The Koan Group

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The Koan Group was founded in 2001 by Kelly Klute, after a successful 25-year corporate and consulting career with such global firms as AT&T, Bechtel Engineering, Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, and Sybase.

We specialize in tackling difficult challenges.

This may involve transactions and related issues:

  • Closing a complex acquisition, merger, or divestiture that may have been languishing for months
  • Integrating a newly acquired division to minimize cultural differences and maximize operating efficiencies

Or transitions:

  • Developing an exit strategy that meets long-term objectives
  • Resolving a sensitive succession plan involving a family-owned business

Or improving performance:

  • Turning around an under-performing company or asset
  • Boosting business development efforts that have ground to a halt
  • Completing a project that is mired in problems

These are just a few examples. In 30 years, we’ve covered a lot of territory, helping companies through start-ups, rapid growth, and major changes. Along the way we’ve developed a reputation for problem-solving, tenacity, and proven leadership that get results.


Why are we successful – often where others have failed?

Every challenge is different. But something extraordinary happens when we combine our depth and breadth of experience with our range of expertise, from effective negotiating, to building trust and common direction among stakeholders, to identifying core problems and applying practical solutions, to filling leadership gaps, to creating high performance teams, to showing parties with conflicting agendas how they have more to gain by working together. 

Our years of experience help us get down to the underlying issues more quickly – instead of throwing solutions at the wall. And our persistence helps us work through challenges to meet objectives. 

These intangibles often mean the difference between success and failure. Or between a solution that may be just barely good enough for now and one that results in maximum, long-lasting benefits for your company.


Business Brokering / Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory & Intermediary

With major business transactions of any kind, the challenges are built in. In addition to finding and evaluating buyers, sellers, partners, and new opportunities, the process often requires a sharply honed set of skills to keep all parties at the table as conflicting agendas play out and unexpected problems arise. 

Having worked across many industries on transactions ranging in size from $500,000 to $100 million, we’ve developed the ability to help stakeholders find commonality and see opportunities to realize value that may not be apparent at the outset. 

Our confidence and creativity in problem solving has often proved critical to ensuring a successful conclusion with lasting benefits for both parties. 

Our services include:

  • Strategic planning, analysis, and guidance
  • Acquisition and competitive analysis
  • Exit and succession planning
  • Buy- and sell-side support, including searches, packaging, marketing, negotiations, and closing
  • Business brokering and intermediation
  • Management of the due diligence and definitive purchase agreement processes
  • Valuations
  • Non-organic growth strategies
  • Sensitive and complex post-close integrations and transitions
  • Post-acquisition support, including interim leadership, operational optimization and consolidation, and performance improvement
  • Enhancing business value through performance improvement
  • Financial planning, benchmarking, and modeling
  • External debt and equity financing


Effective Program/Project Management

We provide critical leadership for capital improvement and general building projects, including design, engineering, and construction management, along with strategic planning, financial accounting, and controls. 

A sampling of our work includes: 

  • Management of a $120 million pilot program between the State of California, multiple non-profits, and a real estate developer, as well as numerous financial institutions, to fast-track acquire, design, and rehab/develop 70 homes in 18 months to house 300 developmentally-challenged consumers displaced from a state-shuttered healthcare facility. 
  • Fast-track completion of a complete facility program for a startup firm that grew from the three founders to over 500 associates within 6 months. This included everything from lease negotiations through design, demo, construction, and move-in for a 20,000 square foot HQ space, a 450-seat shared services center and 8 regional offices. 
  • Design and construction of a $75 million state-of-the-art, high tech office complex. 
  • Development and implementation of a formal business development program for an established construction management firm. Dramatically improved all critical metrics while generating more than a three-fold increase in new projects over the previous year. 
  • Management of industrial, commercial, and residential projects, from conception through close-out, including banks, education facilities, churches, warehouse, distribution, manufacturing, retail, technology, healthcare, water treatment, and research facilities, office buildings, historic restoration projects, custom high-end homes, multi-unit residential, multi-story structures, power plants, fire and police stations, civic centers, and other city, state, and federal government buildings. 

Managing a successful program or project for your company requires experience in wide array of disciplines ranging from program development, strategic analysis, and financial planning to process design, construction/facilities management, and the utilization of limited resources.

To keep everyone moving in the same direction, we: 

  • Reduce complex processes to core issues. This is critical to gain traction and avoid getting lost in multiple moving parts. We’re skilled at pinpointing areas where immediate changes are needed, anticipating difficulties that new approaches are likely to encounter, and designing workable solutions that fit your resources and constraints. •
  • Constantly reevaluate where we are and remain flexible.Although we plan exhaustively and are good at proactively identifying potential obstacles, bumps in the road are inevitable. If a solution isn’t working, we find out quickly and develop a new approach consistent with your objectives. 
  • Persist. Confidence and experience allow us to stay balanced in the midst of unanticipated problems and find ways to keep moving ahead toward a successful conclusion.

The reputation we have developed for professionalism and fairness is also a critical factor. It helps us involve stakeholders, keep teams working collaboratively, and overcome difficulties to realize maximum value for all stakeholders. 

Program management services include:

  • Resuscitation of distressed or stalled projects
  • Historic preservation and restoration
  • Concept definition
  • Strategic planning and program development
  • Capital improvement program development
  • Capital asset utilization and management
  • Deployment and utilization of limited resources
  • Funding and financial analysis, support and reporting
  • Permitting and entitlement
  • Master budget development and cash flow projections
  • Master scheduling
  • Stakeholder organization and reporting
  • Qualification and selection of design professionals and builders
  • Design professional and builder contract negotiation and management
  • Bid award/NTP recommendations
  • Coordinate consultant services
  • Value engineering and life cycle analysis

Construction management services include:

  • Budgeting
  • Cost estimating
  • Scheduling and construction progress management
  • Design/constructability reviews
  • Pre-bid coordination
  • Contract negotiations, award and administration
  • Equipment and materials procurement
  • Project controls
  • RFI and submittal review
  • Quality control and assurance
  • Change order review for merit and entitlement
  • Claims mitigation and dispute resolution
  • Post-construction and close-out
  • Commissioning and testing
  • Substantial completion, occupancy and move-in coordination
  • Expert analysis and witness testimony

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