BVR Logo August 3, 2022 | Issue #239-1

BVWire is your go-to source for the latest in the business valuation profession. Highlights for this week include:

Secret witnesses may appear in overvaluation case

In a New Jersey class action, plaintiff shareholders of publicly held Ascena Retail Group alleged that the company misrepresented the value of its goodwill and trade names to inflate the stock price artificially. Ascena, a clothing retailer, had acquired another clothing retailer (the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT) in 2015. In June 2017, the company announced a $1.3 billion impairment charge against the goodwill and trade names, causing its stock price to plummet. But the plaintiffs contend that the company should have taken the impairments earlier because there were multiple contemporaneous indicators that its assets were impaired. The company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, and the court granted it but did so without prejudice. This allows the plaintiffs to amend their complaint and go back to court—and they say they have “confidential witnesses” that will show that the company knew the assets were impaired earlier.

There are many details in the case, which is In re Ascena Retail Grp., Inc. Sec. Litig., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114434; 2022 WL 2314890, and a case analysis and full opinion are available on the BVLaw platform

Corona is still the most valuable beer brand, per Brand Finance study

Corona has retained the No. 1 spot on the list of the world’s most valuable beer brands, according to “Beers 50 2022,” an annual report from Brand Finance. During the pandemic, the Corona brand hit some trouble because of the similarity of its name to coronavirus, which put off some consumers, especially in the United States. Despite that, Corona’s value jumped 21%, to $7 billion, in the wake of the entertainment economy reopening post-COVID-19. Not far behind Corona is Heineken in the No. 2 spot, with Budweiser, Bud Light, and Modelo Especial rounding out the top-five valuable brands. The fastest-growing beer brand is Desperados (up 57%, to $564 million), and new entrant Kronenbourg saw its brand value grow 40%, to $601 million. What’s become of some of the once-famous U.S. brands, such as Pabst, Schaefer, Schlitz, and Miller (the “Champagne of Beers”)? They’re still around but not on the Brand Finance Top 50 list.

New valuation credential planned for healthcare compensation

During a recent BVR webinar, Tim Smith (TS Healthcare Consulting LLC) told the audience that a new credential is in the works for valuing the compensation of healthcare providers (physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners). The credential (including professional standards) will be offered by the American Association of Provider Compensation Professionals (AAPCP), a relatively new nonprofit group whose members advise and lead healthcare organizations on provider compensation, contracting, planning, recruitment, retention, strategy, and, yes, valuation. The fair market value of physician compensation and related arrangements is an area subject to increasing scrutiny and complex regulations. The determination of FMV is handled by staffers at healthcare systems as well as external valuation experts, and both these groups are among the ranks of AAPCP members.

Smith heads the credential committee at the AAPCP, and he is the author of the just-released Complete Guide to Fair Market Value Under the Stark Regulations.

Third exposure draft of USPAP released

During a recent BVR webinar that gave an update on valuation standards and guidance, Jim Alerding (Alerding Consulting) noted that a third exposure draft of USPAP was issued July 26 (available if you click here). He reports that the changes are mostly directed at real estate appraisers (but applicable to all appraisers), deal with some revisions to the ethics standard, and are focused on bias in appraisals. Written comments on the proposed changes are due September 24 (instructions are in the document). The Appraisal Foundation will host a webinar on the exposure draft on August 11 (click here to register).

NACVA releases updated comparison charts of BV standards

The different sets of U.S. business valuation standards are compared in an updated chart (click here) the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) released. The domestic chart compares the North American standards from NACVA, IBA, AICPA, ASA, and USPAP. NACVA also released an updated international standards chart (click here) that compares the standards from the IVSC, RICS, and the CBV Institute.

NACVA will have several sessions on professional standards at the upcoming Business Valuation & Financial Litigation Hybrid & Virtual Super Conference August 17-19 in Salt Lake City, which you can attend on-site or virtually, including on an à la carte basis. You can see the full agenda and register if you click here.

The Appraisal Foundation issues 2021 annual report

A few items of particular interest to business valuers in The Appraisal Foundation’s annual report for 2021:

  • In February, the Appraisal Standards Board voted to extend the current edition of USPAP through the end of 2022;
  • In April, Appraiser Talk was launched, which is a weekly podcast answering questions from every corner of the appraisal profession (there are a few episodes on business valuation); and
  • Efforts continued with respect to promoting diversity in the appraisal profession and root out bias.

You can read the entire annual report here or watch a brief recap of the group’s accomplishments in 2021.

