In 1896, American Appraisal was founded in response to the emergent need for tangible asset valuations within the manufacturing sector. Each decade thereafter gave riseto new challenges that necessitated the evolution of services.
However, over the past 20 years, we have seen a confluence of seismic events that has affected the valuation profession more than any other period in our history…
The Internet went public, changing the economic/business paradigm as profoundly as the emergence of the railroad.
The global economy was born, precipitating deindustrialization of Western economies, multinational vertical integration and emergence of the BRIC markets.
The regulatory tidal wave hit—Sarbanes- Oxley gave rise to SFAS 141 and 142, which were superseded by 141R and/or augmented by 157 and then by the Accounting Standards Codification. In addition, IFRS emerged and gradually replaced or converged with GAAP in many nations.
Leading the profession
American Appraisal has dedicated itself to remaining at the forefront of the valuation profession. Every day, our commitment is reflected by our passion to lead the profession from the podium, in print and through significant participation in many of our profession’s governing bodies and associations.
Thinking before we act
We differ from firms that think they know the answer before the consulting process begins. Given the changes in technology and the shifts in our global economy, there are no longer absolute answers in our profession. That is why American Appraisal explores value from every angle. Lively debate is commonplace here, from Shanghai to Mumbai to Milan.
Performing with passion
We think talent helps, but it will never take you as far as passion. American Appraisal was built on the premise that if you hire talented people with the ambition to rise to the top of their profession, everyone wins.
We invite you to discover the American Appraisal difference...
We believe there is a world of difference between being global and acting global. We call it “glocal.” Our Consultants are native born and understand the regional market forces that can greatly influence value. Their familiarity with cultural norms ensures that relevant local factors are adequately considered.
Strategically situated throughout the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, our offices are staffed with our own full-time Consultants - shareholder employees dedicated exclusively to valuation and related services. This dedicated local market presence combined with American Appraisal’s unique corporate structure facilitates a nimble response to global assignments.
In 1902, American Appraisal began to expand its global footprint to ensure that we possessed the local capability to provide service wherever our Clients wanted to do business. For example, we have had continuously operating subsidiaries in Southern Europe for more than 45 years, Asia for 35 years, Western Europe for more than 30 years, and Eastern Europe for nearly 25 years.
Today, approximately 65% of the Firm’s revenue originates from and is earned outside the United States.
A defining trend in valuation today – most notably in the United States – is the shift from tangible to intangible assets. The modern economic landscape is no longer molded solely by physical flows of material assets, but by ever-increasing streams of knowledge, content, images and symbols.
It is estimated that more than 75% of the Fortune 500’s collective balance sheet can be ascribed to intangibles. The standards to improve disclosure relative to these assets continue to develop, as evidenced by the evolution of ASC 805 and ASC 820. These imperatives have companies exploring best practices for analyzing the values of their intangible assets for financial reporting . . . and also relying on American Appraisal to determine the value of intangible assets for reasons that include litigation, licensing, taxation and strategic planning, among others.
American Appraisal has completed thousands of valuations to support ASC 805 purchase price allocations involving intangible assets. We understand how this practice area evolved, as well as its idiosyncrasies and bearing on today’s organizations. We have experience in developing robust and supportable valuations for assets such as proprietary know-how (whether legally protected or trade secrets), contract- and non- contract-based customer relationships, and marketing intangibles (brands inclusive of trade names, logos and trade dress). Noteworthy valuations we have performed include determining the value of Jim Henson’s Muppets; the MCI trademark; Equifax and Whataburger franchise licenses; the intangible value of the Elvis Presley Estate; the rights to use the names and images of NASCAR drivers; player contracts, sponsorship/broadcasting agreements, season ticket holders and stadium rights of Manchester United and many more.
Marketing-related intangibles trademarks and Internet domain names)
Customer-related intangibles (customer lists)
Artistic-related intangibles (copyrighted literary works and musical compositions)
Contractual intangibles (franchise licenses)
Technological intangibles (software)
Financial reporting has been subject to interpretation and reinterpretation with the SEC, FASB, IASB and PCAOB leading the charge for change. “Reduce complexity, increase overall understandability and compel transparency” is the mantra; convergence of accounting and valuation is the mandate. In recent years, the FASB has undertaken initiatives that have had considerable impact on business combinations and subsequent financial reporting:
Transition from rules-based to principles-based financial statements
Transition from historical, cost-based measurements to fair value-based measurements (ASC 820, formerly SFAS 157)
Convergence of US GAAP with International Accounting Standards
These initiatives are well known within our ranks. We consistently interact with key valuation standard-setting agencies, including the FASB, AITF, IASB, PCAOB, IVSC and ASA. Our professional affiliations have included the Appraisal Issues Task Force, the IVSC and the Appraisal Standards Board (the FASB of our profession).
American Appraisal is the only independent global valuation firm that focuses exclusively on valuation and related services. That greater objectivity is highly valued by our Clients and their audit committees. However, our focus on valuation does not preclude our familiarity with audit and other regulatory standards. We have substantive experience working with each of the Big 4 and other audit firms, and we understand their requirements for analysis and documentation - knowledge that simplifies SOC reviews undertaken by our Clients’ auditors.
