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dealmakers - Articles

August 16, 2019

Cinderella Story: How Michael Blair Built Deka Lash

When Michael Blair and his wife Jennifer founded Deka Lash in 2011, the reaction from Pittsburgh was raised eyebrows and roadblocks. Today, he has 60 franchise locations across the country....

By Jayne Gest

August 7, 2019

Dominic DiPuccio: Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

Deal attorney Dominic DiPuccio talks about prioritizing what's important and what's not when buying or selling a company....

By Mark Scott

July 30, 2019

Tom Ferkovic: Assessing Deal Opportunities In Health Care

Thomas Ferkovic, CEO of Medic Management Group, talks about dealmaking in health care, both from the perspective of the physician and the potential investor....

By Mark Scott

July 24, 2019

Stephen Polk On Buying, Selling And The Power Of Data

Former R.L. Polk CEO Stephen Polk talks about the sale of the business, his Highgate family office investing platform and his continuing love for data-driven processes....

By Mark Scott

July 18, 2019

BioAdvance’s Rick Jones: Look Beyond The Dollars When Investing In Biotech

Rick Jones, an internist-turned-entrepreneur who is now a partner at the VC firm BioAdvance, offers cautionary advice to investors who would let dollar signs block a more practical insight into biotech investing....

By Adam Burroughs

July 18, 2019

Dave Zilko On Selling Garden Fresh Gourmet

Dave Zilko talks about how the Garden Fresh Gourmet deal got done, the emotional toll that dealmaking can take and the move Campbell’s made earlier this year to sell the business....

By Mark Scott

July 16, 2019

Michael Canty: Quit Whining And Go Make Some Money

Turnaround CEO Michael Canty talks about his approach to making deals in tough situations and the value of staying true to your convictions....

By Mark Scott

July 9, 2019

Planning Is Timeless; So Is Change

Sequoia Financial Group's Tom Haught and Cohen & Co.'s Randy Myeroff talk about the value provided and the risks that need to be considered when planning for M&A activity....

By Mark Scott

July 9, 2019

Don Nystrom On Dealmaking Pitfalls

Don Nystrom, CEO of Dynamic Aerospace and Defense, shares his insights into the common mistakes to avoid in the dealmaking process....

By Mark Scott

July 3, 2019

Carl Grassi: Keys To Better Dealmaking

McDonald Hopkins Chairman Carl Grassi shares some of the key issues he thinks business owners need to factor into their approach to dealmaking....

By Mark Scott

June 28, 2019

Michael Araten: When PE backing isn’t about the money

How former K'NEX CEO Michael Araten chose the best private equity partner to back his international expansion — before his business became collateral damage in the Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy and was sold....

By Adam Burroughs

June 25, 2019

Huron Capital’s Danielle Lalli Tabbed As PE Rising Star

Huron Capital Vice President Danielle Lalli was selected as one of 10 rising stars in private equity by Mergers & Acquisitions, a magazine and website that tracks the M&A industry."[Lalli] has quickly...

By Jayne Gest

June 25, 2019

For Stonewood's Kenn Moritz, patience, flexibility drive success

The PE firm's president talks about the importance of staying flexible during dealmaking and why the fewer owners in a deal, the better....

By Jayne Gest

June 21, 2019

Philadelphia ASPIRE Dealmakers Event Photos

The Philadelphia 201 Hotel was the site of Philadelphia's biggest CEO-focused M&A conference on June 12. Check out the event photos....

By Michael Marzec

June 20, 2019

2019 Chicago Dealmaker Of The Year Awards

The ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference brought together hundreds of dealmakers, investors and entrepreneurs at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago on June 19. During the conference, Smart Business Dealmakers recognized a few top deals and dealmakers in the Chicago region....

By Mark Scott

June 19, 2019

For Allison Finkelstein, cap tables play critical role in investing

Startup founders should focus on how to achieve reasonable growth to get the next round of funding, the experience angel investor says....

By Jayne Gest

June 14, 2019

2019 Dealmaker of the Year Awards

During the ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference on June 12, Smart Business Dealmakers recognized some of the top deals and dealmakers in the Philadelphia region....

