As Portfolio Operating Partner for the Gladstone Companies (an investment firm with over $1B invested in 60+ businesses), Lud Kimbrough led or advised businesses in diverse industry sectors, including marketing, aerospace tooling, cryogenics equipment, outdoor advertising, and cable television. Tasked with business restructuring in some cases and ongoing leadership as CEO or Board Member in others, Lud quickly rationalized product mix and fine-tuned management teams, improved communications and morale, and led strategy development to maximize value and clarify goals and objectives.
As CEO for a healthcare marketing company, Lud grew core business by 33% and exited or outsourced non-core segments, established multiple strategic partnerships, and stabilized the previously volatile workforce. As Board Chairman of a steel stamping company, he transitioned the family-owned business to professional leadership, resulting in EBITDA margin improvement of 450 basis points and a 50% reduction in safety incidents. In Corporate Development and Investment Banking roles, Lud led business spin-off and sales processes in a variety of manufacturing industries. And as an entrepreneur and consultant in process optimization, he improved product mix and profitability in industries such as pulp & paper, aggregates, and plastics extrusion, while leading the creation of a corollary practice at a big five accounting firm.
Channeling his love of sailboat racing to help cure blood cancers, Lud has led the Southern Chesapeake Leukemia Cup Regatta, a fundraising event benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, for almost 20 years. During this time, over $2MM has been raised for the Society by this event.
Lud also serves as President of the Community Association of Deltaville, VA, providing recreational, athletic, and social opportunities in this rural community.
Why Fahrenheit Advisors?
In various roles prior to his joining Fahrenheit, Lud worked with The Fahrenheit Group on a number of occasions to quickly solve fundamental problems at companies where Lud was engaged. Frequently the same symptoms appeared: a successful entrepreneur grew his business without sufficient attention to the role of finance or the importance of compliance requirements. The Fahrenheit team was invaluable at resolving these issues so the larger goals of growth or exit could be achieved.
In early 2017 Fahrenheit set out to assemble a full metal jacket of expertise for middle market leadership. The Advisory team is now staffed with deep senior-level experience, including corporate finance and operations, executive coaching, strategy development, and transaction management, fully complementing the services provided by Lud. Seeing the unmatched value Fahrenheit provides to investors, lenders, and owners of middle market companies, Lud eagerly joined the team.
- Interim leadership and guidance during executive transition or restructure
- Executive advisory and Board of Directors’ service
- Strategy development and execution
- Healthcare marketing
- Organizational health
- Gladstone Capital Corp. & Gladstone Investment Corp.
- Edge Adhesives, Inc.
- Stellar Outdoor (now Lamar Advertising)
- Defiance Industries
- MeadWestvaco Corp. (now WestRock)
- Georgia-Pacific Corporation, div. Koch Industries
- Tufts University — BS, BA
- Virginia Commonwealth University — MBA
- US Sailing — Certified Club Race Officer