AI Magazine Issue 1 2017

Acquisition International - January 2017 39 A Passion and Breadth of Experience Quinn International is a consulting firm based in San Francisco, California. The CEO and founder, Brittany Richards, has spent her career traveling around the world building, acquiring, integrating and exiting businesses. As winner of the award Women in Business USA, the firm’s Brittany Richards writes about her views on women’s empowerment and what it takes to make a business successful. Company: QUINN INTL Name: Brittany Richards Email: Web: QUINN INTL A Passion and Breadth of Experience Q 1701AI114 uinn International is a consulting firm that focuses on assisting entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs exploring, expanding and enhancing business opportunities. We provide strategic guidance that shortens the learning curve so that the time spent is focused on growing the business, not the issues that have already been solved already by other teams and businesses. Quinn International was founded on the years of experience in which our teammates have been operating businesses. From founding her own financial advisory practice to being a corporate development senior executive who led a team focused on M&A, strategic partnerships and new products for a Fortune 500 company, to an investor in start-ups as a venture director at a VC, Brittany brings her passion and breadth of experience to the clients she serves. To what extent do you think Women’s empowerment has been front and centre so far, this year as more and more women have been invested in by huge companies as well as investing in businesses themselves? Women have always been entrepreneurial - across the globe women are starting and running businesses. They are being funded by micro finance, venture capital and are taking companies public. They have been raising their hands, taking the risks, and succeeding. We have always been succeeding and now we are also getting the spotlight for our achievements. Women’s pipeline: The media has started to focus more closely on diversity. As companies continue to evaluate what their diversity quotient and pipeline is and how to increase it, undoubtedly they will recognize that the issue is not a lack of pipeline but rather a lack of commitment to hiring and promoting a diverse team. The facts are that a diverse team leads to better decision making, higher revenue, and less risks, which significantly positively impacts shareholder returns. It takes courage to lead a diverse team because it may be uncomfortable managing the different views and opinions. Risking poor performance for the sake of being comfortable is not the optimal outcome, lack of diversity is causing harm to the value of firms and decreasing shareholder return. At Quinn International we focus on having a diverse team and ensure that our clients can have the value of many perspectives. Can you detail your career background and the journey you have taken to reach your current position? Brittany started her own financial advisory practice in her early 20’s at the height of the market in 1999. In the 2000 downturn, while many of her colleagues decided to leave the business, she used the challenging environment to exponentially grow her practice by honing a few critical skills: listening to clients, studying the marketplace, setting a course and being persistent. She was able to push through what for many people was a panic moment. She has leveraged those skills as she has moved through her career. After selling her practice in 2005 and getting an MBA from Cornell, she went to Citi to be part of the North America Business Development team for the Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) Division of Citigroup responsible for global partnerships, acquisitions and divestitures in the payments, fintech, and mobile space. She became head of that group from 2010-2013. She then went to Citi Ventures as a Venture Director based in San Francisco, finding startups to invest in the big data, Saas, fin tech, and marketplace/payments space. She has also worked with existing portfolio companies to commercialize them both in Citi and out to Citi’s corporate and consumer clients She founded Quinn International in 2015 to bring her experience and her network together to assist entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs launch and build businesses, focusing specifically in areas where the team has operational expertise - fin tech, SaaS, marketplace/ ecommerce, and social. Can you also tell us the way in which you have pushed boundaries and broken the mould to evolve your business? Whether it’s building an advisory firm throughout a market downturn or successfully selling a business that was “unsellable”, hearing “its impossible” has been a rally cry to push past a current block and look for unique solutions. Our team and network has optimistic people with great experience - at Quinn International we don’t see boundaries, we see opportunities yet to be discovered and redefined.