Vanishing Borders –

We live in fascinating times.

The onward rush of globalisation influences everything it touches including professional services.

The arena of mid-market mergers & acquisitions is experiencing significant change at present as more private corporations attempt to access new opportunities around the globe, while others hope to market their business on an international stage.

Independent mid-market advisors must take note of these trends and position themselves to provide the highest level of service for the changing needs of their existing and prospective clients.

It is this last point that forms the basis of this report into the evolution of cross-border mid-market M&A.

International professional services networks IR Global and The Alliance of M&A Advisors (The Alliance) met two years ago and have grown close as strategic partners, providing support, advice and networking expertise to mid-market professionals across the world.

Both organisations are fully committed to the private mid-market, helping family-owned and non-public businesses negotiate the complex path towards a successful merger or acquisition.

Since meeting, we have been in regular communication, discussing M&A activity, sharing insights from our respective members and analysing the marketplace. It’s been a fascinating period in which we have studied and noted the changing role of the advisor and how client expectations are evolving.

We believe we are witnessing a major turning point in the mid-market professional services sector and were inspired by this to explore the globalisation phenomenon further.

To test this hypothesis, we commissioned an in-depth survey, involving more than 250 advisory firms from around the world, asking them about the current M&A landscape and their expectations for the future.

Our objective was to provide an insight into the minds of M&A advisors from a number of different disciplines and geographical regions in order to understand the evolution of deal activity.

We asked about their expectations for future deal activity, how they thought their roles were changing and how they were adapting to an environment increasingly influenced by cross-border activity.

The stand out conclusion of our research is that professionals working in the private mid-market will need to become deal partners for their clients rather than mere advisors. In the new cross-border paradigm this report identifies, the emphasis will be on supporting clients, whether buy-side or sell-side, to access new markets and find new opportunities.

Our survey findings reveal how networks facilitate the sourcing of opportunities, knowledge sharing and international capabilities.

They also show how independent advisors can deliver a very different service to the traditional international firm model, one which is more flexible, cost-effective and personal.

We hope you find the report interesting and useful, and that it stimulates further thought. Most importantly, we hope it improves client service in the private mid-market sector.