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Sarah Dieckman

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In mergers and acquisitions, strategy and culture come first

June 3, 2022

The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) environment experienced meaningful changes following the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially slowed by pandemic-driven uncertainty, deal-making had a watershed year in 2021, reaching a record-high deal value level of nearly $6 trillion globally. Buyers, looking to deploy growing levels of capital, found sellers who became more willing as valuations increased. For many, the decision to buy or sell became a simple one that could be easily answered with valuation metrics and financial analysis.

The three key areas of wellbeing

June 3, 2022

I remember the first time a client shared with me that they received the news of a cancer diagnosis. I was about to dive into our typical review meeting agenda when I was blindsided by this bombshell. Reviewing the “numbers” was in my comfort zone, so when the cancer news was disclosed, it certainly rattled me. Suddenly, all the analysis, planning, and portfolio information didn’t mean a thing at that moment. We talked about their treatment plan, their optimism in fighting back, and how their loved ones have already been stepping up to support them. Eventually, we reviewed their financial situation, and how the diagnosis has affected our planning. As we concluded the meeting, the client shared with me how they felt a little more at peace.

Pursuing M&A in the Right Way

April 8, 2022

Many business owners who were thinking about a merger or acquisition have not been deterred by the unprecedented and swift changes we have seen in this economy. In fact, 2021 was a very active year for M&A, and momentum has carried into 2022. Capital that may have been on the sideline at the beginning of the pandemic ultimately came back in force. And without exception, sellers haven’t been getting any younger, which is another motivating factor. Historically low interest rates – despite the recent increase and additional rumored bumps – coupled with an emergence from COVID-19 are also influencing strong M&A activity.

Evolving Small Business Themes in 2022

March 4, 2022

The last few years have been filled with many challenges and uncertainties for family-owned small businesses. Just about every area of business management has been affected by the pandemic, forcing owners and their families to learn new ways of staying relevant in a dynamic environment. As the world continues to adapt to the new normal and companies digest where to focus more of their time, there are a few themes that appear to be growing in importance for small business in 2022.

The Year in Data

February 7, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented health and economic consequences and exacerbated existing inequalities—straining families’ economic mobility and restricting the U.S. economy. More than ever, decisionmakers need data-driven economic analysis with an inclusive lens. Over the last year, the JPMorgan Chase Institute continued to deliver groundbreaking research and expert findings on the financial health of US households and businesses aimed at helping policymakers, industry, and non-profit leaders make more informed decisions.

Corporate Giving Strategies Are Good Business

February 7, 2022

Many local companies take pride in the way they give back to their communities, and their contributions – whether financial, service hours, or talent share – can become a keystone of their corporate values, internal culture, and regional presence. Especially in the wake of the considerable and enduring challenges caused by the pandemic throughout communities, more businesses are answering the call for support and leaning in to help. And in times of such need for staff recruitment and retention, workers commonly show preference for employers that demonstrate good citizenship, community concern, and investment.

A Quick Introduction to SPACs

January 18, 2022

The last two years have brought big challenges and big opportunities to businesses—and to mergers & acquisitions. With Wall Street and Main Street adjusting to the (not-quite-post) Covid landscape, the economy has seen inflation, supply and demand shocks, and all-time highs on public equity indices. And in that uncertain climate, Special Purchase Acquisition Companies (SPACs), which are publicly traded companies created for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company, have been enjoying time in the spotlight.

How Proactive Engagement with Capital Partners Boosts your...

January 18, 2022

Historically, most business owners rely heavily on the advice of accountants and attorneys when making decisions critical to the financial success of their company. These partners, justifiably so, are integral to the success of closely held and family businesses and need to be involved. However, it is just as important to understand the potential value that can be added by capital partners during major financial decisions.

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