2018 is coming to a close, and with it the end of a memorable year for Generational Equity and the M&A landscape in general.
Dr. John Binkley has been very proud of the growth Generational has enjoyed in the last 12 months, supported by the very active M&A landscape and the efforts of its team and clients. In many ways it will go down as a landmark year for the firm, both in terms of what was achieved during 2018 and the groundwork it laid for next year and beyond.
Here, Dr. Binkley would like to share some of the highlights of 2018 at Generational Equity, and his hopes for the future of the firm.
2018 M&A Activity
Before Dr. John Binkley delves into the developments Generational Equity made in 2018, he felt it was fitting to take a glimpse at the wider M&A landscape.
The excellent seller’s market that has been a feature of the last few years continued throughout 2018, resulting in record-high levels of M&A market activity. Data from the Merrill Data Corporation revealed that deal value in the United States and Canada is up over 27% compared to 2017.
Furthermore, Mergermarket revealed that between Q1 and Q3 of 2018, U.S. M&A reached its second-highest total in terms of both deal value and number of deals – $1.1 trillion and 4,100 transactions respectively. This exceptional, consistent market is due to a variety of factors:
- Healthy economies both regionally and nationally
- Elevated buyer interest, especially among private equity firms
- High confidence among business owners at all levels about opportunities for growth and M&A activity
- Tax reform in late 2017 that reduced the corporate tax rate and spurred repatriation of funds held overseas
- Low interest rates that have remained stable all year
The positivity of U.S. and global M&A is reflected in Generational Equity’s activity across the year. On deal closings compared to last year, the firm is up 12% as of now. This is remarkable as 2017 was our previous record year, which 2018 is set to beat considerably.
As the title suggests, the theme of 2018 at Generational Equity was growth. For Dr. John Binkley, who has spearheaded the firm’s development from the start, it has been heartwarming to see the Generational Group’s unwavering expansion under the direction of his son, Ryan.
Generational’s expansion took several significant steps forward in 2018, including the introduction of four new office locations. The first, in April, was one close to home, as the firm opened an office in Austin, Texas, just a few hours’ drive from their headquarters in Dallas.
This was followed by two expansions in the dynamic Midwest market, with new offices in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. These locations were selected for their strong foundations, attractive business targets and access to a wider network of clients and buyers, that Dr. Binkley believes will be key to future growth.
Finally, Generational Equity opened a fourth new office in Manhattan, New York. This not only represented a big market but will also better serve the growing international demand for the firm’s services.
“Our company continues to implement its strategic plan to open more offices in the key target markets across North America in an ongoing effort to better serve middle market businesses.” – Brenen Hofstadter
The New York office also highlighted another aspect of Generational’s growth in 2018 – quality personnel. While Generational Equity has always featured some of the most experienced, dedicated professionals in middle market M&A, it always embraces fresh talent.
This was the case with David Fergusson, who was brought on as Senior Managing Director and Group Leader, and now heads up our New York office. Fergusson has over 30 years’ business and M&A experience, and is the former Co-CEO and President of The M&A Advisor.
David was one of several new additions to the Generational family. Highly experienced business leader and senior level executive John Hyman joined Generational Equity as Executive Managing Director, while Samantha Cooper O’Kane joined as Associate General Counsel, offering effective legal expertise.
Last but by no means least, Generational Equity welcomed a new team that has expanded the range of services it can offer to its current and future clients. By acquiring a majority stake in Talis Advisors, Generational added an award-winning wealth management firm to the group, meaning they can help clients preserve their wealth, as well as unlock it through a systematic exit strategy.
Alongside this great growth throughout Generational Equity, Dr. John Binkley was very pleased with the major milestones that the firm passed in the last twelve months.
The most notable milestone was surpassing $4 billion in wealth transferred to its clients across the entire Generational Group. This is an unprecedented level of activity for firms specializing in the lower middle market, and a great testament to the skill, experience and commitment of its M&A professionals.
