RIA Valuation Insights Blog | July 28, 2020
The outlook for RIA M&A at the end of the first quarter was murky. As anticipated, previously announced deals in the final stages of negotiations did close despite COVID-19, but new deal activity slowed some in the second quarter. Interestingly, independent RIAs, rather than consolidators, drove much of this deal activity.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | July 27, 2020
Last week, we analyzed Asbury Automotive Group’s acquisition of Park Place, a deal scuttled by COVID-19 that came back to life under revised terms. This week, we are moving upstream to look at the merger between Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Group PSA (manufacturer of Peugeot and Citroen) and observe the new name of the entity, the merits and hurdles of the ongoing deal, and some potential impacts on auto dealers.
Family Business Director Blog | July 27, 2020
In this week’s post, we have assembled some helpful resources we have come across that provide helpful insight on the estate planning opportunities and strategies available to family business owners during 2020.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | July 15, 2020
After SAAR rebounded in May, June’s results seem to pale in comparison. However, with SAAR coming in at just over 13 million, this is still an increase from May’s SAAR of 12.3 million. Sales have continued to remain below the previous year’s numbers, with June 2020 declining 20% from the same period 2019.
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | July 14, 2020
We spent some quality time with the SBA’s release of PPP borrower data to see what impact the program has had on the investment management industry. After scrubbing out some misclassified businesses, we found more than 2,400 program participants (RIAs, trust companies, financial planning firms, etc.) that borrowed at least $150,000 (a separate release covered smaller loans). Even though the borrower pool is relatively small (there are at least 10,000 RIAs that aren’t participating), the demographics of the pool are telling.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | June 29, 2020
In this post, we’ll consider Vroom’s business model compared to other online dealers, the company’s investment thesis that may have driven their spike, and see what the filing could tell us about the broader industry and the IPO market more generally.
Energy Valuation Insights Blog | June 22, 2020
The oil & gas market and the energy sector as a whole have taken a beating and experienced unprecedented events due to the global impacts from the pandemic and international price wars. While the scale of the full economic effects from these events has yet to be seen, companies are having to question and consider the need for interim impairment testing on reserves. The purpose of this post is to help oil & gas companies discern whether they may need to make interim impairment assessments and to discuss the impairment testing process
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | June 22, 2020
For this post, we sat down with Kevin Nill of Haig Partners to discuss trends in the auto dealer industry and the recent release of their First Quarter 2020 Haig Report. Haig Partners is a leading investment banking firm that focuses on buy/sell transactions in the auto dealer industry, along with other transportation segments. As readers in this space are familiar, Haig Partners also publishes Blue Sky multiples for each of the auto manufacturers based on their observations and data from participating in transactions in this industry.
Family Business Director Blog | June 22, 2020
Accumulating real estate seems to be a natural strategy for many family business owners. After all, real estate is generally assumed to be less risky than the operating business of the family. Further, so long as the properties have a reasonable range of alternative future uses, the returns to the real estate portfolio often have a low correlation to the returns from the operating business. However, the market data we review in this post suggests that these assumptions may not hold as well in a pandemic.
Bank Watch Newsletter | June 2020
Goodwill impairment testing is typically performed annually. But the unprecedented events precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic now raise questions whether an interim goodwill impairment test is warranted. In this article, which originally appeared in our Bank Watch newsletter, we discuss if your bank might need an interim impairment test and describe how an impairment test works.
Family Business Director Blog | June 16, 2020
While it may be difficult to think past the day-to-day of operating in the current environment, acquisition opportunities are likely to be on the horizon over the next few years, most likely at attractive valuations for acquirers.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | June 8, 2020
After a devastating April SAAR, predictions for a rebound in May proved to be correct. Vehicle sales in the month jumped with SAAR increasing 38.6% to 12.2 million. However, while dealerships have been able to remain open in some capacity through online sales, manufacturing plants have not had such options. Looking forward, inventory shortages and supply chain disruptions may pose some challenges for dealerships.
