Washington, DC (October 11, 2004) - FOCUS Enterprises, Inc., a national investment banking firm providing merger, acquisition and corporate finance services to emerging growth, middle market and small companies, today announced that Ulysses S. Knotts and James C. Harper have joined the firm as Partners in its new Atlanta-based, Southeastern Regional office. Increasing its presence in the rapidly growing Southeastern financial market, FOCUS has increased its number of partners in Atlanta to three and announced plans to open a regional headquarters office in Atlanta. Knotts and Harper will join George Shea, Regional Managing Partner, who joined the firm earlier this year and who manages the Southeastern Region. Shea is actively recruiting additional senior level talent and is currently negotiating for additional office space in Buckhead. His plans for the Regional headquarters include three to five additional partners by year-end 2005.
FOCUS already has six investment banking assignments underway through its Atlanta team. They include two buy-side merger and acquisition, three sell-side merger and acquisition and one corporate finance in the payment systems, IT solutions and business process outsourcing industries. These assignments are for clients located in the Southeast and across the U.S. FOCUS opened a San Francisco office in February 2004 and recently opened a Chicago office. FOCUS is a rapidly growing firm headquartered in Washington, DC that has closed six merger and acquisition transactions in calendar 2004. The firm has 16 partners and principals including the three in Atlanta.
“We are fortunate to have attracted such talent to our team and look forward to leveraging Ulysses’ enterprise solution expertise and Jim’s financial management experience as we continue our nationwide expansion.” said Marshall Graham, Chairman of FOCUS.
“We are excited about the opportunities in the Southeast, with Atlanta a key regional financial center for the U.S. I know from personal experience that Atlanta has a strong community of financial and deal professionals, as well as rapidly growing technology-related companies. We hope to leverage our personal relationships here and throughout the Southeast, as well as the national resources of FOCUS,” said George Shea, Regional Managing Partner.
About Ulysses S. Knotts
Prior to becoming a Partner with FOCUS, Knotts served as the Chief Executive Officer of CommerceQuest. As the CEO, he worked closely with CommerceQuest's executive team to create a leading Business Process Management Software Company. Knotts co-founded AnswerThink where he served as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors since its inception. He was a key player in growing AnswerThink to more than $300 million within three years, as well as taking the company public, proving his ability to step out in front of emerging trends and build successful companies and practices within highly competitive marketplaces. He served as National Partner-in-Charge of Enterprise Integration and also National Partner-in-Charge of Sales and Marketing with KPMG prior to founding AnswerThink. Before joining KMPG he held various executive positions in consulting, sales, and marketing with IBM. Knotts has initiated over 25 acquisitions in the software and information technology (IT) services industries.
Mr. Knotts has a B.B.A. in management information systems from Georgia Southern University. He serves as Chairman of the advisory board for the Georgia Southern College of Information Technology and is a member of the College of Business Administration advisory board. He also is an active member of the Executive Advisory Board of the Technology Association of Georgia. Mr. Knotts is a former Non-Commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps.
About James C. Harper
Mr. Harper was Director of Investment Banking with Westminster Securities Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange member brokerage and investment banking firm prior to joining FOCUS. There he completed a number of financing, advisory and merger and acquisition engagements for small to middle market firms in the telecommunications, technology, manufacturing and healthcare industries. Previous assignments include serving as CFO of JMJ Technologies, a medical software company, which grew during his tenure from a start-up to operational with $5 million in revenue. From 1971 to 1996, Mr. Harper served in various financial and senior operating positions with BellSouth Corporation. His positions included five years as CFO of the billion-dollar Bellsouth Advertising and Publishing Company, two years as CFO of a network integration start-up where sales rose from $200 thousand to $2 million in six months and four years as Vice President of Bellsouth International.
Mr. Harper, a CPA, received a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Florida. He is a former member of the University of Florida MBA advisory board and past Vice Chairman. He also is a member of the Georgia Society of CPAs.