- Report: #256581
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: GW EQUITY AND CITIGROUP
GW EQUITY AND CITIGROUPWWW.GWEQUITY.COM DALLAS, Texas United States of America
INVESTIGATION: GW Equity clients can confident safe, confident & secure when doing business with GW Equity. GW Equity is committed to total client satisfaction, exceptional client experiences & success in their business. Commitment to Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction & confidence when doing business. Dallas Texas, Nationwide
*UPDATE: Complaints posted on Rip-off Report were created by a former disgruntled employees of the company. GW Equity has never received a legitimate complaint from a client through Rip-off Report. GW Equity is Rip-off Report Verified Safe Business
*Author of original report: GW Equity and Citigroup Due Diligence GW Equity Ripoff Dallas Texas
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I recently attended one of GW Equity's seminars in Texas. The presentation on selling a business for the most profit was absolutely outstanding and professionally performed. I met with one of their Managing Directors at the seminar, was again impressed, and set a meeting time and date for shortly after the seminar.
In doing proper due-diligence, prior to my sit down meeting, my attorney found the history of GW Equity to be quite dubious and much different from the impression I was left with as a result of attending their seminar. They are a retainer focused company with a very poor success rate at actually selling companies. My Dallas based, large firm attorney told me prior to starting the due diligence that in his 28 years in the M & A deal closing areas, he had never heard of GW Equity, and they are also located in Dallas, Texas.
Due diligence search results:
-The name GW Equity was filed for in early 2005 as a Delaware Corporation with its principal and corporate offices in Dallas, Texas.
-GW Equity is owned by a holding company that is a dba of BB&J owned and registered in Texas by John H. Binkley (now Dr. John H. Binkley) in 1987, thru a trust instrument.
-BBJ was an entity that previously purchased advertising and sales leads for Great Western Business Services, which John and his son Ryan Binkley owned until recently. (See Inc Magazine article The American Dream in November, 2001), not a flattering article exposing Dr.John Binkley, his son, Ryan Binkley and David McCreary, currently CEO, President, and General counsel of GW Equity.
-GW Equity is a spin off from Great Western Business Services, which Dr. John Binkley did own through a trust, until recently.
-GW Equity operates a business model that is extremely weighted on front end cash.
-GW Equity has sold something less than 19 businesses in its entire existence and has enrolled around 3,000 business owners into their program since August of 2004. They also claim at least one tombstone that was a contract to perform between the business owner and GWBS.
-GW Equity and its predecessor GWBS, have created some $90,000,000 in retainers / deposits since its first seminar done in 2004, through current performances. From August of 2004, through mid February of 2005, they operated under the name of GWBS. From August of 2004, until now, they have collected some $1,400,000 in sold deal success fees. Look at the Newsroom on their web-site and count the deals, all but several are mentioned by name. GW Equity / GWBS have taken on around 3,000 clients hoping to sell their business through them.
-GW Equity has at least three operating entities, none of which are registered, paying taxes, or licensed to do business in Canada, although they are doing and have done business in Canada since their inception in the 3rd quarter of 2004, as GWBS (Great Western Business Services) and GW Equity.
-John Binkley recently received a doctorate in divinity from Phoenix University, while subscribing to the philosophy of 'you make your money in this business from the companies you do not take to market, holding his hand out for the retainers, and looking the other way', a philosophy his son, Ryan, also espouses too. To date the Binkley's and GW Equity have not sent roughly $12,000,000 back to the clients who have yet to receive any meaningful action of any sort, other than phone calls. Dr. John Binkley just recently authored and released a book entitled 'Character is King'.
-99.9% of the clients of GW Equity pay a non refundable retainer, or deposit, of somewhere between $29,975 to some $37,500. Usually their clients sign on due to urgency methods unleashed during the educational seminar and carried through to the 'closer', who signs agreements with as many of the seminar attendees as possible while holding out that they (The Business Analyst) are qualifying the business owner as a potential client. This process in the sales world is known as a reverse sale, or spin selling. Truth is, they will take almost any business that can cut them a check for the required $30,000.