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | June 1, 2020
In order to mitigate the potential impact of the COVID-19 crisis, many RIAs applied for and received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the CARES Act. Now that the loans have been received and disclosure is strongly advised (if not mandated), many RIA owners are wondering what signaling effect the loans will have on clients. Will clients view PPP loans as a sign their advisor is experiencing financial strain or on the verge of financial insolvency? Or will clients view it as a precautionary measure rather than a last-ditch effort to stay afloat financially?
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | May 26, 2020
Auto dealers stock prices declined in the first quarter of 2020 following the broader market trend. Though many dealers saw year-over-year gains in sales and earnings in the first two months of the year, earnings calls focused on the coronavirus pandemic. Volumes have fallen across the country, though executives pointed to recent positive trends. Downturns have muddied the M&A market, and some companies don’t plan to rehire everyone that has been let go. Many praised the support of OEMs including significant incentives such as 0% financing. With dealership doors shuttered, many executives touted their online presence, though there was not a consensus on digital’s long-term place in the market.
Industry-Related Articles | May 21, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought down valuations for franchisors and operators alike. Despite now being allowed to open, not all restaurants will opt to flip the switch and open their doors. There is a myriad of potential reasons, but we will highlight a couple key issues.
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | May 18, 2020
Believe it or not, the S&P 500 is exactly where it was a year ago. It’s been a wild ride, but most diversified investors probably haven’t done as bad as they think during this time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the RIA industry, which is still reeling from the Coronavirus pandemic and numerous other industry-specific headwinds. Such a divergence is unusual for an industry tied to market conditions, so this week we analyze the driving forces behind this disparity.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | May 18, 2020
Proliferation of stay-at-home orders and adjusting to digital sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to April SAAR declining to the lowest seasonally adjusted national sales volumes in decades. Despite the decline, there are reasons to be optimistic about dealership sales going forward..
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | May 12, 2020
Since the Coronavirus pandemic settled into the American consciousness in mid-March, industry pundits have been actively musing about the impact of the crisis on the RIA community. RIA operations are mostly unaffected by this pandemic, and RIA financial performance has been supported by massive central bank intervention. None of this explains the pricing of publicly traded RIAs, however; especially when you look at the impact that slumping valuations have had on RIA dividend yields.
Energy Valuation Insights Blog | May 11, 2020
The recent historic decline in oil prices has strained the balance sheets of E&P companies. Whiting Petroleum Corporation, the first publicly traded U.S. E&P company to declare bankruptcy in 2020, announced its Chapter 11 reorganization process on April 1. More are expected to follow.
Despite a much more benign commodity price environment of ~$50-$60/bbl in 2019, a number of E&P companies declared bankruptcy last year and have seen their reorganization processes derailed in 2020 as a result of low oil prices.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | May 11, 2020
Litigation engagements are generally very complex, consisting of many moving parts. The analogy that comes to mind is the nostalgic game of Tetris. Like the game, many clients involved in auto dealer valuation disputes also experience anxiety and stress as problems begin to pile up.
We hope you never find yourself a party to a legal dispute; however, in this post, we offer words of wisdom based upon our experience working in these valuation-related disputes. We begin with seven topics, posed as questions, that have been points of contention or common issues that have arisen in recent litigation engagements. We’ve also added two questions to consider additional issues raised during the COVID-19 crisis.
Family Business Director Blog | May 11, 2020
Family businesses devote time and resources to creating forecasts and budgets to guide resource allocation and strategy decisions. Yet, the forecasts and budgets for 2020 that many family businesses spent months creating are now worthless. So managers and directors face the task of revising and updating those forecasts amid a uniquely uncertain environment that the pandemic has caused. In this post, we provide some ideas of how to “loosen up” forecasting models to make them more useful.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | May 4, 2020
Are we witnessing a revolution into more tech-savvy dealerships? The COVID-19 pandemic has auto dealers scrambling to find ways to maintain sales as stay at home orders are keeping customers from the dealership. While many auto dealers have only somewhat dipped their toe into the digital space, they have now been pushed off the deep end.
