Shawn Ely Managing Director, ClevelandExpertise:
Commercial Banking, Market Leader - Cleveland, OH, Private Equity

BS, cum laude, Undergraduate Division, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

MBA, with honors, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Shawn is a Managing Director with Lazear Capital Partners and manages the Northeast Ohio/Cleveland market.

A Cleveland-area native, Shawn brings over 30 years of diverse corporate finance, investing, operations and advisory experience to Lazear. On the principal side, Shawn has spent over 15 years focused on the middle market and lower middle market, sourcing, evaluating and managing private equity investments with The Edgewater Funds (Chicago), South Franklin Street Partners and Cyprium Partners (fka Key Principal Partners). Several of these investments were in ESOP companies where he saw firsthand the compelling benefits and “win-win-win” nature of an ESOP transaction.

On the Investment Banking and Advisory side, Shawn has spent over fifteen years working with a wide variety of client companies, founders and families, all in the middle market, helping them chart the appropriate course for their needs, whether it be a capital raise, a restructuring, a sale or a merger of their business. It was in this arena where he was first introduced to ESOP transactions. He worked with Carleton, McCreary, Holmes & Co. (nka Key Capital Markets) and Loughlin-Meghji and Company.

In addition to his PE/Investing and Investment Banking background, Shawn gained operating experience in his role as Senior Vice President of Operations and Administration at Big Rock Sports, a North Carolina-based distributor of hunting, fishing, camping and marine products and accessories, where he was responsible for the efficient operations of six warehouses across the country totaling over 500,000 sq. feet, with 300 associates and 110,000 sku’s.

Shawn received his B.S. degree, cum laude, from the undergraduate division of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a member of the undefeated freshman football team. He received his M.B.A. degree, with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

What do you think is unique about Lazear’s approach to working with clients?

Our entire focus is on doing what’s best for our client and finding that ‘right answer’ for them. Certainly, we have a nationally-renown ESOP practice and we do outstanding work in the ESOP space, but we aren’t an “ESOP Hammer”, where every company and client should be an ESOP. Sometimes the better choice for the client is to sell to PE or a Strategic – which is fine by us. We do both traditional 3rd-Party sales as well as ESOPs, so we are agnostic in terms of which path our clients ultimately choose. We want to present the tradeoffs between each choice and find what works best for our clients. That singular focus of doing what’s best for the client and then delivering outstanding results is what I believe sets us apart.

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