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(July 08, 2002) - With career stops at West Point and Sony, Mike Mullarkey is disciplined in his business view and seasoned as an acquisition integrator. The CEO and Chairman of Workstream is methodically pulling together a string of acquisitions that create a seamless end to end software and services provider. Although we find it surprising that there are not more consolidation firms in this bargain environment, Mike is making hay and building a company that is rapidly becoming a key landmark in our industry.
Targeted to reach the mid-market (this is not another 'build fortune 1500 business so we can be acquired' play), Workstream currently offers the following services:
In other words, Mullarkey is cobbling together the pieces required to offer a full service Human Capital Acquisition outsourcing solution to the vastly underserved middle of our market. He correctly points out that the Fortune 1500 only account for about 4% of overall employment and that in those ranks, 'churn' is lower than the rest of the economy. There are vastly more budget dollars available outside of the 'big game' markets.
It takes conceptual visionaries to invent an industry. During the first wave, we experienced the difference between the managers who were paid by big companies to flounder and the visionaries who relentlessly tried to shift the mind of the market. Mullarkey is another kind of vidionsry sll together (we bet it's his military experience). He sees a playing field littered with opportunities built by entrepreneurs who lacked his complex financial perspective. When he evaluates things, he sees bargains that can be integrated into a seamless offering. As a result, investors believe in him and executives ultimately line up.
Fresh from the acquisitions of PureCarbon and Icarian, Mullarkey isn't done. Hardly. With intense integration meetings, asset repositioning and tough personnel decisions, he's streamlining the acquisitions and focusing on cost effective growth.
Interestingly, Mike is building the company with his own funds. He takes no salary, preferring to multiply the equity he has invested in the company. Although we've not met anyone of his ilk before, we're tempted to suggest that the industry is starting to be managed by practical owners who understand the fundamentals of business and behave as if the industry were theirs. It's a pretty exciting development.
Mike is deservedly perturbed about the state of professionalism in the industry. He thinks that a part of his responsibility includes paying attention to the growth and development of the world around his company. We hope that he is an indicator of a real change in the way that CEOs view their responsibilities in our business. All in all, he is a breath of fresh air for all of us.
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