On this episode, I get to talk to industry veteran, Paul Martin of Martin Healthcare Advisors. He has been around since the early ‘90s. He has been advising physical therapy companies since 2000 with Martin Healthcare Advisors. He's helped over thousands of clinics both grow and merge and be acquired or acquire in the physical therapy space. He's been around the block a number of times and now, he has five things he wants us to know about the current M&A market. Those five things are important to know because things are different now than they were several years ago. There are significantly more players, more acquirers in the market space and some of them coming in within 2018, a number of private equity groups on top of the ones that are privately held and large, but also those are their publicly held.
Things are different. It's not all about EBITDA anymore. There's a lot to do with what's your growth strategy? What are your cultures like? How do you fit in their footprints because some of these are regional players and not national players? Do you add something to the space that they're trying to get into or increase a footprint or provide a niche service? Are you on a growth trajectory? All of these things are what they're looking for and provide greater value to them. There are things that you need to know in order to provide more value for them as well as provide more value for yourself. I'll continually beat the drum ever since I did the interview with John Dearing last year as part of the podcast about how to set yourself up to sell. Doing some of those things to improve the value of your clinic to sell are the same things that improve the value, the profitability and the power to improve your clinic currently. Doing some of those things improves the stability and freedom that you get to enjoy.
These are things that are somewhat simple, fundamental, but also take some effort and if focused on increases the value of your clinic. Things such as making sure your legal paperwork is in order to make sure your financials are in order and easily accessible and easily readable. Know your statistics, especially your cardinal’s statistics. Make sure you're on a growth trajectory year over year. Do you have a leadership team in place so that you're not the sole decision-maker and not the sole influencer in the company so that if and when you do leave, things will continue to run well and continue to grow?
What is your culture like? Do you have a mission statement and values? Those things are important because if you're looking to sell, you want to make sure you sell to someone who has that same value system in place. It makes things so much easier when you do and it allows for greater growth even after the acquisition. There are a number of things to consider. Paul goes over the five most important things to understand in the current market. I’ll continually beat the drum on making sure that you have your company set up for sale at any time. It increases the value of your company and increases the power that you have independently. Let’s get to the interview and see what Paul has to share.
I’ve got Paul Martin of Martin Healthcare Advisors on with me for the interview. Paul has been around the block a number of times and is doing some great work now for the profession. First of all, Paul thanks for coming on.
Thanks for having me, Nathan.
If you don't mind, you've got a wealth of experience based on your time in the profession. Would you mind going back and sharing your story first of all and tell us about your professional path and what got you to where you are now?
I am a physical therapist by background and I started a company a few months out of school back in 1989 that was called Physical Therapy and Sports Services. I and two partners grew that company. It started driving growth in 1993 when we had three clinics and from ‘93 to ’96. We really accelerated that growth and we grew to 21 clinic locations. Subsequently, we sold that company to NovaCare in 1996. I spent three years with NovaCare and it was a great experience. I felt I got somewhat of a degree in corporate rehab. I learned a lot from the folks at NovaCare. I left NovaCare in 1999 and started this company, which is a company that provides growth and development consulting in the industry as well as merger and acquisition representation of companies that want to go into the market.
Who's your ideal client at this time? Who are you targeting? You might be helping those guys toward the end of their ownership phase. When you talked about growth and consulting, who are you targeting there?
We work with companies of all sizes, anywhere from a single location company. As we look at our client base, there seems to be a look in the eye of our customers of wanting to learn more about the business of physical therapy, wanting to grow their practices and seeing that in their markets that in order to remain independent, it's necessary for them to continue their growth.
What are you seeing there when you say in order for it to be necessary to be independent? You’re recognizing that in order to stay independent, you need to have a larger footprint or you need to be at a certain size compared to the hospital networks or the physician-known physical therapy clinics and whatnot.
Most markets, the large national companies in just about every market in the United States are coming into those markets, acquiring the larger practices are putting a lot of capital into growth with new clinics, new startup clinics. We really advocate if you want to remain independent, you need to be consistently looking at good solid growth opportunities within those markets.
You’re not only helping people who are growing in that respect and trying to either open de novo or acquire other clinics, but you're also focused on helping those who are trying to exit their practices as well. That’s a little bit about what we're going to get into now, right?
