James C. Bly, Jr.

James C. Bly, Jr.

Co-Founder, Principal & Chairman Emeritus
but inactive on the FODIS BOD or operations while employed as an Executive Director at EY

James C. Bly, Jr. has over 30 years of experience working with business owning family offices and families on direct investment matters related to growing larger, more valuable businesses; financing the growth of privately-owned companies while maintaining family capital; completing generational transitions of operating businesses; and designing and implementing shareholder liquidity plans.

James C. Bly, Jr. is a Co-Founder, Principal and Chairman Emeritus of FODIS. He previously served as the Chairman and CEO of HWSC, a multi-disciplinary professional services firm that Mr. Bly co-founded in 1982. Mr. Bly had been responsible for the overall strategic direction and leadership of HWSC, and for managing its Family Office Direct Investment Services (FODIS) Division. HWSC specialized in serving Business Owning Families and Family Offices, which own upper middle market companies or complex portfolios of operating businesses or operating assets. Most of HWSC's clients were second through seventh generation family-controlled business enterprises. The FODIS division of HWSC was merged with the direct investment services division of de Visscher & Co to form FODIS.

Mr. Bly is experienced with developing and implementing growth strategies; financial structuring for debt, mezzanine and equity capital private placements; developing structures and processes to support generational business transitions, and designing and funding shareholder liquidity solutions. During his career, Mr. Bly has personally advised the principal owners of hundreds of medium-sized businesses, in a wide range of industries, on numerous business wealth building or transition transactions valued in excess of $10 billion.

Mr. Bly also co-founded in 2003 with Francois de Visscher the Business Growth Alliance, LLC (BGA), a subsidiary of HWSC, that organized a carefully selected international group of professional services firms, which serve as subcontractors on matters relating to corporate development and performance improvement initiatives for private companies. Today, Mr. Bly is the Chairman Emeritus of BGA.

Mr. Bly is an Executive Director of EY's Family Enterprise Business Services (FEBS) national practice, which EY acquired from HWSC in 2017. Mr. Bly was a founder of HWSC in 1982 and served as its CEO for over 20 years.

Mr. Bly has served as a Trustee, Director, Committee Member, or Advisory Board Member to various family offices, business holding companies, client owned corporations, and business owning estates. Mr. Bly has either chaired or served on Finance, Investment, Risk Management, or Nominating and Governance Committees of the boards of various multi-generational family businesses.

Mr. Bly graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1973. He has been certified in mergers and acquisitions (CMAA) by the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisition Advisors and earned a Certificate in Financial Planning from the American College. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Alliance of Mergers and Acquisition Advisors. He has attained listing in Who's Who in Finance and Industry, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World. He is a member of Rolling Rock Club, Allegheny Country Club, The Duquesne Club and Stonedale Guns. Mr. Bly resides in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.


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