We sat down with Stout Co-Founder and Head of Client Service Jeff Risius to discuss his successful track record and career accomplishments.

October 04, 2018

One of Stout's founding members, Jeff Risius has showcased his valuation expertise for three decades. No stranger to the courts, Jeff has delivered expert testimony in numerous high-profile valuation dispute-related cases, and clients repeatedly call on him for both their litigation and non-litigation matters. He is also keenly focused on ensuring that Stout continually delivers outstanding service. We caught up with Jeff to discuss his experience, career highlights, and personal interests.

Jeff Risius Valuation Disputes Expert

Role at Stout

Co-Lead of Valuation Advisory group and Head of Client Service

Education

M.B.A., Indiana University
B.S., Indiana University

Area of Expertise

Valuation Disputes 

Thought Leadership

 

Jeff has been published more than 30 times, including most notably his book – Business Valuation: A Primer for the Legal Professional, published by the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Venues Testified In

U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, other federal courts, State of Delaware, Court of Chancery, numerous state courts, tax tribunals, public service commissions, court-appointed hearings, American Arbitration Association

Notable Cases 

Estate of Adell v. Commissioner, United States Tax Court, 2012, Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2016, Charron v. Sallyport Global Holdings, Inc., Southern District of New York, 2014

What types of clients do you work with?

I have a very diverse client base, but it's primarily divided into two areas. First, I do a lot of valuation and transaction advisory work with owners of privately held companies and their advisors. Second, I do a lot of work with attorneys, including corporate, litigation, bankruptcy, tax, and estate planning attorneys.

In which areas of valuation do you have expertise?

I have a broad valuation background, including intellectual property and other intangible assets. But my principal focus is valuing businesses and interests in businesses across many industries.

What types of litigation matters do you spend most of your time with?

I spend most of my time on cases involving complex or significant valuation issues. This includes matters related to bankruptcy, shareholder oppression, dissenters rights, tax controversies, and transaction disputes.

What makes you particularly qualified as an expert in valuation dispute cases?

I have been working in the business valuation field for nearly 30 years and have performed thousands of assignments. I am fairly unique in that, depending on the year, I spend only about a third to half of my time on litigation matters. I spend my remaining time doing valuation and transaction advisory work not related to litigation. This makes me a better witness because I can draw upon my actual real-world experience outside of the context of litigation to support my opinions, as compared to an expert who has been mainly presenting testimony on the stand for 30 years.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career?

Seeing the firm grow from nine to nearly 500 people. Most rewarding is seeing kids join us out of school and then develop personally, professionally, and financially. The two are connected, as the firm could not have progressed without individuals and teams stepping up.

What was one of your more notable cases and why?

I provided expert testimony in a complex breach-of-contract matter involving Sallyport Global Holdings. This was a three-week trial that focused on the actual enterprise value of Sallyport, reflected in a complicated transaction structure. The plaintiff would have received a clawback payment if it was proven that the actual enterprise value of Sallyport was above $65 million. The defendants and related parties all testified that no clawback payment was due to the plaintiff because the stated value of the deal was $64.5 million, which was less than the contractually provided trigger point of $65 million. Based on my valuation testimony as well as a detailed investigation of the true economics of the deal terms, the court ruled that the actual enterprise value of Sallyport was closer to $81.7 million, resulting in a final award to the plaintiff of $21.2 million, including prejudgment interest.

As head of client service at Stout, what are your responsibilities?

There are many, but the main responsibility is to ensure consistency of high-level client service across all practice groups.

What other personal interests do you have?

I enjoy anything that involves being outside – things like yardwork, boating, hiking, and fitness. I especially enjoy competing in longer-distance running events and triathlons. I have completed numerous marathons, a dozen Half Ironman triathlons, and three Full Ironman races to date. I especially like using these events as an excuse to travel with my family – with my most notable trips being to Dublin and Zurich. I also recently became a certified spinning instructor and teach about five hours a month. I enjoy how I can be creative with the classes and also the energy associated with motivating the participants.

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