At the start of 2020, the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) outlook was very positive for U.S. accounts receivable management (ARM) companies. The economy was strong. Public stocks were performing consistently well. Unemployment levels were at record lows. Consumer confidence was high. Companies and governments were outsourcing noncore business functions to third party specialists at increased rates. Regulations were finally being clarified. Most ARM companies were performing very well. The M&A markets were attractive for buyers and sellers alike.
Then in March 2020, the global coronavirus pandemic set in and everything abruptly changed. A year later, we want to make sure you know the current climate for M&A in the U.S. ARM industry. That’s why we started Kaulkin Ginsberg’s M&A discussion series. As part of the series, Mike Ginsberg will sit down with various owners of ARM business who recently completed an M&A transaction and get their point of view.
During this M&A discussion episode, Mike spoke to David Rae, CEO of Bill Gosling, and Jon Gormin, co-founder and managing director of Owner Resource Group. Discussion topics included why they decided to join forces and embrace their partnership, they process that they undertook to find the right investor, what would they do differently, among other critical topics.
Please watch the below 38 minute M&A discussion video. Enjoy!
Dave started working in the debt collection industry for his father’s company (John Rae) in the summers during his high school and university years. In 1983 Dave headed to the UK to work in the business for a few years, returning to Canada after 3 years. John had previously exited the industry in Canada and wanted to start again, so Dave joined up and got the new Canadian business running with John in 1986. Four years later, Dave bought the entire business from John, bringing in four partners that were part of the management team.
With 100 employees at the time, Dave had a goal to build a culture that was very different than the collection industry was known for at the time. Through his journey, he was exposed to some external influencers (including Ken Blanchard, the author of Gung Ho) that helped create The Allied Way (known today as The Gosling Theory), which laid the foundation for how we aspire to engage with our employees, or Gosling’s as they are known as internally. Today these principles are stronger than ever and continue to support Bill Gosling’s values and vision.
As the business has grown and Dave sees a few more grey hairs, he’s been able to leave the heavy lifting of growth and operations to Kenny Johnston (President) and team, allowing him to focus on his current passion of learning, strategy and sharing his experiences and thoughts for the future company success.
Dave’s focus on the next chapter for Bill Gosling’s planned growth is based on a tripod plan of organic, new products and services and strategic acquisitions. Dave continues to build his network globally and participates with external peer groups keeping him exposed to new and creative ideas that benefit all relevant stakeholders. In his free time, you might find him listening to music, often while drumming, golfing or out on the water.
Jon is a Managing Director of Owner Resource Group. He co-heads the ORG Private Equity Group and serves on the Investment Committee.
Over his 25 years in corporate finance and private equity, he has been involved with more than 50 businesses in a wide range of industries and has served as an officer (including both interim CEO and CFO) or Board Member for 28 companies.
Prior to co-founding ORG, Jon was a Partner at HB Equity Partners and at Wand Partners, both in New York. He started his private equity career as an Assistant Vice President with Conseco Private Capital Group. Prior to joining Conseco, Jon worked for Coopers & Lybrand, LLP in their Business Assurance and Financial Advisory Services practices.
Jon received his B.S. in Accounting from Lehigh University and his M.B.A. with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.