Three Factors Driving High-End Professional Services M&A in the COVID Economy

We consistently observe the evolving demand for our clients from the financial sponsor community as the leading strategic, financial advisor to many of the fastest growing independent consulting and IT services firms. Historically, clients that generated a significant portion of revenue from project-based consulting work faced opposition from many private equity firms. Why have businesses … Continued

Awakenings in the M&A Market? The Latest from Pillsbury’s M&A Webinar Series

Last week, Clearsight Managing Director and CEO, Joel Kallett, participated in the third installment of Pillsbury Law’s webinar, Awakenings? Current Status of M&A Activity. Clearsight joined M&A executives from defense contracting and technology sectors to share how the professional services industry is emerging from the economic impacts of COVID-19. The full webinar as well as … Continued

Professional Services M&A Market Impact Report 2020

We surveyed M&A executives around the world operating in the professional services industry, including digital transformation, business consulting, IT services, marketing and private equity. These industry leaders shared how COVID-19 and the subsequent economic downturn are affecting their M&A outlook. Download the report below for our full findings and analysis. Professional Services M&A Market Impact … Continued

Webinar: Status of M&A Deal Activity and Prospects

In a recent installment of the Pillsbury Law Webinar Series: Status of M&A Deal Activity and Prospects, Clearsight Managing Director Joel Kallett shared his analysis of COVID-19’s impact on the deal landscape. He was joined by panelists from Baird, Kipps DeSanto, Houlihan Lokey, and FON Advisors to discuss their experience with professional and tech-enabled services … Continued

Four Ways Consulting Firms Are Innovating to Deliver in a COVID-19 World

During times of crisis, ingenuity can make the difference between weathering the storm and succumbing to the storm. This is especially true of the high-end professional services industry that relies heavily on face-to-face contact to conduct projects, audits, oversight, and assessments, among other functions. While some regulation has been levied to assist professional services during … Continued

RSAC 2020: Insights and Reflections

As the flagship cybersecurity, risk, and access management conference of the year, RSA Conference (RSAC) is a valuable space for industry leaders, boutiques, and financial sponsors to come together and consider the eminent challenges and successes in the field. At RSAC 2020, members of the Clearsight team met with industry partners and discussed the latest … Continued

Compliance & Risk Outlook for 2020

Between changes in regulation, technological advancements, and shifting consumer preferences, data privacy compliance is a dynamic issue for every business. These trends are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, necessitating even greater attention from business owners. We narrow down the top compliance and risk concerns for the upcoming year and assess their ramifications across … Continued

Deal Spotlight: Accenture Security Acquires Symantec’s MSSP from Broadcom

Accenture Security’s move to acquire Symantec’s MSSP Business from Broadcom later this year could be the first ripple in the coming wave of consolidation for the MSSP and security services industry. The deal is set to close in March of 2020 and comes shortly after Broadcom’s acquisition of Symantec’s Enterprise System in August of 2019. … Continued

CCPA: A New Era of Data Privacy

As of January 1st, 2020, the California Consumers Privacy Act (CCPA) will effectively be the first major data privacy regulation for U.S. businesses. For those businesses that have yet to face new consumer data privacy regulation, CCPA can seem daunting. CCPA aims to give California consumers greater transparency into how their data is being collected … Continued

Digital Innovation: Redefining Digital Transformation

For many, digital transformation falls into the category of “terms often used but challenging to define.” It conjures up images of artificial intelligence, the cloud, and automation across the professional spectrum. Although these are manifestations of the larger wave of digital transformation, their implementation has fallen short for many businesses that believed they were the … Continued

IT Compliance Considerations for M&A Stakeholders

When it comes to M&A, IT non-compliance on the part of the seller can risk collapsing a deal, especially now when consumer data and privacy are invaluable to both customers and businesses. In a recent ACG webinar, IT compliance specialists from DHG Private Equity shared their thoughts on how companies from every sector and the … Continued

The Future of Auditing: Beyond Just Number Crunching

The days of evaluating private companies solely on their financial performance and solvency are gone. Fueled by public interest and global partnerships, it is becoming ever more common for companies to also be evaluated on non-financial information including technological, environmental and social standards. In 2018, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) – a … Continued

Caught in The Crosshairs of ADA Compliance, Domino’s Appeals and Is Denied

On October 7th, the U.S. Supreme Court greenlighted a case that calls into question the extent to which companies are responsible for making their websites and apps accessible to the blind and visually impaired. At the center of the legal battle is Domino’s Pizza Inc. which came under scrutiny for non-compliance with the Americans With … Continued

Infogain Acquires Silicus Technologies

On October 1, 2019, Infogain Corporation (“Infogain”), a global provider of software platform engineering services, agreed to acquire Silicus Technologies, LLC (“Silicus”), a Microsoft Gold Partner and Microsoft Azure Expert MSP. Silicus, a Houston, TX-based company, focuses on cloud-enabled digital initiatives in software, analytics, IT infrastructure, IoT, and the digital workplace. Check out Clearsight’s analysis … Continued

What Is The Trade War’s Impact on M&A?

