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.
Is your precision metalworking company looking for machinists

Is your precision metalworking company looking for machinists?

If your precision metalworking shop is looking to hire your next machinist—and we know what short supply these technicians are in— your local middle school or high school might be an appropriate place to look. That is if they have their own student-run machine shop business in place. And if they don't, maybe your company can help them get one started.
Heady Times for MA

Heady Times for M&A Volumes and Valuations

Global M&A volume reached $5.8 Trillion in 2021.  According to Reuters that’s an all-time record, more than $1 Trillion greater than 2007, the prior record year.  At FOCUS we hit our own record with forty deals closed during 2021.

Economics of Automation

Determining the ROI of welding robots on an assembly line is a complex math task.
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 …