Management Information Systems Development

Investment Banking and Business Consulting Services for Software Developers

As an investment banker he has recently raised $6 million mezzanine financing for Edmin.com, a pioneering educational administrative software developer.  For the Pasadena Angels and T&Co has lead the due diligence evaluation of seed round financing of computer software developers. Strategic planning and financial planning were provided for Data Harbor, a Chicago based medical data information management software developer.

State-of-the-Art Software and MIS Development and Financing Activities

Computer technology has been an important tool for Thornburg’s from the inception of his career.  He holds a masters degree in quantitative analysis and has authored many pioneering computer programs and computer based systems.  Thornburg started programming computers in 1962 as part of the operations research work connected with university studies in industrial engineering and upon joining Parsons was part of a think tank operation for applying computers to large scale engineering and construction management programs.  He has been a pioneer in developing large scale computerized project and company valuation models.  Prior to the advent of personal computers he created a project finance modeling system that was used by some of the largest US companies including Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of Indiana and CODELCO the Chilean national copper company.  He co-authored the Financial Analysis section of the American Society of Mining Engineers’ Surface Mining Handbook. At Security Pacific he designed the data base systems used to track $6 billion commercial paper financing business of third party utility fuel trusts including calculating fuel usage costs at 38 nuclear reactors owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority.  In his turnaround career he has developed computer assisted forensic techniques to uncover fraud at two companies and has been instrumental in developing sound MIS procedures for small, medium and large companies as described below.

MIS Development - Bridgewater Resources Corp. United States

Norama, AG, a Luxembourg based holding company, formed Bridgewater to acquire commercial farms and real estate property in the U.S.   The acquisition of Connor Forest Industries, Inc. transformed the group from passive investments into a major manufacturer with logging operations, lumber and flooring mills, furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturing facilities and a toy business.  Management was not up to the challenge and large operating losses soon developed.

Bridgewater had twenty manufacturing, forestry, real estate and farm subsidiaries. The forest products group, Connor Forest Industries had four mills (union and non-union) and 159,000 acres of timberlands.  Thornburg joined Bridgewater as a Director to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for restructuring Bridgewater focusing on core manufacturing businesses; and later became CEO. Over the next five years the emphasis moved from restructuring to improving industrial operations, information systems, product development and marketing.  The sports flooring division captured 40% of the U.S. market and productivity was improved by 50 to 200% in key subsidiaries. The remaining non-industrial assets, including the toy company, were divested.  A large chain manufacturer with an excellent niche market was acquired and its business expanded by 50%.

State-of-the-art management information systems including EDI and supporting distribution facilities were developed for each BRC subsidiary. Customers included Sears, K-Mart, Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart (where BRC maintained its sole supplier relationship for chain products).

 

Hagemeyer-Cosa Liebermann Group Hong Kong and Switzerland

The Schmidheiny group (Anova, AG) purchased a controlling interest in the $1.5 billion Cosa Liebermann Group (CLG), an industrial and consumer products marketing group with operations in seven European countries and twelve Asian countries. Four years later CLG merged with Hagemeyer Asia/Pacific, the Far East activity of Hagemeyer, N.V., a very large Dutch-based marketing company. The resulting new entity, The Hagemeyer-Cosa Liebermann Group was owned 50/50 by Hagemeyer and Anova and had operations in fourteen Asia/Pacific countries. The Chairman and CEO came from Anova.

The Technology Division strategic business areas included:

  • Mechanical Manufacturing Technology
  • Textile Technology
  • Basic Materials Technology
  • Converting and Printing Technology
  • Chemical and Food Processing Technology
  • Electronic and Control Technology

The Consumer Goods Division strategic business areas included:

  • Sports (sports shoes, winter equipment, outdoor wear)
  • Home Products (appliances, electronics and house wares)
  • Lifestyle (fashion, cosmetics, watches, leather accessories, writing instruments)
  • Photographic (photography and imaging products and services)
  • Food and Beverage (wines, spirits, tobacco confectionery)
  • Scientific (medical, security)

Branded products included Bally, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Feraud, Porsche Design, Cartier, Chanel, Puma, Ray-Ban, Parker, Mistral and Kneissl.

