Cortland Advisors, LLC, a boutique mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory partnership headquartered in Florida, announced today it has hired Randy Coppersmith as its new Chairman and CEO. He will also head up the firm’s new Washington office, located in Middleburg, VA.
“We are very excited to add an executive with the kind of success and experience that Randy brings to our growing company,” said Ken Taormina, Cortland’s Founder and President. “We were looking for a strong leader who has CEO, operational and financial experience. Randy is someone who has been involved in the M&A business in Washington, and around the world, for over 40 years. His extensive contacts in the technology and government services arena are a great addition to our team.
“He’s a special guy, and we feel fortunate to have found him at this point in his long and very unique career. He’s a great choice to lead our company,” said Taormina.
Founded in 2013, Cortland is an international M&A consulting firm that has primarily focused on acquisition and divestiture transactions in the technology and engineering services arena. Clients include NLB Services, Rheinbrucke, Mindtree, PGA Construction and a number of American private equity funds.
Cortland and its Founder, Taormina, a former KPMG and Accenture partner, has participated in over 30 M&A transactions with a focus on software, technology and manufacturing. Recently it has been engaged to find, evaluate and conduct due diligence on companies for financial investor groups and for sellers looking for a liquidity event.
For the last 15 years Coppersmith was the Chairman & CEO of a Washington-based Government Contractor. He helped to manage the successful sale of that company to a large private equity-backed firm in a very successful exit in August 2016.
“I promised my family I’d take a year off after the sale of Intercom,” said Coppersmith. “It’s been fun, and I’ve played a lot of golf, but now it’s time to get back to work.
“I’d been approached by several Investment Banking firms when Ken reached out,” said Coppersmith. “Ken was an adviser to companies that I’ve worked with over my career, including Oracle, AOL and several PE Firms,” said Coppersmith. “We’ve been talking for some time, and have become friends as well as business colleagues. Cortland’s extensive international experience was a key for me, since my largest client over the last 15 years has been the US Foreign Service. So, when Ken asked me to join Cortland, it just seemed like the perfect fit at this point in my career.”
Former IBM and AOL Executive
A former IBM Executive who has worked in Silicon Valley and New York, Coppersmith was one of the earliest AOL employees. He was a partner in Redgate Communications, which was acquired by America Online in 1994. He is also credited with selling the first ad on AOL, to Starbucks in 1996.
He left AOL in 1998 to become managing partner in XYZ Capital, a diversified venture fund, which later merged with New Road Partners, an investment bank in Herndon, VA. As a partner at New Road, he helped manage the firm’s business development activities.
Coppersmith has been involved in over 57 M&A transactions in his 40-year career, beginning with IBM’s acquisition of ROLM in 1984. He has also done marketing and M&A work with Intergraph, US West, Fujitsu, UNIX International, Pacific Bell, Sun Microsystems, SCO, Hewlett-Packard, Groupe Bull des Machines, Oracle, Apple, Gannett, Chicago Tribune Company, Media General, and The Walt Disney Company. He has been involved in two IPOs, and multiple private and public equity financings.
Since 1998, Coppersmith has been chairman of The Hollymar Group, a private family office, which manages a diversified portfolio of investments. He will remain at Hollymar after joining Cortland.
“As Cortland grows and evolves, we want to add strategic partners and alliances who can offer a more diversified set of services to our clients,” said Coppersmith. “We’re looking to partner with great companies who share our values of integrity, entrepreneurship and loyalty. I’m excited to join Ken and his team, and to get started on this next chapter in my career.”
A 1979 graduate of the University of South Florida, Coppersmith has also completed graduate work at Yale, the University of Alabama; and is a graduate of the Japan-America Institute at the University of Hawaii. He serves on several corporate and non-profit boards. He has also been a guest lecturer at the University of South Florida, Pace University, the University of Maryland, Idaho State University and American University. A former journalist, Coppersmith has written for The Tampa Tribune, The Springfield (MO) Daily News, The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, The Associated Press and numerous business magazines and publications. He is also the founder and a regular contributor to Words Matter, an online magazine www.words-matter.net. He lives in Middleburg, VA with his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Annabelle.