Here’s a look from one perspective on the mergers and acquisitions market for 2023
Editor’s Note: In keeping with Funeral Director Daily’s recent trend at year-end we are bringing you more information on what to look for as we move into 2023. The following is from (with permission) the Foundation Partners Group (FPG) website and is an interview with FPG’s Zach Mayer, the head of the company’s Nationwide Merger & Acquisition Business Development:
Zach Mayer: As funeral and business professionals, we are still navigating an evolving landscape post-pandemic, from inflation to recruitment challenges. I shared my thoughts on why there’s reason to be optimistic – but realistic – in 2023.
Q. Could you sum up 2022 in three words?
Zach Mayer: BIG CHANGES QUICKLY. We’ve got a lot of factors converging at the same time in the funeral business and across the broader economy. Increasing interest rates have placed pressure on financing costs for owners utilizing mortgages and business loans. Inflation is starting to subside, but we’re still seeing spikes in everything from fuel to office supplies. There is a continued shortage of talent across the profession, while wages continue to increase. Plus, many funeral home owners continue to approach retirement age, which adds to the demand for qualified funeral professionals. Successfully navigating these significant changes has been a challenge for everyone in the profession as we strive to continue to serve families with the quality they expect.
Q. What are some of the trends you’re tracking for 2023?
Zach Mayer: Covid forced all business owners to get lean, thoughtful, and efficient. The funeral home owners I’ve talked to picked up a lot of good practices such as engaging with families digitally and optimizing use of third-party vendors. That forced resiliency has proven to be a blessing as we face the current economic climate amidst softer call volume in many markets. We’re excited to partner with these firms to accelerate technology and innovation investment for the next generation of families and consumers.
Q. Foundation Partners Group expanded its reach into key markets. What acquisitions stand out the most to you from 2022?
Zach Mayer: We’re proud of our new partnerships this year – they are all standouts and play an integral role in our growth as we continue to reach more families. Foundation Partners Group will continue to expand in both new and our existing markets. While local trends and demographics may differ, our mission remains the same – partner with locally-owned cremation-forward businesses to augment their community relationships and commitment to serve with the resources and support of a larger operator.
Q. Is bigger always better when it comes to acquisitions?
Zach Mayer: No, some of the best firms we’ve partnered with are smaller operations with strong local ties and a history in their community. Large firms certainly offer scale and resource opportunities, but each business of all sizes places an important role in serving their local communities. Foundation Partners Group offers the speed and flexibility to partner with firms of all sizes to provide the capital and know-how to support them both locally and on a national level.
Q. Did the profile of business owners change in 2022 – that is, are owners still motivated by retirement to complete their succession plans?
Zach Mayer: The number of owners exploring succession plans remains elevated. The average owner is over 65, and roughly two-thirds don’t have a succession plan in place. Given the continued barrage of headwinds facing business owners in recent years, we’re increasingly also hearing from younger funeral professionals who have decided now is the right time to partner with a larger organization – even if they’re not ready to retire. We expect 2023 to be another busy year for partnerships and look forward to exploring those possibilities with family-owned funeral service businesses in the new year.
Q. Based on what you’ve learned from 2022, are there any significant changes in your business development strategy for next year?
Zach Mayer: You see a lot of headlines about our partnerships, but what isn’t publicly discussed is the continuous investment we make in our infrastructure, technology, team members, and local communities. While the macro economy continues to be choppy, Foundation Partners remains committed to this plan of investment and growth as we build enduring businesses in communities we serve across the country. 2023 will be business as usual across our organization.
We’ll be out on the road, meeting owners, and letting them know that Foundation Partners is well-positioned to preserve their family’s legacy and ensure growth and stability across all economic conditions. We currently operate across 21 states, and expect that figure to grow in 2023 as we partner with like-minded funeral professionals.
Here is the website for Foundation Partners Group.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Digital eternity is just around the corner. Wired
- Eight Green Burial options: Some are greener than others. Healthnews.com
- Funeral pre-planning aims to reduce stress. The Gatesville Messenger (TX)
- Reward for info on Beaver County’s mysterious embalmed head increased for one week. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
- Have an old flag? Funeral home accepting flag donations for veteran cremations. MLive (Michigan)
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