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March 7, 2024

Policies That Bring Big-Picture Metrics Down To The Factory Floor

Innovations in Nutrition and Wellness Former CEO Jared Leishman on programs designed to engage employees in achieving company goals....

By Adam Burroughs

February 29, 2024

6 tips a good CFO should offer business owners seeking an exit

SeatonHill's Shyamal Parikh on six things business owners should do in preparation for a sale....

By Shyamal Parikh

February 9, 2024

Capital Costs And The Impact On Dealmaking

Monarch Collective's Suk Shah on capital options today and the effect on M&A...

By Adam Burroughs

January 18, 2024

Hafeezah Muhammad On People and Analytics In Deals

Hafeezah Muhammad's company Backpack Healthcare recently acquired two companies. At the 2023 Chicago Smart Business Dealmakers Conference, she talked about how the business has supercharged its...

By Adam Burroughs

October 13, 2023

Midwest Values Bouy Businesses When Fundamentals Are The Focus

The Chicago Smart Business Dealmakers Conference kicked off with insights and strategies for navigating the post-exit landscape, as well as the speakers' perspective on what's been a tricky M&A...

By Adam Burroughs

September 29, 2023

Chicago M&A Honorees Named

The Smart Business Dealmakers Dealmaker of the Year awards recognize exceptional individuals who are shaping the landscape of business and innovation in Greater Chicago. The 2023 class of winners —...

By Dan Pender

August 25, 2023

Take The Stigma Out Of The Exit Talk

CEOs are often hesitant to talk about exits because there's a stigma attached to it, says MATH Venture Partners Managing Director Mark Achler. "There's a concern that if you start to talk about an...

By Adam Burroughs

July 21, 2023

Luke Haverhals' Company Is Working To Solve The World's Biggest Problem

Luke Haverhals, founder and CEO of Natural Fiber Welding, says he's an accidental entrepreneur. As the former chemistry professor at the United States Naval Academy tells it, he was fortunate to be in...

By Adam Burroughs

June 16, 2023

Life After Selling

Jai Shekhawat founded Fieldglass, a cloud-based VMS platform, in 1999, grew it to be the largest vendor management software firm in the world, then sold it in 2014 for $1 billion. He's raised capital,...

By Adam Burroughs

May 19, 2023

Biju Kulathakal On Launching Halo, Fundraising

Halo Investing is a platform for structured notes or, as the company's Co-Founder and CEO Biju Kulathakal puts it, defined outcome investing. "It's a financial product that's a $3 trillion market...

By Adam Burroughs

April 21, 2023

How Redback's Famous IPO Almost Wasn't

Dennis Barsema on his experience with Redback, the issue that almost prevented him from taking the company public, and how his path eventually led him to teaching future entrepreneurs....

By Adam Burroughs

April 6, 2023

Suzanne Yoon On Launching Kinzie Capital Partners

Kinzie Capital Partners Founder and Managing Partner Suzanne Yoon on launching the firm....

By Adam Burroughs

March 24, 2023

FHN Facilitates Service for Underbanked Consumers

Jennifer Tescher on her company’s investments strategies and goals for assisting their partners during harsh economic times. ...

By Dan Pender

March 10, 2023

No "Risky Bets" When Investing In CEOs

The Edgewater Funds Senior Partner David Tolmie on what he looks for in an executive, investment red flags, preparing for exits and negotiating deal terms. ...

By Adam Burroughs

February 24, 2023

Hirewell's Matt Massucci Is Ready For The Next Challenge

Hirewell CEO Matt Massucci on the company's post-capital-raise growth, acquisitions, and how these changes are affecting the company....

By Adam Burroughs

February 10, 2023

Halo Investing Brings Structured Notes to the Masses

Halo’s vision and execution has propelled it to one of the top FinTechs in the U.S. That success also allowed it to easily raise capital to further its long-term goal of making structured notes accessible for just one dollar. Jason Barsema, co-founder and president, joined the Deamlamers Podcast to talk about how they built the company to where it is today and what we can expect in the future. ...

