• Report: #218734

Complaint Review: Gw Equity - Geneva Business Research

  • Submitted: Thu, November 02, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, November 26, 2006

  • Reported By:Saint Paul Minnesota
Gw Equity - Geneva Business Research
1755 Wittington Place 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: You sir are a LIAR and have no connection with GW Equity whatsoever.

*UPDATE Employee: The Truth about GW Eqiuty and Geneva

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Rip-off Report Investigation: Editors UPDATE: Positive Rating and Recognition has been given to GW Equity for its Commitment to Excellence in customer service. Rip-off Reports investigation of GW Equity uncovers an ongoing commitment to total client satisfaction. This means that clients can expect the company will always work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to any complaints or concerns. GW Equity listens carefully to client concerns and views them as an opportunity to learn from past experiences and become more efficient as a company. In spite of the false Reports posted by ex-employees, GW Equity recognizes the need to provide for receptive and open communication with its clients. GW Equity strives to be proactive and avoid potential issues with its clients. To this end, GW Equity has streamlined its customer service department and added new processes in an attempt to identify and resolve issues that arise with its clients more quickly. Because of our investigation and the sincere efforts put forth by GW Equity, LLC, Rip-off Report is is confident in giving GW Equity, LLC a positive rating. GW Equity is committed to making the strategic changes to its customer service department that are necessary to reach its goal of achieving total customer satisfaction through excellent service. GW Equity expects that this goal will be achieved by taking good care of its clients. GW Equity understands that in order to grow as a company it must reflect on any past shortcomings and work to remedy those in the future. GW Equity has allocated necessary resources to work through these and is determined to emerge a stronger organization and create value for its clients. In spite of all such situations, Rip-off Report is confident you have a company that is ready to serve those who need more assistance and is willing to make things right if they seem to have fallen apart. In summary, after our investigation, which included discussions with GW Equity, Rip-off Report is convinced that the company has been and is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction. NOTE: In 2009 GW Equity rebranded their name to Generational Equity, LLC. Although rebranding is not uncommon in the financial industry, the company felt like for sake of clarity and ease-of-use, that Generational Equity is a more appropriate corporate moniker. With a new emphasis on exit strategies, as well as financial evaluations and merger and acquisitions advisory services this brand is more descriptive of their new strategies for low to middle market private companies. We used to use initials, but initials didnt register with prospective clients, explained Tom, an Executive Vice President of Generational Equity. Then we decided to write everything out, but our name was too much for clients to get to our website. Generational Equity represents exactly the right balance for our clients. GW Equity is still in operation, however, Generational Equity better represents our goal of expediting the transfer of generational wealth and equity that is in every business for the highest and best use of each business owner. Whatever name they use, this is truly a company we feel that can be trusted by any business.. Rip-off Report personally met with the owners and top executives of the company, and we know after a long Investigation on the company, we feel they received a bad rap for nothing. Read more about GW Equitys Commitment to Excellence and Total Consumer Satisfaction and why consumers should feel safe, confident and secure when doing business with a member of Rip-off Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. ..yes, a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike. Read about Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program,..A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works. ===================== NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED ===================== Gw Equity - Geneva Business Research - Geneva Companies - Geneva Marketing Services - Geneval Consulting Services ripoff defrauded my company out of $30,000 for retainer to sell my business Dallas Texas

GW Equity is actually a $120 billion dollar enterprise called Geneva Business Research that settled a $45 Million dollar class action suit in March of 2003 in Irvine California "for defrauding thousands of small businesses out of monies paid in advance".

They have changed their name to GW Equity and subsequently moved to Dallas, Texas. Without knowing the connection, I was contacted by someone who said she was a "Senior Account Manager" from GW Equity. She told me that her company was the largest Mergers and Acquisitions firm in the Country. She assured me that this was not a random call and that a "research team" had done a lot of work in qualifying company because several Fortune 400 companies that were interested in Merging or Acquiring my company. She said her and that the investors urgent and were very interested in talking to me.

She said they also happened to be in the area and my exposure to these investors was contingent upon spending an entire day with their "M & A Specialist" and a "Business Analyst" they could explain how this "offer on my company would occur and that they would explain these buyers motives." The Seminar turned out to be a cattle cal with about 15 other clueless private business owners.

I listened to their day long sales pitch and at the end they dropped the $30,000 retainer fee on me. My company's revenues are close to the $100 million mark and it sounded like a drop in the bucket compared to what they were telling me that I could actually get for my company. These figures were way above anything my CPA or attorneys calculated but GW Equity assured me that only M&A people know how to calculate the "true & future value of a company".