Absolutely. We have a whole division of our company that takes some advantage of this current market or have looked at it as a strategy to transition their company to a larger business in many different shapes and sizes.
What are you seeing as far as the market? It seems like there was a pretty hot run there for the last five years. Do you see us on the downhill side of that or do you see it continuing in the expansion of mergers and acquisitions?
Based on the capital markets, based on the continued ability for private equity to be able to borrow at very low interest rates, but as you look at our economy, etc., we do believe that this market may have hit its peak and every time we get there, we're seeing new private equity groups coming into the market. This is a very long haul for a market to stay as aggressive as fertile as this market has been in the rehab industry. How long will it continue? It’s very difficult to say, but for right now, there are great opportunities.
Definitely and I think I learned that from one of my episodes last year from John Dearing. Maybe I'm going out on a limb, but some of it might depend on simply those interest rates as long as money is easy to borrow. Mergers and acquisitions might be pretty, I wouldn't say a hot thing, but it's been active.
While the interest rates are definitely a driver, the other driver is private equity seeing this business as the rehab business as a good business that they see it as a fairly simple business. They look at it. They don't see that our reimbursement over the last ten years or so has seen that much change. I'm not saying it hasn't seen any change, but that much change. There haven't been any major changes to our market with any type of regulatory issues that have come up. The public companies, US PT, as well as Select Medical have fared very well in the public eyes. It brings attention to our industry and the private equity sector seems to be very much of a copycat industry. When one private equity group has success, it's not long after that another private equity group is going to follow that group trying to do the same strategy. We've seen that happen over and over again to the point where there are literally eighteen bonafide private equity groups backing fairly large rehabilitation companies in our current market. It's up from six or eight along with the public companies. It’s really moving fast.The private equity sector is a copycat industry. Click To Tweet
With so much private equity coming into the marketplace, how are things different? Maybe that leads into a little bit more of our topic. How is the market different for the physical therapists who are looking to sell now compared to several years ago?
It leads exactly into what we wanted to talk about which you’re exactly right. It’s what we've come up with which are the five things you’ve got to know about the new rehab M&A market. It seems like we have a new market really on an annual basis. There are so many changes that the market continues to go through this evolution. The first thing you’ve got to know is that we're no longer in a market where you can simply sell when you and your business are ready. Historically, it was back in the days of three or four acquires in the country, business owners would get their business in good shape. They would be ready personally and they would go out to one, maybe two or three of those companies and you could get a decent deal. You could sell your company on your terms at your timeframe. It’s no longer like that. With 25 plus companies, you’ve got eighteen private equity-backed companies. You have two publicly traded companies and at least five other fairly large scale private companies that are all vying for market share within these markets. They're all at such different stages that the market will dictate when you're able to get a good deal for your company, not simply your evolution. That's one of the things that has changed about this current market.
Are you saying that if you're an independent clinic owner at this day and age, should you be ready to sell at any time? What would you recommend my readers do if their practice owners, especially if they're later on in their ownership and they're looking to phase out maybe in the next five to ten years? What would your recommendations be?
It’s really important to, on a very routine basis, every few months or so to pop your head up and survey the market around you to see, who are the companies that have made acquisitions in your market? The companies that already made those acquisitions, what is their activity? Who is around your market that may be looking and would be the next likely kind of suspect to be coming into your market? To understand based on those companies and their evolution within the private equity investment of those companies the best time when you have what they need? You're going to get the best deal when you match what they need with something that you can bring.
How does an independent practitioner, working in quite a bit treating patients or working on their business, where would they go to find those kinds of resources that would tell them who are the active players in my market and who's coming into the market? Because they'll acquire businesses but not necessarily change the names at times so it might hard for them to find that out?
It’s important that you find someone that lives in this industry and understands, especially the larger companies they believe and somebody has told them that you need to use and find a large investment banking firm, may be out of New York City in order to properly sell your company. The problem is that those companies don't know who the buyers are in this market. These are all privately held companies. Even those backed by private equity are still privately held companies. They're not making public announcements, they're not being vocal as to where they're going next and what they're going to be doing next. You’ve got to find somebody who lives and breathes in this market and understands who they are.
It's someone like you or maybe a local broker that's in this industry or people like that. It'd be hard I'd imagine as an independent guy to find out all that information. I can see where it's important. In my experience, my partner and I, had three or four offers over the course of a number of years that came to us from different directions. There are plenty of friends that I have that have clinics that have never been approached whatsoever. It seems like it's hit and miss as to who you know or not, what you know and that kind of stuff. It's important to be connected with guys like you that can guide you a little bit.
