Institutions and financial advisors rely on the investment advisory services of Fund Evaluation Group (FEG) to help achieve their financial goals. With headquarters in Cincinnati and offices in Detroit and Indianapolis, the group is known for its unique approach to minimizing risks in portfolios, depth of research, custom solutions, and institutional stability. FEG also is 100% employee owned, ensuring independence and objectivity, notes Scott B. Harsh, the group’s managing principal, president and CEO.
In 2014, FEG asked Present Values for advice on its long-term growth strategy, strategic planning, and performance measurement processes.
“We considered Present Values on the recommendation of one of our partners, who had a great previous relationship with John (Handelsman),” Harsh recalls. “Through interviews, we became confident that John and his team would be a good fit.”
The Present Values team initially focused on understanding FEG’s most pressing objectives. The consultants also effectively collaborated with FEG’s other third-party strategic partners and reviewed the company’s systems and processes to provide an accurate analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
Present Values’ contribution to FEG’s situational analysis went far beyond what had been anticipated and was critical to strengthening its growth strategies, Harsh adds. He feels that Present Values did a great job of using the company’s existing analyses while challenging prior processes and assumptions.
Aided by its work with Present Values, FEG instituted:
- A repeatable system for identifying the goals critical to its success, and measuring progress. FEG’s performance management system effectively defines enterprise-level priorities and aligns the firm’s leaders and capital to those priorities.
- An improved decision-making process and governance model. Previously, every partner’s input was required on a multitude of decisions, which was no easy task, Harsh recalls.
“Present Values helped everybody stand back and look at our company and our own individual strengths and weaknesses,” Harsh says. “The executive coaches led by Tom Posey were able to command respect from senior level executives, improving our teamwork. John (Handelsman) was very good at focusing on the business strategy and defining how to make it happen. They all played a role in helping us get where we wanted to be.”
Harsh says he was impressed with Present Values’ knowledge and work on many other levels. He always felt encouraged and supported, with the consultants conveying their findings in a respectful, constructive manner.
Long known for its strength and stability, FEG is even better at making and communicating decisions since working with Present Values. The investment advisory firm has a clear plan for the future that addresses the realities of its markets, and meets the needs of its shareholders and clients.
Citing just one example of everyday improvements, Harsh notes, “We recently had an opportunity to partner with an outside provider to expand our services. Because we have a leadership team that is focused, we were able to fairly quickly evaluate the opportunity and decide ‘yes.’”