Tribute to Shannon Pratt
With sadness, we announce that Shannon Pratt passed away last weekend. He leaves an astounding legacy having pioneered the global business valuation profession over many decades of his career. From his career teaching and publishing ground-breaking academic research, he generously shared his knowledge. He thrived in professional practice. He authored the framework for the business valuation body of knowledge. He championed professional standards. He was an ardent ambassador to regulatory and accrediting bodies, professional associations, the business community, and the courts. He was a witty and charming intellect who taught and lectured with passion. He inspired countless lives.
NACVA will celebrate Shannon’s legacy in the coming weeks and months.
Below are some accolades from individuals who cherish the impact Shannon had on their lives and careers.
“Shannon Pratt is doubtless the most well-known name in the history of our profession. I can’t imagine anyone who has not heard of Dr. Pratt. I was so saddened to hear of Dr. Pratt’s passing this weekend.
I was honored to know Dr. Pratt for many years. Of course, my first introduction to Dr. Pratt was through his brilliant books, including five revisions of Valuing a Business. Recently, I had the honor of reviewing and commenting on VAB6, a major revision of Pratt’s classic and indispensable text.
Dr. Pratt’s reputation and honors need no repeating from me. What I cherish and will always remember are the times we worked together. As IRS Program Manager, I was so fortunate to work with him as an expert witness for the government. Dr. Pratt had no equal. In recent years, as a consultant, I convinced many clients to engage him to assist on their IRS valuation controversies. In every single case, Dr. Pratt was able to turn the tide. Several years ago, Dr. Pratt invited me to his office in Oregon to lead a review of the firm’s operations. Over lunch and dinner he was so kind to share stories going back to the beginning days of the profession. Dr. Pratt was one of the first in the country to become accredited in business appraisal review, and later taught several sessions, to the utter delight of the participants. Wherever he participated on a conference panel discussion, it was guaranteed standing room only.
Dr. Pratt will never be replaced, but he will linger forever in our memories. I cherish my times with him. We will all miss him dearly.”
Howard Lewis, National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)
“Sadly, our business valuation community lost a great leader over the weekend, Shannon Pratt. Shannon was unique in our community as a prolific author, a consummate businessman, a formidable testifying expert, and an accomplished speaker. Shannon authored dozens of essential business valuation books such as Valuing a Business, Cost of Capital, Business Valuation Discounts and Premiums, and The Market Approach in Valuing Businesses. As a businessman, Mr. Pratt founded Business Valuation Resources in 1995, a company that prides itself still to this day as a resource for unimpeachable valuation intelligence such as the DealStats database (formerly Pratt’s Stats) and the monthly Business Valuation Update. I recall going through the NACVA training program in the 1990s and one of my instructors said, “Dr. Pratt is the Godfather of business valuation, and if you want a good book, get Shannon’s Valuing a Business. I did, and at that time, the third edition was hot off the presses. It wasn’t until I was an NACVA EAB board member that I got to meet Shannon when NACVA presented him with the Magna Cum Laude in Business Appraisal award. We spoke backstage before he was to receive the award. It was speaking with Shannon that inspired me to look beyond my practice and put energy into contributing back to the business valuation community as an instructor, presenter, and author myself. When I think back on Shannon, I am honored to have been able to learn from him, read his works, and to teach beside him.”
Lari Masten, Masten Valuation
“This news makes me very sad. Shannon provided the foundation for the successful business valuation product program at Wiley & Sons. It was always a pleasure working with Shannon and I learned a great deal from him.”
John DeRemigis, Senior Editor to NACVA’s QuickRead
“Shannon merits abundant personal and professional accolades. But what stands out among his attributes are the extraordinary ways that he impacted SO MANY LIVES! His teachings and writings are genuinely foundational to nearly every facet of our economy. Thus, his contributions cannot be overstated. Thank you, Shannon! We will see you on the other side!”
Darrell D. Dorrell, financialforensics®
"He was a legend in the business valuation community. His books became essential tools for many in the field; they sit on our shelves today. Glad to have met and learned from him."
Kevin Couillard, FairValue Advisors, LLC
“There are two stories that I remember most about Shannon Pratt.
Years ago, Shannon and Jay Fishman were my instructors for ASA BV204-Advanced Topics in Business Valuation that I attended in the process of obtaining my ASA credential. Jay loved to play tricks on Shannon. Shannon would always have marketing materials available for his books and other personal literature with him. During the training program, Shannon had left the room, and Jay decided to take all of Shannon’s marketing materials and place them in the wastepaper basket next to the door of the room. He wanted to see Shannon’s reaction to seeing all his marketing materials in the waste basket. The look on Shannon’s face was “priceless” when he returned, and he knew right away that it must have been Jay that did it. Shannon had such a good nature to his personality.
