non-profit social services corporation

$7M Revenue

Company Overview

The Agency is a not-for-profit social services agency providing the full spectrum of care for emotionally troubled youth, with a state-of-the-art residential facility in the Midwest.   The Agency had $10 million municipal bond debt related to facility construction.

The Agency’s license was suspended for five months due to several incidents. A new management team was put in place and an approved corrective plan was implemented. However, during and after the suspension, revenue declined dramatically and the Agency incurred losses of $250,000 per month (funded from cash reserves), and the agency defaulted on its municipal bond debt.

Engagement Overview

Management and the Board of Directors decided to hire a financial advisor to assist in negotiating with its lender/bond underwriter, who was pressuring the Agency to use its cash reserves to pay down debt.

Fort Dearborn Partners was retained to develop a plan to return the Agency to positive cash flow, monitor plan implementation, and assist with lender negotiations. Working closely with management and the Board, FDP:

–Challenged the Agency to eliminate non-core service offerings and focus on its core competency - residential care;

–Convened a series of meetings with senior management  to redefine staffing models;

–Convinced the Board to sell non-core assets - primarily real estate, to further pay down debt;

–Implemented cost cutting initiatives, including headcount reduction, increased employee medical premium contributions, contract renegotiations for healthcare, facility maintenance,  etc.;

–Encouraged management to challenge the State agencies when they reduced reimbursement rates; and

–Imparted a stronger sense of urgency to the Board that did not fully grasp the magnitude of the situation.


FDP was able to negotiate the cancellation of the bonds and restructuring of the debt to provide for short term liquidity needs, as well as facilitate the turnaround and significant debt forgiveness.

After implementing the plan developed by Fort Dearborn, the Agency has now returned to consistently positive cash flow.

FDP News

Oct - 23

Max Bechtel and Austin Curtis join Fort Dearborn Partners

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Fort Dearborn Team, Max Bechtel and Austin Curtis.

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Apr - 23

Fort Dearborn advises Reliable Knitting Works

Fort Dearborn Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor for the refinancing of Reliable Knitting Works, a $125 Million Wisconsin-based Company.

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