Norwest Equity Partners

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Norwest Equity Partners: A full-fledged Scandal!

Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) is a leading middle market private equity firm that manages $4.6 billion of capital through a series of equity and mezzanine funds. Timothy DeVries is a managing partner of Norwest Equity Partners. As the largest and oldest private equity firm in the Upper Midwest and to become the industry leaders, NEP’s investment philosophy primarily lies in partnering with business owners and management teams. NEP seeks equity investment opportunities ranging from $ 25 million to $150 million through recapitalizations, group financings, and management buyouts. It is said that the firm is regarded as a value investor that takes a long-term view of the companies in which it invests. Faegre and Benson have provided legal services to NEP for more than 40 years and has assisted the firm with numerous key investments namely Jacobson companies, Becker Underwood, Lifetime Fitness, etc. Mergers and Acquisitions can build your company’s value overnight but at the same time business email compromise (BEC) and data breaches can tear it down just as quickly. And this is what Norwest Equity Partners were into. I being one of the victims. 

Being a new entrepreneur, I had no knowledge of financing. I have a total experience of 8 years working as a fitness enthusiast and professional. Initially, I thought that the finances would be entirely covered by me but I was wrong . I opted for Norwest Equity Partners regarded as value investors and till date I regret that I should have been little more cautious in choosing the right partner. I curse them for what they did to me. I lost my $50k with these sharks. I recently gave only a deposit before becoming uncomfortable and deciding to switch gears and find someone else to market my business. After hearing this, one of my friends asked what made me write a cheque on the spot!? Really, Why didn’t this question come to me at that moment! I told him it all began by attending the seminar that was run by a very high-pressured sales people. It wasn’t just that. They made themselves look like a big organization by having an attorney, accountant, an appraiser as part of the team. In exchange for the deposits, I was supposed to receive an appraisal of my business and patents. Weeks went on and on and I received nothing. After weeks, I called the affiliate company who was supposed to be doing the appraisal. They would not answer my calls or my emails. The broker did, however, ask for more money; luckily I refused then and there! I was literally scammed by these sharks and these Equity Partners must be jailed for their wrongdoings. 

Wells Fargo Scandals 

Wells Fargo was created by a merger of large super-regional banks. In 1998, Wells Fargo merged with Norwest Corps after a half of steady growth. 

In Feb’2018, Due to Wells Fargo ‘s “widespread consumer abuses”the federal imposed a cap on its assets. The cap is expected to stay in place through the end of 2019 till the bank corrects issues. Here is the long list of company scandals:

As revealed by LA times in December 2013, some fake accounts and credit cards had been opened up by bank employees who were desperate in meeting their sales quota. At that time, Wells Fargo had denied the claims. Later after 3 years in 2016, the company then admitted that around 4 million unwanted accounts were opened. Who according to you was benefitted the most!? 

Here’s what exactly had happened: In order to get bonuses, Wells Fargo employees needed to hit huge sales goals that many felt were unreal and wary. Instead of finding real customers, some employees just created accounts in the existing names of company’s customers. They even used fake email accounts and PIN numbers to sign them up seemingly hoping no one would take a glance.  Small amounts of money were transferred to these accounts to make them look realistic. Needless to say this was the most dreadful experience and people were not atall happy, and thus Wells Fargo lost the trust which it had spent years building up. Later on, Wells Fargo promised to refund customers who underwent improper fees as a result of such business practice. The company had its CEO step down and fired around 5000 employees. According to New York Times, its claimed to pay around $2 billion in penalties to federal and state authorities and around $600 million in resolving lawsuits from customers and shareholders. In the month of April 2018, it was announced that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Controller of the Currency fined Wells Fargo a $ 1 billion for its mistreatment of its mortgage consumers and auto loans. In August 2018, Wells Fargo paid a penalty of $2 billion for allegedly misrepresenting the quality of residential mortgage loans. Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloans had faced the pressure to resign from the regulators and critics and the day came when he stepped down unexpectedly in March 2019.  

Such cybercriminals follow the money and exploit change in the organization. Unfortunately the security risks associated with mergers and acquisitions keep on going even when the deal is usually complete. They start before the deal is planned and lasts for years after it closes. Without due diligence around cybersecurity, you can end up buying problems that cause financial losses, loss of trust, brand damage, etc.`Cybersecurity Failures can cost your company now and later on as well.

There are these steps to consider to avoid Norwest Equity Partners scandal:

  1. Adhere to the standard due diligence process.
  2. To perform background checks on employee personnels.
  3. Look for evidence of an anti-fraud program. To obtain investigative reports of prior allegations of abuse and fraud and understand the report findings.
  4. Evaluate the organizations third parties including attorneys, accountants and other advisors.

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