Philip R. Thomas is one of the country's leading consultants in time-based management. Now Thomas is putting his money where his management expertise is: he has created the Improved Performance Acquisition Fund. The purpose of the fund, according to Mark Benham, one of the principals, is "to acquire a controlling position in small and midsize companies, either alone or with a partner, and enhance that company's performance through the application of our total-cycle-time program. Eventually, we'll take the company public, sell, or recapitalize, thereby getting the direct benefit of the enhanced earnings multiple."

I love it. I also see a lesson here for Inc. CEOs. The next time you get a sales pitch from a consultant, consider responding along these lines: "When I hear you talk about the dramatic impact your methodology will have on the value of my business, I feel downright guilty not cutting you in on the action. So tell me, just how much equity can I sell you and at what multiple?" Could prove to be a real time-saver.

For more information about the fund, contact Mark Benham in New York City at 212-906-0260.

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