Get to Know MCG – Ed Mahon
When talking with Consulting Services Partner Ed Mahon, two things become abundantly clear right away: He loves his work at MCG and his personality can hardly be encapsulated in words. A self-proclaimed “cowboy from Texas,” Ed is a bundle of exclamation marks and wry humor.
Since high school, he has lived in seven different cities throughout the world. With lofty dreams of being a professional writer, he pursued a degree in journalism. Once senior year rolled around, however, he had lost that loving feeling and was at a loss of what to do with his life.
With a slight chuckle, he explains, “Since firefighter and spaceman were out, I had to figure out what to do with myself.”
In a way that can only surprise people who don’t know Ed’s penchant for the dramatic, he describes a life of flourishing contrasts. He rode Harold, a one-humped camel, through the Sahara desert and slept under the serene night sky. He flirted with the prospect of earning an MFA in acting, the latter of which he dismissed as a “fast pass from banker to out of work actor.”
On the other hand, he landed a job as an investment banker and wound up on Wall Street. He was the proud founder of a management consulting company initially called “Penguin Wheelbarrow, LLC,” and he’s currently rounding out his fourth year with nationally ranked accounting firm Montgomery Coscia Greilich (MCG) in the heart of Plano, Texas.
“My career path has had so many forks in the road, I think it is about time for a spoon,” he divulges. “But seriously, I wouldn’t change a thing about this winding path I took because it gave me such a wide exposure to different disciplines and industries that make me more effective in my position now.”
One look at client reviews affirms that Ed is, in fact, very effective at what he does. Though his official title is Consulting Services Partner, in laymen’s terms that means he’s a professional problem solver for CEOs, CFOs, and PE Owners so that they can improve the businesses they run and own.
Approximately two-thirds of the work he does is private equity related. Broken down, that means he’s usually performing pre-acquisition diligence and working with portfolio companies on EBITDA (Earnings before interest taxes, depreciation, and amortization) improvement.
With regards to diligence, he looks at the key questions that banks and investment committees are asking and sets out to answer them. Want to know how a target company is positioned in the market? Ed is your guy. Think you’ve got a handle on your competitive differentiation? Using intense data analysis, such as secret shopper visits, calls to competitors, and calls to experts within the industry, Ed will do extensive digging and determine if you’re right. By his own accord he “knows enough to be dangerous,” yet hopes to never know it all.
“One aspect I appreciate the most is that we’re always learning. We use a lot of methods to find the answers for our clients: data analytics, financial modeling, interviews, research, voice of customer, but the key is synthesizing all of that down into a storyline that speaks to the listener, explaining to them where they are and convincing them on the best course of action to take next.”
His portfolio work is decidedly nuanced and can take a variety of tactics. He looks at market entry, growth strategy, sales force effectiveness, KPI development, cost cutting strategies, and pricing studies. Typically, the goal is to increase revenue or improve EBITDA.
His passion no doubt carries Ed far with clients. He’s able to find unique perspectives to their challenges, and therefore unveil unique solutions.
“I love what I do,” he explains. “One of things I love the most is when I can help guide or advise a person early in their career path. Coaching, teaching, mentoring all bring me a lot of joy.”