Issue: 40 January 2016
Become a Certified M&A Professional
February 22-26, 2016

Want to learn how to maximize value with the right transaction? Do you need some best practices on planning and execution? Need more information on due diligence, financial analysis, deal structure, or negotiations? Make it your resolution to master these essential areas and become a Certified M&A Professional. 

Register today for The M&A Source's Certified  M&A Professional Program .  This rigorous program is a full five days,  conducted on the campus of Kennesaw State University in the greater Atlanta area. The program is an adaptation of the educational/certification offerings of the Coles College M&A Academy , which focuses on the unique aspects of middle market M&A activity. It is ideal for M&A intermediaries and other professionals serving this sector, as well as senior management and business owners of the companies they serve. Additionally, completing this 5-day program satisfies all of the educational requirements for the prestigious M&AMI designation. 


Dates: February 22-26, 2016

Location: Kennesaw State University, Coles College of Business  

Registration: Seating is limited; Register today!

In This Issue
Save the Date for the 2016 M&A Source Spring Conference
May 2 - 5, 2016
Rosen Shingle Creek
Orlando, FL

Happy New Year!
Are You Exactly Where You Want to Be?
Joe Lindsey, M&AMI, CBI
M&A Source Chairman  

Various reports state that Richard Branson, founder of numerous businesses (think Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines,Virgin Galactic, etc) started his first business at an early age.  Some claim that he was less than 10 years of age; others say he was 16.  For the sake of discussion, let's agree that he was pretty  young  regardless of which of those ages are accurate.  Since that early step into entrepreneurship, he has started several hundred other businesses and amassed billions of dollars of personal net worth.

A Strong Management Team: The Top Driver of Business Value
Gary Ampulski, Ph.D
Midwest Genesis

One of the biggest misconceptions that business owners have is that the value of their business is directly tied to their personal involvement in managing all aspects of their operations. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The attractiveness of the business to a buyer is what is transferable to the buyer, not the ongoing management prowess of the seller. If the owner/seller has a management team that can't sustain the growth of the business without his personal involvement, the business has significant future risk and as a consequence, represents little value to a buyer. To some owners, this may seem counter intuitive and an assault on their ego, but it's a fact. 
Is Strategy Like a Diet, or Is It A Lifestyle?
Dick Albu, Albu Consulting

It may now be passé to mention, but if you recall the popularity of the Atkins Diet, you will recall the key to its success was a commitment to adjust one's lifestyle to lose weight.  The theory, or science, behind the diet was a commitment to transform eating habits to the Atkins lifestyle.
In the same way, business leaders need to change their thinking about the role strategy plays in their business.   In our experience, it is not uncommon to find CEOs that continue to view strategic planning as a once-a-year event, or worse, a once every few years exercise.  In our opinion, this approach is a recipe for failure.  

In  Memoriam 
Robert "Bob" Gurrola

Bob Gurrola was a long-time member and active contributor to the M&A Source and the IBBA (International Business Brokers Association), as well as a tireless proponent of the profession he represented so well.
As President and CEO, Bob established SUMMA Financial Group, Inc. in 1985 to provide an M&A program to middle market companies seeking quality services and the highest degree of confidentiality.  He earned nearly every major professional M&A designation because of his belief that it was important to his clients that designations and continuing education kept him abreast of the latest development and changes in M&A; thereby allowing him to give his clients the highest degree of skills and services.

Developing Your Next CEO for the Family Business
John A. Davis, Harvard Business School

Family businesses have four options when considering a new CEO, but the crucial decision is whether a family member or outsider would be the best choice. John A. Davis looks at each option.
A good book on CEO succession is " The CEO Within" by my Harvard Business School colleague Joe Bower. Bower studied how companies perform after hiring a new CEO, noting whether the successor had been recruited from inside or outside the company.

New Members
Raimundo Archibold
Jey Arul
Alan Gallup
Robert Groag
George Hicks
Sally Anne Hughes
John Suender
Beth Veloz
John Willingham
Congr atulations Kevin!
Thank you to all those who participated in our 2015 membership survey. We received a lot of great feedback, and we will do our best to turn your suggestions into reality in 2016.

All those who completed the survey had an opportunity to enter a random drawing for a $500 American Express gift card. Kevin Nery was randomly selected as the winner. Congratulations, Kevin! We hope you enjoy your prize.

Editor's Desk
As Chair of the Communications Committee and Editor of the BRIDGE, I welcome your questions, comments, suggestions, letters to the Editor, etc.  Our goal is to provide content that is relevant to our readers.  Your feedback will help us achieve that goal. 

Members of The M&A Source are encouraged to submit articles for publication.  
Mike Camerota, M&AMI, CBI 
About Us  M&A Logo
The association is organized and operated to promote members' professional development to better serve their clients' needs, and to maximize public awareness of services performed by intermediaries and ancillary advisors who facilitate solutions available for lower middle market merger and acquisition transactions.

The M&A Source was established in 1992 to address the challenges faced by merger and acquisition professionals. This international organization currently has more than 350 M&A dealmakers including intermediaries, investment bankers, attorneys, accountants, financial planners and others involved in the M&A process.