Who We Are
Your 'top hand' is your go-to-guy -- the one you trust, who will always roll up his sleeves and get the job done right. We are thorough, conservative and straight-forward. No fancy sales pitches and no bull. With us, you can expect honesty, integrity and dedication to doing what is right.
Jack Sauther, CPA, Broker -- Principal
Jack, Top Hand’s founder, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and real estate broker. With extensive experience in tax planning and real estate investing, Jack specializes in working with generational agricultural families who are selling their farm or ranch and want to avoid or minimize income taxes paid on the sale while using the 1031 exchange to reinvest into high-quality investment real estate. He uses his varied expertise to assess a client’s current situation, help them see the big picture and implement effective, comprehensive strategies designed to achieve their goals.
A straight shooter, Jack is candid, matter-of-fact and analytical. He is committed to telling folks what makes the most sense for their unique situation and goals.
A CPA for more than 25 years, Jack was a partner in a Bozeman-based tax and accounting firm for 12 years, where he aided clients with not only tax planning and preparation, but also financial planning and business consulting.
+ READ MORE
Entrepreneurial by nature, he has also developed multiple businesses himself. Jack has always had a keenness for real estate, and turned his focus to it full-time after selling his CPA practice in 2004. He has advised clients on their commercial real estate investments ever since. It’s a subject he knows intimately -- he has used the 1031 exchange to personally invest in commercial and rural properties for more than 25 years, owning investment real estate ranging from office and retail properties, to multi-family and single-family housing, to raw platted subdivision lots and small farms and ranches. From fractional ownership structures to single-owner properties, and from triple-net single-tenant properties to strip centers, multi-family properties to government leases, Jack has seen them all in strong markets and in historically bad markets – and has learned what works and what doesn’t.
Jack founded Top Hand in 2011, after working with many agricultural families and realizing their need for sound advice regarding the sale of their farm or ranch and 1031 exchange into commercial real estate. Because of his broad background, he is uniquely qualified to help folks: He can highlight strategies to lower their tax bill on the sale and increase their income, recommend advantageous ownership structures, propose strategies to reduce exchange risk, identify properties that may be most likely to achieve their goals, prepare side-by-side analyses of potential properties, negotiate a fair price, conduct comprehensive due diligence, close the deal and provide on-going support and advice post-purchase. Throughout it all, Jack puts his client’s needs first. He is gratified to have helped so many agricultural families through Top Hand.
He has held a Montana real estate license since 2001, and a Montana broker’s license since 2013.
A fourth-generation Montanan, Jack grew up in Billings and has family in the ranching business. He graduated from Montana State University – Billings in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
An avid outdoorsman with a love for the backcountry and wide-open spaces, Jack’s true passions are freshwater and saltwater fly-fishing, and bird hunting. Jack lives in Bozeman with his wife, Diana, and their black lab, Josie.
Since founding Top Hand with Jack, Diana’s detailed, analytical approach has repeatedly saved money and mitigated risks for the company’s clients.
She is a tactician and problem-solver who is committed to doing things right, and has a gift for helping folks understand financial concepts and business strategies.
Before moving to the Rocky Mountain West in 2004, Diana had a 14-year career with one of the nation’s largest hospital management companies, serving in various executive capacities. As Vice President, Investor Relations, she was responsible for the $13 billion company’s financial communications with Wall Street analysts and institutional investors. Earlier in her career, she directed strategic communications for the acquisition or lease of 17 hospitals generating $1.6 billion in annual revenues.
+ READ MORE
She left the corporate world in 2003 and moved to Ketchum, ID, where she consulted with small businesses and volunteered extensively on a countywide economic development strategy.
She brings this broad business expertise to Top Hand, where her comprehensive reviews of leases and other legal documents have caught potentially problematic issues and her in-depth due diligence has helped ensure that properties meet clients’ goals. On those occasions where her efforts have uncovered issues or undisclosed risks, Diana has then used the results of her analysis to negotiate significant concessions for our clients or, when concessions would not resolve the issue or justify the risk, counseled them to terminate the deal.
Diana graduated from UCLA in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. In 1999, she went to Wall Street and completed an intensive investment banking training program at JP Morgan, learning financial statement analysis and modeling, valuation techniques, corporate finance, capital markets and credit.
She moved to Bozeman in 2010, where she lives with her husband Jack. An avid fly fisherman who also enjoys hiking, snowshoeing and skiing, she is grateful to call Montana home. She has held a Montana real estate license since 2011.