By Adam Burroughs

June 13, 2019

Hickory Farms CEO Diane Pearse's keys to successful dealmaking

Hickory Farms CEO Diane Pearse talks about gaining dealmaking expertise and the best strategies to follow when your company is being targeted by potential buyers and/or investors....

By Mark Scott

June 11, 2019

Dale Buckwalter on buying and selling companies with high valuations

3 Rivers Capital co-founder Dale Buckwalter shares his thoughts on how to make returns in the current market of high valuations....

By Jayne Gest

June 10, 2019

SeventySix Capital’s Wayne Kimmel leverages social capital of athletes to rise above noise

SeventySix Capital Managing Partner Wayne Kimmel discusses how celebrity can help investors and startups stand out in a noisy media landscape to create opportunities for all parties involved....

By Adam Burroughs

June 6, 2019

Arsenal’s Maria Thompson: Investors Want Businesses That Solve Problems

Investors aren’t looking for unique business opportunities, says Arsenal venture partner Maria Thompson. They want business models that solve problems, preferably big ones....

By Mark Scott

May 31, 2019

Dan Silberberg: Pick an M&A strategy and plan your exit

The founder at DIGINTEL taps his 45 years of experience of M&A experience to discuss M&A strategy and building a business architecture that's sellable....

By Mark Scott

May 22, 2019

Stonehenge's Peter Davies: How to buy in a peak market

The managing partner of Stonehenge Partners shares his approach to buying with multiples approaching a peak, and how buying strategies have changed in the current environment....

By Jayne Gest

May 21, 2019

Ancora’s Brian Hopkins: Relationships Fuel Dealmaking Activity

The Ancora managing director talks about the role relationship-building plays in his dealmaking activity and the value of maintaining discipline....

By Mark Scott

May 17, 2019

Signal's Marc Kiven: An entrepreneur's approach to dealmaking

The founder of the groundbreaking digital marketing company talks about what he looks for in an investment opportunity and how he sets the stage for the company’s future....

By Mark Scott

May 16, 2019

Ed Wethli: Kiva Han-Crazy Mocha deal took time to brew

A year into the Crazy Mocha acquisition, the benefits of the deal are finally falling into place for the coffee roaster that wanted a growing retail empire....

By Jayne Gest

May 9, 2019

ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference Photos

The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel was the site of Northeast Ohio biggest CEO-focused dealmakers event on May 2. Check out 100+ photos from the event....

By Michael Marzec

May 7, 2019

MCM's Mark Mansour: Stick To What You Know To Come Out Ahead

Mark Mansour was young, hungry and eager to establish his dealmaking credentials. Mal Mixon was an established entrepreneur who had already built a billion-dollar business at Invacare, but was always...

By Mark Scott

April 24, 2019

OTC's Philip Derrow: On ESOPs, culture and getting good advice

Ohio Transmission CEO Phil Derrow, talks about the challenges of ESOPs, openness during transactions and two important rules when making deals....

By Jayne Gest

April 18, 2019

ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference Photo Gallery

The Westin Book Cadillac was the site of Detroit's biggest CEO-focused dealmakers event on April 11. The ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference featured panel discussions with some of Detroit's top dealmakers, as well as extensive networking opportunities to meet with entrepreneurs, investors and advisers who make deals happen in metro Detroit....

By Michael Marzec

April 17, 2019

Leon Rubinov on Incline Equity’s M&A strategy and value creation

Leon Rubinov doesn’t like to play favorites with Incline Equity Partners investments. “All our kids are cute,” the senior partner says. “We don’t love one any more than the other. They’re all special."...

By Jayne Gest

April 5, 2019

Ray Dalton: Good opportunity doesn’t always mean good fit

Focus drives results and results attract buyers, says A. Ray Dalton. This week, Ray discusses his approach to identifying the right investment opportunity and the importance of finding ways for your team to win in the dealmaking process....

By Mark Scott

April 5, 2019

Huron Capital’s Brian Demkowicz: Dealmaking is back in Detroit

The PE firm's co-founder explores the method that fuels his dealmaking productivity and the role Midwestern values play in the firm’s success....

