“Education is the foundation upon which we build our future”
Christine Gregoire

For Ryan Binkley, thoughts of the future are never far from his mind. It is important not to dwell on the past, and instead use the present to make the next day better for you, your loved ones and your business.

That’s why thoughts of the future are embedded in the approach of Generational Equity. Whether it’s giving middle market business owners the most comprehensive preparation for life after their company, or mentoring the future frontrunners in the M&A industry, Ryan has always insisted on making the most of tomorrow.

It’s the latter of these examples which Ryan Binkley has chosen to focus on in this article, thanks to more fantastic news for Generational Equity in an already exceptional 2018. Three of the firm’s M&A professionals – Musa Jagne, Ryan Johnson and Luan Ly – will be recognized at The M&A Advisor’s 9th Annual Emerging Leaders Awards.

Building the Next Generation of M&A Leaders at Generational Equity

The Emerging Leaders Awards were created by The M&A Advisor to recognize the accomplishments of young professionals in M&A, financing and turnarounds over the course of a year. These individuals have demonstrated a remarkable level of progression in their fields, and made notable contributions to both their industry and community.

For Ryan Binkley, these awards demonstrate both the dedication and ability of Generational Equity’s emerging professionals, and an endorsement of the training and mentoring established at the firm for nurturing the next generation of M&A leaders.

Musa, Ryan and Luan all started their careers in M&A with Generational Equity over a decade ago in our Business Evaluation Group, advancing their skills and reputation in the time since.

Now, Ryan and Luan are Senior Vice Presidents and Musa is a Managing Director, and all are integral parts of the firm’s continued development.

What is truly rewarding for Ryan Binkley, beyond celebrating the confidence and ability these three have demonstrated, is the fact that this isn’t an isolated incident. Last year, the Emerging Leaders Awards recognized Jason Kimball and Julio Dominguez, two other crucial components of the Generational Equity team.

With Generational’s reputation for contributing to the future of M&A, Ryan wanted to share a few aspects of his approach to identifying, developing and rewarding talent to ensure that they both maximize their potential and maintain the positive environment at the firm.

5 Tips to Letting Talent Thrive in M&A

How does Generational Equity approach mentoring future M&A professionals?

#1) Choose the Right Talent to Nurture

First and foremost, it is essential to locate the right talent that will prove an ideal fit for your company’s ethos. At Generational Equity, Ryan Binkley has been forthright in establishing a strong culture (more on that later), and as such it is important to incorporate people that will acclimatize and excel in this setting.

Of course, you’ll know your business better than anyone, so the ideal candidate will differ from owner to owner. But here are a few qualities Ryan feels is essential for success in the M&A industry:

  • Willingness to learn – a belief that we never stop learning and that ongoing education is extremely beneficial, so demonstrating a strong commitment to learning is highly encouraged
  • Adaptability – especially in M&A, being able to adjust to new situations and personalities is crucial to building your business skills
  • Proactivity – being proactive in your approach means you help yourself and prospective clients prepare for any situation during the M&A process, helping them stay on course for an optimal exit
  • Strong ethics – with so much of the mergers and acquisitions process dependent on trust, strong ethics and moral values are vital qualities for candidates to demonstrate in the formative stages of their career

#2) Provide a Mentorship in M&A

At Generational Equity, Ryan Binkley is grateful to have recruited an effective blend of experienced M&A stalwarts and young, motivated individuals with scope to develop.

It’s essential that you create a culture for mentoring early on, where the new blood is given immediate and considered guidance from your most experienced individuals.

Of course, this is not simply meant to enhance their understanding of the M&A process and ensure they can perform important day-to-day tasks (although that is obviously very important!)

It is also critical that your older, experienced heads set a good example in their behavior, temperament and attitude towards clients. This ensures that positive lessons are picked up quickly by the next generation and helps to eradicate bad habits.

It works both ways, too – like Ryan shared earlier, every day is an opportunity to learn, and you should encourage new faces to put forward suggestions that could change your company for the better.

#3) Set Regular Milestones

Ryan is a big fan of the work of John W. Slocum on the subject of business leadership, which was a subject of a previous blog post. This is one of the techniques the team at Generational Equity has taken close to heart – setting milestones and keeping the team in the loop.

Real leaders, in business and beyond, go beyond defining goals and issuing orders. The leadership team at Generational instead takes time to engage with less experienced employees to understand their strengths, weaknesses and ambitions, and gear their M&A milestones to relate to these.

But you need to do more than set the targets – you have to show your team the results. By sharing important financials, performance indicators and key figures with the emerging leaders in your company, not only do they understand the bigger picture, but they feel involved in the structure of your business, encouraging them to continue their career at your firm rather than look elsewhere for other opportunities.

#4) Get Involved in the Community

The 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study revealed that 74% of employees consider their job more fulfilling when they are given opportunities to make a positive impact to their local community and other social/environmental issues.

Therefore, encouraging your employees to get involved in the wider community they operate in is an effective way to build motivation, spread positivity, and make them feel more closely connected to their city and the people in it.

That’s why events like the Dallas Jingle Bell Run, which has been sponsored by Generational Group for several years, are so important to Ryan Binkley. First and foremost, they raise money and awareness for deeply important causes, but they also help Generational’s employees contribute to their wider community in a fun and meaningful way.

#5) Establish Core Values and Stick to Them

Finally, as alluded to earlier, establishing and sticking to a set of core values is important in creating a shared culture throughout your business.

Ryan, as President & CEO, has been critical in promoting Generational Equity’s core values throughout the firm, ensuring they influence every aspect of collaboration, both between colleagues and towards Generational’s clients.

Generational Equity’s core values are at the heart of everything the firm does:

  • The Golden Rule (Respect and Responsible Stewardship)
  • Unity
  • Integrity
  • Diligence
  • Excellence

By establishing and promoting positive core values such as these, you help all employees feel attached to the company as a whole, guiding their development in the appropriate manner.

Generational Equity: Guiding the Future of M&A?

Generational Equity M&A Advisor Emerging Leaders Awards 2018

Hopefully, you have gained some valuable tips that you can apply to your business, as well as a firmer understanding of the work Ryan Binkley and the entire team at Generational Equity is doing to encourage the next generation of M&A professionals.

With the firm’s commitment to mentoring and motivating its younger employees, Ryan firmly believes Generational Equity’s dedicated team will receive more recognition from organizations like The M&A Advisor going forward.

If you would like to read more blog posts on business leadership, consider the following articles from Generational Equity’s regularly updated insights:

You can also learn more about Ryan Binkley on his website.