IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Valuation Research Corporation (VRC)

May 31, 2023

As the new member participants in the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA) keeps expanding, the current membership are given new opportunities for networking, in addition to offering support and partnerships. This advantage keeps evolving the association and its advocation of Venture Capital, Private Equity and satellite industries.

The latest new member is Valuation Research Corporation (VRC) advisory services firm, whose mission is to be the premier global valuation, advisory, and opinions partner that does the right thing, with integrity, for all stakeholders.

The following is a Q&A profile with VRC, which explores the firm’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.

New Member: Valuation Research Corporation (VRC)

Representatives: Scott Slade, Vice President, Business Development

IVCA: What is a brief history of and background on Valuation Research Corporation (VRC)?

VRC: In the firm’s early years, VRC primarily focused on providing valuations for financial reporting purposes, including fair value assessments, purchase price allocations, and impairment testing. Our service offerings and practice groups expanded to meet clients’ evolving needs as we grew. VRC developed expertise in a wide range of valuation areas, including corporate transaction opinions, intellectual property and brand valuations, complex securities, and portfolio valuations, among others.

VRC’s commitment to delivering accurate, objective, and reliable valuations led to its recognition as a trusted provider of valuation services. The firm has earned numerous accolades and is consistently ranked among the top global valuation firms. VRC’s team comprises over 250 highly skilled professionals, including accredited appraisers, financial analysts, and industry experts who bring deep knowledge and experience to their engagements.

Today, VRC serves a diverse client base, including more than half of the Fortune 500, Fortune 1000 companies, private equity firms, law firms, and financial institutions. The firm stays at the forefront of the valuation industry by staying updated with regulatory changes, industry trends, and emerging valuation methodologies.

IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?

VRC: As a firm deeply rooted in the Chicago area, we feel a strong sense of pride and responsibility to contribute to the economic prosperity of our community. Joining the IVCA aligns with this objective by allowing us to help foster a favorable environment for venture capital, private equity, and entrepreneurship in Illinois. By networking and collaborating with members, we can work towards creating a supportive ecosystem that nurtures innovation, attracts investment, and drives economic growth.

IVCA: The words that stick out from your Mission Statement is to be a firm that ‘does the right thing’ when it comes to serving your clients. What does doing the ‘right thing’ mean in relation to the VRC culture?

VRC: VRC places a high emphasis on integrity and ethical conduct. Doing the ‘right thing’ means adhering to the highest professionalism, honesty, and transparency standards in all client engagements. This includes providing accurate and unbiased valuations, maintaining client confidentiality, and avoiding conflicts of interest. It also extends to our colleagues as we encourage a culture of learning, professional development, and knowledge sharing to ensure our professionals are equipped to deliver the highest quality valuations.

Overall, doing the ‘right thing’ in the VRC culture is about upholding the highest ethical standards, providing independent and objective valuations, delivering exceptional client service, continuously improving professional excellence, and building lasting client relationships based on trust and integrity. These principles drive VRC’s actions and ensure the firm remains a trusted and reliable client partner.

IVCA: Of the four core services you offer, the only one that doesn’t seem measurable by metrics is ‘Fairness and Solvency Opinion.’ How do the other core services back up the opinion section of your advisory offerings?

VRC: VRC’s Fairness and Solvency Opinion Practice Group is a core competency of our advisory service offerings. Critical opinion work in dealmaking is a fully blended qualitative and quantitative assessment of a transaction’s fairness or the impact on an organization’s solvency, which is heavily relied on by an organization’s board of directors. The foundation of technical expertise and in-depth analysis delivered through our firm’s other core valuation practice groups – financial reporting, portfolio valuation and complex securities, and tax, compliance, and planning – ensures that VRC consistently provides well-informed and credible opinions.

VRC is one of the first providers of expert opinions, assisting boards in fulfilling their duties since 1980. We have issued over 1,000 fairness, solvency, and capital adequacy opinions for transactions ranging in value from $10 million to $10 billion in market capitalization.

IVCA: In general, how do you break down the complexities in the many types of deals you advise on, to get all the moving parts walking towards the same direction or goal?

VRC: VRC excels at navigating the complexities inherent in the diverse range of deals we advise, ensuring that all moving parts align toward a common goal. In 2022, our team was involved in over 1,200 deals, valued more than 7,500 private debt and equity portfolios and 15,000+ securities. Like an insurance company once said, ‘we know a few things because we’ve seen a few things.’

Our ability to break down complexities and align the moving parts of any given engagement stems from our comprehensive understanding of the nuances of different deal structures and valuation’s role within them, our broad industry expertise, and a holistic perspective that considers the bigger picture while attending to the finer details.

We also believe that clear, practical, open lines of communication with our clients is nonnegotiable; our professionals have a knack for simplifying complex valuation concepts and terminology, ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page and actively contributing to the overall direction of the engagement. By employing these strategies, we effectively guide deal stakeholders towards a shared goal, mitigating complexities and facilitating successful outcomes.

IVCA:  It’s important for VRC to have the right connections and relationships with all aspects of dealmaking, including banking, lending, business development, accounting and law firms, as well as hedge funds, private equity and venture capital … how does your firm develop and nurture those relationships?

VRC: Our business community relationships are vital to our success. We develop and nurture those relationships by prioritizing exceptional client-first service, exceeding client expectations, delivering a high-quality work product, and helping our partners achieve success however we can. Our established, strong industry presence ensures our thought leadership and voice is essential to and heard by key regulatory bodies and professional affiliates such as the FASB, AICPA, the SEC, PCAOB, and more. Additionally, we have a dedicated team of business development professionals focused on developing and nurturing relationships.

Through these efforts, VRC builds a robust network of trusted connections, enhancing our ability to serve clients effectively and navigate the complex landscape of valuation and advisory services.

IVCA: What does VRC hope to achieve in their interaction with the VC/PE community within the IVCA?

VRC: Through the IVCA, VRC strives to contribute to the collective knowledge of the Illinois VC/PE community by sharing industry insights, trends, and best practices. We aim to provide valuable resources and thought leadership content that can inform decisions and enhance the understanding of valuation-related matters. By actively participating in discussions and knowledge-sharing initiatives, VRC strengthens its position as a trusted advisor within the IVCA community.

For the website of Valuation Research Corporation (VRC), click here.

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