Grand Rapids, MI – September 2020 – Calder Capital is proud to announce that Max Friar has been selected as one of Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 2020 40 Under 40 Business Leaders. The GRBJ 40 Under 40 2020 award recognizes forty individuals under the age of forty who are making a significant impact in West Michigan. With upwards of 400 applicants, the award is a coveted recognition.
A Grand Rapids native, Friar has been working in Mergers and Acquisitions since 2005. Loving the fast-paced and ever-challenging world of business transactions, Friar started Calder Capital in 2013 and co-founded sister company, Small Business Deal Advisors (SBDA), in 2017. Even amidst the pandemic, the firms have experienced a record-breaking year. The team recently closed its 27th deal, exceeding its 2019 record of 23 deals.
A Big Year for Investment
Beyond 27 successful transactions, it’s been a big year for investment for the firm. Calder has added multiple advisors, hired an office coordinator, further formalized its intern program, expanded its presence in other states, and heavily invested in sales and marketing.
Additionally, as of July, Calder Capital is operating out of a newly-renovated 3,400 square foot office in the historic McMullen Building in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. With an updated kitchen/bar, a large conference room, and glass-enclosed offices that preserve the space’s natural light and complement the rugged look of the original exposed brick, the space promotes the kind of intense collaboration required of deal-making. Follow @caldercapitalllc on Instagram to see photos of this welcoming space and get regular updates on the firm’s exciting work.
On personal level, Friar saw his oldest off to college this fall to study mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. Additionally, he and his wife successfully sold a business that they started in 2018.
Accelerating Growth Through COVID-19
“We haven’t used COVID as a reason to sit on our hands; in fact, it’s the opposite,” Friar said when asked about his successful year. “We have pivoted quickly by implementing a robust sales plan, expanding our buyer qualification tools, investing in administrative task automation, and hiring additional staff. This is all for one goal: quickly creating a robust and competitive marketplace for our sell-side clients. As a result, we are up 52% vs 2019 and we are poised for continued growth.” Friar continued, “Buyers and sellers want to transact. We’ve done our best to give our seller clients the security and support they need while helping buyers to achieve their professional and entrepreneurial goals.”
Friar has fostered a culture of learning and growth at Calder Capital, which is how he attributes the firm’s upward trajectory. “A lot of our staff come to Calder in their 20s, and they’re eager to learn. While they may have worked elsewhere, they don’t carry a lot of preconceived notions about how M&A should work. Many of our team members started as interns and are now running deals. This is the kind of industry in which your business classes will only get you so far, and then you’ve just got to learn by jumping in.” Friar concluded, “I have never believed that age should limit opportunity. M&A is challenging on all fronts and oftentimes it requires the energy of youth combined with the experience of seasoned veterans to push the transaction over the finish line.”
Now into its eighth year running, Calder Capital expects to continue trending upwards. Expect to see even more growth from the firm before it hits its one-decade milestone, which Friar is particularly optimistic about. Congratulations, Max, on your 40 Under 40 recognition!