We believe it's a big value.
How should an owner establish or set up their practice to get maximum value? Maybe that leads into the next part a lot of times they'll talk about EBITDA and whatnot and how that drives the value of a clinic, profits, gross revenues or growth in general. What are some of the things that we should be looking out for to maximize our value?
As we've outlined, I think the second thing that you need to know about this market is that the deal value drivers have changed. What I mean by that is in the past it was, everybody used and get five multiple. That's what everybody should be able to get and everything was about EBITDA. I'm not downplaying that EBITDA is not important. It still is important, but the biggest driver that we're seeing in this market is the competition for your business. We coined your EBITDA plus who wants to be in your market now? Who needs to grow in your market, who needs a platform in your market now, who's out there that would be the best fit? That's where you get what we would describe as the best deal.
You're talking about maybe being aware of where the companies have a footprint in your geographical area and see if maybe you fit well into that footprint or you provide a niche service that could benefit a player in the area.
As well as being able to provide that potentially in some very unique ways to a number of those companies where you have a number of companies looking to get into your market for different reasons. You have attributes that may look solid and may look attractive to a number of companies then it's the competition for your company all in what we would call a synchronized competition all done confidentially. That's the process that gets and drives what we see as the best deals in the market.
If you don’t mind, I'm going to use a personal example. When we sold our clinics and formed Empower PT, it provided a nice footprint for the private equity firm in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. If you were a business looking to possibly sell in maybe Tucson or Northern Arizona or maybe even Southern California, that's where you might be a value add to a company that's looking to acquire businesses.
Maybe an in-state business that's looking to go to a market that you serve in-state or potentially if you're large enough, other companies looking to come into a state and compete, you may be able to provide something unique to each of those companies based on their needs.
A lot of people talk about establishing yourself and with your experience working with growth and consulting in M&A, how long does it take for them to get their business into a good position to get the maximum value out of their clinics? I'm of the opinion that it takes almost a year, maybe two years to ship things up to put yourself out in the market. What's your experience in that?The biggest driver that we're seeing in today's market is the competition for your business. Click To Tweet
Our experiences that depending upon where the business is in terms of its metrics, in terms of whether it has a compliance program, in terms of where the EBITDA is and in terms of its ability to grow. As long as all of the things within the company are ready in this current market to do it right and to go out to multiple companies, the process that seems to be most effective is put everyone on the same starting line at the same time and drive a process that requires them to stay within a timeframe. You're going to quickly eliminate those who aren't interested or may have their focus on something else at that point in time and then driving that. We've seen it in a range of four to six months, which is much better for the business for much better, for the business owner than going through a process of working with this company for a couple of months, seeing what you can get then walking away from them possibly and go into another one. We see a lot of this franticness of, “I’ve got to talk to everybody,” and by the time you go through all that, it's a year later and what have you accomplished? When the business is ready, what seems to be most effective is to put everybody in the same starting line at the same time.
If I have a friend who has two and going on to three clinics and he's looking to sell in about five to seven years but he doesn't have policies and procedures in place. He doesn't have an employee handbook. He's been working full-time most of the time and now starting to pull out of treating full-time. How long would it take a guy like that to get ready to even go on the market?
We see a lot of companies like that, as being a practice owner. When you get to that, it's a no man's land. That two to three clinics to maybe five to seven clinics and have you set up the management structure, have you set up the systems and the processes for the company to continue on profitably? To do all of that and to set all of that up again, depending upon the stage of the business owner. A lot of motivation to want to focus on and work on their business, that could be a one to two-year process to get all the things in order to be a business that has the strong ability to grow.
What are acquiring companies looking for? You talked about something that maybe adds to the value of the company, whether it's in the geographical space or whatnot trying to enter a certain market. What are some other things they're looking for when they're looking to acquire companies?
Different from our previous timeframes and previous markets, the third thing you must know about the new M&A rehab market is that right now it's very attractive to a buyer if you are what we term as growing through the deal. What we mean by that is historically it was all right, I'm going to pull back and try to do everything I can to maximize my EBITDA. Maybe pare down a little bit and certainly not do any new startup clinics and not start anything that would require any investment. Don't make any changes and just pull back.
