Mr. Cole retired in June 2006 as a partner in the assurance and advisory business services practice of the Baltimore office of Ernst & Young. During his 34-year career in public accounting, he served both public and privately-owned businesses, several of which have multi-location or multinational operations.
Mr. Cole has extensive experience serving clients in the technology, manufacturing and distribution, food processing and health care industries. He has served a variety of clients ranging in size from $5 million to over $1 billion in sales. Mr. Cole’s public company clients have included The Advisory Board Company, American Woodmark Corporation, The Corporate Executive Board Company, Gene Logic Inc., Laureate Education, Inc. (formerly Sylvan Learning Systems), McCormick & Company, Wise Metals Group and XO Communications, Inc. He also served as the coordinating partner on numerous privately owned companies and as the independent review partner on a variety of companies including Avatech Solutions, Inc., Capital Blue Cross, Digene Corporation, Grotech Capital Group, Meridian Medical Technologies, Questmark Partners, RWD Technologies, Telecommunication Systems, Inc. and USinternetworking.
In addition to his audit and financial reporting experience, Mr. Cole has assisted his clients with numerous public offerings, including IPOs and debt and secondary equity offerings, consulted on acquisitions and divestitures, and assisted with financing and capitalization issues. He has extensive experience in acquisition due diligence, SEC reporting and accounting for complex equity structures.
Mr. Cole was also responsible for Ernst & Young’s Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year program from its inception in 1987 through 2006. In this role, he identified and interviewed dozens of highly successful entrepreneurs, produced the annual awards banquet and promoted local award recipients to the national program resulting in a number of national award recipients and finalists.
Mr. Cole currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Audit Committee of FBR Mutual Funds, a family of ten mutual funds located in Arlington, Va. He has been designated as the financial expert member of the Board in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2003. Mr. Cole is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Robert H. Smith School of Business and is a member of the Board of Advisors and the Inner Circle for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland College Park. He also serves as an economic evaluator for the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program, is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Maryland Association of CPAs.
Mr. Cole graduated with a B.B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1971. He joined the Baltimore office of Ernst & Young in 1972 after having spent two years in the finance group of Western Electric Company.