Dean R. Estrada, Principal / Managing Director
Mr. Estrada is the founder of Catalyst Consulting Group and leads the Corporate Services specialty within the firm. Mr. Estrada’s primary concentration is on corporate restructurings, transaction services and operational strategy. Additionally, Mr. Estrada oversees the Real Estate Services Group and drives overall corporate strategy for the firm, including new initiatives, client relationships and business development.
Mr. Estrada has over twenty years of domestic and international experience in acquisitions, finance and business operations. He has worked as Senior Vice President for an opportunistic private equity firm, where he led transactions ranging from turn-around investments to leveraged buy-outs. Mr. Estrada has also held the position of Senior Vice President with the Los Angeles investment banking firm PGP Capital Advisors, and has worked as Vice President – Corporate Finance with Platinum Equity and Vice President – Treasurer with Castle & Cooke, Inc., two of the largest privately owned companies in Los Angeles. Mr. Estrada’s transaction experience includes sourcing, due diligence, structuring, as well as the financing of global acquisitions, divestitures and on-going operations with an aggregate transaction value exceeding $5.5 billion. Mr. Estrada has also structured and financed various real estate projects in excess of $1.5 billion. His operational responsibilities have included asset management, project management and operations management, including treasury, cash management, operational banking, investment management, and human resource functions. He has assumed C-level roles for various operating entities, and has taken a lead role in the turn-around and wind-down of distressed operations. Early in his career Mr. Estrada also worked with Foothill Capital, Equifax Inc. and the Boston Company Advisors.
Mr. Estrada received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Irvine, and hasbeen awarded lifetime status as a Certified Cash Manager. Mr. Estrada has also been a speaker at various M&A and Private Equity Conferences, and is a respected leader in the structured finance industry.
Stan Luker, Managing Director, Corporate Services
Stan brings over thirteen years of experience in professional services for a broad variety of strategic and private equity clients. Prior to joining Catalyst, Stan was a Partner with Squar Milner’s due diligence practice leading all aspects of financial diligence for middle market Private Equity investors and Strategic acquirers. Prior to Squar Milner, Stan spent 10 years with KPMG (1996 – 2006), the last five of which were focused on mergers and acquisitions for large strategic and middle market private equity clients.
From 2006 to 2009 Stan helped build a dedicated group of professionals focused on mergers and acquisitions diligence in the lower middle market. The success of the Squar Milner diligence practice enabled Stan to establish close working relationships with numerous equity investors and debt providers. As a result of his experience of the last three years Stan brings the ability to quickly understand the financial and operating landscape of a business from the prospective of both existing and potential investors.
From 2003 to 2006 Stan was a director with the KPMG Transaction Services Practice in Silicon Valley. Stan was a team leader in the software and technology practice and worked with numerous technology, internet and new media clients and investors such as IBM, Citrix, Quest Software, Elevation Partners, Francisco Partners and many others. During this time Stan developed an expertise in the various revenue models used by software and technology companies and the critical role these models and resulting contract terms have on ongoing profitability and monetization of the investment. As a result of his experience in Sillicon Valley, Stan continues to advise a number of public companies in the areas of M&A diligence and revenue recognition. His current clients include Quest Software, Trimble Navigation Systems, MRV and a number of other technology oriented companies.
The early part of Stan’s career at KPMG was spent in audit and transaction support, highlighted by a seven year period spent working in Russia, Belgium and France where he coordinated US GAAP and IFRS audits for manufacturing, distribution and media clients such as GE Capital, Thomas and Betts, Amcor and the Motion Picture Association of America. Starting in 2001 Stan’s professional career transgressed to Transaction Support and since then Stan has led more than 80 transactions, specializing in analysis of historical results and the assessment of management’s strategic assumptions. Stan’s clients have included; Chevron, Total Chemicals, GE Equity, IBM, HP, RAISIO Chemicals, Wartsila, ARM, Citrix, Elevation Partners, and others. In addition to work in the United States Stan has led transactions in Russia, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Hungary, France, Germany, Finland, and the United Kingdom.
Stan is a Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) of Canada, he graduated with a BA in Humanities from the University of Calgary, and an Accelerated Accounting Diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).
Richard Wolff, Managing Director, Corporate Services
Mr. Wolff is a Managing Director at Catalyst Consulting Group and is responsible for strategic initiatives, and operational and client services. He has over twenty years of experience in senior finance and accounting roles in the corporate industry as well as on the public accounting side.
Mr. Wolff is a top level CFO who has a experience as a hands on day to day financial officer as well as a strategic thinking one. His operatinal experience extends from manufacturing and services to real estate. He has lead systematic and procedural changes ranging from accounting systems to human resource operations to addressing risk management issues. Mr. Wolff has a solid foundation in mergers & acquisitions and is extremely comfortable in intialyzing, analyzing, and implementing strategic initiatives on both the buy and sell side of a transaction.