Several years later, I was a member of the Business Valuation Committee of the Utah Association of CPAs that was responsible for obtaining speakers for the Annual UACPA Business Valuation Conference. I asked Shannon to speak at our conference. He was more than happy to accept. Many business appraisers may not be aware that Shannon loved model trains, and he had an elaborate model train set at his home. Prior to the Annual Conference, I had heard that a huge layout of a model train set had been put together at Thanksgiving Point, Utah. I thought Shannon would have a kick out of seeing it. Unfortunately, it had been taken down just before the Annual Conference. However, what was more interesting was that when I contacted the individual responsible for building the model train set, I found out that that he knew Shannon Pratt by name. In fact, he told me that he helped build Shannon’s model train set layout at his home. It was a great reunion for both of them, and he was able to take Shannon to visit some model train stores and meet other model train lovers here in Utah.
It is the personal touches when meeting Shannon that you remember the most.”
Carl Steffen, WSRP CPAs and Business Advisors
"He mentored so many of us and told great stories. A fun guy to be around and he will be missed. Great person all around and a great thought leader."
Hubert Klein, Eisner Advisory Group LLC
“Shannon Pratt was recognized worldwide as an authority on business valuation. His books were well known in Europe. I was privileged to hear Shannon speak at several NACVA annual conferences. His deep and confidence-inspiring voice will remain in my memory.”
Andreas Cretuzmann, European Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (EACVA)
“Rarely do you see someone who can simplify very complex valuation concepts as effectively as Pratt. I have a massive library of his work saved to my computer at all times that I refer back to anytime I draft a valuation related article, standard interpretation, or expert report.”
C. Zachary Meyers, C. Zachary Meyers PLLC
“Such a great man who made a huge impact on the valuation community. I was blessed and honored to know Shannon throughout my career. He will be truly missed. RIP Shannon.”
Pam Bailey, Retired Executive Director, National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)
“I was fortunate enough to sit on a panel with the late, great Shannon Pratt—and I was awestruck by his humble demeanor and willingness to answer everyone’s questions, even when there was a line out the door. Everyone wanted to be in his presence, mostly to show their appreciation and gratitude. He paved the way for many of us to have amazing careers in business valuation and I will be forever grateful for his contribution as a pioneer in the industry.”
Melissa Gragg, Bridge Valuation
“Mr. Pratt was an inspiration and a pioneer in the industry. His willingness to assist and encourage the next generation of mavericks will be deeply missed.”
Rebecca Robinson Davis, Practice Sales Advisors
“Mr. Pratt was a legend in the valuation community. We lost an amazing individual who guided the less experienced and the veterans. Our community is smaller without his contributions. ‘May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back.’"
Paul Weisinger, Rea & Associates
“Thanks to Shannon Pratt directly coaching me and my studying of his how-to-materials, I started and ran a highly successful, national, small and midsize businesses valuation firm, Business Valuation Network, for 20-years. I doubt I could have succeeded without his direction.”
Ted J. Leverette, “Partner” On-Call® Network LLC
"My sympathies to those closest to Shannon. What a great leader and such a genuinely good person. Shannon added so much to our industry in terms of rigor, technical knowledge, and professional literature. He will be missed, but he leaves a most impressive legacy."
David Witherspoon, KatzAbosch™
"The first time I presented for NACVA, Shannon was in my audience. He made me feel special and welcomed. Our profession owes him a great debt of gratitude. Let’s all honor him by upholding the principles that he taught and applied in his work."
Greg Reagan, Reagan FVL, LLC
"He is the reason I pursued the Certified Business Appraiser (CBA) designation. I am grateful for him and his work. Reading his texts got me through some tough projects. Thanks, Professor!"
Christopher Majdi, Healthcare Consultant
"I had the opportunity to meet Shannon Pratt several times over the years. He was always bigger than life and an icon in the industry he loved so much. He will always be part of the people he so kindly touched. His influence in the industry will live forever through all of us. Rest my friend, you have earned it."
Mark Kucik, The Kucik Valuation Group LLC
"I had the opportunity to meet Shannon Pratt several times and the most memorable was the induction of the twelve initial Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor honorees. I was fortunate to be part of the initial twelve individuals inducted by AMAA as Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisors. I was humbled in the presence of notable M&A experts and impressed how honored Shannon Pratt was receiving the initial honorary certification. Shannon is and always will be an icon in our industry and he was always open to share his knowledge and experience with us. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Shannon Pratt. Thank you for this opportunity to share this experience impacting my career."
Garth M. Tebay, Value Defined
“’Hi, I'm Shannon Pratt.’ That's how I met him for the first time outside the door to the classroom where he was the instructor for one of my first courses in BV with the AICPA. I had no idea at the time who he was, but I was immediately struck by his approachable and likeable demeanor. And went on to develop a relationship in which he continued to advise and inspire me for the next 20 years. One of the few amazing men I've had the pleasure of knowing in my lifetime. His greatness was only surpassed by his humility and willingness to serve his profession. He, along with Ray Miles, were the true pioneers of our profession. He has earned his peace with his maker. I am grateful for his presence in my life.”
Thomas Kalajian, Provident Professional Services, Inc.