Clearsight’s Arel Rende joined Yahoo Finance on August 30 to discuss how the trade war is impacting M&A, private equity, and IPOs. With more than $2 trillion in PE capital waiting to be invested, time is risk regardless of the trade showdown.  

Accenture Interactive Bets Big on Creative

On April 3rd, 2019, Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN), a global provider of consulting, technology, and outsourcing services, acquired Droga5, a global branding and marketing agency, for an undisclosed amount. Droga5 will be integrated with Accenture Interactive, boosting its capabilities as an experience agency able to ideate, design, build, and run customer experiences that grow purpose-led brands … Continued

How Social Enterprises Lead the Way for a Strong Workplace

Clearsight’s Dallas-based Co-Founder and Managing Director Gretchen Frary Seay published this week a thought leadership piece on how social enterprises offer an ideal model for a strong workplace: “The business world is tough. To succeed takes grit, determination, a little savvy, a lot of luck. For women, it’s often even tougher because, in addition to … Continued

RSA Recap: Too Many Tools, Not Enough Hands

The RSA Cybersecurity Conference in San Francisco wrapped up last Friday, and Jim McCabe and John Rakowksi from Clearsight Advisors were on hand to walk the convention floor, meet with industry players, and glean insights about the overall direction of the industry as it relates to M&A and capital investment. While there were a record … Continued

DXC: Luxoft’s Knight in Shining Armor

DXC Technology, the leading B2B IT services and digital transformation solutions provider, has announced it intends to acquire software development firm Luxoft for approximately $2 billion. The acquisition enables DXC to offer clients end-to-end digital transformation services by leveraging Luxoft’s front end digital capabilities with DXC’s expertise in IT modernization and integration. Read more about … Continued

Vista Equity Partners Acquires Apptio

Vista Equity Partners announced this week the acquisition of Apptio, the leading technology business management software provider, for $1.94 billion. As a result, Apptio will go private and focus on growing their software platform. Read more about the transaction to get Clearsight’s perspective on the continued evolution of the technology business management space. We believe … Continued

Cloudera, Hortonworks, and the Big Data “Game of Thrones”

Two of the most powerful houses in the big data world have long been Cloudera and Hortonworks. Once fierce adversaries, you can think of them as the Starks and Targaryens of the market. In a surprising announcement several weeks ago, these two rivals joined forces to take on their own “Army of the Dead.” In … Continued

PricewaterhouseCooper Acquires KYC Tool From FSCom

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Belfast-based change management division, PwC Operate, acquired last month the anti-money laundering tool (AML) KYC-Pro from FSCom, an Irish compliance consultancy focused on the financial services sector. The Know Your Client (commonly referred to as KYC) regulatory requirement protects financial institutions from being used by criminals for money laundering purposes but has historically been … Continued

The Red Flag Group Acquires ETHIC Intelligence

The Red Flag Group, a global business intelligence and technology firm based in Hong Kong with a robust presence in the US, Middle East, and Europe, recently announced that they have acquired ETHIC Intelligence as part of its commitment to existing and prospective clients that are increasingly interested in establishing best practices and achieving excellence … Continued

Cognizant Acquires US-Based Softvision

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Softvision, LLC, a digital engineering and consulting company backed by Tower Arch Capital, for a rumored value of about $550 million. With its fifth digital acquisition of 2018, Cognizant has reaffirmed its mission to become a true digital consultancy. Cognizant has historically lagged … Continued

Monitoring and Modernizing U.S. Data Privacy Laws

The Internet Association announced last week that it supports modernizing U.S. data privacy laws – with a caveat. The trade group, which represents more than 40 major internet and technology firms, including Netflix and Twitter, favors a national approach over state-by-state jurisdiction which would supersede the digital privacy law set to go into effect in … Continued

Market Spotlight: H.I.G. Capital Acquires Buck

On August 22nd, 2018, an investment fund managed by H.I.G. Capital completed their previously-announced acquisition of Buck, formerly the HR consulting division of Conduent (NYSE: CNDT), through an LBO for an undisclosed sum. The transaction also includes Buck’s Canadian- and UK-based businesses. Conduent will retain certain assets in line with its core technology platform business. … Continued

As the data science sector consolidates, who are likely buyers?

Last month, Clearsight Advisors announced that we served as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Kogentix in its acquisition by Accenture. The global research and advisory firm 451 Research recently reported on that deal as an example of ballast for future M&A activity in the data science atmosphere, mentioning that “Accenture has also helped … Continued

The Employee Engagement Market – The Early Innings of Rapid Consolidation

Earlier this week, Clearsight announced its role advising Brand Integrity in its acquisition by Reward Gateway. This is an important deal because it further highlights several trends that we have been both preaching and witnessing over the last several years: first, a convergence across business models and second, convergence and consolidation across the fragmented employee … Continued

Is GDPR Coming to America?

