May, 2016     
MidMarket Talk:

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The Alliance of M&A Advisors invites you to check out our new Members here.


Visit our Member Directory to find Alliance Members near you! 


Apply For Our Next Class

Sept 19-23 in Chicago, IL

The CM&AA (Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor) Certification has become the "Gold Standard" for Middle Market Corporate Financial Advisors.  The 5-day program builds on your existing skills providing you with the necessary framework--and network--to further advance your professional and financial goals as well as those of the clients you serve.
Other dates and locations available on our  website , call us at 312-856-9590, or reach us by email at

 Testimonial on our May 2016 Class: 

"The program builds on what the industry needs not what academia wants. It has added another level of depth to my practice, my conversations and my mindset. My value has increased thanks to the instructors and the Alliance as a whole. Excited to carry the CM&AA as another credential!"

Michael L Vaccarella, CPA, CGMA, CM&AA

Managing Director - Transaction Support Services at Wipfli LLP


Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Keep an eye out for these
Upcoming Meetings

Attend a Chapter Meeting near you! 
Mid-Atlantic Philly Chapter Meeting
Wednesday, June 15th 

DC/MD/VA Chapter Meeting
Tuesday, June 21st

Midwest Chapter Meeting
Wednesday, June 22nd 
New York Chapter Meeting
Thursday, June 30th

Get Involved
The below chapters are in the development stages.  Want to be more involved with a new chapter in your area? 

Please email  Corinne Samuelson, and she will schedule a call with David Belew, Director of Member Services.
  • Gulf Area (Houston)
  • Cleveland
  • Florida
  • Northern California
  • Central Valley California
  • Brazil
  • Minneapolis
  • Nevada 
  • China
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Why Become a Member of The Alliance?
  • Gain access to valuable Member Benefit technology platforms
  • Gain a valuable network of M&A expert Members who act as resources for other Members
  • Featured on our Member Directory, accessible to the public
  • Receive discounted rates to Alliance of M&A Advisors events
Congratulations to our Prize Winners from our Member Survey Drawing: 

Nancy Newberry from Vertess Advisors (Tucson, AZ)  MidMarket Talk Article

Adam Keck from Gibraltar Business Capital (Scottsdale, AZ) $500 Gift Card

Doug Cruikshank from Cruikshank Advisory Group LTD (North Vancouver, BC)  Buy 1, Get 1 free Summer Conference Registration

Live Mergermarket Broadcast:
"Healthcare M&A: Coping Under Pressure" - Challenges Facing Pharma in 2016

This complimentary broadcast will take place on June 10, 2016 at 2PM EDT / 11AM PDT.
Several pharma companies have suffered in 2016 as disputes with pharmacy benefit managers and health insurers - as well as public backlash - over drug prices have hit balance sheets.
While most attention has been focused on Valeant, which has seen its share price plummet by 58% in less than a month, other companies including Endo and Mallinckrodt have had trouble, with the former facing an FTC lawsuit for blocking lower-cost versions of branded drugs.
With all this trouble, this has led to speculation that a raft of pharma consolidation can be expected this year as companies look to cut costs. Will this be the case? How can pharma companies deal with pressure from PBMs, insurers and the public?

Register now for the 2016 Summer Conference: Accelerating MidMarket Growth  
 July 27th - 29th in Chicago, IL
George McCaskey as the Alliance's Summer Conference Keynote Speaker 
  The Alliance is very excited to announce that Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey will be our Keynote Speaker for the upcoming 2016 Summer Conference - Accelerating MidMarket Growth!

George carries on the storied tradition of the Chicago Bears with yearly goals of winning the NFL Championship, upholding the integrity and values established in the previous 94 years of the club, and overseeing the franchise's leadership role in the Chicago community.  He previously served as the team's Senior Director of Ticket Operations, working in the ticket office for 20 seasons, joining the Bears in 1991 as Ticket Manager. He has been a member of the Bears' Board of Directors since 2004.

George became the fourth Chairman of the Chicago Bears in 2011, following in the footsteps of grandfather and founder of the Bears, George Halas, his father, Edward McCaskey, and his brother, Michael. His first part-time job, at age 14, was as an office assistant at the team's headquarters in Chicago. He later worked for several summers as a ball boy at Bears training camp, calling it one of the best experiences of his life.  Prior to being named Chairman, he served as the team's Ticket Manager for twenty seasons. 

We are delighted to have George on stage at the Friday July 29th Keynote Address. We are looking forward to hearing him speak about business strategy, profitability and growth, and answering questions from the audience. 

Business Owner Took These 4 Steps to Sell Business For Premium Price

By: Bryan Griaff

Sometimes a strategic buyer is not the best fit for an exit plan. Perhaps the owner wants to work for a few more years, or the strategic buyer would fire long-term employees because their positions duplicate those of other employees.
Customers and vendors could also react negatively if a competitor bought the company and had unfettered access to confidential information.
In those situations, a company looking to sell might consider a financial buyer, such as a private equity firm or family office.
In any selling situation, sellers need to get their house in order before going to market. However, sellers should be prepared for a financial buyer to perform extensive due diligence before a transaction. Whereas a strategic buyer may already know the company and the industry well, a financial buyer, such as a private equity firm, is more likely to need to do more research before they use their investors' dollars to buy a company.
Read the full article  here 

