Mercer’s Musings #3: Marketability Discounts Re Two Hypothetical Minority Interests

In Mercer’s Musings #3, I address this basic quantitative derivation of marketability discounts for Companies A and B. As valuation is a function of expected cash flows, growth, and risk, any methodology failing to account for these factors is inadequate. Through a hypothetical comparison of two identical corporations with differing minority interests, I emphasize the value of a nuanced approach to valuation, suggesting that reliance on outdated averages from restricted stock studies is insufficient for accurate marketability discount estimation.

Mercer’s Musings #2: Using Restricted Stock Studies to Support Marketability Discounts

In “Mercer’s Musings #2,” the focus shifts to the examination of restricted stock studies and their application in determining marketability discounts for gift and estate tax appraisals, offering valuable insights for appraisers across all credential spectrums. Highlighting the inherent challenges of such studies, I underscore the lack of economic relevance these studies hold in contemporary valuation scenarios, particularly emphasizing their disconnect with current private company valuations. Through an analysis and a hypothetical valuation scenario, I invite readers to explore the nuanced complexities of applying marketability discounts, advocating for a quantitative approach informed by common sense, judgment, and reasonableness.

Mercer’s Musings #1: USPAP and the Internal Revenue Service

Many years ago, I wrote a column for the Business Valuation Review that the editor, Jay Fishman, FASA, called “Mercer’s Musings.” In this blog and with this post, I reintroduce “Mercer’s Musings” because I would like to reflect on a number of seemingly unsettled issues in the business valuation world. This first musing relates to the need (or not) to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice promulgated by The Appraisal Foundation in gift and estate tax appraisals prepared for the Internal Revenue Service.

The Basis for Control Premiums

Control/Lack Thereof or Expected Cash Flow, Growth, and Risk?

My co-author, Travis W. Harms, CFA, CPA/ABV, and I have been doggedly insisting that business valuation questions, issues, premiums, discounts, and more be viewed through the combined lens of expected cash flow, its expected growth, and the risks associated with achieving the expected cash flows.

Until the latter 1990s, it was thought that buyers of companies paid premiums (over publicly-traded prices of targets) for elements of control.  The current view is that buyers of companies pay for expected changes, post-acquisition, in combined cash flows and potentially reduced risk.  Unfortunately, the valuation literature appears slow to recognize this change in thinking from paying for control (or lack thereof) to paying for relevant value based on the expected cash flows of a business or an interest in a business from the viewpoints of market participants at the respective levels.

3 1/2 Years, 182 Weeks, and 1,278 Days of Walking

And, of course, Pickleball!

Three and one-half years ago, I started a walking journey that continues through today. This post talks a bit about that journey, which has included playing pickleball as an essential part, and the impact it has had on me. At the end, it offers a way to think about starting a walking program of your own.

Silicon Valley Bank’s Failure: Lessons for Private Business Owners and Directors

The failure of Silicon Valley Bank will be talked about for years. What really happened? What caused SVB to fail? Was it just the long-term Treasury securities that everyone has talked about? Well, no. SVB was on a self-imposed path to destruction that had been waiting for an adverse change in the economy or a rising interest rate environment to kick it into oblivion.

There are, indeed, lessons for family business directors from the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. In this week’s post, I discuss four.

A Change in Walking Goals: Weekly or Daily?

For years I have set a daily goal of walking five miles per day that has set me up for occasional “failure.” I have recently reset the the goal to 35 miles per week. This subtle change has no impact on my overall walking, but makes for more satisfying weeks, even if I fall short for a day. I can almost always reach the weekly goal now that I’m focused on it.

If you are walking with a daily goal, consider changing that goal to a weekly goal. And if you are thinking about starting a walking program, think about setting your initial goal on a weekly basis. We all want to “succeed” in reaching our goals, and this subtle change – from daily to weekly – helps assure ongoing success.