Author Archive

John Slater

John Slater, a FOCUS Partner and Advanced Manufacturing & Automation Team Leader, has thirty one years of M&A and capital raising experience. Prior to that time, he spent nine years as a practicing attorney, focused primarily on financial transactions, securities and tax matters. At FOCUS, Mr. Slater heads the firm’s corporate financing efforts as well as manages M&A transactions for clients. He publishes the Capital Matters blog at www.capmatters.com. He can be reached at john.slater@focusbankers.com.
two fountain pens with their tips against one another and a man standing on each

FOCUS Investment Banking Wins M&A Worldwide Deal of the Year

At the recent M&A Worldwide Rainmaker Summit, the sale of Burnhart Holdings (trading as WEC Group) to Amari UK Inc. won the vote for the M&A Worldwide Deal of the Year, against spirited competition from three other cross-border deals. FOCUS represented the transaction in the U.S. and introduced the transaction to the buyer, which is …

Graphic: US Robot Made

Made in America: The 33 Cent Chinese Arkansas T-Shirt

Recently my colleague Marco Chan shared an extraordinary story that puts a new slant on the public discussion about robotics, China, outsourcing and the future of jobs.  According to this Bloomberg Business Week story,  a Chinese manufacturer, Tianyuan Garments Co., is investing $20 million to open a plant in Little Rock that will utilize robots developed by a Georgia company, Software Automation, to manufacture T-Shirts at a cost of 33 cents per shirt.  Each SEWBOT™ workline is capable of spitting out a T-Shirt every 26 seconds.  Human workers don’t stand a chance against such competition, no matter how low a wage rate they are willing to accept.
Graphic: Industry 4.0 = Smart Industry + Automation + Big Data + User Interface + Flexibility

Is Industry 4.0 the New Dotcom Boom?

Like the internet before it, the automation boom is gaining steam as costs come down and the technologies become more approachable for the average business. Here are just a few of the rapidly advancing technologies that have primed the coming explosion in automation.
a black and white picture of a group of child labourers

The Work World Is Changing And Society Needs To Change As Well

We live in a time of great paradox. Technologies such as low cost renewable energy and automated production tools promise a world of abundance in which global poverty is abolished and human drudgery is eliminated. Yet even a casual glance at the daily news confronts us with a sense of dread that, far from Utopia, we are instead headed toward a dystopian future in which the benefits of technological advance will be reserved for a privileged few.

Transformation: The Onrushing Digital Age Will Change Everything

The modern era has witnessed two great periods of transformation that radically changed the global economy and the very nature of human existence.  The Industrial Revolution of the 18thand 19th centuries and the shift to a postindustrial economy over the past fifty years are old news.  Today, the Global Economy is undergoing …

Gabe Galvez on the State of Middle Market M&A

Taking the Pulse of Middle Market Investment Banking

Gabe Galvez is the Founder and CEO of CAPTARGET, an innovative service provider to middle market investment banks, M&A intermediaries and private equity firms. CAPTARGET is in daily contact with a large number of M&A industry participants and has created a comprehensive directory of M&A Intermediary firms, giving Mr. Galvez unique insight into the Middle …

Is the M&A Bubble About to Pop?

The answer may surprise you, but first a bit of background. There have been signs of financial bubbles throughout global markets: US price/earnings multiples are relatively high, the Chinese equity market is on a tear notwithstanding signs of an economic slowdown, M&A valuations remain near record levels and so on. But, that’s not the whole …

Photo: Axial CEO - Peter Lehrman

Interview with Axial CEO Peter Lehrman

We recently interviewed Peter Lehrman, CEO of Axial, one of the most energetic and innovative companies providing advanced technology solutions to M&A and corporate finance professionals operating in the middle market. Speaking from the “Roosevelt Room” in Axial’s headquarters in the Flatiron District, Peter covers a good deal of ground and I highly recommend you listen.

Knowing When To Fold ‘Em

If you’re a Baby Boomer, you remember well hearing Kenny Rogers’ iconic hit, The Gambler. If you’re like me, you’ve often wondered how Kenny’s advice might be applied to important business and investment decisions. If you’re a business owner who has survived our generation’s version of the Great Depression, you need good counsel now more than ever.

SURVIVOR: An Action Plan for Survival on Main Street

By now we know the story all too well. Sixteen strangers debark onto a jungle island and are told they must work together to survive. While they pretend they’re on the same team, from the start they scheme to position themselves to outlast the other contestants, because at the end of the day they know …