Luck Is Not A Plan. But It Matters… Our September Market Update

Sep 14, 2017

Luck Is Not A Plan. But It Matters… Our September Market Update

Market Update, Newsletter 0 Comments

Dear Clients and Friends,

Our latest report, found here, contains an update on m&a deals, values, and trends in the dozen+ segments of the information industry that we follow, and sometimes lead. Please click here for our September General Market Update.

In my book, I have a chapter titled “Luck is not a Plan”. I wrote that successful deals come about as a result of disciplined planning, preparation and execution – not luck. That approach has worked for us – and has been critical to our success. But lately, as we’ve been watching people impacted by hurricanes, war, and more, I’ve been thinking about the impact of luck. Also, it is September 11th as I write this, 16 years after the deadliest attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. At 8:30 that morning, I was supposed to be at a breakfast conference sponsored by the Risk Waters Group at Windows on the World, on the 106th floor of the North Tower of the original World Trade Center in New York. At the last minute, I was asked to join a client meeting, so I missed it. Was that luck? It certainly wasn’t the result of any plan. None of the 81 people at that conference survived. Clearly, they had bad luck. Several were friends… I knew many others in those Twin Towers on that morning. They had no way to plan or prepare for what happened. I also knew Marines, who, later that day, began to plan, and prepared for War. Not all of them came home either.

So, as I reflect, on this September 11th, I’ll accept that periodically luck has helped me in ways that I don’t always acknowledge. It spared my 93 year-old father from Hurricane Irma; helped my friends in Houston survive Harvey; and helped others avoid 9/11. I’m mindful that, as we sit here safe and secure, others around the world try to cope with war, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, famine, discrimination, sickness and more forms of bad luck that they could not have avoided – no matter how much planning or preparation they employed.

So instead of denigrating luck I’ll just say that the most we can do – and the key to our success – has been in controlling those things that are controllable through detailed planning, careful preparation, disciplined execution and hard work. But we’ll take a bit of luck, because every once in a while, we are reminded of just how capricious life can be.

Right now, as you will see from the report found here, deal values and trends are good. Our business remains strong. We’re happy. With luck, I think it can continue for some time. Please see some of the more important deals from this month, below:

  • DigiCert (Lehi, Utah) agreed to acquire Symantec’s Website Security and related PKI solutions for approximately $950mm upfront in cash proceeds and a 30% stake in the common stock equity of DigiCert,
  • Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) agreed to acquire Springpath for $320mm,
  • Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ:VRSK) agreed to acquire Sequel and LCI for $323mm and $151mm, respectively,
  • Databricks (San Francisco, CA) raised $140mm in a Series D funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz,
  • Options Technology (London, United Kingdom) raised $100mm in funding from new investor Bregal Sagemount,
  • Ebix (NASDAQ:EBIX) agreed to acquire the money transfer business of Wall Street Finance and of YouFirst Money Express for undisclosed sums,
  • Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV) acquired Dovetail Group for an undisclosed sum.

Also, please standby for some interesting changes to our newsletters and emails over the coming weeks. We’re working hard on them. If you’re curious, you can take a look at some of the new changes here.

Please click here for our September M&A Update.


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