BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 1, 2022 — Despite pandemic-fueled headwinds, 2021 was a year of record growth for Founders Advisors, an investment banking firm operating from offices in Birmingham, Dallas and Houston that focuses on serving founder-based businesses in the lower middle market, i.e., those valued at roughly $25 million to $250 million.
The firm closed 22 sell-side mandates in 2021, representing just under a billion dollars in total enterprise value.
“We were blessed in 2021 to help many business owners reap the significant value they built through years of hard work and smart management,” said Founders Advisors CEO Duane Donner. “It was an honor to work with so many successful business owners and was very gratifying to see their efforts well-rewarded. 2022 is already off to a good start with a strong pipeline of deals in the hopper. Though recent stock market gyrations may be an indication that large, public companies are facing some market headwinds, we continue to see mid-size, private companies performing well.”
The firm has continued to see meaningful growth across all aspects of the firm. The firm hired 13 new team members in 2021 and promoted 12 others. Overall, the employee base grew by more than 30%.
“We believe several factors contributed to the dramatic increase in the number of companies that were sold or recapitalized last year,” Donner added. “One, the market is flooded with private capital that is looking to be deployed, which is driving valuations up. Two, the early negative effects of the pandemic on many businesses made business owners realize that a company can lose value because of events that are beyond the owner’s control – so it is better to act now. Three, the threat of large federal tax increases in 2022 persuaded many owners that it was better to sell all or part of their business last year.”
Other significant developments for Founders Advisors in 2021 included:
- Moving into a newly renovated, historic building in downtown Birmingham, at 2400 5th Avenue South.
- Created and deployed a new online tool called Investment Grade Assessment (IGA) that allows companies to assess the investment grade of their business relative to the private capital markets and to learn what needs to be done to maximize the company’s enterprise value.