Insights into the Middle Market

Croixstone is laser focused on providing expertise to serve the middle market, defined as those companies with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.  The National Center for the Middle Market recently published new data and insights on this important sector of the economy that we found interesting.

  • While representing barely 3% of all U.S. businesses, the middle market is responsible for 1/3 of private sector GDP and employment.
  • If the U.S. middle market were its own country, it would be the fifth-largest economy in the world.
  • During the pre-pandemic era from 2012-2019, average revenue growth for midsize companies was 6.5% and average employment growth was 4.3%.
  • A Q4 2020 middle market survey showed that average revenue declined by 1.2% and employment dropped by 2.2% over the prior 12 months.
  • While the pandemic negatively impacted the middle market, the sector overall performed better than small businesses and large corporations.
  • Middle market companies are typically very resilient, however, the ongoing pandemic presents a serious challenge on how to maintain customer engagement and connectivity. 

Learn more here.


The BOOMING U.S. Solar Market

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie have published their latest quarterly report that provides insights into major trends in the fast-growing U.S. solar industry.  Here are some key factoids that caught our attention in reviewing the report.

  • Solar accounted for 43% of all new electricity-generating capacity added in the U.S. in 2020.
  • Solar capacity added in 2020 was more than 43% greater than the capacity added in 2019.
  • The utility solar sector set the record for the most capacity installed in a single year in 2020.
  • Over the next decade, an estimated cumulative 324 GWdc of solar capacity will be added which is more than three times greater than what has been installed through 2020.
  • Solar capacity growth will be spread across all market segments as distributed solar customers, utilities, states and corporations push to decarbonize the grid.

Learn more here.


CEOs Are Seeing Happy Days Ahead

PwC surveyed 5,050 CEOs in 100 countries and territories over January and February 2021 for the firm’s 24th Annual Global CEO survey.  The findings?  A record 76% of global business leaders predict that economic growth will improve this year.

Survey Highlights

  • 57% of US CEOs plan to pursue new M&A in the next 12 months
  • 63% of US CEOs plan to launch a new product or service in the next 12 months
  • 77% of global CEOs are seeking operational efficiencies as a top priority over the next 12 months
  • 48% of US CEOs plan to increase their investments in cybersecurity & data privacy (with 30% planning to increase investments by 10% or more)
  • More than 22% of US CEOs say they’re adopting new environmental, social & governance (ESG) disclosure standards

Learn more here.


2021 is Proving to be Another “SPAC-tacular” Year.

It is nearly impossible to read an article about Wall Street without coming across a mention about SPACs.  For those not familiar with the term, Investopedia defines SPAC as “a special purpose acquisition company with no commercial operations that is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company.”

Here are some interesting SPACs facts.

  • SPACs are often referred to as “blank check” companies.
  • While SPACs have been around for years, their popularity soared last year with their IPO fundraising hitting a record $83 billion (compared with $13.6 billion in 2019 and $10.7 billion in 2018).
  • SPAC activity in 2021 is far outpacing last year’s record year.  So far in 2021, SPAC IPO fundraising has hit a record $64 billion.
  • In 2020, the average SPAC IPO size was $335 million for 248 listings.
  • So far in 2021, the average SPAC IPO size is $317 million for 202 listings.
  • According to PwC, one of the primary reasons for last year’s SPAC spree was the market entry of high-profile SPAC sponsors with experienced management teams.
  • PwC also cited the fact that SPACs offer an exit opportunity for private equity owners looking to cash out on their investment in the private company target in a shorter timeframe than in a traditional IPO.

Here are some SPACs links to help expand your knowledge.

Learn SPAC 101 from CNBC.

Read about the benefits and challenges of a SPAC in this PwC article.

Visit SPACInsider to keep current on SPAC news and statistics.


Management Consulting Factoids + Trends

The team at ReportLinker (a tech-driven market research firm) has published a new report entitled “Management Consulting Services Global Market 2021:  COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030.”  Highlights of the report include:

  • The global management consulting services market is expected to grow from $819.79 billion in 2020 to $895.46 billion in 2021.
  • This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2%.
  • The market is expected to reach $1201.06 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 8%.
  • While COVID-19 constrained growth in the industry in 2020, it is expected that management consulting will recover from the shock.

Learn more here.


The Power of Manufacturing in the Charlotte Region

Did you know that the manufacturing sector ($26 billion) contributes nearly as much to the Charlotte region’s GDP as the finance sector ($28 billion)?  The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance has published a new report on the manufacturing sector that includes the following key highlights:

  • Over the past 5 years, the Charlotte region’s manufacturing sector has grown twice the national average.
  • The region is experiencing growth in sectors such as automotive parts suppliers, plastics and advanced textiles, machinery manufacturing, and energy manufacturing.
  • Manufacturing remains the largest sector by employment in 10 of the region’s 15 counties.
  • In 7 of the region’s 15 counties, manufacturing accounted for 27% or more of net new jobs over the past 5 years.

Learn more.


Be a One Percenter on LinkedIn.

The Croixstone team was fascinated by a recent article published by Entrepreneur Magazine.  The article suggests that because LinkedIn is a “content deficient” social media platform, it has more people consuming the content than creating it.  In fact, only one percent of LinkedIn’s 260 million monthly users share posts.

This fact creates a nice opportunity for professionals seeking to create greater visibility for their personal brands.  In contrast to other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, content posted on LinkedIn can still get visibility in the feed several days after being posted.

We recommend you read this article to learn how consistently posting relevant content on LinkedIn can grow your personal brand.

Read here.


Join Us at Packard Place Public House on Jan. 20th

Don’t miss the next Packard Place Public House virtual event and the opportunity to learn how to use your entrepreneurial and start-up skills to serve our community! Our CEO Patti Weber joins fellow panelist Eric Gorman of Wily and moderator Kristin Beck of Social Venture Partners Charlotte for a lively, fun and educational gathering.

Learn more and register!


Patti Weber Accepted Into National Accelerated Growth Program

We have news!  Croixstone’s CEO, Patti Weber, is one of 25 women across the USA accepted into the NAWBO Accelerated Growth Program.  New for 2021, the program is sponsored by Wells Fargo and features a premier suite of learning modules, high-level education and mentorship to help participants increase their market competitiveness and to position them to achieve the next stage of growth and expansion.

Learn more here.


New Year. New Possibilities.

Isn’t it terrific that we get the opportunity every year to hit the “reset” button? A fresh start.  A new runway to consider the possibilities to reimagine your life, your career and your personal growth in the year ahead.

Croixstone is launching into 2021 following a year of significant achievements where we:  

  • Celebrated our 4th business anniversary
  • Achieved record sales
  • Marked the 1-year anniversary of our Human Capital practice
  • Expanded our geographic service footprint to the western USA
  • Earned two national diversity certifications & one state diversity certification
  • Gained acceptance into FORTUNE Magazine’s new “Rebuild Program”
  • Introduced a new suite of services for Private Equity
  • Relocated to a larger office in Charlotte’s NoDa district
  • Launched a virtual series of professional development & networking events

While recognizing the continued health and economic challenges facing our nation, the Croixstone team is excited to build on last year’s momentum in making the most of 2021 together with our employees, clients, partners, friends and family.

Let’s go.