By Mark Scott

March 29, 2019

Chip McClure finds deals in unloved world of Tier 2, Tier 3 suppliers

By founding Michigan Capital Advisors, he has created a private equity firm that addresses the lack of access to capital that prevents suppliers from keeping up with customer demand and diversifying beyond the auto sector....

By Mark Scott

March 29, 2019

Nordson's Anne Pombier: Creating value through acquisitions

Before joining Nordson, Anne Pombier led or participated in more than 100 transactions ranging from $500,000 to more than $1 billion in size. Now she helps identify and pursue M&A targets that can create value for Nordson on a global basis....

By Mark Scott

March 27, 2019

Quick Med Claims' Michael J. Lewis: A CEO's approach to M&A

In four years, the CEO of Quick Med Claims has gone through two sales and initiated five acquisitions. Now, he’s interested in passing along that knowledge....

By Jayne Gest

March 22, 2019

BlueTree's big 2018: A unicorn, strong exits and new investors

It’s been an exciting and unprecedented year for Catherine Mott and BlueTree Capital, including her venture fund's first unicorn holding....

By Jayne Gest

March 21, 2019

2019 Dealmaker of the Year Awards

Recognizing the top deals and dealmakers in the Pittsburgh region....

By Michael Marzec

March 14, 2019

Irwin Car’s Bill Baker: Find synergies in your acquisition strategy

After doing nearly 60 deals throughout his career, Bill Baker knows himself. He’s a niche strategist who looks to buy companies where one-and-one makes three....

By Jayne Gest

March 12, 2019

RPM’s Jim Karman: Skip the drama and avoid turnarounds

Retired RPM International COO Jim Karman reflects on the fateful deal that convinced him to steer clear of turnaround acquisitions and shares lessons learned from his dealmaking career....

By Mark Scott

March 8, 2019

Atlas Oil founder Sam Simon: How to maximize your deals

The master dealmaker talks about his humble beginnings, his approach to investment opportunities and the importance of being a disciplined dealmaker....

By Mark Scott

March 7, 2019

vitalxchange's Charu Ramanathan: survival skills trump MBA thinking

The co-founder and CEO at vitalxchange talks about the value of following your instincts and the real skills entrepreneurs need to succeed....

By Mark Scott

March 1, 2019

Michael Canty: How to navigate the tricky waters of turnaround investing

Turnaround maven Michael Canty offers his tips for investing in troubled companies and shares the strategy that got Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding back on its feet....

By Mark Scott

February 18, 2019

Market Garden's Sam McNulty

Sam McNulty talks about his approach to dealmaking, the value of strong partnerships and his keys to success....

By Mark Scott

February 7, 2019

TruWest Cos.: Innovators wanted

Matt Kennedy and Wendy Jarchow explain how TruWest Cos. and River SaaS Capital identify promising investment opportunities and position them for growth. “We’re looking for industries that are ripe for innovation,” Jarchow says....

By Mark Scott

January 24, 2019

Adam Kaufman

Last year, Adam Kaufman studied an estimated 500 early-stage companies to assess their long-term viability. Helping startups refine their message and pursue their goals brings the entrepreneur great...

By Mark Scott

January 22, 2019

Lazear Capital’s Ted Lape on transparency, creativity and the rise of ESOPs

Ted Lape talks about transparency in dealmaking, when ESOPs make sense and his most memorable deals....

By Jayne Gest

January 17, 2019

Provariant’s Murad Beg

Provariant's Murad Beg talks about how he stays objective to make the right deals for his clients....

By Mark Scott

January 9, 2019

Flashstarts' Charles Stack

Entrepreneur and early-stage investor Charles Stack talks with Smart Business Dealmakers about the role of confidence in dealmaking and how changemakers can use it to spark investment in Cleveland....

By Mark Scott

January 9, 2019

August Carlino on negotiating, risk and preserving a legacy

August Carlino talks about what gets his blood pumping, the Rivers of Steel's acquisition of RiverQuest and his advice for other dealmakers....

By Jayne Gest