At our inaugural Compliance Summit earlier this summer, we hosted several panels across a variety of topics and sectors. Regardless of industry or niche, there was a common theme to the day’s conversations: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The consensus was that GDPR is a game changer—and not just for the EU. Normally when we … Continued

Recapping the Compliance Summit: Data Privacy & Security

Last week, Clearsight Advisors hosted its inaugural Compliance Summit at the Pierre Hotel in New York. As the landscape of regulatory requirements has expanded across industries, the Clearsight team has identified key themes and innovative companies that are leading the market in delivering comprehensive solutions to their clients. We brought together a diverse audience of … Continued

The Clearsight Team Shares Key Takeaways From ServiceNow’s Knowledge18 Conference

It’s mid-May, which means that ServiceNow, the rapidly-growing enterprise software platform for IT service management (and much more), has just completed its annual Knowledge conference for partners, customers and employees. The Clearsight team was on hand at Knowledge18, where the optimism and excitement about the company’s trajectory was palpable, both on the convention floor and … Continued

5 Takeaways from AWS re:Invent

Last week Clearsight was in Las Vegas for Amazon’s annual cloud computing conference, AWS re:Invent. Although to call this simply a conference would be an understatement – with 40,000+ attendees across four venues, the strip was overrun by AWS devotees energized by the tech giant’s latest round of breathtaking releases for the platform. This event … Continued

Heidrick & Struggles Eyes an Extended Advisory Role with Launch of New Consulting Unit

Earlier this week, executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (“Heidrick & Struggles” or “H&S”) unveiled its newest unit, Heidrick Consulting, a management consulting style offering to complement its core capabilities in leadership consulting and executive search. Heidrick Consulting will be led by Colin Price, who came to H&S in 2015 through the acquisition … Continued

Management Consulting’s Next Move is Tech Enabled

Last week Clearsight was in London to celebrate the completion of another successful transaction, a license of key IP assets to EY in a deal that provided a landmark liquidity event for Clearsight’s client Competitive Capabilities International (Pty) Ltd. (“CCi”). CCi is a South African software and consulting business helping clients in the global manufacturing … Continued

3 Ways ASC 606 Will Impact Software Companies and Future M&A

There is a new accounting regulation, ASC 606, that will accelerate software companies’ ability to recognize revenue and profitability.  In an effort to establish principles that mesh with both Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) introduced this new revenue recognition standard to report “useful … Continued

Market Spotlight – Deloitte Acquires Red Planet

On February 09, 2017, Deloitte, a global provider of consulting, audit, tax, and financial advisory services, announced it had acquired Red Planet Ventures Limited (“Red Planet”), an innovation strategy and digital consulting firm based in Dublin, Ireland, for an undisclosed amount. Red Planet’s three full time employees will join the Deloitte Digital team, and plan … Continued

Five Actions to Prepare Your Consulting Business for Sale

As we described in a recent article, the consulting M&A market was highly active in 2016, with diverse buyers pursuing rapidly growing firms with domain expertise in “hot” horizontals and verticals such as Cloud Services, Healthcare, and Digital Transformation. We expect an active consulting M&A market to continue in 2017. For consultancies evaluating a potential … Continued

Accenture Goes Deeper into IoT and Connected Products

The IoT sector is rapidly evolving and acquirers recognize M&A is a more efficient growth strategy than building the capability organically.  Accenture has been on a digital acquisition spree over the last four years. While a number of other IT and management consulting firms are following Accenture’s path, we expect to see more “unexpected” acquirers … Continued

The Consulting M&A Market: Back on Top in 2016

Although 2016 started with what initially appeared to be muted M&A activity, we will likely look back on 2016 as a key inflection point for the broad consulting industry. Through an equal combination of both strong volume and values, the consulting M&A market reached new heights and set a high bar for 2017. With 2016 … Continued

A RICO Charge…the latest arrow in the Yates quiver…

Regulators continue to show aggressive tactics as the Yates Memo guidelines continue to drive prosecutorial strategies.  As the 2015 Memo stated, there is an increased effort and focus being placed on individual accountability, as further evidenced by D.A.G. Yates’s comments delivered on Nov. 30th ( at the International FCPA conference.

Despite Early Innings For AI, M&A Activity Soars

While the mass media overuses the term Artificial Intelligence (AI), most experts agree that successful AI will include more than one dominant technology, instead being an evolution of interwoven technological building blocks patterned after Big Data’s technology stack evolution.

Wipro Acquires Appirio – A Game Changer

Last week, Wipro announced its largest acquisition in history – $500 million for cloud integration firm, Appirio.  This acquisition is the second bold blockbuster purchase by Wipro this year; they bought HealthPlan Services in February for $460 million.

