As we approach the end of 2020, it is fair to say this is a year that will live long in our memories.
The last 12 months have presented more than their fair share of challenges and hardships, not least due to the seismic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, through this dark cloud were many rays of light in how people responded to the hurdles of 2020 – organizations adapted, innovated and evolved with the times, allowing them to thrive in unprecedented circumstances.
This has been especially true in the world of M&A, and for us at Generational Group. Like many companies, we had to shift to quickly learn how to close deals via Zoom! But despite the disruption, both our team and our industry bounced back and found success, leaving many optimistic about deal making prospects for 2021. In fact, we anticipate that when 2020 closes, our firm will have set another record for deals closing.
For me, this reaction to the rapidly altered landscape is underpinned by a key quality – diligence.
It is one of our core values at Generational Group, emphasizing the persistence, commitment and dedication of our associates to achieve the very best results for our clients in spite of the circumstances. Never has that been more apparent than during 2020.
As has become a tradition in recent years, I’d like to share with you a recap of what’s been happening with Generational Group in the last 12 months, and why I believe our response to this year’s events has placed us with a strong, positive outlook for the future.
Achieving in M&A
We’ve witnessed this first-hand at Generational Group: 3Q 2020 was our strongest quarter ever for number of deals closed, and with our NDA (non-disclosure agreement) requests up 44% this year (so far), we anticipate buyer demand to stay high for many months to come.
Following a temporary lull in activity in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the speed and strength of the M&A industry’s comeback was highly encouraging. Indeed, deal making activity in the second-half of 2020 has been at a record pace, and is expected to persist into the new year.
Back in April of this year, we reached a major M&A milestone when we closed our 900th transaction as an organization. And with the pace of activity in the latter half of 2020, we are already knocking on the door of 1,000 completed deals – an amazing landmark in middle market M&A.
This meant a great deal to me, although not for the number itself, but for what the number represents – over 900 business owners who we have helped to secure their financial legacy and make the most of life beyond their business.
The events of 2020 also fill me with confidence that we can and will build on our Refinitiv/Thomson M&A Rankings announced at the beginning of the year, where we were positioned #1 for transactions valued up to $25m, and #2 for transactions worth up to $100m.
With all signs pointing up for our team and the deal making landscape overall as we approach 2021, I look forward to seeing what more we can achieve in the coming months, and how we as a company can continue to go the extra mile for our clients.
In a similar vein, the challenges posed by this year’s events have not hindered our ambitions as a company to continue to expand, so we can realize our aspirations and provide the most comprehensive support for our clients.
With this in mind, we added another arm to the Generational Group in 2020 – Generational Consulting Group. Consisting of former CEOs, C-suite executives and seasoned management consultants with experience across all industries, GCG creates proven strategies and tactics to enhance the growth and performance of middle market companies, with the ultimate goal of building value in each business.
This step was fundamental in us being able to deliver a fully rounded experience for our clients – maximizing the capabilities of their businesses on the journey to eventually achieving an optimal exit.
As part of this, we were excited to announce in November that we had acquired Decker Transformation Advisors, with the goal of gaining from their expertise to further enhance the offering of GCG. Prior to joining us, DTA was dedicated to transforming middle market companies by developing data-driven strategic growth plans, building high performing teams, and propelling execution to dramatically increase value.
With the addition of the highly-experienced T.D. Decker on board as the President of GCG going forward, I see incredible potential in this branch of the Generational family tree.
The expansion does not stop there however, as earlier in the year Generational Group also introduced two new offices in Charlotte, NC and Kansas City, MO, led by Jack Sluiter and Andrew Byrd respectively.
Again, this demonstrates our unending ambition to better engage with business owners across the United States by establishing locations in prominent locations across the country.
As an enthusiastic golfer, it’s no surprise that one of my favorite developments from 2020 was Generational Group forging a sponsorship agreement with Harry Higgs, one of the most exciting up-and-coming names on the PGA Tour.
A Dallas resident and graduate of Southern Methodist University, like my son Ryan, Higgs has already attracted a big fan following in just his second year on the Tour.
In 2020 alone, Higgs became one of only 4 PGA Tour rookies to qualify for the BMW Championship, finishing 55th overall in the FedEx Cup standings. His run towards that event was highlighted by a second-place finish in The Bermuda Championship.
Higgs’ 2020-21 season has continued to highlight his potential. Another second-place finish at The Safeway Open was capped off by a walk-off Albatross, something only a handful of golfers can boast.
With many years on tour to look forward to, the whole team at Generational is excited to see what Higgs accomplishes this season and are rooting for him the whole way!
One of the most fulfilling aspects of our work at Generational Group is how we can continue to support our community and incredible charities, no matter the obstacles the year throws our way.
In 2020, Generational was proud to be the title sponsor of multiple fundraising golf tournaments. This included a pair of Golf Galas in the final months of the year aimed at raising funds for Here’s Life Africa, and the work they do that impacts the lives of thousands of people in Africa every single year.
In November, we once again sponsored the annual Salute to the Troops tournament, celebrating our brave service men and women, and raising money for three outstanding Veterans foundations: Feherty’s Troops First Foundation, Defenders of Freedom, and Northern Texas PGA Hope.
Finally, adapting to the current landscape, The Dallas Jingle Bell Run returned in a virtual form for 2020. As the existing environment makes it impossible to celebrate the festive season together, this alternative approach still encourages everyone to get fit and raise money for two amazing organizations: Trinity Strand Trail and The Mavs Foundation.
The Jingle Bell Run will be running until December 17, so if you’d like to sign up or donate, visit the website: https://runsignup.com/Race/TX/Dallas/DallasJingleBellRun
I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane for myself and the team at Generational Group. 2020 has carried its share of struggles, but it has also inspired many stories of hope, perseverance and accomplishment.
I am immensely proud of what our team at Generational has been able to achieve this year amid a challenging landscape, and I would like to thank the exceptional commitment shown by each and every one of our associates. Without them, the high points of this year would never have been possible.
To conclude, I wish you a wonderful holiday season, with the best of health for you and your loved ones. Together, let’s look forward to more reasons to be optimistic in 2021.