Industry Q&A – Marc Cooper with Tim Shea – January 2022
I had the pleasure of sitting down recently with Tim Shea, Managing Director at Solomon Partners and Head of Business Services. Tim’s been incredibly busy growing this part of our business and we talked about his plans to expand into new sub-sectors and why the business services environment is so busy right now.
- What excited you about the opportunity to establish the Business Services group at Solomon Partners, and how does it fit alongside the firm’s other key verticals?
Solomon Partners is well-known in the market for being subject matter experts and thought leaders in each of our covered verticals. My team and I have approached the market in the same way – be the go-to team in our sector with the strongest relationships, industry knowledge and transaction credentials to provide value added advice and M&A execution for our clients. It was an incredibly good fit from that perspective.
- As group head of the business services group, what is your role?
Over the last several years, I have partnered with Robbie Kelley (an MD in our group) to build a market-leading facility and residential services practice. We have been fortunate to work with industry leaders across the sectors on several marquee transactions and deliver exceptional results to our clients, including several high watermark valuations. Priority number 1 is to continue our momentum within our facility and residential services practice. In that regard, I will continue to lead that practice and deliver the senior-level attention and commitment to our M&A transactions that has been a hallmark of our practice.
In addition to that, we are actively recruiting senior-level bankers across other business services verticals. As I mentioned, our targeted bankers are thought leaders in their sectors with strong M&A track records. As we grow into additional verticals, I will work with those bankers to develop those franchises and achieve synergies across the group and firm. These additional verticals include education services, human capital and professional services, environmental services, business process outsourcing and several others.
- Interestingly, you started your career as an M&A and securities attorney. How does that experience and perspective help you now as a banker?
While being an M&A attorney was grueling, it was great training for being a banker and trusted advisor to clients. It gave me a more comprehensive view of the transaction process and allows me to understand some of the structuring nuances and legal complexities that often create hurdles during the latter stages of an M&A process. The ability to bring additional perspectives to the table and work with counsel to solve problems for clients has been very valuable. And while I try to stay out of the attorneys’ lane, sometimes I can’t help myself.
- Despite joining only four months ago, you’ve been incredibly busy and have already built up a large team. With a full year ahead of us, what are you most excited about?
Our sector is hot and there is a ton of opportunity. While maintaining a very high bar and discipline in terms of client selection, our pipeline is more robust than ever. Given valuations and interest-levels in our sector, velocity continues to increase and hold periods shorten. I’m excited to see this play out in 2022 and expect we will have several high-profile sell sides completed.
We are also doing some unique things on the marketing and industry networking front. Most notably, we are hosting a facility and residential services summit in Chicago this spring. We already have a tremendous lineup of presenting companies and continue to add more each week. These will be high-growth companies across the facility and residential services landscape ranging from ~$20m-$100m+ of EBITDA. The conference will include company presentations, panel discussions, 1×1 meetings and other informal networking opportunities. Solomon Partners has been tremendous in terms of supporting our marketing efforts as we’ve onboarded and grown the practice.
- You launched a Facility Services Speaker Series featuring Scott Salmirs, President and CEO of ABM Industries, as the inaugural speaker at your January 18, 2022. webinar. Can you provide some key themes you and Scott discussed?
As CEO of a company that employs over 140,000 associates and services over 4 billion square feet of facilities across 15 markets every day, Scott is in a unique position to provide real-time insights into some of the major issues of today, including back-to-office and back-to-school and the current labor market and associated challenges.