Accenture Acquires DayNine, Marking One Final Step Toward Complete Consolidation of the Original Workday Boutiques

It was announced last week that Accenture will acquire DayNine Consulting, one of the leading global Workday (NYSE: WDAY) services boutique partners. The deal not only represents another move by Accenture to become one of the top enterprise cloud services providers in the world, but it also marks a final step towards complete consolidation of … Continued

Aggressive Market Outlook For IoT M&A

The Internet of Things (“IoT”) M&A market experienced tremendous growth in the first half of 2016 and the outlook is expected to be equally aggressive.  The total number of IoT connections will grow from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025 and companies are quickly learning to transform device and sensor data into … Continued

BLOCKCHAIN – Near Term Consulting Bonanza

It has become clear to us that 2016 will go down as the year the blockchain officially became a strategic priority for many companies to better understand. Not surprisingly, as a strategic advisor and investment bank, we are witnessing first-hand the collective interest in and desire to acquire expertise in this new technology/platform/business process. Large … Continued

Busy First Half of 2016 for Salesforce Integrators

The Salesforce integration market has been incredibly active over the first half of 2016 following a busy 2015 where several Salesforce related consulting deals were announced (Cinovate, CloudSherpas, Cloud62, RedKite and Etherios, among others). The three transactions which have specifically piqued our interest in 2016 include: IBM’s acquisition of Bluewolf, Publicis.Sapient’s acquisition of Vertiba, and Mindtree’s acquisition … Continued

PE Backed Platforms Ramping Up Acquisition Activity in the Professional Services Sector

For the last several quarters, we have been talking about the increase in PE activity in the consulting sector. As evidence of this continuing trend, there has been a recent flurry of deals including: Madison Dearborn-backed Ankura Consulting Group’s acquisition of MGBD (Turnaround Consulting); Primary Capital Partners-backed MARU Group’s acquisition of Vision Critical Research and … Continued

A New Era of Consulting M&A, the Private Equity Marriage

Earlier this month Ankura Consulting Group, a business advisory and expert services firm, announced that it had received an investment commitment of $100M from Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Ankura is a recent entrant into the consulting arena founded by former executives from FTI Consulting and is largely focused on providing clients … Continued

Perhaps Epiq Should Have Taken The Previous Offer

There are market rumors indicating Xerox and DTI have offered to acquire Epiq Systems Inc. (“Epiq” or the “Company”) for between $14 and $16 per share.  The high end of this range, $16 per share, represents a 36% premium to the trailing 30-day average share price leading up to these rumors.  This may look like … Continued

MindTree – A Toddler Growing up with a Cloud Strategy

Earlier this month, MindTree Limited (BSE:532819), an India-based international IT outsourcer, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Magnet 360, LLC, a Salesforce Platinum Consulting Partner. MindTree paid $50 million in cash, including a cash payment of $37 million at close and an earn-out payment of $13 million over two years. Our estimate is that … Continued

3 Big Data M&A Predictions for 2016

Data is the new oil. That was the headline just a couple years ago. While the price of data has not experienced the same downward trajectory as oil as the product floods the market, a maturing of the big data market has changed the predictions and outlook for 2016. The big data market has pivoted … Continued

IT Value Added Resellers Upgrading Capabilities

Avnet, Inc. announced last week that it acquired ExitCertified, a certified provider of IT training for leading technology platforms including Amazon Web Services, Oracle, SAP, and Symantec, to name a few.  Commonly known as an IT hardware value added reseller (“VAR”), Avnet’s recent acquisition reinforces our view that VARs are actively seeking opportunities to acquire … Continued

Top Consulting Trends for 2016

2015 will cap off another solid growth year for the Consulting Industry. Specifically, we expect the Management Consulting market to grow to over $175 billion in the United States alone and over $350 billion globally. What are the hottest areas within consulting that we expect to continue garnering attention in 2016?

Xchanging Agrees to Deal with CSC

Earlier this week, British outsourcing company Xchanging Plc agreed to be acquired by Computer Sciences Corp (through a UK subsidiary), making it CSC’s largest deal since it split into two public companies this year.  The acquisition is expected to close in the next six months pending various required regulatory approvals. The combination combines CSC’s global … Continued

Korn Ferry’s Transformational Acquisition of Hay Group

Last week, Korn Ferry announced the acquisition of the Hay Group, a leading leadership and talent management consultancy. We believe the acquisition warrants some discussion due to the transformative impact it will have for Korn Ferry as well as for the broader talent management space. Even more importantly, this deal caps more than a decade … Continued

Offshore IT Outsourcing Firms Moving Up the Value Chain

Over the last several months, offshore IT outsourcing firms have announced a series of acquisitions that are forming a pattern.  The acquired targets are small, highly strategic, and most notably, provide higher-end services. The high-end services these targets provide don’t typically command large multiyear contracts but they likely generate materially higher bill rates and gross … Continued

Mastech to Acquire Hudson Global’s U.S. IT Staffing Business

Mastech to Acquire Hudson Global’s U.S. IT Staffing Business – A Sound Strategy to Combine High-Volume VMS Centric Capabilities with a Direct Retail Relationship Driven Business Model. Mastech recently announced it has agreed to acquire Hudson Gobal’s U.S. IT staffing business.  While the financial details of the deal have yet to be disclosed, we applaud … Continued