In this current market that will not make you attractive to the acquirers in this market because they want companies that can grow. They want companies that have shown the ability to grow. There are a number of different ways in order to look at some of those attributes and look at some of the expense you may have incurred to start a new clinic or an investment that you've made. Ways to structure that within deal companies that have shown the ability to grow and appear to an acquirer as we are growing our company and we are managing our company as though we're never going to sell it. That's attractive in this market.
That can be tough because when you're growing like that, it can take a significant amount of cash to open up a new clinic or to acquire a clinic and then that's going to negatively impact your financials, which the acquiring companies are going to be looking at. At least through my experience, they can understand that cash is currently going towards opening a new clinic, but it should look at as a positive when it comes to the acquisition.
It needs to be a balance and that balance needs to make good business and strategy sense. If you're throwing every bit of capital you have and at a new startup clinic and the startup clinic takes twelve months to go positive cashflow, those are not good business decisions. You need to continue to have a balance between growth and margins and you're correct, the acquirers understand that growth takes the capital. There's going to be added expense on your P&L because of that. There are usually many ways to adjust that as well as look at the structure to reward someone for the fact that they're growing. We say this all the time, we need to be the train that's leaving the station and who's going to jump on.
They’re going to look at your EBITDA still, but they're also looking for growth. They're looking for what kind of value you can add to their marketplace. Are there are some other things that they're looking for when they're assessing your companies?
Companies that are able to drive for their markets at or above the benchmark level of cash per visit are very attractive to a buyer because it means that you're managing efficiently and your staff is productive. That's real attractive versus them looking at this and saying, “We're going to have to teach that staff how to bill correctly and how to charge for everything they're doing.” These companies are moving at such a rapid pace that they're not looking for turnarounds. Many times a business owner will say, “Won’t the acquirer see that has great upside opportunity for them?” They will, but you may never get to the finish line of the deal. They’re in a neighborhood and you’re a broken-down house that needs all the fixes and there are three shiny new houses in your same neighborhood and you don't want to be left behind.
They’re not necessarily at this stage looking for something that they can fix up and they're going to have to take some time and invest money and effort into. They want to acquire something that adds to the bottom line and move on to get the next acquisition.
We’ve coined it as speed dating. They are moving quickly and they aren't going to spend a lot of time on a deal that looks like a turnaround they’re going to focus their efforts on, because there are a lot of companies that have put their hands up that are in the pipelines of these acquires.
Where do other things come into play, especially as a clinic owner? How important is it for the independent clinic owner to have a mission, purpose and values all established and maybe having a particular culture of some kind? Do acquiring companies look at that?
It’s important and we see it as even more important for the seller. In the current market, many of the companies are offering a structure of a partnership. If I'm going to go out and find the right partner as you just described, culture is important. It's important to identify with what is your culture and what's the culture then that you're looking for your company to continue to thrive and not every acquirer brings that. They don't all have the same cultures. They all have different and unique cultures. When we look at and talk to companies that are looking to potentially sell their business, we say, “You may not want to hear this, but it's not all about the price.” Culture is first and foremost as what we see in this market that becomes most important to a seller. They're going to be in there for a long time and they're going to be working along with the acquiring company for a number of years. It’s important, especially if they're going to be in a partnership and they have equity and they can benefit from growing that business.
From personal experience, there was an opportunity for us to interview seven to eight different acquiring companies as we were on the market. I'm talking about this second hand because my partner was on a lot of these interviews while I was up here in Alaska. He said it was obvious as they sat at the table that things just didn't align. It didn't feel right. It seemed their focus was someplace else, whereas our focus was over here. I think the initial take is that they're all the same. These are all the same companies that are trying to get into the physical therapy market. They probably have the same values, where that's not the case at all. They have completely different values, different objectives and different mission statements so as the seller, it's highly important that you have all that established and that you know what your ideal acquirer looks like. You should probably have a good idea of who you're going to marry before you marry them that leads to a happier relationship down the road.