Family Business Director Blog | May 4, 2020
While estate planning may appear to be less pressing than other issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, the positive impact of effective planning on the long-term health of both the family and the family business is hard to overstate. If you are confident in the long-term resilience of your family business, you should not miss the current opportunity for tax-efficient estate planning activity.
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | May 4, 2020
For active managers, the extreme financial market volatility and dispersion over the last two months has created major price dislocation and the potential to generate outperformance. The current environment may well be the time for active managers to prove themselves by protecting clients’ assets relative to index performance and justifying their fees.
Bank Watch Newsletter | April 30, 2020
In this article, which originally appeared in our Bank Watch newsletter, we expand upon the potential asset quality implications of the current environment.
S&P Global Market Intelligence | Banking | April 29, 2020
Jeff Davis, Managing Director of Financial Institutions, is a regular contributor to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Quoting from the article: “As it relates to U.S. banks, it increasingly seems likely to me that broad-based dividend cuts are coming … Dividend cuts raise a secondary question of whether capital raises will have to occur. As a friend remarked to me recently, internally generated capital (i.e., dividend cuts) is the cheapest capital banks can raise. I think this will be followed by a not insignificant subset that will have to raise common equity at low prices. Arguably, the low price/tangible book value multiples many banks sport today reflect investor handicapping of capital raises to come. Of course, there will be big winners, too, including a few banks that looked to be on the ropes that managed to avoid big dilutive common raises. Otherwise, the winners will be the banks that acquire weakened competitors at modest prices, as JPMorgan Chase & Co., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and others did a little over a decade ago.”
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | April 27, 2020
What we do know is that many consumers are staying indoors, and odometers have slowed. Dealers must do what they can to maximize this downtime by increasing their digital presence and managing expenses and working capital. While dealers may need to sell at lower prices, they will have to balance near-term needs with long-term impacts.
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | April 27, 2020
In this post from our RIA Valuation Insights Blog, we look back at RIA transactions that occurred in Q1 2020 and venture what M&A will look like over the rest of the year.
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | April 21, 2020
This post summarizes the effect the COVID-19 global pandemic has likely had on RIA valuations.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | April 20, 2020
The COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders have created a huge demand shock, which is particularly harmful to a largely service-based economy. In this post from our Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog, we contextualize some of the fallout that has been experienced and try to answer the question “when will things return to normal?”.
Forbes.com | April 20, 2020
Times are tumultuous for the oil and gas industry. Something must give, and something will. While global supply and demand imbalance has the industry scrambling in unseen territory, how does this convert to what upstream companies and reserves are worth amid the situation? Is it a 1:1 price to value change ratio? Depending on perspective, the answer is both simple and complicated.
AICPA.org | April 20, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, valuation analysts face the challenge of completing valuation engagements in real-time against a constantly changing economic backdrop. In this article, we review what valuation analysts can know, can’t know, and don’t need to know when developing valuation conclusions for minority interests in private businesses in 2020.
RIA Valuation Insights Blog | April 14, 2020
The value of RIAs and the future of transactions in the industry ultimately comes down to the health of the individual firms. Fortunately, there is a relatively straightforward way to assess the financial well-being of your firm, and ways of taking corrective action if your firm’s future is threatened.
Auto Dealer Valuation Insights Blog | April 13, 2020
Auto dealers are a resilient, adaptable group by nature. It’s one of the reasons many have been able to survive economic hardships or sluggish industry conditions in the past. While we haven’t witnessed the unique totality of the conditions that are present today, auto dealers can adopt some of the principles from the Great Recession to try and mitigate the challenges during the times we currently face.
Financial Reporting Update | April 9, 2020
Many companies just completed an impairment test as of year-end 2019. But the unprecedented events precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic now raise questions about whether an interim goodwill impairment test is warranted. In this article, we discuss whether you need an interim impairment test and how an impairment test works. We also identify areas that are likely to draw additional scrutiny from auditors and regulators.
