Kent McKown, Executive Director
1988: The Citadel (BA)
1988-1992: United States Marine Corps, Captain, 5th Marine Infantry Regiment
1992-1994: Multimedia, Inc., Internal Auditor, internal audit and due diligence, assist external auditors (KPMG).
1994-1995: Edwards & Hedrick, CPAs, Staff Accountant, corporate/individual taxation
1994-1999: Johnstone, Epton, McKown & Curry, CPAs, Partner, corporate/individual tax, valuation, mergers/acquisitions and management consulting
1999- 2004: Kent Evan Group, PC, CEO/Founder, professional services firm to closely-held businesses. Value growth advisory; mergers, acquisitions and exits; tax & accounting, registered investment advisory
2005–Present: McKown Company, CEO/Founder, executive leadership and strategic advisory; growth leadership, strategic advisory & execution, mergers/acquisitions & exits, developing leaders
2018-Present: Legendary Partners, Executive Director
About Kent McKown
Kent McKown, Executive Director of Legendary Partners LLC, is a 1988 graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.
Following his time at The Citadel, Kent spent the next 4 years as a Marine Officer. During the first Gulf War, Kent commanded over 400 Marines and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for exemplary service.
In 1992, Kent joined the corporate world as an Internal Auditor for Multimedia, Inc. (now Gannett). During his short time at Multimedia, Kent grew as a very proficient auditor on internal/external and due diligence engagements.
Kent then entered the public accounting field serving in various lead roles. He became a Partner by age 30 and began to focus his practice in the growth leadership/strategy consulting area as well as mergers, acquisitions and exits.
Kent founded Kent Evan Group, PC and then McKown Company for the intentional purpose of assisting entrepreneurial/closely-help companies through the rapids of growing a solidly valuable company capable of enduring the natural growth pains and achieving growth milestones.
In 2005, Kent sold Kent Evan Group, PC (CPA firm and registered investment advisory) in order to fully focus on Kent’s passion…growing leaders and entrepreneurial companies.
Here are a few of the highlights of Kent’s assignments with McKown Company over the past 15-plus years.
Advisor to the CEO - Professional Services Company
Advisor and Coach to CEO during critical transition stage. After 4 years of a slow decline of top-line revenue, we were able to achieve significant topline growth (27%) and bottom-line growth (106%)within 12 months of starting our work. The growth was achieved through developing leadership, transparency, key metrics, gaining clarity and focused execution around existing opportunities. The company was able to sell at a valuation that exceeded 50% above its previous offer just 18 months prior.
President - Distribution/E-Commerce Company
Hired to transition entrepreneurial company to sustainable/enduring company. Transitioning culture by instituting professional management personnel and practices into a $30MM revenue/70 FTEs concern. Transition details include changing out 50% of leadership team to include CFO, VP Marketing, Sales, & Product Management; initiating strategic planning/execution, metric tracking and accountability structures; ERP/Warehousing/Supply Chain system implementation processes; establishing contractual relationships with key suppliers and new suppliers; significant topline and margin improvements.
Strategy & Execution Consultant – Private Equity Firm (4 portfolio companies)
Trained and facilitated strategic execution assignments with 4 Presidents and their management teams. The process entailed clarifying and focusing their current Strategic Plan by analyzing and prioritizing their top three initiatives and subsequently creating responsibilities, accountabilities around the highest contribution activities that would ensure movement of the key measures that most effectively drive value.
Strategy Consultant – Private Equity Firm (4 portfolio companies)
Facilitated five-month strategic planning process for four individual business units recently acquired by private equity firm from large Fortune 500 Company. The process consisted of internal and external assessments of each company, creations of vision/mission statements, vetting and prioritizing strategic initiatives, forecasting financial/value impact, establishing and creating accountability around tactical actions, critical success factors and key performance indicators with associated targets.
Consultant/Chief Operating Officer – Professional Services Company
Served as strategic advisor during early growth period of three acquisitions and one start-up. Joined company as COO for a 2-year period to provide leadership for foundational improvements (people development, process establishment/improvements, and tactical implementations that support the long-term strategic objectives). Material improvements and changes to organization with significant increases in revenue and profitability. Established and increased granular key reporting metrics, revised/implemented incentive compensation tied to key reporting measures, advised board on strategic initiatives, tactical implementation, measurement and accountability. Results include double digit revenue growth and increased operating margins from 35% to 50%.
Strategic Advisor to the CEO - Wholly-owned Subsidiary of European Manufacturer
Provided strategic and tactical counsel to CEO during North America start-up phase. Such counsel included locating, planning and the purchase of a manufacturing facility in Piedmont, South Carolina; the creation of initial financial/business plan; establishment operating processes and standard costing for manufactured products; advised on staffing plan and participated in interviews and hiring of manager level staff; counseled on sales strategies for topline and profitability improvement. The company successfully improved beyond forecast and was on track to reach breakeven profitability within 30 months of start-up.
Strategic Consultant and Board Advisor - Fortune 500 Manufacturer
Advised management during purchase of North American training business from large manufacturer. Served as board/executive advisor for the years up to the sale. The business was sold for a 69% after tax annualized return over the 10-year holding period.
President - Manufacturer/Distributor
Served as President during transitional period for company. Clarified corporate vision and strategy; re-structured company to prepare for additional growth; implemented corporate and business unit benchmarking and enhanced level of financial reporting sophistication. The company grew topline revenue by 20% + with significant increases gross margins.
CEO - Manufacturer/Converter
Engaged by the stockholders to turnaround a company with significant prior losses. Identified profitable market niche and sales strategy; restructured management and sales personnel; revised costing and margin targets; implemented benchmarking and key performance measurement tracking. Carved market niche and successfully decreased topline revenue by 25% and increased gross margin considerably. Became profitable in the 5th month of assignment. Stabilized/restructured the balance sheet through negotiations with vendors and stakeholders.
No matter the venue or circumstances, Kent’s passion is to develop leaders and grow companies.
Certifications and Memberships
Active or Former Member in:
- National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (CVA)
- Exit Planning Institute (CEPA)
- Association of Merger and Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA)
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA)
- Corporate Value Metrics (CVGA)
- Turnaround Management Association