MIS Integration Advisory Services

Thornburg served as a principal advisor to the Schmidheiny group on the development of new management information systems for the newly acquired Cosa Liebermann Group. Prior to the implementation of the system, the local company in each country had its own accounting system and procedures at the operating level. Computers and systems were not networked across borders and operating systems, particularly in Japan where there extensive retail and wholesaling operations, were incompatible. As a result the primary means of inter-company communication was by fax and telephone. Results by division and product were laboriously consolidated and summarized in Hong Kong resulting in unacceptable time delays and errors. Inventory management and cash management was Balkanized and ineffective.

The MIS project involved the establishment of a comprehensive, multi-discipline approach to sales planning, budgeting, financial reporting, purchasing, logistics, cash management, accounting, taxes, retail sales, wholesaling and industrial customer sales. To assure ownership of the new systems, at critical points in the development process two dozen selected top and middle managers met in week-long brainstorming sessions with the advisory team in Phuket , Thailand where interruptions from the outside world were all but impossible. When completed, the system allowed management to review its operations by item, product line, division and country in a timely manner. Extensive training in each country preceded the roll-out of key elements of the system. Data centers were established in Hong Kong and Zurich and an internal email system was established to link all of the offices and operations together. Satellite communications were used where local telephone service was inadequate. Rather than build a customized MIS system from scratch to control retail, wholesale and financial reporting activities, packaged software vendors in Europe, the US and Asia were reviewed and visited by CL teams. The software integration team was moved from the headquarters in Hong Kong to Malaysia where there was a larger pool of skilled programmers. Ultimately several major software systems were selected and integrated to form the core of the new system, which performed as intended.

 

Security Pacific Capital Markets Group, Inc. 

Thornburg was a founding executive when the Group was created de novo in with a charter to build an independent financial service subsidiary of Security Pacific Corporation, then the seventh largest U.S. bank holding company. Through internal growth and eight strategic acquisitions, it grew from a start-up with five employees, to 900 employees in 15 offices in Europe, Asia, Australia , South America and the United States .

Executive Vice President

Responsible for creating and managing the Project Finance Group (included leasing, banker’s acceptance and commercial paper backed financing). Clients included natural resource companies (Gulf Oil, Cyprus Mining, Standard Oil of Indiana, CODELCO Chile, Great Basins Petroleum Corp.), paper companies (Jefferson Smurfit), utilities (Central Hudson Gas & Electric Co.) and independent refineries (eight West Coast based companies). Co-authored the Financial Analysis section of the American Society of Mining Engineers’ Surface Mining Handbook and developed advanced project finance computer modeling systems and commercial paper trading systems.

 

The Ralph M. Parsons Company

  Manager International Finance

After working seven years with increasing responsibility in the Mining and Metallurgical Division, moved to corporate headquarters to assume responsibility for the Company’s international finance and project financing activities worldwide. As one of the worlds' largest engineering/construction companies Parsons had 26,000 employees and had completed projects in more than 105 countries. Four corporate divisions served its major markets: Petroleum and Chemical (major refineries, chemical and gas processing facilities including the $8 billion North Slope gas gathering and processing project), Mining, Power and Systems (defense projects, airports, and large scale industrial projects such as master planning the multi-billion dollar industrial development of the High Plateau in Algeria and the $20 billion Yanbu industrial complex in Saudi Arabia). Was responsible for negotiating international project finance matters with private clients, banks, export credit agencies ( U.S. , U.K. , France , Germany , Italy and Japan ) and governments (among them Algeria , Iran , Saudi Arabia , Peru , and Chile ). Extensive international travel was required, particularly in Central and South America, Europe and North Africa .

Mining and Metallurgical Division Positions: Manager Business Development, Manager Pre-Contracts, Administrative Assistant to Division Manager, Project Engineer

In the Mining and Metallurgical Division started work in a think-tank group developing then state-of-the-art computerized engineering design and management systems before moving to increasing responsibility in project management, division management and business development. 

1316 CARROLL AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90026
TELEPHONE  213.250.2941   ■     MOBILE   213.610.0800
http://www.thornburgandco.com        athornburg@thornburgandco.com