HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 1, 2023) – National accounting and advisory firm, Weaver, announces a transaction with Columbia Financial Advisors, Inc. (CFAI), effective February 1, 2023. This transaction expands Weaver’s presence along the West Coast and continues the emergence of Valuation Services as a national practice. This deal also adds two partners, one managing director and seven other professionals to Weaver’s team.
Founded in 1992 in Portland, Oregon, CFAI is a nationally recognized business valuation firm with a significant focus on Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)-owned companies. CFAI has decades of experience with ESOP formation and exit transactions as well as annual valuation updates. Working with closely held companies, large privately held businesses, publicly traded companies and high net worth individuals, CFAI’s experience also includes trust and estate, transactional and valuation related dispute support.
“CFAI’s values, culture and technical capabilities align well with ours. Their strong valuation practice and robust understanding of ESOPs deepens our existing capabilities in this unique niche,” said John Mackel, CEO and Managing Partner at Weaver. “Our combined valuation practice is poised for continued growth in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.”
Arlene Ashcraft and Donny Springer join the firm as Partners in Weaver’s Valuation Services practice.
Arlene Ashcraft, CFA, ASA, has focused on business appraisals since 2005. She specializes in ESOP valuation and financial advisory services, estate and gift tax valuations, and appraisal assignments for litigation support purposes. Arlene has performed appraisals across many industry sectors and has extensive experience in the forest product and professional services industries. She is treasurer and past secretary of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) Business Valuation Committee and a current member and past vice chair of the Board of Examiners of the ASA Business Valuation Committee. Additionally, she is past president and past treasurer of the ASA Portland, Oregon Chapter and past editor of the ASA Business Valuation E-Letter.
Donny Springer, ASA, has more than 13 years of experience in business appraisals. He specializes in engagements for ESOP-related valuation and financial advisory services, as well as estate and gift tax valuations. He also has experience assisting with appraisal engagements including company due diligence, ESOP transactions and annual updates, and estate and gift tax. Donny is a member of the National Center for Employee Ownership and The ESOP Association. He currently serves as membership chair of The Northwest Chapter of The ESOP Association and chairs that organization’s Valuation Advisory Committee.
Robert Regis, ASA, joins Weaver as a managing director. He has more than 16 years of valuation experience including engagements for financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and tax reorganizations, as well as valuations for gift and estate tax purposes and ESOPs. Robert is a member of The ESOP Association, the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA) and is past co-author of the AM&AA’s “Deal Stats Transaction Survey.”
CFAI’s founders and former owners, Kathryn Aschwald, Mary McCarter and Donna Walker, will remain involved as key advisors, mentors and directly on select engagements.
“Our team recognizes the role CFAI has played in the evolution of the business valuation profession,” said Curt Germany, Jr., Partner-in-Charge of Weaver’s Valuation Services practice. “We are committed to continuing CFAI’s legacy of leadership in valuation and are particularly excited to combine Weaver’s existing ESOP practice, formed by Jennifer Krieger, with CFAI’s deep experience in this niche.”