December, 2015     
MidMarket Talk:
Join Us In Welcoming Our Newest Members!


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! 


5 Finalists for Thought Leader of the Year Award

The winner will be announced at the 2016 Winter Conference

Bo Burlingham, an Author who wrote "Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top". This book takes readers through the entire exit process from the business owners' point of view.

Benjamin Gomes-Casseres, a Professor of International Business at Brandeis University and Co-Director of Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship, advances the theory of "Remix Strategy" as a way for mergers and acquisitions to be more effective.

Angela Martin, Esq. has co-authored and developed "An Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting a Business in New Hampshire," which is a comprehensive publication that provides entrepreneurs and start-up businesses with detailed information and guidance on various legal issues related to creating start-up businesses in New Hampshire.

Ken Sanginario, Founder of Corporate Value Metrics.  His unique proprietary process, groundbreaking software (VOP), and education leadership, has made him a leading national authority on how to transform companies to achieve maximum value and transaction readiness.
Carl Sheeler, a Managing Director, Global Group Leader of Family Office & Business Strategies, from Berkeley Research Group, LLC, authored "Equity Value Enhancement: A Tool to Leverage Human and Financial Capital While Managing Risk."

To read more about our finalists and their works, visit us online.

Thank you to BKD, our 2015 TLOY Sponsor!


BKD is a trusted, national CPA & advisory firm that understands your business and delivers the resources you need with a service style you'll value.

Join us in Orlando, FL for the 2016 Winter Conference Jan 13 - 15
The Alliance of M&A Advisors (AM&AA) Winter Conference heads to Orlando, FL this January 13-15, 2016.  Join a diverse roster of successful dealmakers to hear their insights about current market conditions, and how they get their deals over the finish line in this changing market. 
We expect 500+ attendees representing countries from all over the world. You'll be in good company with key industry players that include:
  • Investment Banks and Intermediaries
  • Leading Private Equity Investors
  • Senior and Mezzanine Lenders
  • CPAs
  • Attorneys
  • Business Valuators
  • Consultants and other Advisors
Plan now to join us in Orlando. Register today to catch the best rates to attend!

The Alliance of M&A Advisors is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:
Program Level: Advanced
Delivery Method: Group Live
36 CPE Credit Hours earned

Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Keep an eye out for these
2016 Chapter Meetings

Attend one of our upcoming Chapter Meetings in a location near you! 
Mid-Atlantic Central PA 
Chapter Meeting
Wednesday, February 3rd

DC.MD.VA Chapter Meeting
Friday, March 5th

Phoenix Chapter Meeting
Tuesday, March 1st 

Structured as a marketplace with hospitality suites and networking events to foster business opportunities, the International Private Equity Market (IPEM) is the world's first international PE event to gather the whole value chain of the Private Equity industry, from PE professionals (GPs, LPs, Debt, Advisors...) to business owners, for 3 days of business meetings and intensive networking.
1,500 participants from 25 countries are expected in Cannes on the French Riviera from February 17-19, 2016. The primary objective of this innovative event is to create an environment where all the talents from the PE industry can share experiences, meet future partners and explore the industry trends together.
Alliance Members receive a 25% discount on accreditation to IPEM using this link.

Join Today!
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
Thank you to all of our MidMarket Talk subscribers. This year, we have grown our newsletter to include articles by Members of the Alliance of M&A Advisors, and have been thrilled to see the response. We know that our Members are among the best, the most innovative, and the most knowledgeable experts in their fields. It has been a joy giving them a voice this year.

On that note, we want to offer a special thank you to our Alliance Members on behalf of everyone at the Alliance of M&A Advisors. We look forward to working with you in 2016!

Mike Nall
Founder and CEO of the Alliance of M&A Advisors

This Month's Member Articles Feature our 
2016 Winter Conference Speakers
Visit us online to learn more about the topics this Month's contributors will be speaking on.  

Pointers and Tips When Negotiating Contracts With

Chinese Companies


By Caroline Berube, Managing Partner at HJM Asia Law & Co. LLC

From the Introduction:  This article summarizes the pointers and tips to keep in mind when negotiating contracts with Chinese companies, namely: Company searches and credit checks, undertaking other due diligence, use of contracts, and authorized signatories.
 Taken from Section B : Due Diligence
Although due diligence has been seen as being more important in the last decade, due diligence on target companies is still less common in China than in the Western world.
HJM conducted due diligence on a Beijing company in early 2013. Our investigation showed that this company was well organized; the officers of the company were cooperating during the due diligence exercise and the company records were easily available. However, the officers mentioned that it was the first time they heard about and experienced a due diligence process.
For a majority of Chinese companies, cultural sensitivities play a part. Company personnel feel offended if a team of lawyers or other professionals come to their office, scrutinize their documentation and interview their staff with dozens of questions, despite the due diligence team acting professionally and cordially.
Therefore, when conducting due diligence in China, certain aspects which may be perceived to be " offensive"
by the target company may be best eliminated from the process (depending on the circumstances). For example, reviewing documentation, such as certificates on-site and interviewing the employees of the target company could be substituted by doing a neutral credit check, interviewing long-standing counter-parties of the target company (should they be willing to co-operate), and other means that would not directly cause conflict.
You can read the full report here
To see the full agenda for the 2016 Conference, and to learn about cross border M&A with Caroline Berube, visit us online