-During 2006, the shell that was left within Great Western Business Services (GWBS) was sold to an entity owned and controlled by a friend and long time employee of Dr. John and Ryan Binkley. The friend changed the name of the Great Western Business Services and has stayed in the FSBO (For Sale by Owner) market operating under the new name of NCBS.
-GW Equity hired/acquired virtually all the small deal group of Geneva Corporation (owned by Citi Group) that was named in a class action settlement for deceptive selling practices, as the deal makers of GW Equity. The class action suit reportedly settled for some $47,000,000. These same people make up the vast majority of the 'back end' or deal maker group of GW Equity.
-A Dwight Jacobs, who came from the small deal group of Geneva / Citi Group, manages the deal maker group and oversees the 'back-end', which is responsible for only selling the 17, or so, 'sold deals' out of some 3,000 or so clients who paid retainers, hoping to sell their business.
-The GW Equity valuation is utilized to flush out those low valued businesses for the purpose of telling a client that their business is worth a low amount, much lower than the expectations of the business owner, in most cases, with the suggestion they should 'hold and grow'. However, the $30,000 retainer is kept by GW Equity. The typical evaluation values a company's worth approximately 2 to 4 times EBITDA. Although the seminar encourages 'Explain the past, sell the future'.
-The low valued businesses that are actually put into the market are placed into the affiliate group (many the same that Geneva / Citi Group utilized) that specializes in local brokerage activity for local and competitive buyers who do not and can not pay real value, in most purchases.
-The affiliates are not well trained or schooled on M & A practices. According to several of their affiliates, GW Equity does very little, if anything, for them short of sending challenging businesses for the affiliates to market that will not sell for what the business owner wants, and certainly not to a large equity / hedge fund, or foreign buyer.
-GW Equity's tombstone brochures of done deals' represent mostly businesses sold by others during their guidance and employment of different companies, not GW Equity. These brochures also include a few done deals of Great Western Business Services.
-The design and inclusion of tombstones in the Transaction Review GW Equity promotes was personally put in place as a credibility tool by son, Ryan Binkley, according to a Paul Blake, who works for Binkley. This document leaves the impression that the 300 or so represented sold businesses were sold by GW Equity, although they were not. Son, Ryan Binkley, even attached his GW Equity logo to those tombstones done by others.
-Ryan Binkley, President of GW Equity, on one hand claims he is an instrument of the Lord while holding his hand out for more money to personally spend or use to make gregarious claims he has no ability to accomplish. Some of his people say his real talent is that of a missionary.
-The in house deal makers get the businesses that are plums and the others, ( 85 to 90 %) are placed with the affiliates, most of whom know nothing to very little about buyer searches and representing real value to buyers and most of whom work only on commissions and are not actually employees of GW Equity, although GW Equity represents otherwise. Most affiliates are 'local brokers'.
-GW Equity has approximately of their people resources working in one of three current call centers. These call centers fill the seminars with business owners. GW Equity usually performs 7-9 seminars per week hosting approximately 12 to 36 business owners in each. The professionalism and charisma of the front end seminar leaders woo the attendees into the presence of a 'closer' (Managing Director and or Business Advisor) who is instructed to obtain retainer fees and GW Advantage agreements from as many as possible of the seminar attendees, usually between 15% and 35% of the attendees of each individual seminar.
-The owners, Dr John H. Binkley and his son, Ryan Binkley, have both purchased multi million dollar residences, a million dollar lake property, and both joined Country Clubs in 2004, and 2005, since the inception of GW Equity and its front end cash creation ability. Both of the Binkley's drive, as company vehicles, 2007 Porsche 911 convertibles. Both vehicles are black and registered to GW Equity. There are also monster trucks and Lexus and Cadillac SUV's in the stable.
