Lee Helman

Managing Director

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About

Lee has over 25 years of global M&A experience, almost all of which has been spent in the Consumer & Retail industry. Lee is responsible for leading Financo’s activities in the e-commerce, direct-to-consumer and Home Furnishings & Décor sectors. He is also the Head of Financo’s broker-dealer practice. Additionally, Lee was named one of Investment Dealer Digest’s Top 40 under 40.

Prior to joining Financo, Lee held a number of roles at consumer-oriented businesses, including the position of CFO at Polo Jeans Company. Lee received an MBA from the Questrom Graduate School of Business at Boston University and a BA in English from Tufts University, where he was a member of the Men’s NCAA Tennis Team. He currently serves on the Children’s Health Board at Columbia University Medical Center, and he is a charter member of the Advisory Board of the Tufts Financial Network.

What drives your passion for direct-to-consumer and home furnishings?

I love DTC businesses because they marry the left and right brain strengths – the highly analytical, data-intensity plus the creativity of developing new products, business models and technologies. I marvel at entrepreneurs’ abilities to create products and incorporate design, which is why I love the home furnishings sector. The most compelling element of DTC is that data doesn’t lie. A marketer does not need to make guesses; great DTC businesses know how to mine data to inform decision-making and manage risk. The most exciting part of my job is seeing innovation and the rapid rate of change and consumer adoption. Trying to unearth what might be the next BIG idea in business models or consumer concepts, and helping to make it happen, is exhilarating.

What is one thing you wish people knew about you?

I was a competitively ranked tennis player at the junior level and in college. I had great fun playing in national father/son doubles tournaments.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

I’ve been really lucky to receive a lot of good advice. The best was that my integrity is something I need to protect and cannot afford to compromise. And from my best friend, I learned the importance of always being positive.

Where can we find you when you’re outside the office?

I can often be found in the American Airlines Admirals Club. And when I’m not on the road, I enjoy secret-shopping with my wife (she’s a great brand scout), attending my daughter’s performances, enjoying my two sons’ athletic and technology exploits and rooting for the Red Sox (which isn’t easy to do in New York).

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