Margulis/9 inches/LK1st/mark2nd

Marc Margulis

Managing Director

Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin

Specialty: Corporate valuation

To hear Marc Margulis tell it, accountants who spend too much time huddled over their spreadsheets are simply not doing their jobs.

That's because to truly understand the value of an asset, an accountant must look at it in a real-world context, says Margulis, the managing director in the valuation unit of the Century City-based investment firm Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin.

"There is a point where the science (of accounting) ends and the experience begins," he says. "So the more real-world experience you have, the better."

Margulis, 51, certainly has plenty of that. An investment banker who over the years has represented both buyers and sellers in M & A; transactions, he is Houlihan Lokey's leading expert court witness. Both experiences, he believes, have served only to hone his valuation skills.

"There is no forum more challenging for an expert than a courtroom you have to convince both judge and jury," he says. "It doesn't matter if you think the valuation is correct if you can't convince others that you are right."

Margulis also serves as Houlihan Lokey's West Coast director of health care practice and helped put together Cedars-Sinai Medical Group's acquisition of the Medical Group of Beverly Hills and the Greater Valley Medical Group, among others.

"He is very bright, shrewd, able to see the issues," says Ross Stromberg, a partner at the law firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, who has worked with Margulis on half a dozen health care deals. "He's a cut above the crowd. It really does boil down to creativity and imagination."

This year, Margulis has been spending time in South Korea, advising banks in that country on restructuring and mergers and acquisitions.

If Margulis believes in real-world experience in his accounting practice, he also values it when it comes to leisure time. During the winter, he is an avid snowboarder. In the summer months, he prefers tooling around on his custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

"When I turned 40, I decided I needed a mid-life event," he said. "Not a crisis, just an event. So I went out and bought a Harley."

--Jason Booth

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