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Mini-cast 232: Jenn Krieger - An Acquisition, a Transition, and a Baby!

The EsOp Podcast: Jennifer Krieger - an Acquisition, a Transition, and a Baby!

Bret Keisling is joined by Jennifer Krieger of Weaver who shares about Weaver's acquisition of Columbia Financial Advisors, Inc., splitting her time between Oklahoma and Texas, and welcoming (with husband Sean) a baby girl on New Year's Day.

Weaver's transaction with Columbia Financial Advisors, Inc. (CFAI), effective February 1, 2023, 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.

... or watch the video below.


About Jennifer Krieger

[From Weaver's website]: For almost a decade, Jennifer Krieger, CVA, has provided financial reporting, analysis and valuation for clients in a wide range of industries. She is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) with experience valuing businesses for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), financial reporting compliance, tax compliance, mergers and acquisitions including fairness opinions, entity dissolution and litigation. Jennifer earned both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in finance from St. Thomas University, Houston, Texas. She is proud to be the Co-Chair of the Texas Center for Employee Ownership and a member of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, the National Employee Ownership Center, The ESOP Association, and the Association for Corporate Growth.


Work Phone: (832) 320-3414


Mini-cast 232 Transcript

[00:00:00] Bret Keisling: Welcome to The EsOp Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling, and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. I am so very pleased to be joined here on the Mini-cast with our friend and most frequent podcast guest of all time... Jennifer Krieger! Welcome back to the Mini-cast.

[00:00:28] Jennifer Krieger: Thanks, Bret. I'm so pleased to be back on the Mini-cast with you today.

[00:00:31] Bret Keisling: It is great to see you. Jenn, congratulations! You're a mama.

[00:00:36] Jennifer Krieger: Yes, we had Monica Rose Krieger on January 1st. She's a New Year's Day baby, and I joke every time the, as someone asks about her birthday, I say, hey, she'll always have her birthday off if she... well, at least if she works an office job. Hey, she could be a nurse, too. You never know.

[00:00:52] Bret Keisling: Okay, that is very cool. And yes, at least, likely it will be a double holiday with New Year's Day. And congratulations to your husband, Sean, as well. As you well know, I got to spend some time with him at one of the Las Vegas conferences a few years back, and he's just a great guy.

[00:01:06] So, congratulations. And baby's good, and you and Sean are doing well?

[00:01:09] Jennifer Krieger: Yes. Everyone's happy and healthy and we're so pleased. Never, never a better moment in our time.

[00:01:14] Bret Keisling: Excellent. Now, the second big thing going on, and it's not even the biggest yet, but we wanted to share, Jenn, one of your visits to the podcast was to talk about the Texas Center for Employee Ownership, you and Steve Storkan came on, where you were one of the founding members and the founding board chair of the Texas Center for Employee Ownership. And now you're actually spending your time between Texas and another place.

[00:01:37] So, tell us about that.

[00:01:38] Jennifer Krieger: Great. I'm actually in Oklahoma City now, and spreading the word about employee ownership up here as well.

[00:01:43] So, I spend some time in Texas and in Oklahoma, and we're looking to kick off and have some exciting events surrounding celebration of employee ownership in the fall. So, Steve and the board and I are going to look forward to inviting employee owners to celebrate with us in Texas.

[00:01:57] Bret Keisling: Excellent. Jenn, there is actually some big news that has come out recently. It's a couple of months old, but frankly I hadn't heard about it, and I just wanted to share it a little bit. There's been a pretty major acquisition that Weaver has done, and it really solidifies their support in the ESOP space.

[00:02:12] Why don't you tell us about that?

[00:02:13] Jennifer Krieger: Yes, we're now highly committed to the ESOP space, and so we're pleased to announce that we acquired Columbia Financial Advisors. So, Donny Springer and Arlene Ashcraft came on board with us, including their entire team, and we're so pleased to have them. I think our combined strength now is about to, oh, 65 or so annual ESOP updates that we do on an annual basis for valuation.

[00:02:36] And as always, you know, we're still looking to spread the employee ownership message where we are and be advocates. So, now we can do that from different geographic regions. As you know, Donny and Arlene are up in Oregon area as well as their team. And I'm covering Texas and Oklahoma. So, we've got a Pacific Coast presence now and we're expanding and growing our ESOP practice, and we look forward to doing that together.

[00:02:56] Bret Keisling: And I actually know some of the folks that you've done transactions with, and I know a little bit about your practice, but Weaver's ESOP practice truly is nationwide. You have reach going all around the country regardless of where your physical locations are.

[00:03:10] Jennifer Krieger: Yeah, definitely true. And Weaver has a very broad presence across the US now. We've got offices in New York, Texas, Oklahoma, California, Oregon, and we're looking at always expanding into some different key market areas. So, we're in an acquisitive and growth stage within the firm.

[00:03:30] Bret Keisling: I love that. Well, congratulations on the acquisition. I know from my days as an ESOP trustee that Donny and Arlene and their team just have a great reputation and it's a great addition and I love the fact you and your Weaver colleagues, and I met some of those at various conferences as well, have done a great job in the ESOP space.

[00:03:50] But as soon as I heard this, I thought, wow, what a great commitment to the ESOP space that Weaver, writ large, is making. That's really cool.

[00:03:58] Jennifer Krieger: Yeah, it's pretty monumental. And you know, as you recall, Bret, we met back in 2019, and that's when I started my ESOP journey and started getting involved in ESOP transactions and grown it to, you know, approximately about a dozen different annual ESOP valuation updates, which I'm very proud of. And we get to combine that with the strength of Columbia Financial Advisors.

[00:04:19] Donny and Arlene bring a great source of bench strength and very practical experience to the table as well, as well as the, you know, founding members. But they bring a, a lot of experience to the table and we're keeping them as managing directors and invite their educational efforts here at Weaver as well.

[00:04:39] Bret Keisling: And certainly, my focus is entirely on ESOPs. So, when, like, if I share any of the Weaver's posts, it's what you or one of your ESOP colleagues are doing. But Weaver itself is just an absolute full service, in the every sense of the word, a full-service accounting firm. Am I saying that right?

[00:04:57] Jennifer Krieger: Oh, definitely. And very comparable to what you might find at the big four, except I like to say that you won't find it at big four pricing. And we're also very flexible as well.

[00:05:06] And so we have a myriad of advisory services. The valuation is just one of those. And even within valuation, ESOP is just one of those. So, we do valuation for financial reporting reasons, for negotiation of transactions, for gift and estate tax purposes, for healthcare valuation, as another big area that we do that in.

[00:05:24] As well as all the other advisory services, like Sarbanes-Oxley compliance with our risk advisory services. We have IT advisory services. We have you name it, we do it kind of services. So, we do, we definitely cover a lot of ground here at Weaver.

[00:05:37] Bret Keisling: I love that Jenn. Congratulations on the baby. Congratulations on the transition and splitting your time between Oklahoma and Texas. And congratulations on the acquisition that you talked about. What an exciting time for you, personally, and for Weaver's ESOP practice.

[00:05:53] Jennifer Krieger: Oh, most definitely. I'm so pleased on all fronts.

[00:05:56] Bret Keisling: Excellent. With that, we are going to wrap up today's episode of the Mini-cast. My appreciation of course to Jennifer Krieger, if you go and check out our website and if you enter "Krieger" in the search bar, you'll just find lots of episodes where Jenn has been on in the past and I'm glad that she came back.

[00:06:12] And I am of course, grateful to you, the listener. Thank you so much. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.


[00:06:19] Bitsy McCann: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @EsOpPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network, original music composed by Max Keisling, branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The EsOp Podcast, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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