There is no question, your perception of that as you were going through this is dead on. We do this a lot so we see it over and over again. When you can sit for three days, the owners of the business and we together met with seven different companies all within a matter of three days and asking a lot of the very same questions to each of them. You're exactly right. They came out with at least four of those companies. There's no way they said that those companies would meet what they were looking for in terms of culture. The other three have different attributes and that's where we start looking at what we see is the next element that drives the best deal, which is structure. This is number four things that you got to know about this market, which is there are so many different structures in the market now. There have been five private equity groups that have gotten into this market within the last nine months. They all can come in and keep doing the same thing as their competitors. They have to bring something different and unique.
What we're seeing is they're bringing some unique structures on how the equity in the future will be paid to the seller and where that equity is placed. Structure is right behind culture we say this, “You name the price, I'll name the structure and I'm going to win every time.” In this market, that's true. We line it up in a matrix and look at simply price. Many times when you look at the real value of everything that's going into the deal, it flip-flops in terms of where you're getting the greatest value based on the structure.
The people who are selling need to know that there are different ways that they can get paid out. Is that what you're saying? That the structure of the deal could be no cash? It could be a percentage now and a percentage later? What are the expectations of your job after the fact? Is that what you're talking about when you talk about structure?
Yes. There was a partnership structure. US PT was on the forefront of the partnership structure and they've utilized a partnership structure certainly with their acquisitions as well. That partnership structure has been sliced and diced in multiple different ways from newer companies, the new private equity that has come in, in order for those companies to try and stand out. A big piece of it is not that you're not getting a good portion of what you're receiving for your business upfront, but how can we structure that back end to make it attractive and to make it secure? That’s where it can be fortunately and unfortunately. Fortunately for folks like us and unfortunately for sellers in the industry, it has become very complicated. What’s always a good structure for the acquirer may not be the best structure for the seller and it's that work on the backside of that. Typically, it's with the equity and where the equity is and how you get it out. That is important in this market.
What’s the fifth thing we must know?
We call the fifth thing of market separation. What we mean by that is in this current market, you have multiple acquires and they're all at different stages of their growth. They're all seeking markets regionally based on the evolution of their growth. For example, a company that has been backed by either new private equity or our first round of private equity. Once they get their structure in place, they're going to be looking to grow. At year three, four, they may be looking to wind down somewhat in order to prepare for the next private equity investment. Companies that become what we call recapped, a new private equity group comes in and takes out a smaller private equity group. All of a sudden, you have a geographical need in which as opposed to staying somewhat regionally, we see those companies and we call it leapfrogging.
A company that's primarily New Jersey, New York, all of a sudden they're doing an acquisition in Illinois, Michigan and Louisiana. This is what we call market separation which we no longer have one big market with just a couple acquirers. There are segments of markets across the United States and they're all different based on who the acquirers that are looking to get in and what stage in their evolution are they in and it changes. With these new private equity groups, a lot of them are West Coast-based. I think you're going to see a lot of platform acquisitions on the West Coast. We were a part of one of those. We’re seeing some East Coast acquirers and it's slowed down now gearing back up with some higher-level management, etc. They're going to look to jump back into the acquisition game. It causes what we call this market separation which is, it's so interesting and cool when you can look at it from the United States view. If you're in a market, you're in Pennsylvania, to see all of that, it is difficult. It has made it somewhat complicated.There must be balance between growth and margins to make good business. Click To Tweet
As a seller, the important takeaway is to recognize where these acquirers are coming from. Do they have a national footprint or are they a more regional player? At what stage are they in? Are they three years into this acquiring phase or are they brand new? Is that what you're saying?
Exactly, and are they looking for platforms? Are they looking for add-on acquisitions? Are they looking for niche practices within certain markets? You coined it pretty much dead on.
There are a lot of takeaways. Those are valuable information especially if they're considering to sell anytime soon. If they want to get an idea of what the market looks like, it's important to have all these factors in mind. Are there any recommendations that you make to a guy who’s like, “I'm not in the market to sell. I'm relatively new in my practice and I could be here for another twenty years and maybe grow with a couple of clinics?”
You want to make sure that as you grow your business and if you're on the very frontend of your career, the reason private equity is investing in this business is that it's a good business to be in. We work with companies across the country that are looking to remain independent in their markets. The keys to that are knowing and understanding what's going on around you, but looking to find and to capitalize on market niches that are focused on things that you serve those people better. You double down on those specific market niches that you can serve because you will typically be able to serve them better than the large companies. Being and living in your own market and in many cases, having grown up in that market. Going out and finding those market segments that you can serve better is I think one of the first things that we talk to companies about as they're looking to evolve within a market looking to grow.
