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Studer sale shouldn't alter school district partnership

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JAMES P. LEUTE
October 18, 2011
— Quint Studer said Monday the sale of a portion of his consulting company would not change the company's relationship with the Janesville School District.

Earlier this month, private investor JMI Equity bought part of Studer Group, which is based in Gulf Breeze, Fla.


JMI is a growth-equity firm that manages a $2.1 billion portfolio invested in more than 100 companies, according to its website. It is based in Baltimore and San Diego and focuses on investing in leading software, Internet, business services and health care information technology companies.


The Studer Group is a leading health care consulting firm that received the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. It works with more than 800 health care organizations to achieve, sustain and accelerate exceptional clinical, operational and financial outcomes.


The Studer Group and local school district formed a partnership in 2008 to transfer evidence-based tools and processes from health care to a public school setting.


Studer, who once taught at Parker High School, donated thousands of dollars to train staff, administration and school board members in what was described as a "free of charge" contract.


The Janesville district, which is considered a demonstration district for the Studer Group, has estimated the value of Studer's donation at about $1.2 million.


Specifically, Studer Group has worked with the district to focus leadership on evidence and results, develop standards of excellence, measure improvements and better involve students, parents and the community in a "world class" education.


"This won't have any impact on our work in Janesville," Studer said of the deal with JMI. "Almost all of it was funded by (wife) Rishy and I anyway.


"In fact, when we were putting together the financials, we didn't even include the educational stuff because it's so small. JMI is interested in the health care side of it."


Bill Sodemann, school board president, said he doesn't expect the sale will change the local relationship.


"As far as we know, all things will continue as normal," he said. "Quint, personally, has always been willing to be available to us for emails, questions and advice, and I suspect that will continue to be the same."


Studer said a confidentiality agreement prevents him from disclosing what percentage of his company was sold to JMI.


Studer Group, he said, is having its best year so far, is posting significant growth and is drawing record crowds to its nationwide events.


As the health care industry shifts to value-based purchasing and pay for performance, Studer said his company is well positioned to help organizations improve their clinical and financial outcomes.


"For the first time, these organizations are going to have to deliver or they won't get paid," Studer said. "We're in a great position, but in order to meet the demand, we have to grow."


Studer said his company always has financed growth with cash flow and has routinely shied away from debt.


"If we're going to grow, we either had to seek new investors or take on debt, and at 60 years old, I'm not interested in putting on debt," he said.


The deal with JMI will not result in any immediate changes in Studer Group's operation or workforce levels, and Studer's role as the leading national speaker for the company will continue.


"This really is an exciting time for our company," Studer said. "You never want to build a business and have it not do well after you leave.


"This company will continue to do well, and our employees will also do well."



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