This week we’re pleased to introduce Ryland Moore from Arnerich Massena as this week’s Sponsor Spotlight.
How would you describe your role in the entrepreneurial community?
As an individual, I really enjoy learning about people, what their passions are, and what drives them. I’ve always been that way since I was a little kid. I am a shareholder at Arnerich Massena, and I lead our business development efforts – really understanding what people’s issues and pain points are and finding solutions for them, whether it’s through the work we do at our firm or introducing them to somebody else that can help them out.
I started out in the nonprofit world. My mother founded a homeless shelter and was in the nonprofit world throughout my entire childhood. Finding ways to help people or find solutions for people was instilled in me at a very early age.
My father was a stockbroker, and I was interested to learn about publicly traded companies growing up, but it wasn’t my passion. Then I met some folks from Arnerich Massena and got to watch from behind the scenes a little bit and see why they were different then the other investment firms in Portland. Arnerich Massena is distinct because it’s in the private and alternative investment space – anything from early stage venture investments in individual companies or funds, all the way to late stage venture and true private equity and private credit. That diversity has really been beneficial to our clients in the current market environment!
What are your recommendations to investors who are investing in first-time entrepreneurs, as well as to those entrepreneurs?
For the investors, ask a lot of questions, spend time with the individual decision makers of those companies, and talk to others in the community. Really understand the background of both the company and its founders. Sometimes it’s really hard to judge if it’s a good investment when there isn’t much of a track record yet. Best you can do is get to know the founders and understand what they’ve done that will demonstrate they can be successful in this new endeavor. Understanding what drives a founder can be more insightful than just understanding the marketplace problem they are trying to solve.
A lot of our due diligence at Arnerich Massena is done on the qualitative side. How do they interact with their colleagues? How do they treat their employees? What are some of the things that they do on the side? How do they handle pressure when thing are not going well? Are they tenacious? There’s a lot of qualitative analysis that can give you some really good insights into whether this could potentially be a good investment or partnership.
For entrepreneurs, doing a little pre-planning and strategizing in advance about what their financial success might look like – with their investment advisor, CPA, or estate planning attorney – can mean a difference of millions of dollars in net, after-tax returns. It might feel counter-intuitive, but doing this waaaay before thinking about a term sheet is important. Once founders are facing investment or acquisition opportunities, they’ve already bypassed many of the opportunities that they might have had if they had started thinking about this when company was still a blank slate and not worth anything yet. There are different methods for structuring deals and valuing companies, and understanding those before making decisions that form the context in which the deal must happen is really helpful. What really matters is not the number that’s put on that term sheet, it’s the net after-tax number that founders can retain for themselves at their teams.
What do you think is an opportunity for this community to grow?
Ironically, I think that there are plenty of local investors here who may not look the same on paper as the ultra high net-worth investors, but offer much smarter money. I think we’re going to start seeing opportunities for a broader range of individual investors to get involved, and good deals going not just to the wealthiest people in our midst. OEN is a great example of opening the doors for newer investors and removing the intimidation factor.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m pretty adventurous and love being outdoors. I’m really into climbing, fly fishing, backcountry skiing, ice climbing, whatever it is outdoors. I’ve climbed Denali in Alaska, Orizaba in Mexico and extensively throughout the Andes, including Aconcagua, which is the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. Now I spend a lot of my free time fly-fishing with my family.