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Smart Business Dealmakers

Business & Economics Podcasts

Smart Business Dealmakers is the CEO's M&A playbook. We interview the entrepreneurs doing deals, the private equity, VC and family office players investing in them, and the M&A advisers making them happen. Topics include raising capital, buying and selling companies and managing a liquidity event.

Smart Business Dealmakers is the CEO's M&A playbook. We interview the entrepreneurs doing deals, the private equity, VC and family office players investing in them, and the M&A advisers making them happen. Topics include raising capital, buying and selling companies and managing a liquidity event.


United States


Smart Business Dealmakers is the CEO's M&A playbook. We interview the entrepreneurs doing deals, the private equity, VC and family office players investing in them, and the M&A advisers making them happen. Topics include raising capital, buying and selling companies and managing a liquidity event.




Louis Foreman, CEO of Enventys Partners

Crowdfunding was once seen as a way for entrepreneurs to raise cash and bootstrap their ideas. But Louis Foreman, CEO of Enventys Partners, sees it as a way to get market validation. We talked with Foreman about product innovation, raising capital, recent patent activity trends and the commonalties among his 15 clients who appeared on the TV show Shark Tank.


George Thomas, member at Metz Lewis Brodman Must O'Keefe

Though deals began to fail, were delayed or had their terms changed when the pandemic hit the U.S., the terrible effects many projected it would have on M&A didn’t necessarily materialize. There will, however, be other consequences. George Riley Thomas II, a member at the law firm Metz Lewis Brodman Must O'Keefe, offers his take on 2020, and what dealmakers can expect in 2021.


Michael Wilson, partner with Locke Lord

The legal structure surrounding M&A continues to evolve as we climb out of the COVID crisis and begin to focus on 2021 and beyond. That means changes in contract language, structure and even deal terms. Michael Wilson, a partner at Locke Lord, discusses what to expect — and how to prepare.


Jim Benedict, Senior Vice President with PNC Wealth Management

Preserving wealth is a long-term initiative, and managing it through uncertainty is critical. Jim Benedict, senior vice president and senior wealth strategist at PNC Wealth Management, discusses how to stay the course in choppy waters, and the importance of remaining calm.


Carlton Dean, President of Demarrt Building Services

Carlton D. Dean III is seeing a lot of business owners looking for an exit in the wake of the pandemic. The president of Demarrt Building Services is also seeing deals that he might have foregone before look much better now. That’s led him to adjust his approach to the acquisitions.


Dean Zayed, CEO of Brookstone Capital Management

After Brookstone Capital Management founder Dean Zayed sold a majority share of his registered investment advisory firm to AmeriLife, he rekindled a conversation with the founder of another RIA, FormulaFolios. The result: the creation of a $6.5 billion business. We talked with Dean about both the AmeriLife and the FormulaFolios transactions, and how one deal informed the other.


David Woodburn, Shareholder at Roetzel_Andress

David Woodburn, a shareholder at Roetzel & Andress, is seeing a lot of potential for M&A right now. Low interest rates and uncertainty over estate and income taxes have created an opportunity for owners to leverage their estate and gift tax dollars. But it’s also an environment that’s great for buyers looking to invest in a new business or expand their own.


Brad Jones, Charlotte Regional President, First National Bank

As business leaders start to look ahead to 2021, balance sheet management and liquidity are top-of-mind issues. But when it comes to banking and finance, it will be relationships that could make or break deals in this new business reality. Brad Jones, Charlotte Regional President of First National Bank, discusses why strong relationships are the No. 1 factor moving forward — and why everything comes down to trust.


Charles Robins, CEO of Fairmount Partners

When you’re looking to sell your company, maximizing value before the sale can ensure you have a successful liquidity event. Charles Robins, founder and CEO of Fairmount Partners discusses the keys to pre-deal preparation — and the secrets of his P5M process to drive value.


