Gardner "Dean" Schroth
As managing director of Random Walk Consulting, LLC, a strategic consulting and business development firm, Mr. Gardner Dean Schroth has committed to leveraging his capital markets capabilities and experience to aid his clients in executing their strategic and financial objectives. Dean has built his firm on long-term relationships and enduring values, establishing a reputation for vision, integrity and execution. Dean is committed to providing an exceptional level of client care and financial stewardship and to building relationships grounded in trust. In his words: “Integrity and trust are the foundational cornerstones at Random Walk.”
Founded in 2015 in New York City, Random Walk Consulting specializes in small- to mid-cap private and public companies, performing two key functions:
Management and preparation of corporate capitalization functions, as well as,
Managing the stakeholder communications and investor relations side of the client company.
Dean specializes in providing financing tailored to small businesses and utilizes his unique knowledge and skill in the capital markets to fuel their growth. Speaking further on this topic, Dean explains, “What is going on in the small-cap equity industry now is an overall tightening of clearing standards for ‘low-priced’ stocks. This is due to a number of factors, but most notably the actions of ‘bad actors’ in the past few decades, thereby making it much more difficult to capitalize these companies. We at Random Walk have the relationships and experience to overcome these barriers.”
Dean began his career at the age of twenty-two. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business in 2012, he served as chief risk officer for Throne Capital, a US domestic long/short equity fund management company. Dean formed Throne Capital with three partners. “That was the biggest mistake I have ever made. We were young and inexperienced as a group, and we weren’t capable of running a functional hedge fund,” he explains. “This is when I learned that one’s mistakes are as important, if not more so, than one’s successes. I also learned probably the most important lesson of my life—preparation is paramount—preparation for the ‘fat tail’.”
Dean was able to leverage this setback by moving to Transclick, Inc.—a World Economic Forum member company—as vice president of corporate finance. During this time, Dean gained valuable knowledge and experience related to corporate finance and learned invaluable lessons that inform his perspective on life and his approach to clients. Transclick’s CEO, ex-chief strategist for Tudor Investment Corporation, Columbia University finance professor, and the author of Bill Clinton’s only authorized biography, took Dean under his wing and gave him practical and traditional corporate finance training and education.
With these lessons as a guiding force, he acquired his Series 7 and 63 licenses and spent a brief time in institutional sales for a small broker/dealer in New York City. During this time, Dean acquired more than $1.4 billion dollars in overseas IG corporate credit accounts.
While he has enjoyed a successful finance career, it was a volunteer role at Brooklyn Unlimited, a d/b/a of the nonprofit Brooklyn community service that was one of Dean’s most meaningful jobs—and one that drove the idea of Random Walk. Brooklyn Unlimited identifies simple manufacturing practices that could be used to help developmentally disabled adults. Dean sourced the manufacturing contracts with these companies. “I received a great deal of personal fulfillment because I saw real pride and joy in the clients’ lives, being given an honest wage and an opportunity to be productive. This led me to my current path of business development,” he shares. “I’ve always been drawn to entrepreneurship and assisting small businesses. Validating an ethereal thesis to create something far greater with tangible value provides a great deal of fulfillment, personally, and professionally. At Random Walk, we have a strong pro bono platform for local businesses with this very goal as our mandate. I am and always have been, a supporter of local businesses.”
While the firm serves a gamut of industries, one particular sector—fitness—might have come to it by way of destiny, when Dean’s personal life and professional life merged after he lost 100 pounds in six months. One of the firm’s more notable clients, Hawkin Dynamics, run by Bennet Watson, Dean’s friend of almost twenty years, presented a major opportunity to get ahead of the industry curve. “Working with them took on a new importance and meaning to me. It became clear to me that fitness and its related verticals were a massive opportunity that was underserved at that time.” From there, the firm focused on fitness, quantified self, and LOHAS—a far departure from Dean’s accomplishment of completing the only oil & gas IPO in the year 2016. To date, Random Walk has participated in well over $500 million in transactions with roles on a principal, advisory, or co-advisory basis.
When asked about the future of Random Walk, Dean replied, “After six years of 18-hour days, Random Walk has amassed a rather sizable portfolio of both public and private equity, as well as several corporate notes. We intend to spend our resources on unwinding these assets. While we may take on additional clients under very specific circumstances, new business is certainly not our current focus. That said, we will always honor open contracts and see them to their completion.” Dean pledged an oath to “honor his obligation to serve the interest of shareholders and other stakeholders.”
Dean grew up in New York City and is an avid skier and squash player. Dean holds professional membership to the CFA Institute. He is also an active member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. Dean is currently a candidate for the FMVA Corporate Finance Institute certification and has completed the Investment Banking Institute’s Bootcamp.
Gardner “Dean” Schroth
Managing Director — Random Walk Consulting
300 Park Avenue,
New York, NY 10022