Calder Capital is pleased to announce that Founder and Managing Partner, Max Friar, has won the 2018 ACG/MiBiz Dealmaker of the Year Finalist Award!
As a highlight to Calder Capital’s commitment to facilitate lower middle market transactions in West Michigan, ACG awarded Friar with 2018 Dealmaker of the Year Finalist in October 2018.
Since its founding in July 2013, Calder has already facilitated over 50 M&A transactions, 15 alone as of 10/31/18. “With the expansion of our team and the addition of Small Business Deal Advisors, our main street business brokerage arm, the pace of closings continues to accelerate,” noted Friar. “We fully intend on closing over 20 transactions in 2019, which would easily make the Calder/SBDA team the largest by transaction volume in West Michigan and perhaps even the entire state.”
When asked what continues to drive the company’s growth, Friar noted that he is driven deeply by a love of entrepreneurship and challenge. “Mergers and acquisitions continually provide for the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities and the ability to help entrepreneurs, about which I am most passionate. This extends beyond helping buyers find businesses; we are a very entrepreneurial organization and I find a lot of joy from bringing in new team members and showing them how, if they are smart and hard-working, they can create a fulfilling career with considerable economic opportunity, lifestyle flexibility, and continuous challenges.” On the latter point, Friar stated, “Although similarities exist, every transaction is a unique blend of multiple challenges – emotional, financial, personality, transition management – that are difficult. It’s rarely boring. This is a primary reason I’ve stuck with M&A for nearly 15 years.”
When asked what he was most excited about looking forward, Friar noted a number of things. “When I started Calder, it was all about the next deal. We had little in terms of resources and opportunities. We had no name for ourselves so 100% of our focus was signing clients on and trying to get deals done. Of course, that remains preeminently important; however, personally, I have also enjoyed growing the team, which is not necessarily something I expected out of the gate. I think it’s every owner’s dream to surround themselves with good people, a team with integrity, drive, honesty, and ambition. We have that at Calder/SBDA. The people make this happen, not me. Without Calder’s associates and administrative team, we would be closing a handful of deals at most, not 20.”
Friar also noted that he continues to be excited about the Boomers retiring. “We are seeing more and more of what I call ‘bull run exhaustion’,” noted Friar. “It took until 2013-2014 for many small businesses to recover from the damage of 2008-2010. Since then, many have been riding a bit of a gravy train, with sales and profits at or above historical highs. It’s hard to let go when the money is good. But we’re seeing cracks in the past few years: employees are very difficult to find and retain, and the constant demands of a strong economy have wearied many owners. They are now looking to transition out of their businesses. At the same time, interest rates are still historically low and buyers – individuals, strategics and institutional – are looking for quality companies.”
Heading into 2019, Friar expects that the M&A will remain strong. Demographically, there will just be more and more sellers coming out. Buyers can expect to come into an environment where they have more choices than they’ve had in the past. Deal multiples may continue to be impacted somewhat by rising rates, however, good companies will still fetch reasonable valuations and there will be competition among buyers. “I’m looking forward to the next few years. West Michigan is a wonderful place to live and transact business and I feel very confident that conditions will remain favorable for deal-making.”