Profile of the week

Linda Mertz, managing director of Mertz Associates

Name: Linda Mertz
Title: Managing director
Company: Mertz Associates
Village of Residence: Rubicon
Family: Alan, my husband, and Socks, my cat.
How does the market look to you? "The market looks good for Mertz, and I project multiple closings the first half of 2008. From a bigger picture perspective, the lower middle market ($5 million to $100 million in value) has always been more stable than the larger-deal market. I expect that to continue with the outlook for the larger-deal market being far more hazy."
What are you working on now? "We’re finalizing a non-core divestiture for a large public company client, wrapping up a sale of a local manufacturer and an acquisition of a product line. There are multiple other projects in the pipeline."
What was the best deal you’ve been involved in? "While not a single deal, our continuing work helping Lab Safety Supply (a division of W.W. Grainger) make multiple strategic acquisitions is very interesting and rewarding."
What was the funniest or most interesting moment of your career? "By far, right now is the most interesting because by working with and personally knowing M&A professionals from around the world, we have greatly added to the skills and knowledge of the local team. For example, I have been able to bring quality buyers to the table with personal relationships from India, Poland, The Netherlands, among many others and we are doing this kind of work more as a matter of routine. We are currently teaming with a firm in China to sell a company with operations in China and the U.S., and we are working together seamlessly. We are also developing international pipelines for our buy-side clients. We are able to do all of this and more because of  IMAP (International Network of M&A Partners). What is really great is that our IMAP partners offer not only great geographical reach but also provide incredibly deep industry knowledge. For example, Mertz teamed with a U.S. banking industry expert to help Acuity Insurance divest their bank. We teamed with a leasing expert when we helped We Energies divest of its leasing operations. We are currently exploring teaming with an IT expert to sell a local Milwaukee company that has very special qualities. We absolutely love it, because we know our IMAP partners well and are able to provide outstanding service almost anywhere in the world while maintaining the personal touch and local commitment.  And while yes, this is all extremely interesting, the real bottom line is that our clients benefit and in the end that’s all that matters."

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