We formed Baker-Meekins in 1987 with the long held belief that independence and the expert valuation opinions of unbiased specialists would be valued by clients and their advisors. Whether valuing a business or evaluating the strategic options of its owners, thorough research, sound logic and well-reasoned and defensible work products have brought value to our clients. We do not provide tax advice, accounting services or sell insurance or investment advisory products.
Until the mid-1990’s, the practice was largely driven by the complex estate planning needs of tax and estate attorneys for their clients with significant private business and real estate interests. As the technology boom developed in the 1990’s, auditors in the major accounting firms introduced us as independent valuation experts upon whose work they could rely. We gained significant experience in valuing the securities of emerging technology businesses to prevent ‘cheap stock’ claims from the SEC for those companies issuing stock options or restricted stock to employees, while aspiring to an IPO.
Similarly, after recovery from the dot.com bust and in the post-Sarbanes Oxley regulatory environment, the Big 4 audit firms once again introduced Baker-Meekins to their clients, with a particular focus on emerging technology and Life Science clients, for valuations in connection with financial reporting compliance. In addition, the auditors’ national valuation review teams now undertake a rigorous review of the work of independent valuation experts before the auditors sign off on the audited financial statements. The added review has served to leverage our referral base as those review teams have become familiar with our analysis and work product.
Our work has withstood challenges from the IRS for estate and gift tax returns and (since 2005) the deferred compensation provisions of IRC 409A, from the SEC for financial reporting-related valuations, from the DOL for ESOP valuations, and from family shareholders due to our fairness and our willingness to explain our work.
Our professional appraisal staff is made up of financial analysts and experienced investment bankers, who have embraced the application of the tools of securities analysis to privately held (and often family) businesses and their owners. Our clients do not worry about being cross-sold financial products or services or a bias toward the sale of or an investment in their company. Clients receive a market look at the value of their business, which provides a basis upon which complicated ownership and business decisions can be made.