I’m David Peteler. I’m a business attorney with Avisen Legal. I work in the corporate and finance and impact council space. I’ve been a lawyer for over 30 years. I’ve done a lot of work with different kinds of clients on different kinds of matters and I’d like to tell you just a little bit about myself. Before you hire a lawyer, you want to know something about that person. You want to know, if you relate to that person, if you think you resonate well with them, and that person can do the job for you. So we’ll start off talking about my business experience. I’ve worked in California and Minnesota. I have a bar license in both states. I started out in Silicon Valley a long time ago. I’ve done a lot of work in the software, the high-tech, biotech, and med tech industries. I’ve done work with manufacturing companies, joint ventures, cross-border transactions, mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, and project financing, which is typically a kind of an energy financing mechanism.
So all of that experience over the years has given me kind of a broad base from which to approach clients. On the personal side. I think it’s important to make an impact in the world. I work with nonprofits, I worked with a Tibetan refugee group in Northern India. We raised money to provide schooling, housing, and shelter, and clothing for a Tibetan refugee group. I also like outdoor recreation. I do mountaineering, hiking and backpacking. I own a small resort in Northern Minnesota on an ecologically protected lake. So I’m concerned with the environment and I work with a county there on environmental protection issues. I’m a husband, a father, a grandfather, and I want to make sure that I do what I can so that the world is a better place for my grandchildren than it was for me.
When a client comes to me, I look at the life cycle of their business. Every business has a lifecycle. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. And every client is somewhere in that, in that continuum. Now, business could be a startup. And in many cases, it is essentially a tech startup, for example. A beginning of a business for another client might be buying a business, buying an existing business. In either case, that’s the beginning of that life cycle for them. As you go through the life cycle, you get to the middle section, which is kind of a growth and development section. That involves bringing in, usually it involves bringing in more people. It involves contracts. It involves building business relationships. It involves financing, because money is essential for most businesses. And you want to be careful in your structure. You want to make sure your structure kind of meets the function and goal of your business.
And you want to plan all of your moves so that each move is an option expander to them, to the extent you can. The middle section frequently involves an acquisition. You may acquire another business, a subsidiary. You may acquire assets from somebody. You may acquire a technology from somebody. So they’re frequently asset acquisitions questions going on. Then you come to the end of the cycle. Now, remember the end of the cycle is only the end for you. It may be the beginning for somebody else, but when you come to the end, most founders look at this as an exit. They want to sell their business. They make their money, and then they go on to either buy the yacht in Bermuda and sail away for the rest of their lives in the Caribbean, or they go on to start their second act and go do something else.
That could be a simple acquisition by somebody. It could be a sale to a private equity. It could be an IPO, an initial public offering. So there are different kinds of exits. One of the things I enjoy about being a partner in advising legal is that we’ve got a great team of people to work with. We are all basically business attorneys, but we have different specialties and different focuses. And so even someone who does the same thing I do might have a new take on a problem that I’m dealing with. I can always go down the hall and get someone’s input on a project I’m working on. So that allows me to bring more resources to bear for my clients.