Strategic Investigative Review

November 17, 2014
Strategic Investigative Review

Farber provides clarity to charity on multi-year critical business decision

The Challenge

A national charitable organization was presented with an unconventional opportunity.  A hot technology start-up in their building desperately needed more space. They asked the charity to sublet their floor. The downside was that the charity would have to move—but likely to a less expensive location. Further, the charity would have to lease two locations, a risky proposition if the start-up faltered or failed.

However, if the charity relocated, given the current market conditions and rental options available, they could make more than $100,000 over the next three years.

The Solution

The CFO turned to Farber for guidance.

Farber’s team of business advisors reviewed the start-up’s operating model and financial results; assessed the competency of the start-up’s team, including background searches on the start-up’s management team and critical staff members; interviewed former executives from the start-up; and, spoke to industry insiders about the start-up.

In essence, Farber undertook a strategic review and investigation for the purposes of risk assessment.  And, Farber did this in less than a week from start to finish.

The Result

“Not only were we able to present a recommendation to the Board to proceed with the sublet, saving us thousands over the next three years, but we also used Farber’s guidance to negotiate a much tighter sub-lease that will protect us going forward,” said the CFO. “Our Board was confident and comfortable with our decisions—enabling us to redirect $100,000 back into the community on projects we are passionate about.”

The charity’s CFO weighed the options and it appeared to make sense to try to capture this $100,000 which could be redirected to important projects; however, she was unequipped to evaluate risk of default which was squarely tied to the start-up’s business model. Further, the charity’s Board of Directors was very uncomfortable with a multi-unit, million dollar exposure.


Adam W. Silver is the Managing Director of the Performance Improvement group and a key member of Farber’s Interim Management and Executive Search practices. The Performance Improvement practice helps executives and boards overcome operational and strategic challenges to uncover potential and unleash performance. Adam can be reached at 416.496.3734 and asilver@farbergroup.com.