William Blair Expands to New York

William Blair recently celebrated the expansion of its wealth management and investment banking services to New York City this past fall.

The global investment banking and asset management firm added two seasoned private wealth teams to its New York office earlier this year. Throughout the past several years, the firm expanded its private wealth management group to Atlanta and Boston along with increasing the number of employees in its Chicago headquarters.

The two newly added New York teams offer an impressive resume of experience in the financial services industry. The firm’s investment banking team has also grown over the last few years with the goal of bettering client service.

The president and CEO of William Blair, John Ettelson stated, “William Blair remains focused on providing comprehensive financial services to our clients as we expand our business in key markets. William Blair’s independent partnership culture allows us to be nimble and provide a collaborative environment to share ideas which helps us meet our clients’ financial goals.”

 

William Blair’s Merger Tracker | 2017 Update

Throughout the past year, the William Blair investment banking team has continued to grow at a record-breaking rate. From July 2016 to July 2017, the team completed 115 sell-side M&A transactions, recording 500 transactions since 2010. The team’s continued growth has yielded William Blair a deeper understanding and knowledge of deal making activity and process trends. The volume has given the William Blair team the ability to identify distinct trends and behaviors that are influencing buyer and seller behavior in 2017 and, in turn, capitalize on them. In William Blair’s latest Merger Tracker issue, the team analyzed data related to deal processes, financial sponsor and strategic buyer interest, valuations, and other criteria from the completed transactions. Collectively, they discussed the dealmaking landscape and recent trends that are affecting M&A. To read the complete report, click here.

Brad Snyder | Retired US Navy Lieutenant

William Blair’s Veteran Alliance warmly welcomed retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Brad Snyder to their reception on November 13th. On September 7, 2011, Brad Snyder stepped on a 40-pound IED which took both his eyes, shattered his eardrum, and lacerated his face while serving as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer with SEAL Team Ten.

Just one year later on September 7, 2012, he became a Paralympic Champion winning his first gold medal in swimming at the London Paralympic Games. He went on to win a total of five gold medals and two silver medals during the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. In addition to his podium appearances, Snyder also broke the 30-year-old world record in the 100m freestyle in Rio.

“When we say service, this idea of working towards investing yourself in the community moment by moment—you don’t always have to reap a direct reward. You may never know how far your investment goes. But I challenge you guys to continue to explore the meaning of service so maybe you can help a guy like me wind up on the podium in London,” Snyder told the gathering.

Recollection of the Afghanistan attack where he was injured and its long aftermath, he said, underscored this reverence for service.

“I thought I died that day,” he said. “I fell asleep in Afghanistan and woke up in Maryland at Walter Reed Hospital 60 hours later.”

Snyder spoke of his friends who retrieved him from the battlefield. The pilot and the flight crew who rescued him. The surgeons and medical crew in Kandahar who spent 12 hours preparing his face for transport to Germany for additional surgery before heading home. A surgeon at Walter Reed who tried to save his vision. His mother, brothers, sister, and friends who supported him. His former swimming coach from St. Petersburg, Florida, who encouraged him to get back into the water after the explosion.

Just one year later he stood on the Olympic podium, a Paralympic Champion.

“As I stood at attention, listening to the anthem play, I thought about all the people who helped me get there,” Snyder said. “I realized individuals never accomplish anything truly great. It’s when communities leverage their collaborative effort towards a cohesive goal—that’s where magic happens. That’s where gold medals are possible.”
Snyder’s story is an inspiration. He has touched the lives of people across the country. To continue to share his story, he recently co-authored a memoir, Fire In My Eyes, with Tom Sileo. Snyder teaches leadership and ethics classes at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, his alma mater.

The Impact Protectionist Attitudes have had on the M&A Market

According to The Deal, throughout 2016, there was an increase in the protectionist sentiment in the U.S. and Europe. This is undoubtedly a powerful movement that will affect dealmaking of the future. In the second quarter of 2017, The Deal and Intralinks hosted a panel of experts to weigh in on their experiences and their predicted environment of dealmaking across borders.  The panel of experts forecasted the future of dealmaking throughout 2017 as President Trump, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and potential new administrations in France and the Netherlands restructure their economic policies. The Vice President of Strategy and Product Marketing at Intralinks, Matt Porzio, served as the moderator.

The Panelists discussed the impending issues dealmakers could encounter to minimize the possibility of an adverse response to a cross-border deal. They then reviewed which strategies would most likely work in mitigating protectionist opposition to any given transaction. They’ve also considered how the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. may consider cross-border deals differently than it has in the past, given its current status that identified challenges in which buyers from various countries and industries might face when attempting to acquire international assets. Finally, the panel examined how companies desire to expand overseas, and how that may affect their government’s response to popular protectionist sentiment.
To tune into this discussion, follow this link.

How Online Grocery and Direct-To-Consumer Models are Reshaping Food Retail

According to William Blair, over the past 20 years, the food retail industry has remained mostly unaffected by online competition. This is likely due to the long list of logistical challenges associated with delivering fresh food. Additionally, potential buyers have expressed an innate reluctance to trust online providers with the task of selecting their produce, meat, and other perishable goods. This has historically hampered an overall shift towards online food shopping.

Throughout the last three years, however, we’ve experienced acceleration as the online food industry saw a surge in consumer adoption of online grocery, meal-kit delivery and other direct-to-consumer models. A major inflection point of note was reached in June when Whole Foods Markets was acquired for $13.7 billion by Amazon.