Issue: 28
January 2015
2015 M&A Source Spring Conference May 4-7, 2015!

Mark your calendars! Based on multiple requests to return to the northeast and provide affordable room rates, the 2015 M&A Source Spring Conference will take place at the Sheraton Atlantic City May 4-7 with a room rate of $139 a night! And no, the Sheraton is NOT in a casino! It is, however, just steps away from the famous boardwalk, a large variety of dining options and the Tanger Outlets "The Walk" with over 100 shops.

For those of you looking into your travel options outside of the Atlantic City airport, all transportation options will be published within the next few weeks.

Questions? Contact M&A Source Headquarters:

Interested in participating in the M&A Source Dealmakers Expo? Contact

In This Issue
Meet the 2015 Chair
The Role of Emotions in Effective Negotiations
Building Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Editor's Desk
Start 2015 with a Big Win!
Pratt's Stats Private Deal Update: 4th Quarter 2014
Managing the Family Business: Are Optimists or Pessimists Better Leaders?
Welcome New M&A Members

 Meet the 2015 Chair

Joe Lindsey, M&AMI, CBI


Who am I? Why am I here? Those were the opening questions asked by Admiral James Stockdale during the 1992 Vice President debate. Stockdale was one half of the Ross-Perot-for-President ticket.

Today you may be wondering the same things about me. Who am I? Why am I here? Let me try to explain by starting with a Chet Walden story.

Chet was the 2012 M&A Source Chair. Friends of Chet may or may not know that he loved dogs. One day a few years ago Chet and some of his friends were strolling through their local shopping center and stopped at the pet store. Looking through the front windows, they could see the puppies that were available for adoption. The puppies were a lively bunch... chasing each other's tails, jumping on each other...generally just doing what puppies do. 

The Role of Emotions in Effective Negotiations

Michael Blanding, Senior Writer


HBS Senior Lecturer Andy Wasynczuk, a former negotiator for the New England Patriots, explores the sometimes intense role that emotions can play in negotiations.

A simple view of negotiation presents a cold transaction between what one person has and what the other person is willing to pay for it. If the price is right, the deal gets done.

As anyone who has recently bought a car or sold a house knows, however, negotiations are rarely so dispassionate. As soon as the checkbook comes out a flood of emotions comes out with it-fear, anxiety, competiveness, anger, annoyance-all of which can influence what either side is willing to accept.

Building Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Ron Stacey

Capitalism is about competition and free markets. Accordingly, it behooves any business to have a good understanding of the factors that drive competition in its industry in order to strategically position the business for success. In this article we review the origins of competitive strategy, its evolution into more easily understandable manifestations from an investment perspective (the moat) and then address each of four primary competitive advantages; intangible assets, switching costs, network economies, and cost advantage. Lastly we provide some tips on how any business can build competitive advantage by applying an understanding of the basic principles of competitive strategy. 

Three decades ago, Harvard business school professor Michael Porter established a framework for analyzing industries and competitors in his seminal work Competitive Strategy. Porter's industry analysis captured the complexity of competition in four forces; the threat of new entrants, the threat of substitutes, the bargaining power of customers, and the bargaining power of suppliers. Porter identified three generic strategies; differentiation, low cost producer and focus. While over the years the names have changed the underlying concepts remain the same. 

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 

Start 2015 with a Big Win!
Tracey Gillespie

A winning season usually ends with a trophy, high fives and a smile for the cameras. But also a sense of accomplishment and excitement. Do you want to finish 2015 with an adrenalin rush of achievement? Then this 20 minute quick start action is for you.
Cashing in at the hand off for most business owners is the definitive win. Approaching exit or transition with the confidence the business is truly worth what the owners needs to retire, provide security for family and leave a legacy is the ultimate trophy. But how can you assure you will win that trophy? How can you be confident you are doing all the right things, making the right decisions, allocating the right resources? Actually, it's easier than you might think. And you can do it today!

Pratt's Stats Private Deal Update: 4th Quarter 2014 
Zac Cartwright

The information provided below is excerpted from the Pratt's Stats Private Deal Update: 4th Quarter 2014, which is copyrighted by and available exclusively from Business Valuation Resources, LLC - All Rights Reserved. Brokers who contribute transaction details to Pratt's Stats´┐Ż on closed business sales receive the complete Private Deal Update plus three months of free access to the database for each deal included in Pratt's Stats. 

The quarterly Pratt's Stats Private Deal Update (PDU) provides general trend information on valuation multiples and profit margins for transactions in the Pratt's Stats database, available exclusively through Business Valuation Resources, LLC (BVR) at

Managing the Family Business: Are Optimists or Pessimists Better Leaders?

John A. Davis, Senior Lecturer 


In general, optimists are best suited to lead family-run entrepreneurial organizations. At least until disaster strikes.
John A. Davis
explains why both perspectives are so valuable.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of occasional columns on managing the family business written by Senior Lecturer John A. Davis.

Optimism and pessimism are strong, stable traits that reflect our coping strategies. We live in an uncertain world. To cope with uncertainty, most people basically assume that things will either turn out well (the optimists) or turn out badly (the pessimists).

So here's a question to ponder: Is it better to have an optimist or a pessimist leading your family organization? As I'll show below, both have their own unique traits that can benefit a business. But they will do it in different ways, with different goals.

Welcome New 

M&A Source Members

Brian McDowell

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About Us
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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 1991 to address the challenges faced by merger and acquisition professionals. This international organization currently has more than 250 M&A dealmakers including intermediaries, investment bankers, attorneys, accountants, financial planners and others involved in the M&A process.