By Dan Pender

January 27, 2023

The Shift In Diligence From Risk to Reward

West Monroe Senior Partner Keith Campbell is a co-author of the report, The Future of Diligence in Private Equity, which highlights survey findings from 100 U.S. PE companies to explore the shifts in diligence approach that move away from identifying risk to identifying opportunity. That shift is happening in part because of unique market factors. Campbell says 80 percent or more of diligence used to be on site pre-COVID. ...

By Adam Burroughs

January 13, 2023

With SmartWitness, Business Liability Tool Turns Into $200M Return For Nick Merchef

Nick Mirchef and his son-in-law, Chris Pflanz, went through the trails and tribulations of early-stage capital raises with their company SmartWitness and found a big payday at the end of it all. Today, they’re offering others advice using their experience as a guide. ...

By Dan Pender

December 16, 2022

Entrepreneur Focus: Jennifer Tescher

Financial Health Network President and CEO Jennifer Tescher on her company, its mission and the challenges it faces....

By Adam Burroughs

December 1, 2022

Athletico's Mark Kaufman On Leveraging Employee Expertise

Athletico Physical Therapy Founder Mark Kaufman on the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship....

By Adam Burroughs

November 18, 2022

Entrepreneur Focus: Kathryn Finney

Genius Guild Founder, CEO and Managing Partner Kathryn Finney shares her entrepreneurial journey and the impact she's been able to have through it....

By Adam Burroughs

November 4, 2022

Expert Social Influencers Change the Marketing Landscape

Working directly with brands and retailers, The Desire Company matches them with the right experts to trial, test and review products, producing video reviews for use at the point of sale and across digital marketing channels. These partnerships are proving to drive an increase in conversions, time on site and an increase in marketing effectiveness, resulting in a six times revenue increase for the company in the past 12 months. As a result, brands are taking notice and want in on this new approach. ...

By Dan Pender

October 21, 2022

Begin With The End In Mind

MATH Venture Partners' Mert Hilmi Iseri and Mark Achler, along with UBS's James Jack and Michael R. Gatewood, share valuable personal lessons learned over several successful M&A exits. ...

By Adam Burroughs

October 7, 2022

Shifting Perspective When Bringing On PE

Serial entrepreneur Stephen Marshall on how founders and CEOs need to prepare their company, and themselves, for major events in a business's lifecycle. ...

By Adam Burroughs

September 23, 2022

Tailor your M&A approach

IDEAL CEO and Director Steve Henn on getting an organization prepared for acquisitions....

By Adam Burroughs

September 9, 2022

Preparing for sell-side diligence

CMC Materials' Daniel Woodland on issues that arise when selling a business. ...

By Adam Burroughs

August 26, 2022

A look at M&A in today's food & beverage sector

Prairie Capital Advisors' Terry Bressler and Dan DeLap on how the deal market in the food and beverage sector is playing out this year, their expectations for the near-term, and factors that both buyers and sellers should consider ahead of a transaction....

By Adam Burroughs

August 11, 2022

When there's more than money to a deal

Orbus Past Chairman & Owner Simon Perutz on his former company's acquisition...

By Adam Burroughs

July 29, 2022

When selling, get answers before the deal closes

Ten35's Sherman Wright on preparing to sell a business and the liquidity event that follows....

By Adam Burroughs

July 22, 2022

Price Taker vs. Price Maker and the effect on value

BMO Harris Bank's John Chalus and Tecum Capital's Matt Harnett on the economic factors that are affecting deals and how buyers and sellers can adjust. ...

By Adam Burroughs

July 6, 2022

Preparing yourself to prepare for a sale

Prospect Partners' Louis Kenter on steps a business owner should take to prepare to sell their company....

By Adam Burroughs

July 6, 2022

Identifying the right capital partners

Tiesta Tea Company's Dan Klein on what he looks for in investors beyond capital as well as the company's plans for growth. ...

By Adam Burroughs

June 29, 2022

Risk management in M&A

Aclaimant Co-Founder and Board Member Michael Schultz on dealing with risk in M&A transactions, and how his company is applying its recent $15 million raise....

