Meet The Team: Claus Erik Madsen of The Central Florida Region Published August 2, 2018 | By Achim Neumann, President Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark and spent my teenage years just south of the city. My family was stationed in Bangkok, Thailand, for almost two years when I was 10, (my dad was an airline pilot), where I attended an American school. I was later an exchange student with YFU during my high-school senior year in Decatur, Atlanta, Georgia and then completed my military service in the Air Force in Denmark, polishing Nike-rockets and cleaning hangars! The latter is when I thought I had grown up! Where did you study for college? I study in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Business Schools as they were collectively called then, with a major in economics. What was the first job you had out of college? What was the most important lesson you learned there that has stuck with you for your entire professional career? As a Management Trainee with The East Asiatic Company Ltd., a very respected, old fashioned, and conservative company with lots of history and culture. The most important aspect we learned – and that is seen in retrospect by myself – was the respect for experience and that there is no short cut for it. This includes both successes and failures. What drew you to working with A Neumann and Associates? Having just sold my business, I wanted to work with M&A again due to my 15 years of experience in the field as CEO of a Danish multinational enterprise. I always found the M&A opportunity fun, challenging, and a great way to work in teams with interesting people that had a common goal. What counties and states do you represent? The Central Florida Belt region, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. What do you feel makes your region unique compared to others? (tax benefits, special laws, etc.)? The constant sunshine, warm weather, and snow-birds flying in-n-out. There are lots of people looking to either sell businesses that they have built after moving to Florida or new “retirees” looking to invest in business ventures. There are a lot of small to medium sized businesses that need more than a M&A Broker can offer and less than a M&A Investment Banker requires. What do you find is the biggest challenge in your region compared to others? I cannot compare to other regions, but my initial feeling is that one of the biggest challenges will be selling the need for a M&A Advisor over the crowded field of M&A/Business Brokers. What do you find is the biggest advantage working in your region compared to others? The climate and the positive influence that has on the soul! What do you think is the most underrated opportunity in your region? Understanding the benefits an M&A Advisor has over business brokers and investment bankers. What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working in your region? Based on my four years with my former business: that people welcome a professional approach with solid insight and a positive attitude. Best advice for someone considering selling a business in this region? Make sure you know “your WHY” for selling! Best advice for someone considering buying a business in this region? Make sure you know “your WHY” for buying!