A “Maverick” Businessman
Despite the hectic schedule he keeps as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Maverick Group, a financial print consulting company, John Wert ’93 says he is most proud of his work rescue abused animals with the Linda Blair World Heart Foundation.
After graduating from TCNJ in 1993, John Wert went to work for one of the leading financial print-services companies. He steadily worked his way up from a customer service representative (even working the swing shift at times so that he could take graduate classes) all the way to sales executive. But when the “Dot Com” bubble burst, John and many of his co-workers found themselves out of work.
So John went to work looking for a new job, but despite nearly a decade’s worth of experience in the financial print industry, he was having no luck. Then while waiting in the unemployment line one day, he had an “A-ha!” moment.
Financial print companies are responsible for the conversion, typesetting, distribution, Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR filings, and the eventual printing and dissemination of all public corporation registration statements (i.e., mergers, tender offers, IPOs, compliance, etc). During his time working in the industry, John explained, he had acquired a good deal of experience—but he also witnessed the industry’s immoral business practices.
“Financial printers were taking incredible advantage of their clients’ lack of involvement in the process, and purposely [inflating] their invoices by millions of dollars,” John explained.
Recalling the advice of two of his TCNJ professors—Thomas Breslin and Daniel Hall, who had encouraged their student to one day start his own business and never be afraid of failure—John set out to start a company that would help its clients clarify, understand, and reduce their financial print expenditures. After a great deal of deliberation, he cashed in his full 401K, liquidated all of his stocks and other investments, and launched The Maverick Group Financial Print Consultants, LLC. The firm provides financial print invoice auditing and procurement strategies for public corporations and corporate law firms, investment banks, and accounting firms.
John explains: “I got an office in NYC and started walking the streets, flying around the US, and knocking on doors telling my story to all who would listen. I did it all myself, from building my Web site, to designing and editing my own marketing materials, to buying books on effective cold-calling skills. I was passionate about letting these large corporations know that, for decades, they had been taken for a long and expensive ride at the expense of their shareholders.”
His dedication has led to a busy work life for John. “My day is crazy,” notes John, “It starts around 5:30 a.m. and ends around 9 p.m. There are lots of phone work, sales calls, audits, and paper work. It’s not a typical 9-to-5 job, but I love it.”
Even though he is busy running his company, John says, “The ability to help animals is what I am most proud of.” He has loved animals and donated to animal organizations ever since childhood, so he is grateful for the financial and time resources his job provides in order to donate in larger ways.
John has been heavily engaged for years with the Linda Blair World Heart Foundation, founded by Linda Blair, who starred in The Exorcist. The foundation rescues primarily pit bulls that are close to being euthanized or have been left behind due to natural disasters.
“Linda and I are close friends and share a deep love and respect for animals of all sizes shapes and species,” notes John. He often travels with her around the world to advocate for animal rescue through symposiums and autograph shows.
What’s next for John? “Currently under negotiations is the potential sale of Maverick to a large public company.… I will [even] hold an executive position within the acquiring company.”
He will also continue to dedicate his free time to rescuing animals and adding on to his “family” of seven animals at home.
Posted on January 25, 2010