David Rodarte, who led NuVo Technologies for 10 years prior to its purchase by Legrand, has formed ChangingVelocity, a consulting company to assist North American and European businesses with strategic planning, acquisition sourcing, and global business development.
“I will be working with companies seeking rapid growth—organically and through acquisition—as buyer or seller,” Rodarte said in a press release. “And I will work selectively with companies on strategic planning with the end in mind, planning that results in companies achieving shareholder goals.”
In a follow-up conversation, Rodarte explained that during his tenure at NuVo, the company went through four different attempted purchases in six years. That experience, he said, provided wisdom and insight that he can pass along to his consulting clients and that is hard to find elsewhere.
“When you’re a $20-million company and very profitable, like we were at NuVo, the private equity people of the world have one set of interests and a strategic buyer like Legrand has another set of interests,” he said. “We hired professional investment bankers [every time a buyer showed interest], and they’re hesitant to provide the kind of advice about what you’re doing strategically. In fact they kind of come in too late when the deal is almost done.”
Rodarte said that he already has two clients lined up that he hopes to announce in two weeks. These are companies trying to get help in global business development and in accelerating their sales in the systems integration and consumer electronics markets.
Under Rodarte’s leadership, NuVo’s sales grew 10-fold, fueled in part by an export program reaching 40 countries. Prior to heading NuVo, Rodarte oversaw a similar global-growth success story at Dynamic Control, a maker of sound-damping products.
In international markets, Rodarte said, a company must adapt to its international partner’s business practices to be successful, and it has to be extremely sensitive in the way that it markets and the way that its employees speak.
“This isn’t even a language thing, but people will produce documents and PDFs in 8.5 x 11 format,” he explained by way of example. “Well, that doesn’t work in England and other markets where their sizing format is different. So you have to think in the most elemental terms.”
Rodarte also maintains relationships with many of the international partners he developed during his NuVo years. “I know who those people are and can provide connectivity,” he added.
Rodarte said that he’s at a point in his career where he doesn’t want to retire, “at all,” and he really wants to do something that he can feel good about where he is “bringing some value to someone,” and that could mean helping someone else get ready for retirement.
“For those whom I’ve been talking to about this sort of thing, it’s like they do want to plan a succession or exit strategy and you can go to an attorney and learn about the mechanics, but they’re not going to ask you the questions you need to be asked about the right timing and finding the return you’re looking for,” he said. “I think I can help a lot there.”
ChangingVelocity is located across the Ohio River from Cincinnati in Covington, KY. Rodarte can be reached at 513.403.2821.