Big Data & Compliance: For Better or Worse

The explosion of Big Data, both tools for gathering and for analyzing, has created tremendous opportunities and challenges for Chief Compliance Officers. The Big Data and Compliance marriage was initially thought to be a positive transformational tool. During the honeymoon period, pundits lauded the new ability for large corporates to gather massive amounts of data … Continued

CapGemini Acquires iGATE – a Transformational Deal

Indian newspapers were rumbling last week with rumors that CapGemini (Europe’s largest IT Services firm) was close to signing a deal to acquire iGATE. This week, the deal was confirmed as CapGemini agreed to acquire iGATE for approximately $4 billion in an all cash deal, representing one of the largest deals in the IT Services … Continued

YTD 2015 eDiscovery Observations

2014 was a year with robust M&A activity and the first quarter of 2015 is proving the pace of consolidation in the eDiscovery industry isn’t slowing down any time soon.  Recently Inventus Solutions, Inc., a portfolio company of Clearlake Capital Group, announced it has acquired London based Unified OS Ltd.

Verisk Analytics Acquires Energy-Focused Data Intelligence Firm Wood Mackenzie

Last week, Verisk Analytics announced the acquisition of Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie, a global leader in data analytics and commercial intelligence for the energy, chemicals, metals and mining verticals. The acquisition establishes Verisk as a trusted data analytics provider at the center of the global energy market, similar to its position in the property/casualty insurance industry. … Continued

Healthcare Consulting Momentum Continues with Huron Consulting’s $325 million announced acquisition of Studer Group

Following up what was a breakout year for Healthcare Consulting M&A in 2014, 2015 starts out with a bang.  Huron Consulting stepped way out of its traditional comfort zone to spend nearly ¼ of its market capitalization to announce it is acquiring JMI backed Studer Group.  Studer is a provider side focused consulting and training … Continued

3 Reasons Why M&A Will Continue to Thrive in 2015

In what was widely considered a banner year for M&A, 2014 was the return of gargantuan deals, largely seller-friendly transaction structures, and premium valuations. In spite of the turbulent equity markets being driven by fluctuating oil prices, a gathering storm in Europe, and uncertainty around rising interest rates, we at Clearsight are already seeing the … Continued

Last Major Independent Digital Agency Falls

On November 3rd, Publicis Groupe announced it had agreed to acquire Sapient for $3.7 billion in cash.  After factoring in Sapient’s net cash on hand, the deal yields an enterprise value of $3.4 billion.  The multiple Publicis will pay is quite attractive, even after considering expected synergies the two companies are claiming can be realized … Continued

Brief State of the Union on the Debt Market

The leveraged finance market (including high yield, pro rata, and institutional debt) is going strong after a record year in 2013, which raised nearly $950 billion.  The market has raised close to $590 billion in the first seven months of 2014, putting it on pace to exceed last year. 

Underbanked Gaining Notoriety

The Underbanked market has been garnering some headlines as of late. Topics have ranged anywhere from the PostMaster General’s report recommending the Postal Service offer financial services to under- and un-banked consumers to how bitcoin may disrupt the status quo (think check cashers and payday lenders) and become the platform of choice  for underbanked consumers … Continued

It was a Legal Party in Nashville

We attended the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference in Nashville a few weeks ago.  It was evident the industry is thriving and companies are in a race to grab market share.  We met with executives of companies across the industry value chain, from document management software to e-discovery to management consulting.  The industry is … Continued

M&A Activity Expected to Continue in HR Tech

Technology to help manage HR in enterprises is nothing new. Payroll technology initially took hold in the 80’s (i.e. Teseract) and Peoplesoft dominated the client server market for HR systems in the 90’s. The Peoplesoft legacy continues but under the banner of Workday, the leading SaaS platform for Human Capital Management.  

Unlikely buyer makes investment in strategy consulting firm, Bridge Strategy Group

Earlier this month, Houlihan Lokey, an investment banking firm, announced that it made an investment in Bridge Strategy Group, a Chicago-based management consulting firm focused on strategy, operations, and performance improvement. Bridge, founded in 1998 by alumni of McKinsey & Co., works with boards, senior management teams, and financial sponsors to address critical issues that … Continued

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 … Continued

Déjà vu

Is it starting to feel like the late nineties again?  When it comes to the digital marketing sector, and web design services firms in particular, you just might think so.   The US web design services market grew 4.5% in 2013 to over $20 billion, representing one of the fastest growing industries since the recession.