Organizational Culture in Mergers and Acquisitions As A Play In Three Acts

The challenge for organizations is to start thinking through the beliefs that underpin their culture and to think through the values, descriptive and aspirational, that they want to be calling out. When organizations begin this exercise, they can then start the process of aligning strategy, processes and culture to truly start driving impact in their organization and industry.
It's not until you align culture with strategy and process that you truly see differentiation in your organization. At Prescient Strategists, we see organizations all the time that have focused their efforts on building a new strategy or creating a new process but ignoring the culture. They typically come to us afterwards, realizing that they may have created a new organizational structure, with new strategies, and new hierarchies that were supposed to create new workflows, new systems of interaction and new results, but they've ignored the culture.
Work continues to get done through old patterns of interaction. People use the systems and processes that they were traditionally accustomed to; work gets done through informal networks that can ultimately undermine the initial changes in strategy and process that are critical in the first 180 days following the close of a transaction.
Simply stated, cultural integration is crucial to the success of any merger. Failure to achieve it can threaten the outcome of multibillion-dollar transactions.
To hear Dr. Curtis Odom, and the resto of the pannel speak on the "22 Flavors of Value Growth Advisors", register online today for the 2016 Winter Conference.

Deal Source Pros Key to Producing Top-Quartile

 Market Coverage 


Nadim Malik, Founder of Sutton Place Strategies, LLC

If there was only one takeaway from the 2015 edition of the Sutton Place Strategies Deal Origination Benchmark Report, it would be this: that deal sourcing remains both a challenge, as well as an opportunity for general partners to unlock value for their investors.

Average market coverage of 18.6 percent is down slightly compared to 19.3 percent in 2014. If you are a private equity professional you might be thinking, "But our firm's deal flow is up over 10 percent compared to last year, so how can market coverage be down?" What's even more perplexing is that according to Sutton Place Strategies's proprietary database of M&A transactions in the United States and Canada, the number of completed transactions in the first half of 2015 is actually down 4.4 percent from the same period in 2014.

So how can deal flow be up, closed transactions decline, and market coverage be relatively flat? There are two factors working together that help explain this. First, greater efficiencies in the M&A process are resulting in buyers getting "more looks." In other words, a banker that may have shown a deal to 50 firms in the past, could now just as easily show it to many more. This explains the increase in overall deal flow among PE firms. However, since it continues to be a seller's market, more owners are "considering" selling and talking to buyers but are really only ready to sell at their
price. This mismatch in buyers and sellers expectations on valuation, and the increasing ability on the part of intermediaries to expand their network of potential buyers, may explain what on the surface may seem counter-intuitive.
You can read the rest of the article here
To hear Nadim Malik and other middle market experts speak at the 2016 Winter Conference, register online today.

Get Featured!
Alliance Members, do you want to be featured in Midmarket Talk?
Submit articles and educational material for our monthly Newsletters and receive CPE Credit! Please send to:
  • Send us your completed deal tombstones
  • Tell us about your speaking engagements
  • Send us your articles or white paper summaries

Personal Transition Planning: New Opportunities for You and Buiness Owners

An estimated seven million baby-boomer business owners will exit their companies over the next 20 years - and many of them are your clients. How can you, as a CPA, take advantage of this growing wave so that, instead of losing your clients, you can actually develop new business opportunities from these transitions? In addition, when you are ready to exit from your own CPA practice, how can you transition most successfully for both your maximum financial outcome, as well as your personal satisfaction?

The process of personal transition planning can successfully answer the questions above.
Transition planning will benefit your business-owner clients while opening up new business opportunities for you.  If you are thinking about leaving your own business or firm, you can benefit personally from engaging in your own transition planning.

The Time Factor
A major reason why business owners fail to make successful business transitions is because of costly misconceptions about time. Many owners believe that it is too early for them to plan what they are going to do with their businesses or with their lives after leaving their businesses. Another common misconception is the belief that they do not have the time to make a plan for exiting their companies. Owners often think it will take no time to sell their businesses, which can cause them to walk into your CPA firm and announce that they want to sell their companies immediately.

The fact is that if owners fail to take the time to plan, they have created a plan to fail. Overnight transactions are not based in reality, since owners will need time to meet with professional advisors such as CPAs, lawyers, financial planners, etc. with expertise in the exiting process. It also takes time to create a strategic game plan, so the owner can get the company into the best business and financial shape possible to realize the maximum amount of money.

To read the next section "What Transition Planning Can Do for Business Owners - And for You" , and for the full article, click here


2016 Dates Now Available 

February 29th- March  4th, 2016
Thunderbird Global School of Mgmt
Phoenix, AZ

May 2nd-6th, 2016
DePaul University Loop Campus
Chicago, IL

September 19th-23rd, 2016
DePaul University Loop Campus
Chicago, IL

November 14th-18th, 2016
Villa Graziadio Executive Center
Malibu, CA

The "Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor" (CM&AA) designation serves to maintain the highest recognized standards of professional excellence for middle market corporate financial advisory and transaction services, and to provide a benchmark for professional achievement within that overall body of knowledge.

Contact us
222 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60601
The Alliance of M&A Advisors┬« 
(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.