Pressing Issues, Different Perspectives: Advisors vs Investors on The State of The U.S. M&A Market
Intralinks and The M&A Advisor are excited to present Out IN Front: The Insider’s Guide to M&A Trends, a content hub for mergers & acquisitions practitioners featuring exclusive peer-generated insight and expert analysis.
Make your voice heard! Participate in market polls to share your opinion on the full spectrum of M&A industry topics.
This Month's Survey
Pressing Issues, Different Perspectives:
Advisors vs Investors on The State of The U.S. M&A Market
Valuations are at an all-time high in the aggregate of all sectors, there is more expendable capital than ever before, yet U.S. M&A volumes will decline for the second year in a row.
The geopolitical forces pushing against U.S. cross border M&A are stronger than ever before. Is this factor solely to blame for the waning numbers?
In this climate, with frothy prices and overflowing capital pools, are the right decisions being made by strategic and financial buyers?
And what about the fees? Is the grumbling from investors and advisors about fee levels at a high-water mark? Or are we just listening more closely as prices rise and deal volume declines?
In this, our latest Out IN Front monthly poll, we want your input as advisors, buyers and sellers on these important questions as we head into the final 45 days of the calendar year.
Take the 6-question survey
See the latest results
Sign up to get notified about response data and new polls.
What’s in it for you?
See polling data to gauge your peers’ perspectives, on any issue, and read exclusive commentary developed by an expert industry task force.
Survey Results Revealed
Responses are in for our previous polls.
Out IN Front Task Force
Industry experts will share their insight on the polling data collected from each topic in an exclusive report at the end of each three-month poll.
Task Force Leaders
David A. Fergusson is the President and CEO of The M&A Advisor – the world’s premier global leadership organization of corporate finance professionals of over 350,000 finance industry professionals. As the host of The M&A Advisor’s exclusive “thought leadership” summits and editor of the “market intelligence” reporting, Mr. Fergusson engages regularly with leaders in the finance industry, media, and government. He is a respected speaker on the subjects of financial services, technology and leadership, a frequent contributor to media organizations globally and the editor of “The Best Practices of The Best Dealmakers” series with a readership of more than 500,000 in over 60 countries. A pioneer in cross border mergers and acquisitions between the United States and China, he was recognized with the 2017 M&A Leadership Award from the China Mergers & Acquisitions Association. Recipient of the 2015 Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award for his work in youth leadership development, Mr. Fergusson is the global President of Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY), the world’s largest social leadership foundation for high school students. He is the co-author, with technology pioneer Carlos Moreira, of the forthcoming book and broadcast series “The TransHuman Code.”
Richard A. Martin, Jr. is an internationally renowned sales and marketing strategist and innovative thought leader with over 25 years’ experience advising and directing companies engaging the global financial community. Previously, Martin led the marketing strategy team at Merrill Corporation, where over the course of a decade he designed and implemented a visionary sales and marketing program. Prior to that, Martin served as lead equity strategist at Reuters PLC and he began his career with Morgan Stanley in the intuitional sales and trading department. Martin continues to develop his deep understanding of disparate business cultures and the global financial industry and works closely with financial professionals to provide first class strategies and solutions as well as promoting industry best practices and thought leadership. He hosts regular discussion groups and webinars and speaks at industry events. He also envisioned and worked to develop the M&A industry bible: Best Practices of the Best Dealmaker series.
Task Force Members
Matt Wells is Intralinks’ senior director of strategy and product marketing, Matt Wells is a key member focused on the development and go-to-market strategy for Intralinks’ M&A business which includes our virtual data room and deal lifecycle solutions. Matt joined Intralinks in 2012 upon the acquisition of PE-Nexus, a company he co-founded in 2010 that pioneered the concept of online deal sourcing and buyer identification. Before PE-Nexus, he was a vice president at Cross Keys Capital, a boutique advisory firm, where he focused on middle-market M&A transactions. At Cross Keys Matt worked on over 50 middle-market buyouts and recapitalizations in the healthcare and technology sectors. Matt holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
As Director of Strategy and Product Marketing, Benjamin Collins is responsible for driving the growth of Intralinks’ Corporate Development platform, including the company’s offerings for facilitating both buyside and sellside transactions.