Diamond Consultants Podcast | April 7, 2020
M&A activity in the RIA space enjoyed a continual rise over the last several years, fueled largely by sellers looking to solve for scale, succession and monetary goals, and a cadre of well-funded buyers seeking to capitalize on potential opportunities. But, the big question on everyone’s mind – including prospective breakaways as well as independent business owners – is how this crisis will impact valuations and the M&A marketplace overall. Matt Crow, President of Mercer Capital and one of the leading authorities on firm valuations in the wealth management space, joins this episode to share his perspective.
Portfolio Valuation: Private Equity and Credit Newsletter | April 7, 2020
This article, reprinted from our Private Equity newsletter, discusses how to value private equity and credit in a developing recession that may be very deep and of an unknown duration.
Family Business Director Blog | April 6, 2020
In this post from our Family Business Director Blog, we link to great content from people we respect and admire on leading a family business through turbulence.
Energy Valuation Insights Blog | April 6, 2020
In this post from our Energy Valuation Insights Blog, we examine the macroeconomic factors that have affected prices in this first quarter of 2020, including the effects on the industry from the COVID-19 pandemic.
S&P Global Market Intelligence | Banking | April 6, 2020
Jeff Davis, Managing Director of Financial Institutions, is a regular contributor to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Quoting from the article: “I think it was Oaktree Capital Management LP Co-Chairman Howard Marks who said, “we won’t know until the future arrives.” The same applies to the fallout for U.S. banks as it relates to the government’s response to COVID-19. It may be several years before we fully know the economic impact, but we should have a better sense by the fourth quarter, assuming the lockdown ends in May.”
ESOP Association | ESOP Alert Newsletter | April, 2020
Tim Lee, Managing Director of Mercer Capital and member of the Valuation Advisory Committee of the ESOP Association, contributed to this article along with other business appraisers and attorneys. Written in a question-and-answer form, this piece seeks to identify the challenges and questions currently facing ESOP plan trustees and administrators given the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Family Business Magazine | March/April, 2020 Issue
The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are dire, and family businesses are not immune to the economic fallout from the virus. Yet we are confident that family businesses are best positioned to survive and lead in the post-pandemic economic recovery. For family shareholders who are optimistic about the resilience of their family businesses and focused on the long view, this is an ideal time to execute intrafamily transfers in pursuit of estate planning objectives.
Family Business Director Blog | March 30, 2020
We are not economic forecasters, so we are not attempting to make any predictions about the coronavirus or its economic effects. However, in an effort to provide some context for ourselves and our readers, we go back and examine some data from the Great Recession.
Family Business Director Blog | March 23, 2020
As family business leaders continue to make hard decisions in real-time against the ever-changing backdrop of the pandemic, their legal and tax advisors would do well to consider whether this is an opportune time for intra-family ownership transfers. For many family businesses, the current economic uncertainty presents a unique, and perhaps fleeting, opportunity for more tax-efficient estate planning.
Bank Watch Newsletter | March 20, 2020
March 2020 probably will prove to be among the most dramatic months for financial markets in U.S. history. Likewise, the fallout for banks may take a year or so to fully appreciate. Nonetheless, in this issue of BankWatch we offer our initial thoughts as it relates to the industry.
S&P Global Market Intelligence | Banking | March 10, 2020
Jeff Davis, Managing Director of Financial Institutions, is a regular contributor to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Quoting from the article: “Like the spring of 2008, markets today are trying to find a new equilibrium that reflects the reality of slower or negative economic growth, radically lower interest rates, and possibly an extended period of very tight credit for levered companies. For bank investors, the silver lining is that energy investors — both debt and equity — are in a much worse spot after Saudi Arabia launched a price war on fellow producers. I see several takeaways for banks.”
Forbes.com | March 9, 2020
Energy valuations are taking an epic pummeling. Considering declining demand amid COVID-19 concerns, the initial fallout to the Saudi-Russia feud was predictable. Can Banks Hold On? Can Values Recover?