The $18+ Billion Big Data Professional Services Market

Revenue in 2013 from big data (software, hardware and services) reached $18.6 billion, up from $11.6 billion in 2012 (according to Wikibon), an impressive 58% growth over the previous year.  No doubt the big data market is enormous and growing quickly, but one of the main inhibitors to growth is the lack of professional services … Continued

EY Announces Deal to Acquire The Parthenon Group

The monumental landscape shift in the management consulting market continues to take shape.  As we had anticipated after PwC’s acquisition of PRTM and Booz, as well as Deloitte’s acquisition of Monitor, EY has made their move acquiring the leading independent global strategy consulting boutique– The Parthenon Group.  With roots stemming from Bain & Company, The … Continued

As Expected, Sales Training Ecosystem Continues Consolidation Trend Never Seen Before

We have been predicting that the sales training landscape would undergo substantial consolidation for two years now. Given the fragmented nature of the industry, intensifying competitive dynamics and need to innovate like never before in order to meet rapidly changing client needs, consolidation was the only thing that made sense to us. It’s always nice when … Continued

Vendor Risk Management a Big Area of Focus for….Everyone

Not surprisingly, in the 2014 Compliance Trends Survey conducted by Deloitte and Compliance Week, third-party risk management was identified as the leading area of concern for compliance managers surveyed:  “Third party relationships continue to be a prime source of anxiety for small and large companies alike. A sizable 85% of respondents said they are somehow … Continued

Why MICROS? Why Now?

Earlier this week  Oracle announced the $5.3 billion acquisition of MICROS Systems. MICROS is the leader in providing software & systems to the hospitality industry. While a great business in its own right, Oracle has not done an acquisition this large since it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2009. Clearly, the Sun deal was very strategic … Continued

The Escrow vs Cap Debate

Most of our clients are laser focused on the amount of any proceeds held in escrow to cover breaches of reps and warranties and pay much less attention to the indemnification cap (“Cap”).  The logic behind such discrepancy is oftentimes misguided as sellers are solely focused on that coveted “cash at close” amount.  The escrow … Continued

How The DATA Act Drives Innovation

The rise of Big Data in the public sector has sparked innovation, driven efficiency, and fueled economic development.  Its transformative potential will shape the future citizen engagement and reshape the relationships between residents and government, especially at the local level. — And it is about to dramatically change the public sector M&A landscape as well. 

Ernst & Young Acquires Utility Focused IT Services Business

Ernst & Young, LLP (“EY”) recently announced the acquisition of Five Point Partners, LLC (“Five Point”), an Atlanta-based IT services firm with international offices in Australia and the Philippines.  Five Point primarily focuses on utility/energy clients and we estimate the company generates $50 – $60 million in revenue and has a work force of 300 … Continued

Navigant Acquires Cymetrix – Largest Deal for Navigant in Past Decade

Earlier this month, Navigant announced that it had acquired Cymetrix, a private equity backed revenue cycle management firm specializing in providing outsourcing services to hospital and healthcare networks. The acquisition (which is the largest deal Navigant has done in the past decade) allows Navigant to further expand its business platform beyond consulting services to incorporate … Continued

KPMG Acquires Turnaround Consulting Firm BBK

KPMG announced last week that they are acquiring Automotive focused turnaround and restructuring firm BBK, headquartered in Detroit.  While otherwise relatively unremarkable amidst the most active consolidation market for Management Consulting Firms, it reinforces a couple of key tenets we have been discussing with our Consulting clients

3 Key Takeaways from IBM’s SilverPop Acquisition

IBM’s acquisition of SilverPop may appear to be a no-brainer to most – they had a hole in their tech marketing stack and SilverPop’s solution fit perfectly as IBM continues to build out their marketing automation software platform.  But there are 3 other important messages about this space that are interesting to note. 

Talent Assessment Space Seeing Strong M&A Activity

The talent assessment space has seen strong M&A activity over the past 18 months. We view talent assessment as being a strategically important component of broader HR / talent management solutions across software (Taleo, SuccessFactors, Workday), services (Hay Group, Aon Hewitt, Korn Ferry) and data (Corporate Executive Board, Wiley) vendors. Several players across the broader … Continued

Compliance Services Driving M&A In 2014

In the last several months we have seen an increasing interest in companies whose primary service offering includes compliance and/or risk management solutions. Notable transactions include New Mountain Capital’s acquisition of ACA Compliance Group, First American Financial’s acquisition of Interthinx, Inc., and Wipro’s acquisition of Opus CMC.  While it would be premature to suggest the … Continued

Convergence to Solutions – Drivers of Today’s M&A Strategy

Fujitsu America yesterday announced that it has expanded its relationship with SAP so that it is in a better position to sell solutions to its clients. Specifically, the press release referenced, “Fujitsu America now provides solutions that encompass all facets required for successful implementation, including software licensing, services, training and documentation, staffing, and optimization and … Continued

Oracle Acquires Big Machines

A few weeks ago, Oracle announced the acquisition of Big Machines, a leading provider of sales automation technology. The investors in Big Machines included JMI Equity and Vista Equity Partners. Interestingly enough, Salesforce was also a small investor in the business given the tightly integrated technology between the two parties. The deal is rumored to … Continued

The Social Media Explosion

Social media may surpass “Big Data” in hype – if that’s possible – but once you cut beyond the exaggerated promises, you find that enterprises are quickly being reshaped by social media tools. Social media is a genuine game changer for business. Many companies recognize the potential of social media as a new communications channel, … Continued

Why Hire an Advisor to Raise Capital?

