Demystifying the World of Mergers & Acquisitions with Jason Hullender
IAG M&A Advisors, a leading mergers and acquisitions (M&A) firm based in Addison, Texas, is well-known for their expertise in dealing with the lower middle market segment across the US and Canada. In this insightful interview, we talk to Jason Hullender, the founder of IAG M&A Advisors, about his career, the common concerns of business owners, and the state of the M&A market amid the “Great Resignation”.
The Journey to IAG M&A Advisors
Jason’s path into the M&A industry was one paved by family and a strong interest in the sector. His father first introduced him to the world of mergers and acquisitions. After a stint in the military, he returned to his roots, this time taking up a leadership role in the business development department of another M&A firm in Dallas. His passion for the industry and desire to assist smaller businesses culminated in the establishment of IAG M&A Advisors in 2009.
Since its inception, IAG M&A Advisors has consistently worked with several hundred clients annually, focusing on businesses with gross revenues between 1 million and 50 million dollars. With a team of experienced M&A advisors who work hands-on with clients, the firm guides business owners through the whole process, from preparation to finalization.
The Challenges of Selling a Business
Jason notes that many business owners come into the process with a sense of uncertainty and are often ill-prepared for what selling their business entails. To bridge this knowledge gap, Jason and his team work closely with their clients, educating them on what potential buyers look for and how to best present their businesses for sale.
A common hurdle encountered is that of valuation. Often, there is a disconnect between what the owners perceive their business to be worth and its actual market value. To address this, IAG M&A Advisors helps owners understand their financials and assists in aligning their expectations with market realities.
Misconceptions abound in the M&A space. From inflated multiples of revenue or EBITDA to unrealistic timelines for transitions, Jason finds himself regularly dispelling these myths and providing owners with a grounded understanding of the process.
The Impact of the “Great Resignation”
The M&A market has not been immune to the impacts of the “Great Resignation”. Jason has observed a surge in buyers leaving their corporate jobs and seeking to take control of their own destinies. With a healthy lending environment and ample capital available, this has created an opportune moment for business owners considering selling.
Preparing Your Business for Sale
According to Jason, it’s essential to start preparing your business for sale at least three to five years ahead of your planned exit. This gives business owners ample time to optimize their financials, refine processes and systems, and ensure the business can operate independently of them. Tools like the “Value Builder,” created by John Warrillow, can provide a valuable assessment of different value drivers in a business, offering guidance on where improvements could be made.
The Reward of the Job
For Jason, the joy of his work comes from helping sellers successfully exit their businesses and aiding buyers in acquiring new ventures. Whether it’s transferring a significant asset or seeing a buyer return after a successful purchase, Jason finds a unique satisfaction in playing a pivotal role in these life-changing moments.
Setting Up for Success
Jason emphasizes the importance of working with a good M&A advisor or intermediary. These professionals can set the right expectations for the transaction, guide you through the process, and collaborate with other advisors involved in the deal.
Jason Hullender is a Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor and IAG M&A Advisors Managing Director. After co-founding IAG in 2009, Jason quickly grew it into one of North America’s premier M&A advisory firms. He is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs receive the exit they deserve. His team has assisted hundreds of sellers in valuing and eventually exiting their businesses. Prior to starting IAG, he led the marketing division of another M&A firm and has been serving clients for 20 plus years before and after proudly serving in the United States Marine Corps.
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