Mid-Market PE Valuations: Where Up is Down

With U.S. stock markets near record highs, and M&A activity on-track for another big year, there has been much commentary about whether markets have once again detached from intrinsic value. By and large, the labour market has returned to normality, the housing market has recovered, and consumers are spending again. However, what's missing is any obvious catalyst for accelerating economic growth to drive corporate profits, and thus, boost markets any higher. This is all relatively common knowledge, but underneath this picture is the activity in the middle-market of private companies; an area that has some surprising facts of its own.

Traditionally, middle-market firms tend to be laggards of their public market brethren. This is often the result of their smaller size (which suggests greater risk), and liquidity discounts (because an owner cannot quickly dispose of their interest like an owner of a public company can). Recent experience by our team has turned this notion on its head.

Over the past few months, we were involved in a competitive sale process to acquire a niche-market retail company. This company had been able to carve out a segment of their industry that left them with few true competitors and subsequently had experienced consistent growth. Despite this growth, the company was still a regional player and thus had annual revenues of around $20MM, and EBITDA of approximately $2MM.


Rewind - Summer Recruiting 101 + Q&A

In case you missed our April 20th webinar entitled IBD Summer Recruiting 101, have no fear. The full recording of the webinar can be found below (free for only 24 hours and then it goes into our video library). Do you want to a 1 on 1 mentoring session with Anthony? Click below:

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All rewinds will be available everyday at 8am ET.

And, as always, if you want to sign up to hear about upcoming webinars before they happen, sign up inside the post...


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WSO Weekly Wrap-Up (6/27-7/3)

In case you missed them, here's some of last week's most popular topics:

3 Myths About Excellence That I Used to Believe
Post By @Deconstructing Excellence

This week, I want to share with you one of the sources that inspired my quest to deconstruct excellence. It was a fascinating (but very long) report in Sociological Theory that made me realize that the three things I thought I knew about what makes great people who they are, were complete myths. Here is what I learned.

Idiotic Compliance Training

I'm forced to deal with this shit at the end of every quarter and it's just so frustrating. We have to take a series of online courses on the usual bullshit topics -- sanctioned countries, money laundering, etc. The worst part is there's a quiz at the end of each section and we have to achieve a minimum score or else we have to re-take the quiz. In total, there are about 5 or 6 modules that together take at least a couple hours to complete.


IB Exit Ops in Sports

Hey everyone,

I'm intrigued by the possibility of someday leaving banking to work for a professional sports franchise. MLB is by far the most analytics heavy. Does anyone know of stories where people have successfully landed jobs working in front offices? For reference I am interning in banking this summer, will graduate this spring. Looking forward to hopefully some encouraging stories, though I know it's a really tough industry to find a job with decent pay


INTRODUCING: The WSO Applicant Database. Take 5 minutes on WSO to Reach Hundreds of Finance Recruiters and Finance Companies

Given that we have built up relationships with hundreds of companies and finance recruiters, we thought instead of just a simple job board (which you can find right here), we would also create a WSO Applicant Database.

This vision for the database is to allow all WSO users to create a detailed "Applicant Profile" that can be used by recruiters and companies to find great talent. It is similar to an online resume you see on LinkedIn, but with a lot more detail around actual skills relevant to financial positions, scores and certifications so that recruiters can use it to filter through candidates that are a great match for their spots.


WSO 10 Year Anniversary: THANK YOU (10% Off Site Wide for Month of July)

As we approach our 10 Year anniversary, I'd like to thank the thousands of members that have made WSO an incredible resource to millions of readers. The last 10 years have been an amazing ride and I can't wait to tackle the next 10!

As part of our celebration, we thought a 10% site wide discount would be a small way to say thank you to our customers and members that have been loyal and supported us through the ups and downs. So, for the month of July only, you can get 10% off any and all WSO products & services by using the code "10off" when checking out.

Thanks again for an incredible 10 years and I hope we can keep on improving, growing and challenging ourselves to be better.

-Patrick, Andy, Ivy, Joao, Khalid, Renae & The Entire WSO Team


Moving to the Southeast - Any advice for job hunting

So I am looking to potentially move to the Southeast for family reasons and starting my job search with the goal of being down there by year end to March next year. I am currently looking for any advice on head hunters in the area for PE/VC/HF work...please let me know.


Real struggle - Time to Quit?

Hi everyone, want some advice here. I have not had much success in job hunting in the early years since graduating 3 years ago. Hence, i have been job hopping roughly every 12 months over the past 3 years, therefore i already have 3 different jobs in my short professional career. Although I started out with a sh*t job, but each time i move, i managed to get a decent pay rise and a bigger role (in terms of responsibilities).

I am really enjoying my current role and mix in really well with my colleagues. Only downside is the role is based in a small city meaning social life is limited and I find that really depressing for someone in their mid 20s. I am working with a recruitment agency for an even bigger role in London with a decent pay rise. The final interview went well so I think an offer is likely to come out after reference check.

Should I take the opportunity to jump now despite my professional history? I don't want to jeopardize my long term career for short-term gains. Will this impact my career over the long term if i don't have a job that lasts more than 2 years in the past 3 jobs?


Reuters IBD Global Review 2015

Sup monkeys, here is super detailed analysis of market share, fee share, broken down by division and by industry group and across regions. Should basically answer 90% of questions that get posted on this forum over and over again. (which group is best in x, rank xyz for me etc etc). And all incredibly recent too.

Think it will also help clear up alot of the misconceptions and outdated 'rankings' on this board.


Sign up for the webinar notification email list

I've heard from some people that they had trouble finding out how to sign up for this list. Add your name/email to the form below and you'll be notified of future webinars. FYI I email 30min before each webinar with a link to join in + each email includes info for upcoming webinars and webinar rewinds.


How to negotiate for more money during the interview process

Mod Note (Andy): #TBT Throwback Thursday - this was originally posted on 9/22/12

So, this question keeps coming up, "if I negotiate with a prospective employer, will I piss them off or ruin my chances?" I wanted to share the perspective of the person hiring and give you a couple of examples of what happened with people I have hired who were being paid below market wage to begin with. Some of you will probably think I'm a dick for saying some of this, but this is what really happens. Generally, your job is to try to get paid as much as possible and the employer's job is to pay you as little as possible. Getting upset about it won't help. Recognizing how to tilt the odds in your favor will. I consider the compensation negotiation a part of the interview and hopefully, you will understand why in the examples below.

What I write below applies to experienced hires anywhere and to small companies, but does not apply to standardized programs like analyst and associate programs at big firms (you usually can't negotiate those offers).

Anchoring
Don't be afraid to throw out the first number, just make sure it's a number you would be ecstatic to get. The company almost always make you throw out the first number and they make sure it's a number you are absolutely NOT ecstatic about.

How do they do this?