Weekly A/E Industry Intelligence
Strategic planning in a post-vaccine world: Do some firms have a competitive advantage?

Our consulting team has facilitated a dozen strategy and Board meetings for A/E and environmental firm clients this month already. These firms range in size from $2 billion to $10 million. They serve a variety of markets. Between them they have offices in all 50 U.S. states and overseas. Their leadership teams are eager to reboot strategic planning that was in play pre-pandemic or spin up new strategic planning initiatives for a post-vaccine world. Additionally, in many cases they are restarting leadership transition plans that were put on pause in 2020. What’s striking to us in our strategy and facilitation practice is how different the strategic decision-making environment is for leadership teams compared to pre-pandemic days. 
In the good old days: Pre-pandemic, leadership teams made a point of being together physically for strategy and Board meetings. Regardless of the logistics or cost, it was imperative to be together to debate and decide important firm matters…click here to read more >
A universal approach to strategic decision-making pre-pandemic: Why did leadership teams choose to meet in person pre-pandemic when there was growing use of virtual and video meetings taking place within their own firms and with clients? First, that was the one and only strategy and/or Board format that leadership teams knew…click here to read more >
The pandemic blew up the paradigm: Leadership teams that were unable to meet in person because of travel restrictions found that (surprise!) they could “lead as a team” effectively in a virtual environment (just like their employees were able to work effectively virtually). They discovered that they could…click here to read more >
The emergence of a fragmented post-vaccine leadership landscape: Today, the strategy and Board decision-making approach is no longer homogenous across the industry as it was in 2019. Indeed, there are three distinct decision-making categories at play in the industry right now:

  • It’s 2019 again (sorta) and we’re loving it: These are the leadership teams and Boards that are able to meet in person and eagerly embrace the opportunity to do so. They’re getting together for off-sites at conference centers and resorts. They’re flying in managers from around the country…click here to read more >
  • Can’t believe we’re still stuck in 2020: These are the leadership teams that want to but are unable to get together in person and have had to meet virtually since the start of the pandemic. This is a dynamic that is currently in play for leadership teams and Boards in California and states where the Delta variant is spiking…click here to read more >
  • Choose to be virtual: These are a set of leadership teams that face no municipal code or travel restrictions that prevent them from holding strategy or Board meetings in person. However, they choose to meet remotely…click here to read more >

The context for strategic decision-making: Most of these clients—like the A/E and environmental industry in general—have had a phenomenal 12 months of performance…click here to read more >
Is one strategic decision-making format superior? Pre-pandemic, every leadership team had access to the same market information (if they wanted to access it). They made strategic and governance decisions the same way that their peers and competitors did—together and in person. Today, that’s not the case. Different leadership teams are…click here to read more >

M&A is up 30% - with private equity leading the charge: This week we reported nine new domestic deals—six of which included private equity (PE). PE now accounts for a jaw-dropping 36% of all transactions this year. The recapitalization of the A/E industry is being televised. 
Results: To see the 12 transactions we have helped facilitate this year to help our clients achieve their goals and the over 120 deals that we have helped bring together since 2006, click here.
Texas is the place to be! Specifically, Houston this Oct. 21 and 22 for the 7th Texas M&A Symposium. Join over 100 industry CEOs, M&A decision makers, and investors from Texas and around the nation. Learn about the latest M&A trends, deal prices, and best practices. We’re proud to once again partner with our friends at ACEC Texas on this premier industry event. Here’s how the attendee list is shaping up:
  • CEOs / Presidents           45%
  • From Texas                      46%
  • From ENR 500 firms        75%
  • Dealmakers                     100%
What we’re tweeting about this week: The Architecture Billings Index in June reflected continued economic recovery, but a hiring crunch looms, and so more and more #AE firms are saying "no" to certain projects.

What we’re also tweeting about this week: A public service announcement to #AE firm leaders. Disconnect from your firms on summer vacation this year. Your firms will do just fine without you checking in every day. And while you’re at it, take two weeks off instead of just one. 

To review past editions of our Word on the Street report click here >  
1. Infrastructure Bill
Much juggling is going on as lawmakers try to finalize the bipartisan infrastructure deal while keeping Democratic priorities intact. How to pay for it all is the fundamental constraint, and it appears several budgetary techniques that have been leveraged in the past may be called into play. Lawmakers could use the following maneuvers to help claim their policies aren’t adding to the national debt...click here to read more >
2. COVID-19 Case Numbers
In the last week, the seven-day average of daily COVID cases in the U.S. has shot up from 28,300 to 45,300. July 22 saw over 63,800 cases...click here to read more >
3. Employment
First-time jobless claims jumped from last week’s upwardly revised 368,000 to 419,000 and were above the Dow Jones projection of 350,000. The level of continuing claims dropped 29,000 to approximately 3.24 million. The total number of people currently receiving benefits dropped 1.2 million to 12.57 million…click here to read more >
4. Inflation
In a poll of 606 U.S. businesses across industries, 33% say they are raising prices, compared to just 4% that said they are cutting them. Retail and manufacturing businesses led the way, with 44% and 41%, respectively, increasing prices...click here to read more >
5. COVID Vaccine Update
The U.S. now trails Canada, the U.K., Italy, and Germany in terms of doses administered as a share of the total population. While still ahead of Japan and other major economies, the vaccination rate in the U.S. is dropping off as it climbs elsewhere…click here to read more >

To learn more about Morrissey Goodale’s business consulting services, including strategic planning, merger & acquisition advisory, valuation & ownership transition, recruiting, and more, click here.
OCT 21-22, 2021
Houston, TX

THE event for Texas A/E or environmental consulting firm leaders and firms that want to grow in the Texas market. Registration is now open!

JAN 19-20, 2022
Miami, FL

If you are an A/E firm interested in expanding into the Southeast through acquisition, or you are based in the Southeast and considering a sale or merger, this is the event for you.

JUNE 8-9, 2022
San Francisco, CA

If you are an A/E firm leader interested in expanding into the West through acquisition, or you are based in the West and considering a sale or merger, this is the event for you.

Social distancing. Remote working. Travel restrictions. These all make it harder for you to run your firm. VR and AR can help. VR and AR are powerful tools for A/E & Environmental leadership teams to navigate the New Reality. Learn some of the ways our VR/AR solutions can help you through and beyond the pandemic.