Prior to joining Intralinks, Mr. Collins served as Director of Corporate Development for Cognizant Technology Solutions, a leading global provider of IT services solutions. While at Cognizant he was responsible for evaluating and executing a variety of strategic initiatives, but was primarily focused on driving growth through acquisitions.
Before Cognizant, Mr. Collins was a Vice President with Innovation Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on providing advisory services for mergers and acquisitions in the technology industry. He also worked at SG Cowen Securities in both their Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions practices.
Mr. Collins graduated with honors from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government.
Paul Aversano is a Managing Director in Alvarez & Marsal’s Private Equity Services practice and the Global Practice Leader of the firm’s Transaction Advisory Group. For over 20 years, Mr. Aversano has specialized in leading both buy-side and sellside financial accounting due diligence projects for complex public and private company transactions, as well as transactions in the capital markets. As the Global Practice Leader of A&M’s Transaction Advisory Group, Mr. Aversano works to deliver the firm’s services to clients throughout the world. Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Aversano was a Partner and Director of Middle Market Private Equity with Ernst & Young in New York. Mr. Aversano earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Binghamton University, School of Management. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York, and is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 2015 Mr. Aversano was named the “Service Professional of the Year” by The M&A Advisor and was formerly a finalist of The M&A Advisor’s 40 Under 40 Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in the M&A and financial industry. Mr. Aversano is also a regular contributor to Fox Business Network.
Justine Mannering is a Managing Director of Alantra Partners and a founding member of Alantra’s New York City office. She specializes in providing advisory services to Consumer companies with focus on Apparel & Accessories, Personal Care, Wellness and Leisure. Ms. Mannering has advised numerous clients on buy-side, sell-side, debt, IPO and restructuring transactions. Ms. Mannering joined Alantra from BDA Partners, an international investment banking firm focused on cross-border transactions involving Asia where she worked from 2011 to 2017, most recently as Global Head of Consumer & Luxury. Prior to BDA, Ms. Mannering worked for the Consumer, Retail & Leisure team, and the Financial Sponsor Groups at DC Advisory Partners in London. Ms. Mannering also sent time on assignment with Harris Williams in their Boston office from 2006 -2008. She started her career at KPMG in Cape Town and London in Audit and Transaction Services. Ms. Mannering qualified as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) and is a CFA Charterholder. She graduated from Rhodes University in South Africa with a B Commerce in Accounting
Harvey Fine is Managing Partner of Maris Global Capital. Harvey helped build Fosun Group’s global, direct investment platform as Fosun’s Managing Director and Deputy Head of Global Investments & Strategies and Head of Fosun Group’s N. American Operations, as well as operating executives and back office professionals based in New York and Shanghai. He launched Fosun’s first international office, based in New York and also raised the China Momentum Fund, a $1 billion private equity fund, and the Pramerica-Fosun China Opportunity Fund, a $600M private equity fund. Prior to joining Fosun in 2010, Mr. Fine served as Managing Director for Galileo Global Advisors. Previously he worked for a multi-family office, as a Principal for private equity investments, investing in middle-market consumer product companies. Mr. Fine holds a Masters degree in International Finance with emphasis on Emerging Markets from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Gregory Bedrosian is Managing Partner & Co-CEO of Drake Star Partners. Gregory is an award-winning, seasoned investment banker and private equity investor whose experience spans both domestic and cross-border M&A and private equity transactions across the US, Europe and emerging markets. Amongst his numerous honors, Gregory received the 2016 M&A Advisor Leadership Award and is an M&A Advisor Hall of Fame inductee. Prior to the formation of Drake Star Partners, Gregory was a co-founder of Renaissance Capital. Gregory began his career in the merchant banking department of Credit Suisse First Boston in London and the leveraged buyout group of Salomon Brothers in New York. Gregory is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and he is a regular speaker and panelist at leading