John Slater, a FOCUS Senior Advisor, has 37 years of investment banking experience in M&A and corporate finance. Prior to that time, he practiced business law, focused primarily on financial transactions, securities and tax matters. He has served clients in industries ranging from manufacturing, distribution logistics, aerospace, robotics and automation to information technology and software-based services, telecom, broadband distribution, digital media and business services.
Based on these experiences Mr. Slater believes that the maturation of digital technologies and their increasing application to transform the physical environments in which businesses operate and humans live is fundamentally changing global supply chains. This change presents a unique opportunity comparable to, but significantly more important than, the Dotcom Boom in the 1990s and social media and cloud computing in the 21st century. We are in the early innings of an automation and digitization boom that promises to fundamentally transform the manufacturing and distribution industries. Companies that don’t adapt are at significant risk of being left behind.
Mr. Slater has focused his practice on companies impacted by and driving this new era of digital transformation. He has completed multiple transactions in Service Manufacturing and in particular in the Precision Machining and Metalworking Industry, which he sees as being highly fragmented and ripe for consolidation. He believes that a similar dynamic exists within Automation and is actively pursuing assignments with seasoned entrepreneurial firms involved in designing, building and installing productivity solutions for manufacturers and supply chain logistics providers. Examples of these firms’ products and solutions include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Materials, Automation Integration, Drones and Autonomous Vehicles, Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 software solutions, Robotics, and Sensors, Photonics and Optics.
He graduated from Princeton University with an AB degree in Economics and the University of Virginia Law School with a JD degree. He publishes extensively on subjects related to digital transformation and the financial and strategic issues faced by owners of entrepreneurial businesses. Over his career, Mr. Slater has managed more than 200 M&A and capital raising transactions with aggregate values in excess of $3 billion. His experience includes mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, private placement of debt and equity, transition planning for family businesses, business valuations, going private transactions, industrial revenue bond financings and initial public offerings.