William Blair Wins Investment Bank of the Year

Mergers and Acquisitions Magazine has named William Blair the 2017 Investment Bank of the year. William Blair has achieved significant growth, surpassing its previous year’s deal value by nearly 75 percent. The Chicago, Illinois based Investment Firm attributed its accomplishments to the last five years of investments into the firm’s growth. William Blair has grown by more than 60 percent throughout the last 5 years adding several new locations.

Mark Brady, investment banker and William Blair’s Global Head of M&A said, “We have been in investment mode for quite some time. We have grown our talent pool, and presence around the world. Our efforts put us on a growth trajectory that took us to the position we hit in 2017. We also care deeply about our relationships. More than 60 percent of William Blair’s transactions in 2017 involved repeat clients. We are a trusted advisor to clients across market cycles, and we have a track record of delivering optimal outcomes.” Additionally, Brady attributed a significant amount of William Blair’s success to the firm’s commitment to both their employees and their communities. “We’ve become so much more involved in our communities and that’s where it all starts, by cultivating lasting and meaningful relationships.”

William Blair completed 22 percent more M&A advisory transactions in 2017 than they did in the previous year, representing $52.1 billion in total deal value. 2017 marked William Blair’s highest total of M&A transactions ever – up nearly 75 percent from $29.8 billion in 2016.

Throughout William Blair’s last five years spent investing, the firm has devoted significant resources to grow its number of bankers, expanding its debt financing capabilities, hosting various conferences and most notably opening its new North American headquarters in Chicago.

Mergers and Acquisitions: Private vs. Public Deals

Tom Terrarosa of The Deal recently sat down with several financial professionals to discuss M&A transactions. In partnership with Intralinks, the group dove into a 25-year study of over 78,000 worldwide M&A transactions conducted by London’s Cass Business School.

With the market currently experiencing a 7.8 percent deal rate failure, the worst the market has seen since the financial crisis, this group looked to find the answers to why deals are failing.

Many have begun to wonder, is there something more company-specific going on in the M&A market? This study investigates 5 key areas that answer the question of why some bids are more likely to be successful than others.

On a macro level, failed deals throughout the entire M&A landscape share many characteristics. However, public targets fail to complete deals far more often than private targets. There is a very real distinction between public M&A vs. private M&A.

William Blair’s Head of Global M&A, Mark Brady, mentioned that information that exists regarding public companies contains such a very high degree of publicity that the deal-making landscape is often wildly affected. Public companies typically have so many moving parts that magnitudes of individuals and their respective organizations that are highly affected throughout the process of a deal, while private companies are able to keep the deals much more discrete. Often, only the executive c-suite are aware of the intricacies of a deal until it is announced.
To learn more about the M&A landscape, watch this video.

Mark Brady Reflects on his Experiences at Chicago Booth School of Business as it Celebrates the 75th Anniversary

In 1943, Chicago Booth recognized the need for experienced leaders to apply their knowledge and training to urgent tasks and expand the capacity of American industry. This realization inspired the college to launch the world’s first Executive MBA Program. For the first time, Booth developed a course of rigorous business education tailored to the specific needs of mid-career managers.

Mark Brady, William Blair’s Global Head of M&A is a proud Chicago Booth MBA alumni. While completing his undergraduate studies at Northwestern, Mark found himself thinking about his future. He sat in Northwestern’s library and read over a list of jobs in the United States, and decided to pursue investment banking. Shortly after he finished his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University, he began his career at Kidder and Peabody. After working there for two years saving his money, Mark Brady began to plan his career as an investment banker and was immediately drawn to The Chicago Booth School of Business. “You could learn six years worth of material in two because (Chicago Booth) had such an in depth and hands on program,” said Brady of his decision to pursue higher education at Chicago Booth.

Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA Program, while different from the program Mark completed, speaks volumes of the caliber of successful leaders Booth has trained in the last 75 years. Since Booth opened its various MBA programs for enrollment, they have continuously given students a world-class skill set to thrive in the business world. The success of Chicago Booth has paved the way for institutions around the world to develop their own programs for mid-career students. Chicago Booth’s programs have expanded around the world and it remains the only business school of its kind with permanent campuses on three continents.