Brad Jacobs, a seasoned business leader who first made his fortune by transforming rural trash hauling companies into United Waste and eventually flipping the company to Waste Management in the late 1990s, announced last December he was bringing his expertise in mergers and acquisitions to the building products distribution industry.

The start-up, QXO, has yet to launch, but given Jacobs’ previous experience, he expressed optimism in the new venture and was quoted as saying he sees a path to “building a $50 billion company.”

QXO CEO Brad-Jacobs (pictured).According to Forbes magazine, Jacobs has made more than $55 billion for shareholders through the various businesses he has started and spun off. He detailed his business acumen in a 2024 book, “How to Make a Few Billion Dollars,” published by Greenleaf Book Group Press.

“QXO’s strategy is to create a tech-forward leader in the building products distribution industry through accretive M&A and organic growth, including greenfield openings, with the goal of generating outsized stockholder value,” Jacobs said in a news release last December. 

Jacobs is chairman and chief executive officer of QXO after closing a previously announced $1 billion cash investment into SilverSun Technologies, Inc. After spinning off the existing SilverSun business, the remaining company, QXO, will be a standalone platform for significant acquisitions.

QXO has yet to launch, but last week, the company announced the hiring of Ihsan Essaid as incoming chief financial officer of QXO, Inc., the publicly traded company Jacobs intends to lead in the $800 billion building products distribution industry.

“Ihsan is a heavy hitter in the M&A world with an exceptional track record. I’m very pleased he’ll be leading QXO’s finance team,” Jacobs said in a news release last week announcing the hire.

Essaid has more than thirty years of experience in global investment banking, centered on providing critical advisory services for large M&A and capital markets transactions. He joins QXO from Barclays, where he most recently served as global head of M&A, following roles as co-head of global M&A and co-head of Americas M&A. 

Since joining Barclays in 2021, he has advised on more than $50 billion of transactions across a range of sectors. Previously, Essaid was a managing director of media and telecom M&A with Credit Suisse from 2015 to 2021 and a partner with Perella Weinberg Partners from 2008 to 2015. 

Essaid holds an MBA degree in finance from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

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