Break from the Front Lines – Middle Market view

I am back!
First, I wanted to thank those of you that have stuck with me during my brief absence from this blog (though I welcome you to follow me on Twitter @GaffinMark). As many of you know, I am actively involved in the deal market – and have been blessed with an exciting, deep middle market transaction pipeline.


antique measuring instrument of surveying and alignmentSecond, I am re-committing to getting more content on this site. As always, I strive to bring relevant thoughts around a critical sector of the economy – the middle market. This is not a US-centric phenomenon. The middle market sector is out sized in its impact across nations. There is terrific data coming out of the UK, out of Canada, India, China, from other Western European countries – and even more clarity of the impact of the middle market in emerging countries. To paraphrase an old saying: “as the middle market goes, so goes the economy.”


I wanted to share with you a new area that I want to develop. The working title is “Thoughts from Around the Block” where I want to share specific insights to strength, weaknesses, oddities and outright irritations from my – and some supportive colleagues’ –experience from real deals (NB: no real deal names or data are ever used – one of my prime pet peeves is lack of due respect for confidentiality). I do not pretend to be the final answer in all things finance, private equity, or middle market. However, I do have a passion for the sector; I fundamentally believe that private equity has a critical role to play in providing liquidity, governance, professionalization, and development in the middle market; and (please do not take this as political) I am a huge fan of entrepreneurs that put blood, sweat and tears into starting and growing these businesses.


In one of my “lives” over 20+ years as a finance professional, I was CFO of a small, publicly-traded company – and I know first-hand what it is like to stare at the ceiling and plot how to cover payroll the next day (“beg bank manager for immediate credit on this deposit AND defer this wire for one day AND delay that vendor for one MORE day AND…”). This is a tough life – and I am overjoyed to live in a world where people have the opportunity to be rewarded for their investment – both economically and psychologically. But be not fooled: For all of the stories of success and amazing voyages – there a countless more of dreams bashed on the shoals of poor timing, under-capitalization, and unrealistic business plans. I am not one that thinks success should beget guilt; that said I would love to see more people worldwide given real access to that entrepreneurial spirit (and, yes, rewards).


If, in a small corner of the Internet, I can help explain middle market transactions and try to help develop people that would like to be more effective middle market deal professionals, I can ask for no more.


As always, your questions and comments are welcome. It is the greatest asset I have to know smart people. Again, you can also find me on Twitter @GaffinMark


More soon, I promise.

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