Financial Reporting Services
American Appraisal has played a key role in some of the largest financial reporting engagements of recent years, including multibillion-dollar purchase price allocations involving tangible assets and intangible assets as varied as developed intellectual property, IPR&D and earn-out purchase provisions. Our consultants have also assisted in fresh start accounting valuations for diverse companies from telecommunications to global manufacturing, including some of the largest bankruptcies in US history.
Purchase Price Allocation
The changes in accounting for transaction costs, contingent liabilities, earn-outs and IPR&D projects can have significant impact on the financial statements of an acquirer. Regardless of scope and complexity, American Appraisal has been there before.
Since the adoption of ASC 805 (formerly SFAS 141R), we have completed thousands of valuations to support purchase price allocations. Clients know they can rely on American Appraisal to develop a work plan that minimizes management’s workload and administrative burden – without worry and with full confidence that we will deliver a comprehensive, accurate report that meets the documentation standards of their auditors.
Goodwill Impairment Testing
We believe one of the key drivers to successful impairment testing is a profound understanding of our Clients’ industries. That is precisely why we excel in this area. American Appraisal comprises valuation and industry specialists. Our professionals are immersed in the intricacies of their industries; they understand the competitive, technological and regulatory issues our Clients battle daily.
Valuing Share-Based Compensation
The flexible share-based compensation standard in ASC 718 (formerly SFAS 123R) is complex, and choices made can have a significant impact on a company’s financials. There are many assumptions and tough decisions that management must make. Experience— and, to a greater extent, independence—are essential.
American Appraisal approaches every engagement with one goal— minimizing risk and uncertainty. We offer the independence required to ensure the sustainability of conclusions, thereby avoiding the potential for subsequent reclassification of an expense and/or restatement of a company’s operating statements.
American Appraisal employs a diverse global team of tangible asset valuation specialists.
It all started with tangible assets… machinery, equipment, factories, real property and more. The initial engagement undertaken by American Appraisal - the event that essentially created the valuation profession - involved the valuation of the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today, no other firm that practices valuation, in entirety or in part, can match our depth of knowledge and breadth of niche specializations in tangible assets.
Whether our Clients come to us with a single piece of highly specialized medical equipment at a major New York medical center, a massive electric generation plant project in China or a last-of-its kind historic property in Italy, American Appraisal most likely employs a resident expert somewhere in the world. We have offices in major financial cities throughout the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Our Consultants know the lay of their land as well as the economic, taxation and cultural issues that can greatly influence value.
When the Big 4 audit firms lack the resources to undertake the assignment and/or find themselves in a conflict-of- interest situation, they routinely refer their clients to American Appraisal. We are also called upon to perform specialized estate tax planning valuations for Fortune 400 families.
There are no ivory towers here. We offer a multifaceted team approach, drawing on expertise relative to all classifications of tangible assets.
Buyers’ ability to obtain financing will often influence the value of an asset as well as its overall marketability. In times of debt market volatility, many deals are highly scrutinized to ensure the interests of all parties are protected. That’s where American Appraisal comes in. We focus exclusively on valuation services. That independence guarantees our greater objectivity.
Land, Buildings, Machinery & Equipment
“A well-oiled machine” is the term we like to use to describe our valuation practice. Whether you require a high-level sensitivity analysis or a rigorous valuation, American Appraisal can help. We employ a large, diverse team of specialists - professionals who bring an unparalleled combination of engineering, real estate and financial backgrounds to the table.
Everything that has to do with tax has to do with value. Today’s businesses recognize that they must carefully consider their property tax assessments. This is especially critical in light of rapidly moving economic and global forces that are changing the way business is done, how quickly assets gain and lose value, and how much more (or less) assets can be taxed.
American Appraisal is here for you. The interests of taxpayers and taxing authorities can appear to be diametrically opposed, but we frequently demonstrate otherwise. Our impartiality and independence make it possible for both parties to jointly retain us, collectively trusting American Appraisal to provide an objective opinion of a property’s value and, thus, resolve their differences.
Our particular expertise is sought to resolve complex issues of functional and economic obsolescence and/or to determine the value of unique manufacturing facilities.
When examining statements of insurable value, we are amazed by how often the obvious is overlooked.
Manufacturing plants insured on acquisition cost rather than insurable value…obsolete and/or redundant property insured at full replacement cost…historic buildings insured without regard for their unique architectural features…the list goes on and on.
American Appraisal differs from other firms who approach valuation with a fixed notion of what is appropriate. We believe that this is precisely how obvious things are missed. Our Consultants draw from an unrivaled knowledge base built over tens of thousands of engagements to select the valuation methodology that will support a report suitable to your property insurance needs.
American Appraisal is recognized as the consummate thought leader; and is the preferred provider to many of the world’s largest corporations, all levels of government, insurance brokers and underwriters. Our global insurance valuation team comprises more than 200 seasoned professionals. Each year, we inspect and appraise more than 20,000 buildings and value insurable property aggregating hundreds of billions of dollars.
