Honoree: Phillip J. Ahn
CFO and COO
B. Riley Financial Inc.
Phillip (Phil) Ahn began his tenure with B. Riley Financial in 2010 as senior vice president of strategy and corporate development of its Great American Group affiliate. He was appointed CFO and COO in 2013. B. Riley merged with Great American Group to become a publicly traded company in 2014. Since then, Ahn has played a pivotal role in a series of transformational transactions that have meaningfully enhanced the B. Riley Financial platform.
Acquisitions completed since 2015 include but are not limited to Friedman, Billings, and Ramsey (2017); Wunderlich Securities (2017); GlassRatner (2018); National Holdings (2021) and FocalPoint Securities (2022), in addition to principal investment companies, United Online (2016) and magicJack (2020).
What was once a 200-person boutique brokerage and specialty finance firm serving the Southern California market is today a 2,000-person strong, diversified financial services platform operating in over 75 corporate facilities and serving thousands of stakeholders across the U.S. and internationally.
When B. Riley went public in 2014, the company consisted of two cyclical subsidiaries, including B. Riley Securities, which Ahn helped expand through acquisitions. Since that time, B. Riley has added to its collection of operating companies by purchasing four telecom and communication assets, two wealth management businesses, a forensic accounting litigation support restructuring business, a portfolio of retail brand licenses, a loan receivables portfolio and several smaller complementary assets.
All these purchases were opportunistic and share the common characteristic of being cash flow generative and mostly uncorrelated assets, which was by design. In addition, Ahn helped oversee how the company used its cash and investments of over $2 billion to create an investment portfolio that consists of public and private debt, equity securities, and businesses with deep conviction in capital appreciation and medium-to-long-term investment horizons.
Ahn’s role has proved critical in driving the company’s record financial performance during his nearly decadelong tenure as CFO of B. Riley.