-GW Equity has around 400 clients that they have done virtually nothing for, except collect $30,000 to $37,000 from them, claiming the business owner has not supplied the needed financial materials. GW Equity also has not given the invested $30,000 retainer back to those naive business owners. Employees say Dr. Binkley and his son, Ryan, preach Character.
-GW Equity has just north of 500 companies in the market, they say. Ryan Binkley claims they expect to actually sell somewhere between 40 and 45 businesses in 2007, according to his staff, or they will be disappointed with their deal group. GW Equity claims it takes them around 12 months to sell a business, in 2006, GW Equity took in around 1,450 new client businesses. The numbers speak for themselves. In late 2004 and 2005, GW Equity received retainers from approximately 1200 clients. This is the group that provided the 17 or so actual sold businesses life to date.
-The Texas AG has many complaints on both Great Western Business Services and GW Equity and is amassing a file on both.
-GW Equity, through its office of general counsel, has a Ray Wood, that 'buys out complaints' on poor service or a lack thereof by GW Equity. The 'refund' requests are settled for pennies on the dollar while obtaining a signed release from the refund requesting client that paid the $30,000 retainer. The release includes language that ensures the business owner is fully releasing GW Equity from all its obligations in exchange for the pennies on the dollar the business owner is refunded and the business owner is agreeing within the settlement release not to ever divulge any facts regarding the relationship with GW Equity. It seems that Ray Wood and General Counsel, David McCreary play what is known as 'good cop' and 'bad cop' with the complaining clients. Interestingly, David McCreary, in house General Council, is actually a badge carrying peace officer.
-GW Equity and its owners, claim to be soon in the receipt of an SEC broker dealer designation under the name Zurich Capital Partners, which will be managed by Dwight Jacobs utilizing Dwight Jacob's series 24 license obtained while he was employed by Geneva Corporation. Neither of the Brinkley's posses a series 24 to secure the required licenses for the operation of a Broker Dealer. Jacobs was in the employ of Geneva / Citi Group during its class action era and Manager of their small deal group.
Most of the above due diligence information was provided by existing and past GW Equity personnel, by asking the right questions of many different people within what GW Equity refers to as the valuation associate group, managed by a Bob Berry, also a Geneva / Citi Group hire. Terry Mackin, also previously associated with Geneva / Citi Group, was also extremely helpful. GW Equity must, due to the ineffective back end efforts, be more interested in collecting retainers than actually selling businesses, and the numbers bear that out, no matter what they claim.
It would appear GW Equity, in many respects, is a hybrid, similar to Geneva, Equico, and IPA, and have forged a front end cash flow direction that forgot what they promised to do for their client. GW Equity will take in clients who pay retainers for the dream of selling their business, each one paying a $30,000 or so retainer, perform very little hard money work for them, put most of the clients on the shelf (hold and grow), push most of the low fee deals into the affiliate broker network (a basically M & A untrained 60 to 75 broker entities spread through North America) that can not source their own deal flow, cherry pick the high fee and easier deals and let the in house deal makers run with the plums, use the cash flow to build personal Binkley family benefit and non profit foundation cash flow, claim 'we want to help you', and then take on 15 to 40 new clients the very next week who pay additional retainers expecting the American Dream!! All the while, GW Equity, is actually selling of 1% to 3 or so % of the clients that hired them for their own 'Generational Wealth'.
After finding all this in my due-diligence, I feel dirty even considering giving them $37,500. However, it is not difficult to find the 'truth' when one takes the time to do so. In my case, the potential of reaching the 'American Dream' is not worth the risk of believing in the Binkleys and GW Equity, the numbers speak for themselves. Also, I saved almost $26,000 getting the 'truth' before I hired them.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/24/2007 06:24 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/GW-EQUITY-AND-CITIGROUP/DALLAS-Texas/INVESTIGATION-GW-Equity-clients-can-confident-safe-confident-secure-when-doing-busines-256581. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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