Detroit Breakfast | Exit Strategies for Business Owners

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
07:15 AM - 09:30 AM EST
Great Lakes Culinary Center
24101 W 9 Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48033



Please join the Private Directors Association for a panel discussion on “Exit Strategies for Business Owners”.  There are different methods (i.e. ESOP, Minority/Majority Recapitalization, Management Buyout, IPO) in which a business owner can transition the company besides just an outright sale. According to some estimates, several million companies remain in the hands of baby boomers who soon will need to make a decision. As such, we will discuss these strategies with four distinguished panelists who have dedicated their careers in this area.  We hope you can join us as we plan to make this an interactive discussion with our guests! 


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Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST 
Clayton & McKervey

Joining the firm in 1999, Margaret leads the firm’s tax group. As the point person for domestic tax strategies at Clayton & McKervey, she interprets tax legislation, working proactively with clients so they realize the best possible tax advantages. As clients focus on operating and growing their businesses, the tax team and Margaret stay abreast of ever-evolving federal and state tax legislation to determine if and how these changes impact an overall tax plan. Margaret earned her B.S. in Industrial Management at Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Taxation at Walsh College. She serves on the Board of Directors for Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metro Detroit and at the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties, and the Tax Advisory Board at Walsh College.


Matt Vandenack
Managing Director, Wealth Strategist
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

Matt has advised high net worth individuals on estate planning services and tax minimization strategies for over twenty years. He first joined Merrill Lynch in the summer of 2011 as a Director, Wealth Strategist in the Chicago office. Matt works with Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors to help affluent clients develop integrated wealth management, wealth transfer and legacy strategies.

Matt began his career practicing law with Vandenack, P.C., a family firm specializing in income and estate tax planning for closely held businesses owners. As a Wealth Strategist, Matt not provide tax or legal advice in his role at Merrill Lynch.

He earned his Bachelor of International Relations at the University of Nebraska and his Juris Doctor at the University of Georgia Law School.  He is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and author of several articles on estate and business succession planning for industry publications such as The Journal of the Society of Financial Service Professionals.


Ed Saleh, RPh
Former Co-Founder & CEO
MedCart Specialty Pharmacy

Ed Saleh is the former Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MedCart Specialty Pharmacy. An alumnus of the Wayne State University School of Pharmacy in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Saleh began his career at the community pharmacy chains in 2001 and later started up BuenaVida Pharmacy, a community-based independent pharmacy group serving the needs of both the Hispanic and indigent populations of Detroit, where he holds the position of president.

Mr. Saleh also held leading ownership and executive roles at MedCart Pharmacy and MedCart Pharmacy Solutions.  Currently Ed, spearheads Albertsons’ growth strategy in the specialty pharmaceutical sector and serves as VP of Specialty Business Development.


John S. Stewart
Director, Private Sales
Middle Market Investment Banking
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John Stewart founded Merrill Lynch's Private Sales Network in 2002. Private Sales arranges sale, merger, acquisition and recapitalization services for businesses whose enterprise value exceeds $10mil. John continues to deliver these services, consulting with entrepreneurial clients and prospective clients across the Bank of America Merrill Lynch organization.

In his 30 year Merrill Lynch career, Mr. Stewart has managed a wide variety of middle market corporate finance transactions including financings, business sales, valuations, recapitalizations, mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Merrill Lynch, Mr. Stewart began his career in finance as a Corporate Banking Officer at Comerica Bank.

John graduated in 1983 with Distinction from the School of Business Administration at The University of Michigan with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.  He is a FINRA Registered Representative and holds Series 7, Series 63 and Series 79 securities licenses.



Phillip A. Serra, CFP®
Board Member, Wealth Management Advisor and Senior Vice President – Investments
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

Phil Serra, Co-founder of Serra Winkler Group which excels at working with affluent families, corporate executives and business owners, is commencing 30 years of investment experience at Merrill Lynch. He holds a BS in Business Administration with a Major in Accounting from Oakland University, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certificant, a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. He has also earned the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, although he does not provide tax advice in his role at Merrill Lynch. Finally, he also has earned his Series 7, 63 and 65 FINRA registrations and is registered in multiple states, as well as the State of Michigan.