Konstantin Lichtenwald is a senior executive, business owner, and entrepreneur based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A seasoned business accounting and finance professional with more than 15 years of industry experience, Konstantin possesses extensive expertise in the areas of accounting, financial management, corporate compliance, IPOs, and reverse takeover solutions.
Konstantin specializes in financial reporting, taxation, accounting, valuation, corporate finance, and consulting services for small businesses and public companies across North America and German-speaking areas of Europe. He is noted not only for his considerable financial and accounting skills but also for the multi-layered, hands-on approach he takes to problem-solving and strategic management.
Currently, Konstantin maintains several notable leadership roles in the Vancouver business community. Since 2019, he has served as Managing Director at the Vancouver-based Zeus Capital Ltd., a boutique business finance firm, and as Co-founder at Reverse Takeovers, a firm assisting businesses looking to go public. He also serves as Partner at Lichtenwald Professional Corporation (LPC), a post he has held since April 2014.
Additionally, Konstantin serves as the Chief Financial Officer at the Miami-based Global Holdings Corp.
When not providing comprehensive accounting, finance, and consulting services to businesses, Konstantin shares his expertise with students as Accounting Instructor at Vancouver Community College. He has been a member of the VCC faculty since early 2016.
Prior to his career, Konstantin completed his undergraduate education in finance, accounting, and controlling at Pforzheim University, earning his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in 2012. He received his General Accountants of British Columbia and his Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia certifications in 2015.
How did you get started in this business?
I started my career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), working with and for companies in various stages of development. As CPA, I obtained invaluable firsthand experience at enterprises in a number of industries and in all phases of growth, as well as companies with various objectives as to when, where, and how they’d like to take the next step and/or go public. It was here that I really came to understand the IPO process and the obstacles many companies face as they begin down that path.
How do you make money?
As a leader at Reverse Takeovers (RTO’s), my primary goal is to provide the best support and clearest path for clients to take their companies public. Those IPO services are how we, as a company, make our money and ensure companies have the best guidance and support possible throughout the process. To date, we’ve achieved a great deal of success in this field.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
We’ve been profitable pretty much from the beginning.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
No, there was never really a doubt, at least in my mind. My team and I were pretty confident that this new venture would work, and that no matter what challenges we faced, as long as we took more steps forward than back, we would be able to weather the tumult and come out ahead. I have extensive knowledge of the field and have been pretty well-prepared for any obstacles that have come along. I also had a strong network of established relationships that really set the pace early on.
How did you get your first customer?
Our first clients were obtained through established relationships I had built over time, particularly over the course of my career and work in the field. I had and still have an extensive network that was cultivated during years in the field, and those networking efforts continue to deliver results in a big way for the company.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I’ve always regarded networking as one of the most effective ways to market, generate new clients, and achieve growth objectives. Networking continues to be the strongest marketing tool for us. We also work directly with clients and aim to cultivate relationships that generate referrals and more business down the road. Our goal is to provide an exceptional experience that earns referrals and strengthens our network.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I’m a bit of a workaholic and really love what I do, so I’d probably say the toughest decision over the last few months has been when to take a holiday. My clients expect and deserve the one-on-one services and support my business is known for, and knowing when to break from that, even for a few days, has sometimes been a challenge.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think one of the biggest drivers of my success, and our success in general, has been persistence. Whenever I meet or see a new hurdle on the horizon, or find a new and challenging problem that’s really formidable, I dig in and push forward. It’s the focus and drive and willingness to keep moving no matter what that often produces the best results. Being persistent continues to pay off in dividends not only for myself but for this company.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Well, we’ve had so many rewarding moments since the beginning that it really is hard to identify just one. Our most satisfying moment as a business is when a company goes public on the first trading day for a company we have been working with for a while. There’s nothing as fulfilling as witnessing the results of all that hard work and seeing a client roll out a successful IPO on that pivotal first day. It’s like they’ve just broken through into a new and exciting phase, and we can proudly say that we played a part in helping them get there.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
As long as we maintain our approach to client-focused solutions and success, I believe the future holds a great deal for our business, as we continue to focus on helping companies go public and take that all-important next step. That said, we are really excited about crypto and blockchain marketing opportunities on the horizon and what that holds in store for our team.
What business books have inspired you?
My favorite business books by far have to be Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life) by Thomas Erikson. That book lays out important principles of human behavior and advice for communicating with different personality types and navigating the dynamics that so often dominate and shape the business world.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would have to tell myself to keep networking and to never stop building relationships and networks, no matter where you’re at in your career. The business world is all about relationships, and you must be diligent in that respect.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Unfortunately, not at the present moment. This is mainly due to time constraints. But I am willing to share my business website and LinkedIn profile for future reference.