After paying the $30,000 I met with David Gilliland the M&A specialist and he explained that the evaluation would take about 6 months and it might be years before he could attempt to take my company to market. When I asked where the buyers were (that the initial senior account manager) told me were interested and urgent, he explained that those buyers were simply "buying into my industry and that I never had any type of guarantee that they could actually sell my business.

Essentially I paid $30,000 for an inflated analysis of my company that has yielded no results. I had the cell phone of the senior account manager who later told me that she had been fired because she had asked Steve Schreiber "of the companies we take retainers from... how many actually get sold. She was fired the next day due to lack of performance. She also explained that the investors that they claim to have in their pockets do not know that GW Equity even exists and that her call to me was a strictly random cold call from a D&B database and that there was no research done on my company at all. She was just getting paid to get me into this seminar.

After 3 years I have never seen any kind of an offer on my company and I am reminded that I was never guaranteed that they could sell my business for sure. Robert Brenner is your connection between the same scam conducted in California and was Senior Vice president there as well. Not only did I waste an entire day at some sales seminar under the premise that they had several buyers for my company, I was hit with a $30,000 retainer fee and actually learned nothing about the M&A process.

These guys are shrewd salespeople but I cannot find even one company that they have ever sold. "That is a matter of confidentiality" they say. But cannot even give me the statistics of even selling one. GW Equity is another fraud under a different name that just moved to another State.

Saint Paul, Minnesota

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/02/2006 05:14 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Gw-Equity-Geneva-Business-Research/Dallas-Texas-75234/INVESTIGATION-GW-Equity-clients-can-confident-safe-confident-secure-when-doing-busines-218734. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

You sir are a LIAR and have no connection with GW Equity whatsoever.

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

Mr. Wood,

Let me start by clarifying what the State Bar of Texas and the Grievance Assistance Program assures me (and what I already knew) is that you do NOT work for, nor do you represent GW Equity in any form. Your salutation represents:
Ray Wood SIU
Office of General Counsel
GW Equity, LLC
Ray ? Dallas, Texas

That is a LIE, I have attempted numerous times to get in touch with you at the Ph# you left (972)232-1100, not only are you NOT in their system but no one knows you even exist much less are you general counsel of anything. The E-mail address also immediately bounces back as non existent. You have no specialization in anything anf the State Bar has no idea what SIU is supposed to mean. They have determined to find that out on their own.

You are actually Randall Buck Wood of Ray, Wood & Bonilla, LLP State Bar # 21905000 & Licensed in the State since 09/16/1968 Phone #512-328-8877 which explains why you cannot be reached as ?General Counsel? in Dallas. You have not listed address, just a PO box 165001, Austin, TX 78716. The State Bar insists they need a physical address from you ASAP.

You sir are a LIAR and have no connection with GW Equity whatsoever. If your going to make such an official connection with this company, I suggest you do so quickly! The general public should feel free to call the (512) 328-8877 and ask for ?Ray? and see if he actually offices out of an Austin location or is actually telling the truth about having a Dallas office. A clear violation of TDRPC Part VII Rule7.01 Firm Names and Letterhead, you sir, should read the rules that govern your liscence. I hope you feel it was worth it.

Now that we have clarified you as much as a fraud as GW Equity, lets get back to them?

As to GW Equity having nothing to do with Geneva Business Research and what you call the ?may or may not have settled a $45,000,000 lawsuit? I direct you to

Ereba, et al. v Geneva Companies, Geneva Business Research, et al. Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA March 15, 2003? Award $45,000,000 | Mediated Settlement Civil Practice ? Class Action | Damages ? Restitution | Fraud ? Statutory, Summary defrauding thousands of small business owners out of monies paid in advance to sell their businesses.

Look it up Mr. Wood. Now find the Senior vice president serving then and NOW both between Geneva Business Research and GW Equity and you will find the same name, Robert Brenner. Really NO connection? See the Bios for gwequity.com he's right there loud & proud. Check D&B's estimation of Geneva Business Research's last years Sales as $120,318,000,000 to be exact. Any questions?
Are you honestly telling me these companies have the same Senior VP but are ?in no way connected??

As to Any business sold by GW Equity (of course you can go to GW Equity's web sit and find crap that means nothing, no names, no dates, no buyers, etc. They will claim confidentiality as the reason they cannot name those companies but the fact is that happy buyers and sellers are more than happy to release the names of the M&A firms that helped them sell their businesses. Don't you think you would find even one?

Go to mergerstat.com, valuline.com, forbes.com or any other online M&A authority and they will be screaming who sold them and for how much. No go to those same web sites and search GW Equity? You will have NOTHING. The same question the FTC and Department of Labor is probably asking itself right now.