Prior to teaming up with Catalyst, Mr. Wolff served as Chief Financial Officer/ Controller for some well known companies including; Trition Media Group, Sage Publications, Castle & Cooke, and General Aquatics. He also spent over 3 years with the public accounting firm Enrst Young/Kenneth Leventhal. He is a graduate of UCLA with a BA in Economics/Business and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Brian Farley, Managing Director, Corporate Services
Mr. Farley is a Managing Director at Catalyst Consulting Group and responsible for strategic initiatives, practice development and client services. He has over twenty years of experience in various senior finance and accounting roles in both public accounting and corporate industry. He has been involved in many commercial industries including consumer goods, real estate, technology and logistics, with a strong emphasis within the manufacturing sector. He has been responsible for numerous financing transactions and accounting system developments both domestically and abroad.
Mr. Farley brings extensive transaction expertise to client engagements with a view towards practical solutions for long-term value creation. He has also been involved with debt and equity raises and has been an active participant on several M&A transactions. Mr. Farley brings a broad understanding of the business issues to certain complex client engagements. At the same time, his corporate management experience provides hands-on knowledge of day-to-day business needs.
Prior to joining Catalyst, Mr. Farley served as Chief Financial Officer for a number of privately held companies including eight years with O’Neil Product Development, A Dover Company. There he helped grow the business from $20M to $60M in revenues and lead the sales effort to Dover for $100M. Prior to that he spent over five years in public accounting as a Tax Manager working on complex tax issues related to joint venture real estate projects, as well as partnership and corporate income tax returns. He earned a Bachelor of Art degree in accounting and MIS from California State University, Fullerton and his Executive MBA from the University of California, Irvine. Mr. Farley is a native California and makes his home in San Clemente.
Sidney Constantinescu, Managing Director, Real Estate Advisory
Mr. Constantinescu is Head of Real Estate Advisory at Catalyst Consulting Group, with specific focus on residential real estate. His responsibilities include underwriting, due diligence, project management and portfolio strategy, Mr. Constantinescu’s experience is crucial for clients seeking to optimize distressed assets through strategic re-positioning (value engineering, roll-up, disposition), asset valuation, re-entitlements, document enforcement, litigation and recovery.
Mr. Constantinescu has over 12 years of experience in structured finance and operations, including 10 years in the real estate industry Most recently, he worked with real estate private equity firm Hearthstone Advisors where, he held the position of Director – Special Projects and was responsible for founding the firm’s Distressed Assets Group in Spring 2006. While at Hearthstone, Mr. Constantinescu underwrote $500 million in transaction volume and managed a portfolio of 12-15 assets valued at $800 million. Additionally as Director of Special Projects, Mr. Constantinescu managed successfully a non-performing portfolio of projects valued at $750 million, resulting in dramatic improvement in performance metrics and significant recovery of sequestered funds. Prior to Hearthstone, Mr. Constantinescu held the position of Senior Treasury Analyst at Castle & Cooke, where he was extensively involved with 13 structured finance transactions, with an aggregate value of $4.2 billion, and which included the Dole Food Company acquisition. Additionally, he managed a $1.2 billion cash desk and was in charge of corporate debt compliance for the company. Prior to Castle & Cooke, Mr. Constantinescu worked with Global Crossing Development Company and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in their investment banking group.
Mr. Constantinescu is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and is fluent in Spanish and Romanian.
Paul Thorpe, Senior Consultant, Corporate Services
Mr. Thorpe has 15 years of experience in finance, operations, business development and strategy, knowledge management and technical integration. Mr. Thorpe was a member of the Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award and TQM teams at Xerox Corporation, and has held marketing, technical integration and operations positions at Abbott Laboratories, Western Union Corporation and Light-Run Systems. His professional experience includes consulting in private equity, Fortune 500 and start-up firms. His career has included international experience in Japan, China and the Philippines, business valuations and due diligence in the UK with acquisitions involving Intel Capital, Motorola Ventures and Strata Partners. He has also completed company studies in the Czech Republic (T-Mobile) and Zurich, Switzerland (UBS, Credit Suisse).
Mr. Thorpe is a graduate of The Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University, where he earned an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. He is a featured guest speaker at the alumni business workshops and panel judge for IT integration business plan presentation competitions. Mr. Thorpe has also completed specialty course and team project work at The Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University in negotiations, specific management and business transaction curriculums.
Mr. Thorpe is a veteran from the armed forces of the United States, deployed with the U.S. Marine contingency response unit following the U.S. Embassy conflict and training with Navy SEAL Team 1.