Schwartz Heslin Group, Inc.
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Rai Archibold featured in the Albany Business Review.

  • Posted By: Mary Anne Syden

Raimundo Archibold of Schwartz Hesltn Group says moving to the Albany, NY area was a good idea- Albany Business Review

Raimundo. Archibold moved to the Albany area from New York City eight years ago. It was during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, and the investment banking firm he was working with in Manhattan was struggling. Archibold said he saw all of the progress happening in Albany with GlobalFoundries, and wanted to be a part of it.

Today, Archibold is the co-managing director of Schwartz Heslin Group. The investment banking firm works with small- and medium-sized businesses on management consulting and strategic planning, valuations for businesse1sand mergers and acquisitions,

Where did you grow up? I was born in New York. My parents had immigrated here from Panama. We spent the first few years in New York City. When I was 9 years old, my family moved to central New Jersey near the Jersey shore and I spent my teenage years there.

Where did you go to college? I went to college in Dayton, Ohio, to study accounting and finance. I came back and started working for a bank in Princeton, New Jersey, and have been in banking ever since.

How did  you  get into banking? I've always been Interested in banking because I read a lot of history, about the Rothschild family in particular, and always found it fascinating. I had an aptitude for math, which made accounting a good career and I saw accounting as a path toward banking.

 What was your first job growing up? My first, where I actually collected a paycheck, was working at a place called Two Guys. It was a discount department store. I worked in what would be their cafeteria as a short order cook. I did that for summers for about two or three years.

 What did you learn from that experience? That I didn't want to be a short order cook. Actually, you do learn how to deal with people. There's a lot of interaction with people all day. I've never been a particularly open person, so that was my first experience interacting with people outside of my family.

 What was your first job in banking? I worked for a bank called United Jersey Banks, which is now part of Bank of America. I worked in the financial reporting area, so I did all of the bank consolidations. This was 1980, so everything was done on green ledger paper. We were a 13-bank holding company. I did the financial reporting, the consolidations and all of the SEC reporting for the holding company,

 When did  you  come  to  Albany?  I came  to  Albany  in 2009  during the  midst  of the financial  crisis. There  were  a number  of reasons,  but during the  crisis,  the firm I was with at  the time had  been struggling,  and it has since collapsed. Looking up here, I saw all that was going on with GlobalFoundrles and felt like this would be a growth opportunity, and certainly a growth opportunity from -a career perspective. I've had some successes professionally here , and have gotten to know the community very well It's been  a good move,

Tell me about your role with Schwartz Heslin Group. Myself and Cory Martin are the co-managing partners  of  the firm.  We had bought out the founder, Bob Schwartz, and other shareholders a little over two years  ago. We work with  a lot of smaller, middle· sized companies, so I've become familiar with how to manage them. Previously I was working with much larger companies and it wasn't the same sense of what does it mean to be a business owner. We have three practice areas: management consulting and strategicplanning, valuations for businesses, and mergers and acquisitions.

What type of industries does the firm mostly work with? We deal mostly with family· and founder,owned, closely held businesses in various sectors. We do a fair amount in manufacturing, technology and information services space, and also do a fair amount in alternative energy, clean tech and sustainability. You're just at a point now, following the recession, where people are willing to be more positive about their business and are investing in their business for growth.

 How large is the business? We are 23 professionals, with people fn London, Zurich, Mumbai, Califomia, central New York, Hartford, Connecticut, the Hudson Valley, Florida and our global headquarters in Latham. About 20 percent of the business is in Europe, 30 percent is  in  Capital Region, and the remaining 50 percent is the rest of North America. We're not limited by geography. We've done business  in  28 states and 13 countries.

 You've lived in the Albany area for eight years now. What does the area need that it  doesn't have now? More inyestment in public transportation, especially as you see more young people move into the urban areas. Getting around without a car, either having Uber or more robust public infrastructure, would be a big help for the region. It would help people who are living here, and people who are looking to move here.