Positive Outcomes (Success Matters)
Water Street Advisors started with the goal of providing business owners with high touch professional advice when they sell their business at a fair price. For many Sellers, this may be the only time they sell a company and we help them do it right.
Passion to Help
Water Street Advisors’ passion to help business owners sell or buy companies is part of our DNA. The contributions that owners have made of their communities, customers and employees is often overlooked. We believe these owners should have the best representation at a fair price when they ultimately decide to move on. This passion along with a professional hands-on process is what we deliver to each of our clients.
We Know the Numbers
The Water Street Advisors team has the experience and training to do the job right. After auditing companies, doing bank acquisitions and heading corporate development (buying companies) for Snap-on Incorporated, John Kielich started an M&A practice for a regional accounting firm. When the accounting firm sold, Water Street Advisors was launched. LeAnne Foster also comes from an accounting background and her focus was personal and corporate taxes. She joined Kielich at the regional accounting firm and then continued with Water Street Advisors. John Weber’s commercial banking background and capital funding experience brings an understanding of the credit approval process and ways to move it forward rapidly.
Our team can speak to your accountant, banker or attorney with confidence in a collaborative way to quickly address issues and solve problems, or simply to obtain the correct information in order to move the process forward.
LeAnne has worked in the M&A industry for over a decade advising clients in a wide variety of industries such as Manufacturing, Distribution, Service, Construction, Engineering, Aviation, Transportation, Technology, and more. Finding the right target company can take a great deal of research and persistence and she takes pride in making those connections. LeAnne works with each client from start to finish – developing marketing materials, consulting on countless details that go into conducting a successful and lucrative transactions, and advising during negotiations and closing. LeAnne will keep the process moving forward. Her creative and innovative approaches allow for the best possible results for each client. Tax preparation with national and regional accounting firms and financial planning experience give LeAnne insight and guidance for deal structure and solutions. LeAnne is a member of MBBI (Midwest Business Brokers & Intermediaries), Tempo Milwaukee, and several professional networking groups. She was active in Boy Scouts of America, ACG Chicago, and on the board of her local chamber of commerce.
As founder and owner of Water Street Advisors, John brings over 30 years of experience assisting businesses to strategically develop and successfully implement corporate growth and succession initiatives. He is an expert in all aspects of the M&A process and has participated in the evaluation of over 300 acquisition candidates and the completion of more than 50 transactions. Prior to founding Water Street Advisors, John held senior level corporate development and operation roles with two large publicly held companies in different industries. Additionally, he has been responsible for strategic planning and led the implementation of a significant restructuring project. John began his career with a Big 4 public accounting firm and was a senior manager in their New York and Milwaukee offices. Additionally, in 2007, John started and successfully ran an M&A advisory division for a regional CPA firm. John currently serves on the board of the Wisconsin Chapter of MBBI and is a past president. He also served as a member of the Illinois MBBI board.
John has worked in the financial industry for over 38 years. He was a commercial banker for several regional and multi-national banks serving privately held business owners in a variety of industries including Manufacturing, Distribution, Industrial, Business Services, Agriculture, Transportation, Technology, Construction, Retail, Healthcare and several specialty industries. John has negotiated and closed deals from large to small and brings his attention to detail and ability to analyze financial statements and negotiate and review legal documents to every M&A engagement that he is involved with. As a former commercial banker John also understands financial structuring and assists owners in finding the best transaction structure to meet their exit planning needs. John has worked with many business owners over the years and understands what drives them and how to help them to reach their goals, both for their businesses as well as their personal needs in exit planning. John is a member of the Exit Planning Exchange (XPX) and serves on the Board and as past President of the XPX Chicago chapter. He is also a board member of MBBI, and a member of OPUS Connect, and of ACG Chicago. He is also actively involved in several charitable organizations. He lives and works in Aurora, Illinois.