On Thursday, April 6, 2017, the National Capital Chapter of ACG will be sponsoring their annual Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, bringing together C-level executives and other senior business leaders from across the east coast to network, discuss business best practices, and share lessons learned about how to improve and grow their organizations. In anticipation of this exciting annual event, Corporate Growth, Capital Style is publishing a series of interviews with the speakers, attendees, and organizers of the conference. In our last interview, we sat down with Ryan Duffy of Lockton Companies who shared his insights into how the new administration is impacting businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In our next series of interviews, we had the opportunity to sit down with Chuck Carr, an audit partner and the Washington Metro technology and life sciences industry practices leader at RSM US LLP (RSM). Chuck is a second-year veteran as co-chair for the Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference and shared his thoughts with us on how corporate growth has changed over the past year. Here’s what he had to say:
Corporate Growth Capital Style (CGCS): Chuck, it’s great to have you back on Corporate Growth, Capital Style. Can you talk a little bit about some of the trends driving the biggest M&A or IPO activities that took place in 2016?
Chuck Carr: During 2016 we continued to see very few IPO’s. M&A was definitely the preferred path to liquidity. We saw investing activity in cybersecurity, cloud based technology, data analytics, semiconductors to name a few specific sectors.
CGCS: In what sectors did the biggest mergers/ acquisitions take place? Was there an increase in M&A activity from the previous year?
Chuck Carr: The leading sector for the top mergers/acquisitions across both the technology and life sciences industry took place in the pharmaceuticals & biotechnology sector. Other significant deals took place in the media, IT services, and semiconductor sectors. Across both industries, the majority of IPOs occurred in the software sector and pharmaceuticals & biotechnology (or life sciences) sector.
There was actually a decline in both deal activity as well as IPO’s between 2015 and 2016. Deals were down by 26% across the technology sector and life sciences experienced a 22% decline in deal activity. IPO’s declined by 22% within the technology sector and 47% with life sciences between 2015 and 2016.
CGCS: What sectors do you think will experience M&A, IPO or venture capital growth in 2017? Why?
Chuck Carr: The sectors that will I believe we will see the most growth in 2017 will be continue to be cloud based technologies, data analytics, cybersecurity, and semiconductors. I also expect to see activity related to artificial intelligence and activity stemming from the convergence of cable, television, broadband, and telephony.
CGCS: Can you talk a little bit about your role as co-chair of the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference? Why should members attend this year’s event?
Chuck Carr: I am excited to Co-Chair this event for a second time. The event once again offers attendees the chance to network with other individuals looking to expand and build relationships and the opportunity to hear from many great speakers talking on a wide variety of topics. The DealSource portion of the event will also allow individuals to access new deal flow and secure financing.
CGCS: How do you expect this year’s event be different than last years?
Chuck Carr: The format will be changing in the Showcase portion of the event where we have split the day into six separate 45 minute sessions with each session highlighting a technology company, transaction or topic. This format promises to be very interesting and informative. We also have two highly visible keynote speakers in David Trone and Rudolph Giuliani.
CGCS: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Chuck Carr: I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the event. It should be one of the premiere business events of the year in the Washington Metro market.