Samuel S. Nicholls

Samuel S. Nicholls



1355 Peachtree Street N.E., Suite 1470
Atlanta, GA 30309

Sam Nicholls is a director with Willamette Management Associates.

As a director with Willamette Management Associates, Sam manages engagements related to the valuation of business entities and business interests, and the analysis of privately held and publicly traded equity and debt securities.

Sam has performed the following types of valuation and economic analyses: noncontrolling and controlling equity ownership in businesses; debt instruments; mergers and acquisitions (appraisal rights, breach of fiduciary duty, and fairness opinions); equity and debt security valuations for estates; equity and debt security valuations for gift tax purposes (business succession planning), family limited partnerships and holding companies, economic damages claims, restricted stock and blockage discount analysis, and ESOP formation and adequate consideration.

Sam has prepared these valuation and economic analyses for the following purposes: litigation (breach of fiduciary duty, adequate consideration for disputed mergers and acquisitions in Delaware Chancery Court and other state courts, federal tax disputes, trust disputes, forensic analysis, economic damages, and dispute resolution), taxation planning and compliance (federal income, gift, and estate tax), fairness opinions for transactions, transaction pricing and structuring, ESOP transactions and annual ESOP valuation updates, and personal goodwill calculations for transactions.

Sam has valued the following types of business entities and securities: privately held business enterprises, fractional ownership interests in privately held businesses, publicly traded securities, multiple classes of preferred and common stock in complex capital structures, and interest-bearing debt instruments.

He has performed business valuations, economic analyses, and financial advisory services for clients in the following industries, among others: industrial (capital equipment manufacturing, defense and aerospace prime contractors and subcontractors, aircraft MRO services, chemical manufacturing, engineering and construction services, road and highway paving services, electrical transmission and distribution equipment, agricultural equipment, construction and earth moving equipment, pollution control equipment); transportation (trucking, maritime ports, barge services, self-driving vehicles, cruise ship chandlers); basic materials (sand and gravel mining for construction, chemicals, metals fabrication, polymer products, cement and asphalt producers); agricultural (timberland and sawmills, fruit and vegetable wholesale, poultry processing and wholesale, automated inspection system manufacturers for quality control); energy (refiners, electrical transmission and distribution equipment, oil and gas exploration and production platforms and equipment, and pipeline construction and maintenance); financial (savings and loan banks, investment managers including hedge funds and mutual fund companies, insurance subrogation); real estate (real estate holding companies); healthcare (biotech and diagnostics); consumer discretionary (automobile dealerships, national fast-casual and full-service restaurant chains, leisure product manufacturers, cosmetics wholesale, event planning, educational services); and consumer staples (funeral homes).

Sam has significant experience in many areas of business valuation. He previously served for 12 years as an investment research analyst with both investment banks and investment managers, for 3 years as a venture capital associate, and has been a professor of investment banking since 2012 for the Investment Banking Institute teaching live, in-person courses for class sizes averaging 15 students. As an investment research analyst, Sam served both as a generalist analyzing publicly traded companies in all sectors, and as a sector expert focused on the industrial and life sciences sectors. As a venture capital associate, Sam performed research and valuations of prospective investments in early stage private companies, monitored existing holdings, performed debt recapitalizations structured transactions of limited partnership interests, and assisted with fund accounting.

Previous Experience

Sam has worked in the financial sector since 1989. Prior to joining Willamette Management Associates, Sam was a buyside investment research analyst at Carret Asset Management (founded by an early pioneer in value investing), a senior research analyst and director of research at W. Quillen Securities, an associate research analyst at Gerard Klauer Mattison (now part of Bank of Montreal), and a venture capital associate at Rockefeller & Company and Wolfensohn Partners. Sam wrote hundreds of research reports disseminated to institutional investors through Thomson/Reuters, and has been interviewed on Bloomberg live TV.


Master of Business Administration, finance, Yale School of Management

Bachelor of Arts, government, Hamilton College


Professional Designations & Affiliations

Sam is an accredited senior appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers ("ASA") in business valuation.

Sam is a member of the National Center for Employee Ownership ("NCEO").

For a detailed curriculum vitae, please contact Sam Nicholls.

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