“We strive to make a genuine difference in the lives of our clients, and this achievement is a tangible demonstration of that. It’s very gratifying to play a role in helping our clients attain their financial goals and help create the legacy they have worked so hard to build.” – Ryan Binkley
Generational Equity also closed its 700th transaction back in May, another standout achievement in their industry. But, above this was the fact that this represented 700 business owners the firm had helped secure their financial legacy and achieve a successful exit.
An Award-Winning Year
Generational’s primary focus is going to any lengths for their clients, so it’s always an honor when that hard work is recognized. Dr. John Binkley appreciates that the methods and values he introduced and helped refine over time are respected by his peers.
At The M&A Advisor’s 17th Annual M&A Awards in November, Generational Group was once again named Investment Banking Firm of the Year, an award they also received in 2017 and 2016. These back-to-back-to-back victories highlight the consistency the firm has shown in recent years, and how resolute the team is in its dedication to its clients.
Generational Capital Markets also walked away with the Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year ($10mm-$25mm) for its support of its client, Ammex Plastics, in a sale to Echo Engineering and Production Supplies.
Earlier in the year, Dr. Binkley was pleased to see several of Generational Equity’s staff recognized as Emerging Leaders by The M&A Advisor – Musa Jagne, Ryan Johnson and Luan Ly. This was a result of the thorough training they received at Generational alongside their own ability and determination.
Generational Equity Giving Back
2018 was a great year for Generational Equity supporting its own development, but also it was a big year for supporting others. Dr. John Binkley is devoted to supporting good causes and the community that has allowed his firm and family thrive. So, he was especially proud of the way Generational supported both throughout the year.
At the tail-end of 2017, Generational was title sponsor of the Dallas Jingle Bell Run (which Dr. Binkley is pleased to share will be the case in 2018 as well). This fantastic family-friendly and dog-friendly event encourages the community to get moving and embrace the festive spirit by wearing their favorite holiday attire.
The Jingle Bell Run also raises money for two great causes – The Trinity Strand Trail and The Mavs Foundation – organizations that go a long way to improving lives and our environment. In February, Generational was delighted to deliver a check for $82,416 to these foundations to continue the amazing work they do. The team is looking forward to repeating this next year.
Generational also raised money for causes close to Dr. Binkley’s heart through one of his favorite pastimes – golf. Generational Group sponsored two charity golf tournaments in 2018. The first in May was in support of Here’s Life Africa, a nonprofit interdenominational mission ministry committed to spreading God’s Words and support villagers in the poorest countries in the world.
Later in the year, Generational was also title sponsor for The Salute Golf Tournament, an annual event to raise funds for post 9/11 vets who need help not provided to them by the Veterans Association. This was another big success and it was a privilege to spend time in the company of brave men and women who served our country.
What does 2019 hold in store for Generational Equity?
2018 has been a memorable year for Dr. John Binkley and the whole team at Generational Equity, much of it only possible due to the unwavering support of the firm’s clients and team members. This has been the foundation for much success in recent years.
As for Dr. Binkley’s hopes for 2019, he is looking forward to the continuation of the expansion that accelerated this year, as Generational settles into new markets and extends its reach to business owners across North America and worldwide.
Plus, with forecasts suggesting that the current M&A seller’s market will extend into 2019, Dr. Binkley is optimistic about the near future of M&A and the prospects for owners seeking to exit for the optimal value. He hopes that, through Generational’s eye-opening conferences and expert guidance, the firm continues to guide more people to fulfilling exits.
Hopefully you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. If you’d like to learn more about these events, Generational Equity’s collection of press releases goes into greater detail on each of these milestones.
And, for a greater appreciation of how M&A has evolved in 2018 and how to capitalize on the current seller’s market, check out more of Dr. John Binkley’s blog posts. He hopes 2019 proves as prosperous and memorable for you as 2018 did for him.