In October, ACG National Capital will be celebrating 25 years of middle market growth at the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Networking Event. Corporate Growth, Capital Style will be posting insightful interviews with past ACG presidents leading up to the big event.
In our last post in the series, we featured an interview with former president Jason Rigoli. Our next conversation was with former chapter president Rick Knop, who served from 2006 until 2007.
Mr. Knop has over 20 years of investment banking experience. Prior to joining FedCap Partners as a managing member, he co-founded Windsor Group in 1992 and led its development into the premier investment bank for the government/defense contracting industry. Mr. Knop has closed a broad range of investment banking transactions, including well over 100 defense and government contractors mergers ranging from $10 million to $1.2 billion in the past 17 years.
Mr. Knop has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, such as the Washington Technology’s Financier of the Year and the Association of Corporate Growth’s Dealmaker of the Year awards in 2004. In 2007, he was selected as the recipient of the Annual Technology “Good Scout” Award by the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from The George Washington University.
Here is what Mr. Knop had to say about his time with the ACG, as well as how corporate growth activity and the business market have changed in the National Capital region since he was president:
CGCS: Can you describe a significant occurrence that happened in the deal community during your tenure as ACG National Capital president?
Mr. Knop: During my tenure as President government/defense M&A was “white hot”. Many foreign buyers bought U.S. government/defense companies: Nortel acquired PEC Solutions, QinetiQ purchased Analex, etc. Also, private equity funds became major players as acquirers of government contractors.
CGCS: Can you describe something significant that happened during your time as chapter president?
Mr. Knop: One of the principal initiatives during my tenure was to make ACG Capital more representative of the entire D.C. metropolitan area (not just Northern Virginia) and the broader business community (not just government contracting). For the first time, The Annual Growth Conference was in Maryland and the Baltimore ACG Chapter co-sponsored it. Revenue and membership reached an all time high that year.
CGCS: What changes have you seen in the DC business community in the last 25 years? How has the business climate changed? Any new industries to take note of?
Mr. Knop: During the past 25 years the government contracting industry and local internet related businesses have grown dramatically and have been key engines of the local economy: retail, real estate, banking, etc. A great deal of wealth has been created locally from entrepreneurs selling their businesses.
CGCS: Can you describe some of the major trends shaping and influencing the business environment in DC today? How has that shaped corporate growth activity?
Mr. Knop: Today, the dysfunctional U.S. Congress and general lack of leadership resulting in a lack of a federal budget for almost five years, sequestration, etc. is having a dampening effect on the regional economy: government itself, the government contracting industry and the local businesses dependent upon those consumers. Corporate growth activity, as a result, has slowed down.
To hear more from Rick Knop and the rest of the ACG National Capital past presidents, register for the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Networking Event on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at the Waterview Center in Arlington, VA. Additional details and event registration are available HERE.