In today’s environment where there is more capital chasing fewer deals, many PE firms have taken the approach to call companies directly and not wait for a call from an investment banker in a “process”. Consequently, many CEOs are inundated with calls from PE Groups “interested” in investing in their business. As long as the … Continued

Public Sector Technology & Payments in the Headlines – Vista Equity Partners Inks a Deal to Take ACTIVE Network Private

ACTIVE Network (NYSE: ACTV) , a leader in what they describe as Activity & Participant Management (“APM”) Solutions, has agreed to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners at a 100+% premium ($1+ Billion) to their most recent trading price. Why such a whopping premium? We believe Vista sees two very exciting opportunities with ACTIVE. 

As Expected, Corporate Training Market Continues to Consolidate

We  view corporate training as being part of the broader Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) category. It shares a unique space in the HRO market where hundreds of services and technology vendors are vying to provide clients end-to-end, holistic solutions to recruiting, training, retaining and compensating employees, ultimately with the goal of driving overall staff performance.

Growth Capital is Alive and Well in Washington DC Metro Area

With the government and defense sectors retreating [due to sequestration] and a sluggish global M&A market, one would think, capital markets activity in the DC metro market has ground to a halt. While this may be true among the region’s Federal Government contracting community, which has dominated the landscape for the better part of a … Continued

Cross Border M&A Activity

Recent cross border M&A activity at Clearsight would lead one to believe that foreign buyers are aggressively moving in on US-based businesses and fueling the US deal machine.   Two of our recent clients, Stratigent and JackBe both inked very attractive deals with foreign companies that eagerly wanted into the US market and highly valued the … Continued

Passage of Companies Bill Should Accelerate the Pace of M&A

Early last week India’s Parliament passed the much anticipated Companies Bill. This legislation replaces the 50 year old Companies Act which had provided the regulatory framework for much of India’s corporate & securities laws. This new modern bill is much better suited to bring India’s corporate sector into the 21st Century.

Growth Equity, the Bright Spot in Private Equity

Cambridge Associates recently released its fund benchmarking report which substantiated what many of us in the transaction world were well aware of – Growth Equity is where the action is. The study revealed that Growth Equity funds outperformed both Venture and Buyout Funds over the last 5 & 10 year periods. As an advisor to … Continued

CMO’s Rapidly Evolving Toolkit

More than ever before, today’s chief marketing officer has exciting new tools to drive digital marketing campaigns and a seemingly endless list of vendors from which to choose.  Modern software toolkits and SaaS models help deliver speed, agility and simplicity of development with the cloud as a major enabler. One of those emerging and increasingly essential … Continued

Life Sciences IT Showing Strong Vital Signs

In April, we shared our view that 2013 may be the year for Life Sciences IT. Well if the month of June is any reflection, it is well on its way. The month of June saw no fewer than five new deal announcements, many of which were PE-backed. I have highlighted a few that fall … Continued

Compliance, Compliance, Everywhere…Compliance Solutions Drive M&A Market Interest

As we have discussed previously, we are seeing an increasing demand for companies that provide Compliance Solutions to their clients. There seem to be several strategic reasons that these companies are in demand. The most prevalent and often cited reason is the end customers “mandatory requirement” to solve for compliance monitoring/reporting responsibilities – which means … Continued

Tableau on the Trading Table

The Big Data market continues on its tear with the debut of Tableau’s IPO.  The Company priced last week at $31/share and rocketed up to a high of almost $60/share, for a whopping market cap of ~$3.4 billion.  When the Company filed its S1 form with the SEC, shares were expected to be issued in … Continued

Life Sciences IT M&A Is Heating Up

On April 30, 2013, Parexel Internationl Corp. (Nasdaq:PRXL) announced that it will acquire Heron Group Ltd., a life sciences consultancy which provides commercialization services for biopharmaceutical companies.  Parexel is paying $38.2 million for the business, $14 million of which is in the form or an earnout over the next 26 months. This transaction highlights a … Continued

XBRL – a Work in Process

For the uninitiated, XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a freely available and global standard for exchanging business information. More importantly, it has become the standard by which publicly traded companies are required to report their financial statements to the SEC.

A Few Things to Consider Before Selling Your Company

For most entrepreneurs and owners of privately held businesses, selling their business is one of the most important and difficult decisions they will ever make. It would be logical to assume that business owners would take a very deliberate and methodical approach when preparing to sell their business. Unfortunately, for most the decision to sell … Continued

IT Services Firms – The Heavy Lifters of Big Data

As Big Data continues to attract investor attention, technology vendors are reaching for more sophisticated services partners who can help customers achieve the promises of Big Data. IT services vendors focused on high-end data analytics and forensics are being sought after at a precipitous rate. While we at Clearsight are certainly also interested in data … Continued

Convergence Across the Digital Marketing Landscape

As we have opined on several occasions, the historic silos of software, services and data are converging across many sectors to provide powerful solutions to the end clients. The Digital Marketing sector is beginning to see significant momentum in the convergence across platforms to deliver an unprecedented and powerful new set of tools to the … Continued

THe Election – Death of the Hanging Chad?