George Sullivan, CEO of Equity Trust Company

In a market affected like it is by the COVID-19 pandemic, volatility is the norm for investors rather than nuance. With all the shifts and uncertainty, Equity Trust Company CEO George Sullivan says the fundamental question on investors’ minds right now is when will conditions be better? For Sullivan, that’s the wrong question. Instead, it should be where are the opportunities?


Carolyn Meade, Partner with Moore & Van Allen

If you lead a family-owned business, identifying when to exit and when to transition is never easy. Carolyn Meade, an attorney with Moore & Van Allen, takes a look at some post-COVID options for family-owned businesses, and how those who ultimately decide to sell can maximize value in a deal.


Stewart Kohl, co-CEO of The Riverside Company

Stewart Kohl has seen a lot of dealmaking — some 650 investments at The Riverside Company, the $10 billion PE firm where he is co-CEO. In this wide-ranging conversation, he offers insight into the mood at his portfolio companies, Riverside’s M.O. as it navigates through the choppy M&A market, his sense of what buyers and sellers are thinking at the moment, and how the pandemic and its market fallout compare to the Great Recession.


Matt Heinz, Senior Managing Director of Aon Transaction Solutions

Deals trickled in during the early days of the COVID crisis. But as dealmakers settled into the new reality, the volume increased. With it, investors sought greater risk mitigation to ensure deals got done with fewer lingering issues of uncertainty. Aon Transaction Solutions Senior Managing Director Matthew Heinz discusses the rise of reps and warranties, plus how new types of insurance solutions are giving peace of mind to buyers and sellers post-COVID.


Brock Leonti, CEO of Prescribe FIT

Brock Leonti and his company Prescribe FIT went looking to land a new round of funding this year. While cash is certainly a factor, taking on investors isn’t just about the money. It’s also about the intellectual capital those funders are able to contribute. Operating in the health care field where physicians are skeptical of new technologies, that investor knowledge could prove to be invaluable for the fledgling company. Leonti talks about leaning on investors during a time of turbulence,...


Chris Adams, CEO of Park Place Technologies

Park Place Technologies President and CEO Chris Adams discusses his perspective on the market, and shares his sense of what’s likely to be on the minds of dealmakers through the balance of a year plagued by uncertainty.


Jon Halpern, President of Pineapple Payments

Pineapple Payments is trying to look beyond just the financials to find fit. That means understanding exactly who they’re investing in because every acquisition is an opportunity to learn from those who have been acquired. But those learnings won’t show up in a quality of earnings report. They’re discovered through conversation. President Jon Halpern talks about his company’s acquisition and integration process, and how learnings are being shared between acquirer and acquiree.


Bob Campana, CEO of Campana Capital

Bob Campana, CEO of Campana Capital, says a good deal is a good deal regardless of what else is happening in the market. But he also recognizes that both sides should look to protect themselves from the next globally disruptive event with careful deal terms that give both sides the peace of mind needed to transact. Campana offers his take on the current state of dealmaking and when he expects anything like “normal” to return to M&A.


John Rowady, Founder and President of rEvolution

John Rowady had readiness in mind as he built his sports marketing firm, rEvolution. But there’s no readiness rule book for a global pandemic, particularly one in which sports across the globe stopped completely. In this episode Rowady talks about how he coached his team up to deal with the unprecedented disruption, and how now is the ideal time for meaningful acquisitions that could set a business up for success well into the future.


Brett Motherwell, Managing Partner at Kassel Equity Group

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of challenges in the dealmaking space. Still, dealmakers are on the lookout for opportunities – and Kassel Equity Group Managing Partner Brett Motherwell says there are opportunities to be had. However, he says dealmaking during the pandemic is all about mitigating M&A risks through careful deal structures.


David Grigsby, Founding Partner of TBS Falcon

David Grigsby is founding partner of TBS Falcon and recently became chairman and CEO of Gas It Up. He shares his insights on how the pandemic has affected M&A — buyers, due diligence and the deal timeline — and how the competition for troubled companies is shaping up.