It comes down to solid blocking and tackling. You are making sure that you're establishing operations and financial budgets. You are making sure that you're looking to grow your staff in a way. You're looking to evolve leaders in your company and continuing to provide the best service of any company in your market or state and active in your community. Don’t let anybody out there tell you that just because such and such company did an acquisition in your market that you're not going to be able to survive anymore and you have to sell to one of these companies. No, that is not the case at all.
I had a guy John Dearing on and we talked about what to do to prepare to sell. The big takeaway for me was that even if you're not looking to sell, being ready at any time, having your house in order per se, to be ready to sell at any time typically means you're profiting the most. You're running at peak performance anyways. Acting as if you were on the market can definitely lead to benefits as you said, having a leadership team where you're not the sole focus of management and leadership for your company. Having set policies and procedures, having clean books have an operating budget. Have your compliance manuals together and your policy and procedure manuals together because they're going to look at all those things. Even if you weren't selling, having all of those things in place makes you a more profitable company and it improves performance.
We've seen companies have great success who early in the game have said, “I wonder what the value of my company is now in this market.” What that does is it makes it very clear internally what some of those value drivers are and can help guide decision making in the future. If you're looking to provide value so that you can pass this along to your children that may go into physical therapy or you're looking at some point in time to transition out of your company. We’re all going to leave our companies at some point in time. Understanding what that value is and what the internal value drivers are I think is also a good step to take early on because it will also uncover some of the things that you just said.
Do you have that compliance program in place? Are your financials in a structure that's going to be easily assessed by acquirer? Are your leases in a structure? Do you own buildings and how are you dealing with your building ownership? Is that ownership in your company or did you put that separate? Are you running fitness programs and other programs that also under a structure, should be looked at and done differently? I think it's important early on to prepare your company for that value look later on and whether that's passed down to your staff, your children or going out to a third party. It is important.
I love that you tied it back to value. If we use them what increases our company's value as a decision filter, then that would lead our decisions to improve our value and improve our profitability.
Profitability is important, but as you look across the company, it comes down to profitability and risks. What you want to do is to look to minimize risk by having a very diverse referral base, by having a payer base that's fairly diverse versus one singular payer base, a payer that may be federally funded, that could be changed overnight. As we look at our staff and the arrangements that we make with our staff, as we look at our management structure, everything we do, you want to look to build solidly which reduces risk.
Is there anything else you want to share with us, Paul?
This has been great and I appreciate you having me on. I hope this has been valuable to your audience. As I said before we got started, you're doing a great thing for our industry and I appreciate that. I'm glad I found you and I'm glad I was able to get on and talk to everybody.
Thanks for your time. If people wanted to reach out to you, how would they do that?
You can send me an email. That’s a pretty long one, but it goes right to our name. It's PMartin@MartinHealthcareAdvisors.com and certainly jump on our website to see what we do and how we do it, which is www.MartinHealthcareAdvisors.com.
You're going to be presenting some of this information in the future whether that's at PPS or other conferences.
We are. We did mergers and acquisitions conference that is called Better Strategies for Higher Valuations. We did that in Chicago back in early June and we're looking to do another one right before the Private Practice Section Conference on October 29th in Orlando. We'll be sending out invites for that and it's a nice way to start the conference. We'll do a five-hour teaching a training session and then that would be followed by dinner and it's a great time to network with other business owners across the country.
If people were looking to go to that meeting the day before PPS, do they go to your website or do they reach out to you individually? How do they do that?
We’re going to be sending invites out. Certainly send me an email, tell me you're interested and we will make 100% sure you get an invite and you're able to attend.
Thanks for offering that and being a resource in that regard again. Thanks for your time. It's been great getting to know a little bit more about the M&A market.
Nathan, it’s great talking to you.
As CEO of MHA, Paul has advised many of the most successful owners in our industry and his M&A team has led more outpatient rehab transactions during the last four years than any company in the country. He is a nationally recognized expert on the state of our industry and where it’s headed.
No one is better qualified to speak about what it’s like to sell to and work as a partner with private equity-backed companies than Paul Martin.
Paul holds a master's degree in Physical Therapy from Hahnemann University, as well as the prestigious “Certified Business Intermediary” (CBI) and “M&A Master Intermediary” (M&AMI) designations from the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA).