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A conversation with Craig Riebe of ABGi USA

ABGi USA CEO Craig Riebe lives his life according to the philosophy “the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

In the five years as CEO after his appointment in 2017, and in the previous years spent developing his career, he has learned how to balance leadership and family while adding value to customers’ business ventures.

Q: What led to your position at ABGi USA?

A: I worked hard through college and law school and was fortunate to work for some great consulting firms, including PwC and Grant Thornton. I learned very quickly how to add value as a professional consultant; if you aren’t providing excellent value to your clients, they will not be clients for long.

After law school, I learned the strategy aspect of business litigation when the firm I worked for took a case defending a massive company in product liability cases all over the world. The case helped me see the point at which a company needs to draw a line in the sand and not back down, no matter how big the challenge. Our client did just that, and we ultimately won. I learned a lot in this position and it paved my way to where I am today.

Q: What is the biggest news at ABGi USA right now?

A: There are so many tax incentives that the government wants companies to take advantage of to innovate and keep technical, skilled and high-paying jobs in America, yet there are still so many companies that have absolutely no idea these incentives are available to them. ABGi is offering companies cash back from taxes they’ve overpaid to the government in order to help them grow, continue to innovate and stay competitive.

Much of our job is to educate potential customers about these tax incentives and then explain to them why they qualify and why the government wants qualified companies to take these tax incentives. These incentives are among the only programs with bipartisan support within our government, as legislators on either side of the aisle all favor keeping jobs in America.

Q: Are you looking to grow in new markets or expand in current ones?

A: We’re lucky to be part of a global group, so we are constantly looking for opportunities to expand in both the US and abroad. Currently, we have global headquarters in Paris, London and Montreal to name a few. The collective goal of ABGi and our parent company, Visiativ is to be split 50 percent between North America and Europe in the near future.

As for US offices, we’re currently in Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and many more, and we are expanding soon to New Orleans, Atlanta and Salt Lake City.

Q: What is your best management tactic?

A: When you hire leaders, let them lead, and then listen to them to ensure they have what they need to lead. I always strive to hire people smarter than me and get them the tools they need to execute and thrive. I don’t think there is a better way to stifle a great team than by micromanaging them.

Q: How do you maintain a good work/home life balance?

A: At the end of the day, family is always No. 1. My wife, Andrea, and I were just recently blessed with a baby, so the family-oriented mindset is in the forefront of our minds. As Andrea is the owner of a barbershop, we both balance life with the responsibilities of our jobs. We both concluded that it’s impossible to be a great spouse and parent while also being a world-beater every day at the office. As such, our goals are to leave our respective businesses for the day knowing that we’ve moved the needle in a way that will benefit the business. We find that when looking at the long-term, these incremental advances eventually lead to vast improvements in both of our businesses and allow us to maintain a reasonable work/home life balance.

For more information, visit www.abgi-usa.com or call (281) 732-1848.

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