The Business Services group has served as a trusted advisor to numerous professional services companies and continues to focus on this growing and innovative industry.
Select professional services transactions include:
Harris Williams served as an M&A advisor to AssuredPartners, a leading U.S. insurance brokerage, on its sale to GTCR.
Read the press release here.
What We’ve Been Reading
Why the Legal Industry Can Handle the Next Recession
"The last recession caught a robust and in-demand legal industry unprepared, and the consequences cut deep. Deal flow of all kinds dramatically slowed, with real estate hit first and hardest. Law firms were forced to lay off staff, defer acceptances for associates, and close entire offices. Contrary to traditional wisdom, the pace of litigation, including bankruptcy litigation, did not pick up due to a lack of capital to pursue remedies in court."
Read more here.
The Alternative Workforce: It's Now Mainstream
"For many years, people viewed contract, freelance, and gig employment as “alternative work,” options considered supplementary to full-time jobs. Today, this segment of the workforce has gone mainstream, and it needs to be managed strategically. Given growing skills shortages and the low birth rate in many countries, leveraging and managing “alternative” workforces will become essential to business growth in the years ahead."
Read more here.
What We’ve Been Hearing
Excerpts from Recent Earnings Calls1
"[We] are incredibly excited about our M&A pipeline. It is the largest we have had in the company's history. I think I mentioned that on the Q4 call. And it is 100% focused on our highest revenue growth, highest margin, highest return on capital areas. It mirrors the areas we have been investing in organically and inorganically in the last couple of years. So it's things like data analytics, health elective benefits, Affinity, delegated investment management, cyber, intellectual property. And so we're incredibly excited about the M&A pipeline.” – Christa Davis, Executive VP of Global Finance and CFO, AON (4/26/19)
"The overall, I would say that the pricing environment remains stable and rational. We have, however, seen abilities in a number of countries to ensure that we can apply pricing discipline, and you can see that in how our GP margin has evolved. And we've seen some good evolution and better pay-bill gaps in a number of countries. You could see that we've been able to expand or we've seen expansion in our GP margins in the U.S. Experis business, for instance. So we are just very mindful of the very tight labor market where clients have difficulties finding talent, where we have to put in a lot of effort and expertise in identifying the best match for our clients and the best careers for those candidates and ensuring that our pricing reflects that effort and the quality of our service.” – Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup (4/18/19)
"[We've] done roughly about seven acquisitions in Accenture Interactive. We've done three in Industry X.0. We've done four in technology. If you look at technology, three of those were directly tied to deepening our skills in the platforms. I think there were a couple in Oracle and one SAP, as an example. There was another one around data and analytics. And then we had several vertical-specific acquisitions, several in Financial Services, as an example. And so I think that's a good representation of we're all about investing in "the New." So that's a good road map for our acquisition strategy as well as our highest-growth, highest-priority verticals.” – David Rowland, Interim CEO & Director, Accenture (3/28/19)
"[A] couple of broad trends. One is an increasing trend, that is coaching as a form of support for reinforcement. And so whether somebody participates in acquiring the basic knowledge via an instructor-led session or a completely self-paced online session or blend -- a blend of the two, a lot of our clients are increasingly wanting to add coaching on the back of that. So you, as a participant of that, if you're a leader, you may have individual one-on-one coaching sessions for 6 or 8 weeks to drive home what you've learned and to make sure that you're able to apply it as a leader with your team. Or there may be a group of leaders that go through cohort coaching, where they're going through this experience together and they're coached for 6 or 8 weeks. So that's a growing trend we see, and it's one of the reasons that wanted to purchase the Robert Gregory organization when we did was to capitalize on that.
That's a growing one. And then, we've always had a lot of services that come in the form of delivering -- of actually helping the client install the actual learning. So for example, our 4 Disciplines of Execution solution, we do some installation upfront there a few days with clients. Then they may take it themselves from there. I would say those are probably the 2 biggest for us. The post-delivery training -- or coaching and then the actual help in training and facilitating during the installation phase.” – Paul Walker, President of the Enterprise Division, Franklin Covey (4/4/19)
Equity Trading Overview
Key Trading Statistics1,2
As of May 13, 2019
Public Company Sector Performance1,2
As of May 13, 2019
A Snapshot of Key Economic Indicators
M&A Market Trends
Select Recent M&A Transactions2
Business Services M&A Volume (By Year)4*
As of May 13, 2019
* Represents all announced or closed M&A transactions in the United States and Canada
* No transaction value provided for undisclosed deals
Public Company Performance1,2
1. Thomson Reuters
3. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
4. The Conference Board
5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
6. U.S. Department of Labor
7. Institute for Supply Management
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