By Adam Burroughs

June 22, 2022

The complexity of pre-sale estate and wealth planning

DP+'s Mark Petrosky, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors' John Alfonsi and Pitcairn's Andy Busser on how a seller's approach to the pre-planning and execution — including taking the impact of taxes into consideration — may be the difference between a deal's success and failure. ...

By Adam Burroughs

June 17, 2022

How ITS Logistics' Scott Pruneau Proved His Company's Uniqueness

In the last quarter of 2020, ITS Logistics launched an almost entirely virtual sales process that ultimately ended with its acquisition by GHK Capital Partners in mid-2021. CEO Scott Pruneau says navigating the process without bringing anybody under the tent was a challenge....

By Adam Burroughs

June 17, 2022

Argo Fresh's Clint Lewis: Running A Public Company With A PE Partner

In AgroFresh, Clint Lewis is leading a public company that has a private equity investor. 'It's a unique dynamic," Lewis says....

By Adam Burroughs

June 10, 2022

Edovo Divests to Improve Mission Focus

Edovo CEO Brian Hill on his venture, its recent acquisition and raising capital....

By Adam Burroughs

June 2, 2022

To raise funds, show investors the math

PhotoniCare's Ryan Shelton on raising funds and the company's future....

By Adam Burroughs

May 26, 2022

Step back before answering every request for information

David Gollob, along with BKD's Thomas Murtagh, Orbus' Simon Perutz, and Levenfeld Pearlstein's David Solomon on how uncertain times have dramatically impacted how to understand the strategic goals of strategic and financial buyers, and what that means for sellers....

By Adam Burroughs

May 19, 2022

The rise of cyber diligence

Aon Risk Services' William Shortt, along with Ice Miller's Reena Bajowala, Guaranteed Rate's Darin Hurd, Chicago Bears' Justin Stahl and Aon Risk Services Che Bhatia, on the rising importance of cyber diligence in M&A transactions. ...

By Adam Burroughs

May 11, 2022

What to look for in an investor

Kanbrick Co-Founder Tracy Britt Cool on what to look for in an investor. ...

By Adam Burroughs

May 6, 2022

How Catch Co. Caught On With Investors

Catch CEO Ross Gordon on how the company caught on with investors, and where they go after the company raised a $38 million Series B....

By Adam Burroughs

April 28, 2022

Using partnerships to set up an acquisition

Hickory Farms CEO Diane Pearse talks about the company's recent acquisitions, broadening its brand and how the Wicked Good Cupcakes deal came to be. ...

By Adam Burroughs

April 14, 2022

Akoya Capital Finds Success With New Platform

Akoya Capital's Bob May talks about the formation of Beacon, its acquisitions, and how macro challenges such as labor are affecting the platform's progress....

By Adam Burroughs

March 24, 2022

Athletico PT's Mark Kaufman on M&A lessons learned

Athletico PT Founder and Executive Chairman Mark Kaufman talks about the M&A lessons he's learned in his more than 30 years with the company....

By Adam Burroughs

February 18, 2022

The value and risk of relationships

BCD CEO Jeff Burgess, along with BMO Harris' John Chalus, BDO Consulting's Robert Berdanier and Tecum Capital's Matt Harnett, discuss the nuances of selling and buying a company, and how to conduct due diligence and successfully negotiate deal terms in this new normal. ...

By Adam Burroughs

January 14, 2022

How to diligence the human side of a transaction

RSM US LLP Ian O'Brien, Thunderbird LLC's Phil Kretekos and Wintrust's Adam Fuchs talk about the human side of buy-side transactions....

By Adam Burroughs

November 17, 2021

WinTrust’s Paul Carlisle on market liquidity and its impact on deals

WinTrust Financial Corp.'s Paul Carlisle looks at the challenges facing the market, the state of capital, and the conditions dealmakers could expect for the remainder of the deal year. ...

By Adam Burroughs

October 15, 2021

Is ESG the next big thing for middle-market M&A?

Nick Fink and Amantia Muhedini, along with Michael Gatewood, discuss ESG and whether it's the next big thing for middle-market M&A...

By Adam Burroughs

August 27, 2021

Creating a demand scenario through an auction

A discussion of companies’ sell-side prep and M&A options, including auctions, strategic buyers and risk mitigation....

By Adam Burroughs