Our Perspective: Janet Woods talks Corporate Finance
Janet Woods - Regional Managing Director, Stan Johnson Company
Q: What can you tell me about Stan Johnson Company’s Corporate Finance Group?
A: Stan Johnson Company’s Corporate Finance Group was created specifically to improve the integration, coordination, and sophistication of Stan Johnson Company’s advisory services for clients looking to evaluate their real estate holdings. Our team consists of CPAs, former investment bankers, and legal, and tax experts; we combine to align with the client’s expectations. We’ve always had the in-house capabilities to handle what the CFG does, but demand from clients for these services has grown dramatically over the past year. We’ve grown the CFG team to over a dozen people across the nation, while working together to analyze our clients’ challenges and develop compelling, value-add recommendations. As one team, we share the opportunities that our team members are pursuing, and we exchange ideas and best practices to ensure that our clients benefit from our collective experience and collaborative efforts.
Q: What services do you offer clients that differ from what Stan Johnson Company has historically provided, and/or what clients can get from competitors?
A: Historically, Stan Johnson Company has had these advisory capabilities, but they were geographically dispersed and therefore not consistently available to all our clients. Our team now comes together across offices to help our clients strategize and think about their businesses holistically. We look at how their business strategy objectives impact their real estate priorities, and we can advise on execution such as sale-leaseback transactions and build-to-suit opportunities. As I mentioned, the true differentiator is our collaborative nature. Many firms or specialty groups claim to be collaborative, but we practice what we preach for the sole purpose of serving the client.
Q: What kind of deals have you been working on recently?
A: Some have been large portfolio deals for retail clients looking to right-size. We’ve also provided strategic planning ahead of executions. A particular focus today is the influence of e-commerce trends on retailers – this is an area we’ve had a lot of experience navigating. We help our clients understand the future of retailing, how technology is affecting the retailer, what role logistics play, and how to make the most of the current landscape. We can outline how technology has progressed, and how other retailers are using it to their advantage. We develop solutions for corporate users, multi-unit big-box retailers, and restaurant franchisees that may have smaller portfolios. There’s no asset class we can’t handle. In our conversations, we focus on being a smaller company that mobilizes as a team. Our agility is unique and beneficial to the client – we can provide a range of customized options and solutions: not simply a one-size-fits-all answer.