualified family members as Directors and two strategically selected Independent Directors. Each Board committee was formally chartered and staffed with the two Independent Directors and one family member each No one from management served on the new Board. Communication policies for Board/Management interfaces were developed and all new Directors received formal governance training.

Private Investment Group Acquisition

Our Engagement: Executed operational due diligence on a commercial dairy company that our investment client was interested in acquiring.

Engagement Findings: Using our proprietary “Operations Due-Diligence MethodologySM”, we determined the target company few undiscovered operational features though some minimal investments would be needed in CIP sanitizing equipment and processes, and minor roof repairs.

Engagement Results: The client completed the acquisition and engaged us to assist in the development of improved sanitizing systems, which ultimately reduced annual sanitizing and scrap costs by >$7million.

Activist Investor Group

Our Engagement: A large activist shareholder investment company.

Engagement Findings: Our client invested in a large public-traded computer company and saw its stock deteriorate significantly after acquiring 9.9% of the company’s stock. Knowing GDI’s expertise in computer manufacturing and distribution, the client engaged us to determine opportunities to reduce costs, rationalize products and markets, and increase valuation. Using publicly available sources and interviewing numerous ex-employees of the target company, we were able to determine the real cash flows by product groups and compare against specific investments in those groups. We rationalized products and markets on a CFROI basis and provided our recommendations to our client who subsequently shared them with the computer company’s CEO. The data we provided ultimately led the company’s Board to determine a sale of the company to be in the shareholder’s best interest.

Engagement Results: The company was sold to another computer company at a premium to our client’s paid-in capital, and has experienced solid growth ever since, albeit with few highly focused products and services. Our client generated a substantial product on its investment, and the company survived, grew and is now making better shareholder value decisions.

Private Safety Equipment Company ESOP

Our Engagement: The ownership family of our safety equipment manufacturing client decided to sell their company to their employees and needed assistance in the ESOP process.

Engagement Findings: Acting as advisors responsible for seeing our client get the most benefits (sales process, tax treatments, loyal employee services) possible from their planned ESOP, we engaged a team of tax, accounting, and estate experts to guide the family. Our team worked on sales and funding strategies that would benefit all parties.

Engagement Results: The family originally believed they could receive between $190 million - $220 million in an outright sale of their company. Using the ESOP method, they sold the company to the employees and ultimately received >$185 million, but at a significantly lower taxed value. After-tax net proceeds to the family were approx. 22% higher than if they perfected an outright sale at $220 million.

Trust Management Company

Our Engagement: We were elected to the private Boards of manufacturing & distribution companies held in trust by a large trust management company. Our role was to represent the Owners and beneficiaries of each trust in relationship to their holdings in the companies. Our concerns and subsequent Board actions always focused on ensuring everything the company did was legal, ethical, moral (our oversight role) and additive to trust value (our fiduciary role). On some Boards we recommended divesture, while on other Boards we recommended growth-oriented additional investments.

Technology Company

Our Engagement: A private equity investment firm engaged us to perform operational due diligence on a company under their LOI.

Engagement Findings: During operational due diligence, we discovered a 10+ year overtime pay problem that could cost the target company >$24 million if discovered by the state. Additionally, the manufacturing facility had substantial unreported deferred maintenance that would likely cost >$12 million to bring the facility to code and full usefulness. Scrap and rework rates were double the industry average, as were plant energy costs. While the target company was a solid market performer, we rationalized that minimum after-close investments and expenses would exceed $55 million… on top of the $245 million acquisition price.

Engagement Results: With the after-close capital expenditures disclosed, the transaction failed economic scrutiny. The client withdrew their LOI to acquire.

Large Farm Equipment Leasing Company

Our Engagement: The company was managed by the 5th generation of family leaders. The Board had 19 Directors, all family, and friends of the family. We were engaged to assist our client (4th generation – Chairman) to reduce the size of the Board, bring in independent Directors, establish audit, compensation and nominating committees and restructure a broken Board deliberation process. We were also asked to develop a “minimum dividend” policy that would be fair to all family members without risking company capital.

Engagement Findings: The Board was too big and always contentious. Board meetings were sporadically scheduled. Too many Directors came to the meetings unprepared, and most were unqualified to govern a business. When there were meetings, they were poorly managed, too often went off track and generally, accomplished nothing. They were little more than “Complaint & Praise” sessions. Appropriate financial statements rarely made it to the meetings.

Engagement Results: We reduced it to seven Directors. The CEO also became the Chairman, supplemented by three non-operating and qualified family members and three independently recruited Independent Directors. Board committees were chartered and staffed only by Independent Directors. All new Directors executed self-evaluations and attended a 3-day Governance Performance training program. Standard Board procedures were introduced an annual dividend agreement was approved and implemented.