Managing Risk with Military Precision EP07

Exploring the arc of a leader can tell you a lot about how they choose to lead in their career and in life. In this episode, I am joined by Colin Keefe, a mergers and acquisitions attorney and Shareholder at Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba. Colin represents sellers in eight- and nine-figure strategic and private equity transactions with national and international buyers. Together, we explore our military backgrounds that surprisingly intersected and how Colin’s experience in the Marines gives him a unique perspective in high-risk negotiations and business transactions.

In this episode, we explore:

  • How a poor first attempt at college resulted in what would become valuable experience in the military.
  • Re-entering society and college as a civilian and the challenges faced in that transition.
  • Applying the dedication and work ethic of the military to a successful second chance at college.
  • The inspiration family has on our career choices and the footsteps we follow.
  • Overcoming and “unlearning” certain things after serving active duty.
  • Experience at a large Manhattan law firm that shaped a niche career in mergers and acquisitions work and how it all translates into a successful career in the Lehigh Valley.
  • What it’s like working in the Lehigh Valley and what makes it an ideal region for M&A work.
  • Effects of the pandemic on M&A and how the stimulus helped sustain business.
  • Expected growth in the M&A space in 2021 as life returns to “normal”.
  • An introduction to M&A transactions and the difference between private equity and strategic buyers as well as platform companies and roll-ups that bridge the gap.
  • Explore the mind of a business owner and how they can “tell their story”, including their experience through the pandemic, when presenting a business for sale.
  • Lifestyle mindset vs. enterprise mindset and how how to succeed in the future.
  • Behavioral and emotional roadblocks experienced by sellers that can kill a deal.
  • Taking a wholistic view of a business transaction, beyond the perception of losing control.
  • Role of a lawyer in an M&A transaction and attempting to control the allocation of risk.

Colin also shares his passion for supporting veterans in need through his service to Victory House, an organization dedicated to providing local homeless veterans and homeless men with opportunities to transition to independent affordable housing and to begin new lives. For more information visit

Learn more about Colin and his firm at

Connect with Dennis on LinkedIn or email [email protected]. To learn more about Dennis and his team, visit