industry and academic forums. He currently sits on the Harvard Business School Alumni Board of Directors (Emeritus), is an Advisor at the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab), Chairs the Investment Committee of a $100 million New York-based foundation and serves on the Board of an emerging markets investment fund. Gregory holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Ceasar N. Anquillare is the Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Winchester Capital. Mr. Anquillare holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Georgetown University and Fairfield University). He undertook further post graduate studies in law at the University of London and has a Certificate in Corporate Governance from the Harvard Business School. Mr. Anquillare has been appointed Connecticut’s Honorary Ambassador to the United Kingdom and European Union and serves as a Justice of the Peace. Mr. Anquillare also has served as an adviser to the U.S. Agency for International Development during the Administrations of the late President Ronald Reagan and former President George H.W. Bush. He has over 25 years of investment banking experience, specializing in international mergers and acquisitions in the range of $50m-$1.4bn. Mr. Anquillare has served on the boards of private and public companies quoted on the London Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Fairfield University, a Non-Executive Director of British American Business and the St George’s Society.
Julia Karol is President and COO of Watermill Group. She is responsible for overall firm operations and helping Watermill portfolio companies develop and implement their strategies. Previously, as a Watermill Principal, Julia helped guide the day-to-day operations of the firm, directed the firm’s investor relations and managed fundraising initiatives for acquisitions. Prior to joining Watermill, Julia worked at Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization. While at Jumpstart, she managed Boston-area fundraising, coordinated communication and marketing efforts, cultivated partnerships, developed alumni relations programming, and oversaw staff recruitment efforts. Julia currently serves as a Partner with Social Venture Partners. Previously, Julia founded and served as board chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in Boston. Julia is a member of ACG Boston and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and has twice been named as one of the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers and Acquisitions Magazine and was named one of 2017’s Emerging Leaders by the M&A Advisor. She received a M.A. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from Stanford University, completed the Owners, Presidents, Managers program at Harvard Business School, and the Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and earned a B.A. from Tufts University.
Jim Bunn is Co-president of Global Equities & Investment Banking with Raymond James and Head of Investment Banking. Mr. Bunn joined Raymond James in 2009. Mr. Bunn was a Managing Director and Co-Head of Technology Services group for Raymond James from 2009 to 2013. Mr. Bunn has more than 17 years of investment banking experience working with software, transaction processing and technology-enabled outsourcing companies. Prior to joining Raymond James, Mr. Bunn was Head of the Financial Technology investment banking practice for Lane, Berry & Co., a leading middle market advisory firm that was acquired by Raymond James in 2009. Prior to Lane Berry, Mr. Bunn was with Citigroup Global Markets in the electronic financial services group focusing exclusively on the financial technology, payment and transaction processing industries. Mr. Bunn has completed over 75 transactions over the course of his career. Mr. Bunn received both his undergraduate degree and his MBA from the University of Michigan.
Thomas Yagel is the Global Head – Corporates at S&P Global Market Intelligence. Since first joining S&P Capital IQ in 2006, Thomas has held several analytical and client development positions. As part of the Application Specialist team he is currently involved in innovating new offerings and solutions that reach across asset and product categories, writing research that highlights the power of S&P Capital IQ capabilities and actively participating in analytical and consultative sales engagements.Thomas has an extensive background in finance covering both fixed income and equity markets with significant work in risk and valuation capabilities. With 15 years of industry experience, Thomas has held positions focusing on consulting, project management, software development and product design.
Thomas holds an MBA with honors in finance and accounting from New York University Stern School of Business and a B.S. in physics from the University of Virginia.