The High Cost of Misaligned "Value Disciplines" in CPA Firms 

By: Kenneth J. Sanginario

Your firm prides itself on its technical expertise and client service. You recruit the best employees you can find and invest heavily in their training and development.  You instill a culture of excellence in every area of your practice.  You've even built several niches of industry expertise in order to create a distinguished market position. 
Despite your efforts:
  • Fee pressure is constant in the marketplace and, far too often, your firm competes on price more than added value.
  • Client retention remains an ongoing issue because your services have become commoditized, and the cost of replacing lost clients is hampering profitability and growth.
  • Recruiting and retaining future partner-caliber employees is difficult because the employee experience you provide has also become commoditized.  Employees too often leave for a few thousand dollars more in salary, and the cost to replace them is also hampering profitability and growth.    
  • Succession is considered by many, including you and your partners, to be the biggest threat to CPA firms (and partner pensions) because of the shortage of partner replacement candidates.
Read the full article in May's issue of SumNews on pages 26-27 

Removing The Labels: A Viewpoint on the Multi-Generational Workforce 

By: Dr. Curtis Odom 
The key to integrating a multi-generation workforce is to create a culture where all generations value and respect one another's capabilities to accomplish a task, whether it's building a new product, streamlining a process, closing a deal or brokering a sale. The angst that currently exists about multiple generation workforces comes from a place of fear and misunderstanding. The challenge, in many cases, is that the new generation of workers that are coming into organizations have been given a host of labels, ranging from the obnoxious to the sublime. 
The truth, as is usually the case, lies somewhere in between. Unfortunately, any time labels are ascribed to a group, we in effect prime the mindset of others to automatically assume these labels as truth. So when you hear things like, 'the younger generation just doesn't get it, they just want to be the boss today and they don't care for experience,' it's fair to question their motivations as they enter the workforce. When you hear it enough times it eventually becomes the truth for you. Knowingly or unknowingly, if you're in a position to 'make it right' there's a good chance that you're going to do so, at any cost.
Read the full article here
The Rise of the Search Fund: 4 Important Considerations for Healthcare Business Owners

By Bradley Smith, ATP, CM&AA
Volume 3 Issue 10
May 10, 2016 

Search funds, originally conceived in 1984, are investment vehicles through which investors financially support an entrepreneur's efforts to locate, acquire, manage, and grow a privately held company. A 2013 study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business tracked nearly 200 search funds with investments in the US, Canada, Latin America, and Europe and found that the aggregate pre-tax internal rate of return was 34.9% for these funds. The aggregate pre-tax return on invested capital was 10x. With these results, search funds have become an attractive alternative to classic Private Equity Group (PEG) investment in healthcare. Some search funds are led by experienced operators, but the preponderance are now managed by executives under the age of 40, which may be seen as part of a generational shift in fund management.
So why are we seeing more search funds in healthcare? Very simply, there are unique opportunities in smaller healthcare companies (annual revenue below $25 million) that PEGs and other larger investors shy away from, especially in companies where the founder is seeking an operational exit. Traditional PEGs typically want the current management to continue as part of their investment strategy; search funds provide additional options in this regard. Search funds also tend to be capitalized by a relatively small number of investors, leading to greater management agility in responding to the specific dynamics of the healthcare vertical.
Read the full article  here

Articles Are Written By Our Expert Members

Alliance Members, want to get noticed?
With over 30,000 subscribers, MidMarket Talk is a great place to be featured. Members can submit their articles to Tracy Flack.
  • Send us your completed deal tombstones
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Can You Afford to Sell Your Employees?

By: Tom Siders
Partner, L Harris Partners LLC 

Business owners often tell us that, in an ideal world, they would sell their businesses to their loyal, dedicated employees. However, they frequently dismiss this option because their employees typically don't have enough money to buy the business. They know that because business owners are the ones who set the salaries of their management teams. What most business owners don't know early enough is that there Is a way to put this options back on the table. 

Let's take the example of Joe Williams, the fictional owner of fictional company, Williams Scientific, Inc., a 30 -year old equipment distributor. Joe's management team was capable and interested in buying the company, but is often the case, did not have the capital to purchase it. The business had little debt and good cash flow. 

When Joe confided in his advisors at an annual planning meeting that he had always hoped to sell his business to his employees but just did not see a way to make that happen, one of their first questions was, "When do you want to leave the business?" If Joe had answered, "Yesterday!" a sale to employees who lack cash would have been extremely risky. If Joe's answer was, "I'd like to be out - both financially and as a participant in management - in five to eight years," a well-designed plan would have made that happen.

Read the full article here

The Alliance attended the recent IR Global Conference "On the Road" in San Francisco this month!

Interested in Becoming A Member?

Members of the Alliance of M&A Advisors (The Alliance) represent businesses ranging from $5 to $500 million in transaction value. Membership with The Alliance provides access to a worldwide network of 1,000 M&A Professionals, exclusive pricing on conferences, certification and training opportunities, special discounts on cutting edge software, as well as speaking and publishing opportunities. 

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(The Alliance) is the premiere International Organization serving the educational and resource needs of the middle market M&A profession. Formed in 1998 to bring together CPAs, attorneys and other experienced corporate financial advisors, the Alliance's 1000+ professional services firms - including some of the most highly recognized leaders in the industry-draw upon their combined transactional expertise to better serve the needs of their middle market clients worldwide.