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Session G

Current Trends in Sell-Side M&A

Presented By: Nelson Mullins / Ascent Advisory Partners

Getting a company ready to sell can be a daunting task—even more so if you haven’t been running the business as though it was already for sale or aren’t adjusting as market conditions change. Join a group of owners, investors, and M&A advisors as they share insight for getting your house in order before you go to market to sell and shine a spotlight on how to navigate uncertainty and issues that impact sell-side deals.


Gordon Watt
Managing Director
Ascent Advisory Partners

Gordon Watt is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Ascent Advisory Partners, which provides M&A advisory services to family and founder-owned companies in the lower middle-market. Gordon has over 30 years of M&A and investment banking experience.

Previously, he worked at SunTrust Robinson-Humphrey, The Robinson-Humphrey Company (a division of Citigroup) and Chemical Bank (now JPMorgan). He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Ron Cundy
Co-President & Co-Founder

Ron Cundy, along with Ray Carnes, has created a force to be reckoned in the grilling industry. Originally from upstate New York, upon graduating high school, Ron joined the Army and was shipped to Augusta. After a few years in the military, he found himself selling vacuum cleaners, where he met Ray in 1991. There they began a friendship that has now lasted over four decades. In 2009, he and Ray poured their passion for grilling into the ultimate product, and recteq was born. Ron can be found taking care of the business side of things and keeping the ship on course.

Michael Hollingsworth
Nelson Mullins

Michael is co-head of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group and its Investment Management Group. He focuses on middle-market corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures. He also serves on the firm's Executive Committee, the governing body of seven partners who oversee firm standing committees, strategic initiatives, and firm operations.

Mark Kessler
Palmares Capital Partners

Mark is a Partner of Palmares Capital Partners. Prior to joining Palmares, Mark served as Chief Strategy Officer of Trimble Transportation & Logistics (NAS:TRMB), a provider of end to end supply chain technology solutions. At Trimble, Mark served in various roles with responsibility for acquisitions, long range strategic planning, strategic partnerships, product development, and sales & marketing.

Prior to Trimble, Mark was the General Manager and part of the Executive/Leadership Teams of PeopleNet Communications, a provider of onboard computing and carrier fleet communications systems. Mark was a key member of the management team responsible for growing revenue organically over twenty-five times throughout an eleven-year period, until it was acquired by Trimble in 2011.

Prior to PeopleNet, Mark was Executive Vice President of Randall-Reilly where he helped grow revenue by over ten-times during his six-year tenure with the company. Over the span of his career, Mark’s growth, partnership & acquisition endeavors resulted in closed buy and sell side transactions representing nearly $1 billion in transaction value while overseeing new revenue opportunities totaling over $2 billion.

Conference Location

1215 Piedmont Avenue, Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30309
Tel: (404) 875-2565