What to do when job candidates take their sweet time

You’ve found a promising candidate to fill that vacant analyst spot and made an offer—but you can’t get an answer. The candidate gives you a date for an answer but then keeps delaying it. Consider an option that may not immediately come to mind, which is simply to retract the offer, advises John Borrowman (Borrowman Baker LLC), a recruiter who has worked exclusively in the BV profession for over 20 years. “The wiser course, obviously, is to avoid putting yourself in that position,” he says. “As the employer, you control the process up until the moment you actually make an offer. At that point, power tips to the candidate. Your goal is to strengthen your control beyond the point where you might ordinarily give it up.” Tactics include sharing a hiring timeline with the candidate and stressing that a prompt response will be needed if an offer is made. Also, give candidates everything they need to make a decision (such as a benefits summary) and make sure they know they can ask questions. After all this, if the candidate keeps delaying an answer, you’re justified in retracting the offer, Borrowman says. “Someone who consistently makes and breaks commitments is not likely someone you want in your practice.”

In his latest newsletter, Borrowman also explores remote work arrangements, how to smarten up your hiring process, and trusting gut instincts.


Something for everyone at the AAML/BVR Divorce Conference

The breadth of topics run from basic to complex at the 2022 AAML/BVR National Conference, which will be held on September 18-20 in Las Vegas. For example, attorney Adam John Wolff (Alter, Wolff & Foley LLP) will be on two panels: one on complex valuation issues involving hedge funds and private equity and another panel on basic accounting questions attorneys ask their financial experts. In a short video, Wolff points out that his two sessions are representative of the range of topics the conference will cover—and every session will have something new to offer, he says. The conference attendance will be about half attorneys and half financial experts—and the sessions are co-presented by attorneys and experts as well. The AAML is the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. To see the full agenda and to register, click here.

Global BV News: RICS launches efforts to inspire young black professionals

Members of the London-based Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recently spent some time with students at Virginia State University (VSU) and Morgan State University (MSU) in Baltimore, two prominent historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The goal is to offer students some career insights and to inspire the next generation of black professionals, according to a release. RICS is a global valuation professional organization (VPO) whose members are appraisers in various disciplines, including business valuation.

Global BV News: Takeover premiums in Canada increased in the first half of 2022

The median takeover premium of Canadian public companies in the first half of 2022 was 40%, a 7% increase from the prior year, according to “Canadian M&A Insights” (Summer 2022) from Kroll. The Canadian M&A market had 925 completed transactions in the first half of 2022, down from 1,008 in in the first half of 2021, likely due to economic precariousness, the report says.

BV movers . . .

People: Joe Lee, CFA, CPA, a former Duff & Phelps associate, and Ilya Vorobyev, CFA, who was previously an assistant vice president at PwC, have joined Valuation Research Corp. (VRC) as vice presidents; Lee specializes in business enterprise valuations, purchase price allocations, and impairment analyses for financial reporting and tax purposes, and Vorobyev specializes in valuations of privately held illiquid securities along the entire capital structure including senior and subordinated debt securities as well as various equity structures … Mercer Capital welcomes several new members to its team: Koby Allen; Ben Lomo; Kate Mabry; Davis Rolfe, CPA; and Luke Tanner have joined as financial analysts, and Jeff Capwell has joined as a senior financial analyst.

Firms: Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr Riggs & Ingram LLC (CRI) is adding Alonso & Garcia PA of Miami, a firm that provides audit, attestation, bookkeeping, payroll, tax compliance, consulting, and business valuation services to clients in a variety of industries, including hospitality/restaurant, real estate, professional services, retail, transportation, construction, and manufacturing … Parsippany, N.J.-based Sax LLP is adding David Weiss CPA PLLC of New York City, which provides traditional tax management and accounting as well as more in-depth services such as audits, financial statements, and financial planning to businesses and high-net-worth individuals … Atlanta-based Aprio LLP has acquired CPAsNET of Boulder, Colo., an association of independently owned public accounting and advisory firms; Aprio has been partnering with CPAsNET since 2019 to provide services to its member firms.

Please send your professional and firm news to us at

CPE events

PYA surveyed more than 30 physician compensation experts to understand the collective thoughts on important topics for 2022. This will be a discussion of these issues, including compensation for advance practice practitioners, value-based compensation, and more.

Learn how the new Mandatory Performance Framework (MPF) for valuation professionals will help the auditing of fair value measurements, including the extensive documentation and analysis the MPF requires.

ASA 2021 International Conference

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