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A Remarkable Year for Generational Group: Looking Back at 2021

By Ryan Binkley

2021 Generational Group

As we approach the end of the year, I think it is safe to say that 2021 will be remembered as a landmark year by our team at Generational Group and across the M&A industry.

After the short-term disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic had on deal making activity last year, 2021 built on the momentum that had developed in the final months of 2020.

Now, many signs point to this year being one of the most active M&A markets in recent memory, breaking records stretching back to the Great Recession of 2007. Our team at Generational have talked about these exceptional trends at length in our weekly insights:

The M&A industry bounced back in style from the turbulence of 2020 and is in an incredibly robust state heading into 2022 – great news for business owners considering exiting their company in the near future.

In the same vein, 2021 was also an outstanding year for Generational Group. Our team showed incredible commitment each and every day, which inspired us to break records, reach huge milestones and deliver great results for our clients.

With this in mind, I’d like to dedicate this article to reflect on our associates’ achievements from this past year and highlight how this has given us a fantastic platform for 2022 and beyond.

Powerful strategic alliances

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First, I’d like to celebrate the new strategic alliances Generational established in 2021. We are truly honored to be associated with numerous industry leaders in their areas of expertise, and the support they offer in making us better and more effective at serving our clients with excellence.

In March, we formed a three-year endorsement agreement and strategic marketing alliance with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus and the Nicklaus Companies. Both parties share many of the same core values, both in life and in work, including integrity, focus, preparation, commitment to family, and a belief in giving back to the communities where we live and work.

As part of this agreement, we are a Nicklaus Companies’ partner, helping business owners within their client base plan strategic growth, enterprise valuation, exit strategies and multi-generational planning. Our team at Generational Consulting Group has also worked with the Nicklaus Companies on their own five-year strategic growth plan.

As a keen golfer myself, partnering with and getting to know Jack Nicklaus this past year has been an absolute privilege. There is no question he could partner with any investment firm in the country. The fact that he chose Generational is a testament to the company we are creating here, and the knowledge and experience he has imparted already has been very eye-opening for me and our entire team.

"I know how important and how emotional it is to create a company and build it over many years in hopes of one day providing for the next generation. This is why I believe we identify so well with the Generational Group’s clients and prospects.” – Jack Nicklaus

In addition, our team at Generational Wealth Advisors also established a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with the Hargrove Firm, Estate and Trust Attorneys.

Our collaboration with Hargrove gives GWA clients access to detailed tax analysis and recommendations related to the potential sale of their businesses, and its impact on their personal finances, based on Hargrove’s extensive experience and expertise.

Again, the team at Hargrove is well-aligned with Generational’s own core values and culture, and we are grateful to them for the support they offer our clients in ensuring their exit is as tax-efficient as possible.

Record-breaking deal making activity

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Very early in the year, the 2020 Refinitiv rankings gave our team plenty of reasons to celebrate. In spite of the challenges posed by the unprecedented events of that year, Generational still ranked #1 in transactions valued up to $25 million for the 11th consecutive year. In addition, it was our 6th straight year ranked #2 in transactions valued up to $100 million.

However, rather than rest on their laurels, our team used this momentum as a springboard into even more activity in 2021. At time of writing, Generational’s deal closings are already up more than 60% year-to-date when compared to 2020 – which was previously our firm’s record year.

This incredible pace means we are not only set to shatter our former record for deals closed, but it has also enabled our firm to reach sought-after M&A milestones. In October, we announced Generational had closed its 1,100th transaction, only six months after closing our 1,000th in April.

Our associates recognize the crucial role we play in helping entrepreneurs across North America reach their financial and personal ambitions – we never take this for granted. Knowing that we’ve been able to support so many to achieve these aims throughout 2021 is deeply rewarding, and will fuel us to reach more milestones in 2022.

Awards and accolades

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There are few greater feelings than being recognized by your peers. It reassures you that you are heading in the right direction, and that you are achieving successful results for your clients. In 2021, our team at Generational was honored to receive a number of awards and accolades that reflected the progress we had made during the year.

The M&A Advisor is the premier global network of M&A, turnaround and finance professionals, and their annual awards are a true celebration of the finest in this industry. The 20th Annual M&A Advisor Awards was no exception, and our team was delighted to win three awards:

Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year ($10M-$25M)

Acquisition of Design Space Inpharmatics (DSI) by ProductLife Group (PLG)

Private Equity Deal of the Year ($10MM to $25MM)

Acquisition of Blair Duron by Crescendo Capital

Materials Deal of the Year

Acquisition of Realm, Inc./Realm Warehousing, Inc. by Great Range Capital

Our clients were at the heart of each of these honors, and these awards reflect the passion and dedication of our entire team in helping our clients reach their goals.

Our team at Generational Wealth Advisors was also the recipient of several accolades in 2021. Five of its team were named Five Star Wealth Managers back in August, something only 8% of professionals in their field can claim.

In addition, in November GWA was recognized as a Top Wealth Manager by D Magazine for the 11th time, a remarkable display of their consistency in helping business owners and their families create lasting financial legacies.

Extending our reach

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We are always seeking to enhance our deal making capabilities and provide a higher level of service to our clients in all areas of the country. This is the focus behind our strategy of ongoing expansion, which continued in 2021 with the opening of our new offices in Houston, Texas and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Our team has a strong record of success in these markets, with significant buyer demand in both. Furthermore, with job growth in Scottsdale and Houston expected to be 51% and 31% over the next 10 years respectively (well above the national average), we felt these were ideal locations to establish new offices.

Now with 16 offices located across North America, I am excited by our capacity to connect with entrepreneurs on a more personal level in the U.S. and Canada and guide our clients on their journey to a fulfilling, rewarding exit.

Giving back to our troops

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(Credit for image: Northern Texas PGA)

I am a firm believer in giving back to our local communities and organizations that are making a difference in people’s lives across the country. This is especially true of our nation’s veterans, who have faithfully protected and served our nation and deserve all the support we can offer them.

“The Generational Salute – A Tribute to Our Troops” returned over Veterans Day, and I was honored to speak at and participate in the event, raising crucial funds for foundations that support post-9/11 veterans with housing, ramps, service dogs, mental health care, PTSD care, traumatic brain injury care and more.

This year’s event was another great success, raising funds for four remarkable foundations:

We were also delighted to be joined by both Jack Nicklaus and David Feherty, one of golf’s most highly regarded interviewers, who took part in a special Q&A-style interview at a VIP celebration dinner on November 10th.

Looking to the future

2021 was a truly record-breaking year for Generational in several ways, something I am incredibly grateful for. The hard work and commitment of our associates was vital to this, as was the continued support of our amazing clients.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this year as successful and memorable for our firm as possible, enabling us to reach new heights in middle market M&A. But, as always, we are looking forward to what 2022 has in store and pushing the boundaries even further in our efforts to help business owners reach their personal and financial aims.

With the beginning of the M&A SuperCycle seemingly underway – where the retirement of the baby-boom generation will fuel upwards of $10 trillion of aggregate deal values and liquid wealth transfer – we are confident that the records we set in 2021 will be surpassed by this time next year.