With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to look back at M&A and growth activities in 2014. It was a strong year for M&A activity, both nationwide and in the DC/Metro area. According to a recent Deloitte survey, “over the past 18 months, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has accelerated in the U.S. That trend is poised to continue, if not increase, according to the first annual Deloitte M&A Trends report.”

That’s encouraging news moving into 2015, and we’re eager to see what the new year has to offer in terms of great deals and business growth. 2014 was bolstered by an increase of M&A activity in the technology sector, and more specifically, a spike in activity for healthcare technology related companies, a trend that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future as the industry continues to go through massive transformations.

As we patiently wait to change up our calendars, here’s a look back at some of the most interesting articles shared on Corporate Growth, Capital Style in 2014 that gave us a strong sense of M&A activity in the DC/Metro region:

Justin Guilder on the Importance of Expert Legal Counsel During Financial Transactions:
The importance of expert legal counsel during a large financial transaction cannot be overlooked. As businesses look to grow and expand, it is imperative that owners ensure that they’re in a position to succeed. This is where experts like Justin Guilder come in. As the Managing Director and General Counsel at PennAve One LLC, Mr. Guilder has worked on a number of transactions in numerous different industries. The Corporate Growth, Capital Style editorial team had an opportunity to speak with Justin about his experience, as well as the importance of expert legal counsel during any major financial transaction.

FireEye’s David Merkel Talks Acquisitions & Cybersecurity:
The ACG editorial team had the opportunity to sit down with FireEye’s Global Chief Technology Officer David Merkel to discuss FireEye’s recent acquisition of Mandiant, what may have sparked it, and the integration process.

The “Cloud” is Causing it to Rain M&A:
The 2nd quarter M&A results are in and Technology M&A is on a tear. The Tech M&A market is up 57% over last year with $52.4 Billion in Global announced M&A in 2Q 2014. What is driving a material chunk of this M&A storm – Cloud Technology/Services. E&Y estimated that 42% of the volume last quarter was directly related to Cloud and Smart Mobility transaction activity.

The McLean Group’s Mitchell Martin Discusses M&A Activity in DC-Metro Area:
Corporate Growth, Capital Style had an opportunity to speak with The McLean Group’s Mitchell Martin about M&A activity in the DC-Metro area. Mr. Martin is the co-head of the firm’s M&A practice, as well as its Transportation and Logistics, Defense and Government Services practices. He is a highly experienced professional, having held a number financial advisory positions with leading investment banks focused on M&A for logistics and defense and government services companies. We asked Mitch how the region’s M&A market compared to the nation as a whole, which industries are seeing the most activity and what is driving M&A activity today.

BDO USA’s 2014 IPO Outlook:
Investment bankers are divided when asked to predict activity for the second half of 2014, according to BDO USA’s 2014 IPO Halftime Report. The study finds that than one-third (38 percent) of capital markets executives at leading investment banks anticipate activity will increase further, while a similar proportion (35 percent) believe activity will be flat, and just over one quarter (27 percent) expect a decrease in deals. Overall, executives anticipate a one percent increase in the number of U.S. IPOs during the second half of the year, totaling an expected 293 IPOs for all of 2014. This would represent a 32 percent increase from last year and the most deals on U.S. exchanges since 2000 (406).

M&A Market is on Fire…Another Bubble or Smart Business?:
Facebook makes a blockbuster move and acquires WhatsApp for $19 Billion. Is that the sign that we have reached a silly overheated M&A market? Last month we hit $1.2 Trillion of Global M&A volume, the highest dollar volume since 2007, when we hit $1.4 Trillion in the same time-period. Banks are back lending to the Private Equity community at unprecedented levels. At first glance, when you add the simple facts together, one could certainly conclude that we are once again poised for a “bursting of the bubble”. We disagree!

Ted Leonsis on What Makes Washington DC a Strong Venture Community:
Washington DC has become a major hub for the venture community. Some reports predict that more money will be invested East of the Mississippi than West of the Mississippi, which seems astonishing for many.
Ted Leonsis, Chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, where he discussed why Washington DC has become such a strong venture community.

Be sure to check back next week for our second DealSource Q&A leading up to the 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Tech Showcase and ACG DealSource. And on behalf of the CGCS editorial team, Happy Holidays!