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Navigating the obvious is the easy part.

Business success is an outcome that results from understanding the subtleties and the interplay between all the internal and external elements that can impact a business enterprise. Nuance Advisors provides the insight and expertise that leaders need to successfully navigate these unknowns.


Privately Owned

We work with the owners of privately held businesses who are dedicated to creating, maximizing and realizing the value in their companies. As business owners who have started, bought and sold businesses, we understand the range of opportunities and obstacles owners face.

Dealing with opportunity can be particularly challenging which is why we are frequently engaged by small and mid-sized companies that have recently experienced or anticipate rapid growth in the near future. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we can also provide a fresh look and reengineering, so its not uncommon that we get called into distressed situations.

Lastly, while we are engaged by all types of companies, our greatest level of success can be found working with family and partner-owned businesses. The dynamics of these companies can only be understood by someone who has experienced them personally. We have.

Private Equity/Capital

We work with private capital providers whose primary objective is to maximize the value of their investment. We have a successful track record working with value-driven companies across all industries but do specialize in industrial services & equipment, business services and manufacturing. We have a practical approach to identifying impediments and developing solutions that result in additional value.

We have extensive experience navigating the unique dynamics and challenges that come with businesses that were previously owned by families and/or partners where they and key management have stayed with the Company after the investment/sale.



The level of success a business achieves can be directly correlated to the quality of its decisions. Decisions made in vacuum result in bad decisions. We provide the research, analytics and independent perspective that helps companies make the right decisions.


Buying or selling a company is a complex transaction that requires a unique skill set to bring together. From identifying buyers/sellers to structuring the deal and getting it closed, we can deliver the complete life cycle of services needed to successfully complete a transaction.


Acquiring capital is both an art and science. The science is understanding what a business needs and matching it to the right capital provider. The art comes in the story telling and presentation as to why they should make the investment or loan. Our team has successfully helped companies secure capital from seed stage to conventional financing.


A successful exit is the end goal for any business as it’s how created value is realized. Successful exits & transitions are rarely the result of happenstance. They come from careful planning, positioning and execution. Our team has extensive experience in facilitating exits to both 3rd parties and to insiders such as family members and key employees.


Without execution, the best ideas never become real. Whether it’s developing strategic partnerships, launching new offerings or reimagining the current business, our team has the skills that growing businesses require to accomplish their strategic objectives.


Nuance Advisors was founded by Jim Treat and Michael Vann to provide strategic consulting and transactional advisory services to the owners of small/mid-size privately held and private equity owned companies. While we work with companies in a variety of industries, our primary focus is business enterprises in industrial equipment & services, business services and manufacturing. We are generally engaged by companies with family and partner dynamics that can complicate the decision making and execution process.

What makes us unique advisors is our ability to understand the subtleties and the interplay between relationships and other elements that can impact a business enterprise. Our successes are the result of getting beyond the obvious and bridging the gap between the known and the unknown.

Michael Vann

Michael Vann Mike is the founder of the Vann Group, LLC a family owned firm that provides outsourced services to small/mid-size businesses. Mike leads the company’s strategic consulting and transactional advisory service activities, providing clients with the insight and execution capabilities they need to grow their businesses. He has served as a retained advisor to several high impact companies, including the Allied Reliability Group. During his 10+ year tenure with Allied, the Company grew from $5 million to over $50 million, expanding both domestically and internationally. Mike had a key role in developing the Company’s strategy and executing on its strategic initiatives and transactions.

Mike is frequently called on to provide assistance with developing business strategies/models and executing on strategic opportunities such as mergers/acquisitions, joint ventures and other initiatives. In addition to his duties with Nuance he continues to oversee the strategic activities of the Vann Group and many of its key clients. He presently serves on the Board of the Alden Credit Union and is active in a number of other civic and non-profit organizations.

Jim Treat

Jim Treat Jim is the founder and former President of Longview Inspection, Inc. and the former CEO of Rockwood Industrial Services, the largest Nondestructive Testing and Material’s Engineering Company in North America. With over 50 years of business experience, Jim has been involved in the general and financial management of a number of nondestructive testing service companies, as well as inspection equipment manufacturing companies. During his years with Longview Inspection, he was involved in the formulation of various service delivery systems, and provided leadership in the development of new inspection applications and data acquisition technologies.

Jim is called on frequently to provide independent third-party assessments for Service Companies seeking a level of “exceptional service delivery” or requiring specialized management-training programs. In addition to his duties with Nuance, he is the President of NDT Classroom, Inc., an online Training Company and a Principal in The Summit Group, a Consulting and Management Training organization. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of several companies and has served as the President of the Nondestructive Testing Management Association.