Yesterday was Election Day in the United States. There are elections of some variety almost every year – but clearly the one that garners the most attention is the one every four years when a majority of the population turns out to elect the President. Just as so much of business these days is regulated, … Continued

Intersection of Big Data and Compliance: e-Discovery

Although often misused and over-used, Big Data is far more than just a catchphrase. Insurmountable amounts of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data are bombarding corporate servers, networks, websites, phone systems, etc. each day. Although this exponential growth in data provides the foundation, it is not in and of itself Big Data. It is the ability … Continued

Cybersecurity – Threats & Investments

As unprecedented volumes of sensitive data continue to migrate towards shared spaces, social networking sites, and cloud platforms, we all become increasingly vulnerable to attack. Consumers and corporations alike place an enormous level of trust in online and database security systems even though the security supporting these platforms may not be secure enough, given what … Continued

The Next Big Thing is Already Here – Workday

Today, Workday priced its IPO above its expected range, with the market valuing the company at nearly $4.5 billion. The IPO opened up 70% and continues to trade up 72% as of the time of this post. This will likely be the hottest IPO of the year in the HCM software space and amongst the hottest … Continued

Publicis Acquires LBi – Digital Marketing M&A Continues on Furious Pace

Last week, Publicis announced that it had acquired LBi, one of a few independent digital marketing agencies with global scale remaining in the highly fragmented marketing industry. Publicis paid $540 million in an all-cash deal, representing 2.2x revenue and nearly 20x EBITDA (reportedly beating Omnicom in the bidding). The purchase price represents a strong premium to … Continued

Big Data Reshaping Digital Marketing Landscape

Analytics data solutions provider Teradata announced an agreement to acquire eCircle, a cloud-based digital marketing firm, to enhance and expand Teradata’s overall Big Data market prowess. We believe this deal also highlights a major driver in the Big Data market – growth of vertical Big Data solutions – and in this case – analytics solutions … Continued

24 Million Man Hours Annually = Demand for Compliance Solutions

We have been writing about the heightened activity and interest in the Compliance space for the last several months. As further evidence to support those assertions, we had two notable events announced last week. First, on the deal front, GlobalOptions announced the acquisition of SIU Compliance Solutions. The combined company now offers a broader anti-fraud … Continued

Santa Rosa Acquires InfoPartners – Healthcare Consulting M&A Activity Continues to Accelerate

In our ongoing dialogue with the leading Professional Services firms we consistently hear that the Healthcare end-market is a top priority from an M&A perspective. Acquisitive companies have been making these statements for the past year and it includes firms spanning management consulting, IT consulting and staffing. From the Big 4, to IBM, Accenture and Navigant … Continued

Recap: AFCEA Big Data Technology Symposium

The Clearsight team attended the AFCEA Big Data Technology Symposium: Transforming Massive Data into Better Outcomes to keep a finger on the pulse of what the government is thinking about in the Big Data space. Although much of the conversation actually hovered around what we at Clearsight call Business Intelligence 1.0, we did see a … Continued

On-Demand Webinar: Leveraging PR for M&A and Capital Raises

On March 7th, 2012, Clearsight Advisors teamed up up with PR firm SpeakerBox Communications, to share insight and strategies on this rarely discussed, but critically important aspect of value enhancement for strategic financial transactions. Our experts focused on how to maximize value by strategically leveraging your PR/marketing plan well in advance of a transaction to raise your … Continued

Are the M&A Markets Catching up with SharePoint?

Over the last several months, there has been a good deal of debate on SharePoint – it’s effectiveness, complexity, business user adoption, time-to-value, market size, etc. Although opinions vary widely on all of these issues, what is indisputable is that SharePoint is a dominant platform in the broader ECM market and is gaining momentum. A … Continued

Compliance Deal Activity Starting to Percolate

A few months ago we wrote about the Enormous Market for Compliance Solutions. Our team has been focused on the space for the past three years and we continue to see increasing activity and growth in the market. More importantly, the Private Equity community and larger strategic aquirors are finally waking up to the tremendous … Continued

Big Deals for Big Data

The Big Data analytics space is growing so rapidly and in such unexpected new directions that its difficult to imagine what the landscape will look like in a few years. The need for organizations to process enormous volumes of data collected through social media and other sources is forcing massive change across just about every … Continued

Private Equity Interest in Financial Technology Heating Up

We recently participated in a round table discussion with a well known venture and growth equity firm to discuss trends we are seeing across the financial technology landscape. When asked about our broad thoughts on the state of financial technology, we promptly answered — “we believe that financial technology is the defining factor in the post-crisis … Continued