Michael L. Kern, III currently serves as President and Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Kern joined the firm in 1996 as an Analyst and, five years later, was appointed a Managing Director in the Valuation & Financial Opinions Group. He was the first employee to rise from an Analyst level position to Managing Director. During his tenure as Managing Director in the Valuation & Financial Opinions Group, he gained significant asset and business valuation experience on projects spanning a wide range of industries and purposes, and also provided expert witness testimony in various legal settings. He has presented numerous continuing education seminars on the subject of business valuation.
In 2001, Mr. Kern assumed the additional role of Chief Financial Officer, where his responsibilities included oversight of the firm’s corporate accounting and financial reporting functions. During this time, the firm put into operation an enterprise level accounting system that included time and billing, general ledger, financial reporting, and several other integrated modules.
As Stout Risius Ross continued to grow exponentially, it became apparent that the firm needed a full-time professional dedicated to overseeing the entire operations of the firm. Accordingly, in 2002, Mr. Kern relinquished his client service responsibilities entirely and became, in addition to Chief Financial Officer, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer. As Chief Operating Officer his responsibilities include oversight of the firm’s operations and infrastructure, human capital development, marketing and business development, information technology, and facilities.
In mid-2004, the firm was in need of a leader for its Real Estate Group, and Mr. Kern stepped into this additional role. During the succeeding three and one-half years, the Real Estate Valuation & Advisory Services Group grew dramatically. In 2008, a successor was appointed and Mr. Kern’s leadership role in this practice group was successfully transitioned.
Mr. Kern was appointed President of the firm in October 2008. As President, Mr. Kern plays an integral role in establishing and implementing the firm’s strategic initiatives. In addition to the overall management of the firm, he works closely with the firm’s practice group leaders to ensure success of the client service groups. Mr. Kern has also actively participated in the firm’s Board of Directors meetings since 2002, and was appointed to the Board of Directors in January 2007.
In early 2010, Mr. Kern was appointed the interim leader of the firm’s Investment Banking Group, where his responsibilities include overall leadership of the firm’s growth efforts in the investment banking arena. He continues to serve in this capacity, in addition to his role as President & Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Kern devotes a significant amount of time to philanthropic activities. His current philanthropic board involvement includes Convoy of Hope (where he serves as a Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee), and Aletheia International (where he has served as a Director since 2006). In 2006, at the age of 33, Mr. Kern was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of Detroit’s “40 Under 40,” an honor given to 40 Detroit-area professionals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated strong leadership abilities and have already achieved many accomplishments in their career. He is a member of the CFA Institute, the Investment Analysts Society of Detroit and Young President's Organization (YPO).
EducationB.S., Wayne State University
- Chartered Financial Analyst