If there are others that feel they have been screwed by GW Equity please, please, please post to this web site. DON'T GET SCREWED, Why risk it?
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#2 UPDATE Employee

The Truth about GW Eqiuty and Geneva

AUTHOR: Ray - (U.S.A.)

Dear ?Jim from St. Paul, Minnesota?:

It has come to my attention that you recently posted an item on the above-referenced website that contains some negative information about GW Equity but which, I'm afraid, inaccurately depicts a number of important facts. I am writing today as a representative of the company, to provide factual data that you may not previously have had, and to ask that you kindly remove or edit the inaccurate information pertaining to GW Equity.

At GW Equity, we take great pride in our professional reputation and our extremely high level of customer service, so I hope you will take this letter in the friendly spirit with which it is offered. I would also be happy to speak with you personally if you have any remaining questions or concerns after reviewing the information provided below.

The information contained in your posting refers to a company, Geneva, which is in no way related to GW Equity, LLC, and never has been related to GW Equity. Such a posting could be very confusing to readers. GW Equity, LLC is not ?a $120 billion enterprise? nor has GW Equity, LLC ?settled a $45 million dollar class action in March of 2003 in Irvine, California.? It may be that you have our company confused with The Geneva Companies, a company that was purchased by Citigroup in 2001 and that has never been tied to GW Equity in any way. See http://www.hoovers.com/citigroup-capital-strategies/--ID__125848--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml and for more information about this company, now known as Citigroup Capital Strategies.

This link clearly communicates the following:

Citigroup Capital Strategies Inc.
24022 Calle de la Plata
Laguna Hills, CA 92653 (Map)
Phone: 949-206-5000
Fax: 949-206-5010
Company Web Site

Hoover's coverage by Ryan Caione
Located far away from the snowy Alps, Citigroup Capital Strategies (formerly Citigroup Geneva Capital Strategies, and before that, The Geneva Companies) isn't about making chocolate or fine watches; it makes deals. The boutique investment bank specializes in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures of private, middle-market businesses with revenues ranging from $3 million to $500 million per year. The company was founded in 1977 and acquired by Citigroup in 2001; it is now a division of Citigroup Global Markets. Citigroup Capital Strategies has six US offices.

Further, GW Equity was not conducting seminars in the Minnesota area as far back as three years ago, so I do not believe the seminar you reference could have been one of ours. We also typically receive very favorable comments from attendees at our free seminars, who cite valuable information they learned about the M&A process, even if they ultimately decide not to retain an M&A firm to help them sell their company.

I should also point out that GW Equity, since the company's inception, has always been based in Dallas, Texas, contrary to the claim in your online post. GW Equity has added to our team a small handful of ex-Geneva advisors with extensive experience in the mergers and acquisitions industry, and these are reputable professionals who also have experience with Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and other world-class investment banking firms. Other than that, however, there is absolutely no connection between GW Equity and Geneva.

You mention that you ?cannot find even one company that they have ever sold,? but this clearly cannot be a reference to GW Equity, as we have publicized a number of our successfully closed deals on behalf of middle market clients nationwide. A few press releases highlighting representative deals can be found in our online newsroom at www.gwequity.com, and you may also see our ad soon in the Wall Street Journal showcasing additional, recent transactions. Of course, we cannot publicize many of our client transactions, as a significant number of clients request that their confidentiality be protected when they sell their business ? a request we are obligated to honor.

I am truly sorry to hear that you had a frustrating experience, apparently with Geneva, and I would be pleased to chat with you by phone about the M&A process and how it should work. Of course, you should never be prematurely assured that there are buyers already interested in your specific company, although it may be true that an investment banking firm has a stable of private equity investors who are interested in companies in your industry sector and eager to make profitable investments.

Further, if you do contract with an M&A firm to perform a valuation of your company and to position you for a sale, you should certainly receive a sound analysis of your company's potential value to a buyer and should receive a fair look at your company by a number of possible investors ? who may, ultimately, decide not to invest in your company for a variety of reasons wholly unrelated to the quality of the valuation and the soundness of the professional advice your receive.

We stand by our track record of success and customer service, and hope you will agree to correct your online post to acknowledge both our outreach to you and our lack of a business relationship with the company formerly known as Geneva. I hope you will contact me with any additional questions or concerns, as I would be pleased to speak with you personally.

I hope you will contact me with any additional questions or concerns, as I would be pleased to speak with you personally. I may be reached directly by phone, 972-232-1100, or via e-mail to rwood@gwequity.com


Ray Wood, SIU
Office of General Counsel
GW Equity, LLC
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