We have handled some of the largest and most extraordinary valuations of the past decades, including 500 buildings for an Ivy League university, some dating back to the early 1700s; more than 30 oil refineries and petrochemical plants in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; historic properties as diverse as Churchill Downs, Union Station (Washington, DC) and many US state capitol buildings; 86 electric power-generating facilities in 20 countries around the world; and major sporting complexes such as Lambeau Field, Minute Maid Park, Tiger Stadium, Fenway Park and Rogers Centre.
Expertise in all classifications of real and personal property insurance appraisal
Primary and secondary Construction, Occupancy, Protection and Exposure (COPE) data analysis, as well as risk assessment data collection
Real Estate Valuation
Our global real estate Consultants can efficiently coordinate, execute and report on the valuation of a unique single property or sizable portfolio of real property holdings.
Does your real estate exist simply so that you can do business? Do you have real estate that is underutilized or recently acquired, or buildings that are over- or undervalued? American Appraisal not only provides real estate valuations, we also help Clients better understand how they can maximize their return on these assets.
Increasingly, your real estate holdings compete with all other asset classifications for investment capital. We can assist you in regularly and rigorously reevaluating your real estate investments and can advise on adaptive reuse, sale/leaseback and consolidation solutions.
Whether your site is in the Americas, Asia- Pacific, Europe or the Middle East, our Consultants can efficiently coordinate, execute and report on the valuation of a sizable portfolio of real property holdings. Our geographically diverse teams actively focus on specific sectors and have complementary backgrounds including cost engineering, market transaction and financial analysis. This combination of experience together with our clear understanding of the regional economic forces that influence global real estate markets provides American Appraisal with a unique perspective.
Our Consultants are experienced in the appraisal of all types of commercial and corporate real estate. Notable engagements include Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch, all United Airlines properties, General Motors manufacturing and assembly facilities, numerous steel mills, Harrah’s Casinos and hundreds of resort properties around the world.
Our services encompass portfolio valuation management, consulting services, and others including:
Appraisals and appraisal review
Valuation of partial interests
Offer and/or option analysis
Condition and capital expenditure requirement studies
Valuing corporate assets in appeals of property tax assessments and classifications
Opinions & Disputes
Fairness and Solvency Opinion Services
When engaged in major, company-altering change, investors, analysts and regulators will scrutinize every step you take. Given the stakes, finding an experienced firm – and, to a greater extent, an independent one– is essential.
American Appraisal possesses both qualities. Here you will interact with some of the world’s most respected fairness and solvency opinion experts. Our senior- level professionals participated in the formation of this valuation practice area in the 1980s during the explosion of LBO and M&A activity that characterized the decade. Today, our best practices and methodologies are testament to our extensive and diverse experience.
Valuation and related services are our only business, ensuring the delivery of our opinion is not subject to the consummation of the transaction. We are independent of any other aspect of the transaction, including rating agency, investment banking or other conflicts.
A dispute involving a business interest arises. Attorneys are retained. Frustration sets in. Somewhere down the line, a valuation expert is called upon to provide a market-based solution to assist with resolution. Whether you are headed to negotiation, arbitration or mediation – or straight to litigation - you want American Appraisal involved.
American Appraisal has assisted in highly contentious and complex disputes. We offer a multifaceted team approach, drawing on expertise relative to all classifications of tangible and intangible assets. The results have yielded reports that have withstood scrutiny of the world’s most discerning regulatory, judicial and taxing authorities. If expert testimony is required, our Consultants collectively possess the necessary credentials to qualify as expert witnesses, including PE, CPA, CFA, ASA, ABV, MRICS, CCIM and MAI.
Consultation or expert testimony regarding bankruptcy, construction, intellectual property, breach of contract, lender liability, class action, federal tax, property tax, condemnation, insurance and securities
Experience & Credentials
American Appraisal, the world’s only truly glocal valuation firm™, is a leading valuation and related services firm that provides expertise in all classifications of tangible and intangible assets. It comprises 900 employees operating from cities throughout the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.
Aviation & Transport Services
Energy & Resources
Federal & State Government
Healthcare & Life Sciences
Leisure & Entertainment
Metals & Mining
American Association of Cost Engineers
American Society of Appraisers
Appraisal Issues Task Force
China Appraisal Society
Healthcare Financial Management Association
Institute for Professionals in Taxation
Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Inc.
International Association of Assessing Officers
International Association of Information
Technology Asset Managers
International Committee on the Valuation of Plant, Machinery and Equipment
International Institute of Business Valuers
International Right of Way Association
International Valuation Standards Committee
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts
National Association of Realtors
National Society of Professional Engineers
Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
U.S. Green Building Council
Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)
Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA)
Certified Commercial Investment Member
Certified Cost Professional (CCP)
Certified Member of the Institute for
Professionals in Taxation (CMI)
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certified Real Estate Appraisers
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Counselors of Real Estate (CRE)
General Accredited Appraiser (GAA)
Member, Appraisal Institute (MAI)
Professional Engineer (PE)
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)