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Mid-Market; CEO’s Speak by Michael Henry

September 17, 2018

Mid-market companies are an essential part of our economy. They contribute more than $210 billion to our Gross Value Add (GVA) and employ more than 1.9 million people across the country.

Yet the mid-market is often overlooked – by the media, by the public and by service providers – which means there are few opportunities for mid-market leaders to share best practices, trends and ideas.

At Houser Henry & Syron LLP, our focus is on helping mid-market businesses thrive. We know that sharing experiences and ideas is key to success in today’s market. That is why we sat down with a broad cross-section of our clients to find out what is at the top of their agenda.

In this, the first of a regular series of articles based on interviews with mid-market leaders, we share five of the biggest concerns on the minds of Canadian mid-market CEOs and leaders.

  1. Uncertain trade environment: As the world moves towards territorialism and protectionism, mid-market CEOs are worried about the impact of a NAFTA renegotiation or tariff war on their export revenues and their supplier costs.
  2. Regulatory change: From changes in employment law through to new environmental regulatory requirements, some CEOs are worried about the rising cost and effort involved in managing the business and maintaining compliance.
  3. Succession planning and talent acquisition: As skilled employee tenures shorten and experienced leaders and managers start to retire, mid-market CEOs are facing growing long-term leadership planning and development challenges.
  4. Competitive pressures: New competitors – and new disruptive business models – are creating competitive pressures on mid-market companies who sometimes lack the capital and capacity to match technology investments.
  5. Consolidation in private markets: With investors and corporations now looking to deploy investment capital, many mid-sized businesses are either finding themselves the target of an unwanted takeover or they are seeing their supply chains rationalize into larger units.

From a management perspective, our conversations with mid-market leaders suggests that CEOs are starting to feel the pressure of continued disruption. In some cases, the disruption is new – new technologies, new competitors and new customer demands are all putting pressure on today’s mid-market companies. But, at the same time, many of the challenges are also rather familiar – changing regulation, succession planning and cost management, for example.

Given the pace of change in today’s marketplace, we expect some of these issues and disruptions to evolve rapidly. Some will create significant opportunities for mid-market firms who, arguably, are able to respond to changes in the market with more agility than their larger competitors. Others will create growing challenges for mid-market decision-makers, particularly those with smaller management teams and fewer external resources.

Indeed, in today’s increasingly disruptive business environment, mid-market decision-makers need advisors they can trust. They need partners with deep experience solving similar challenges for other mid-market companies. They need professionals with specialized skills and broad business acumen to augment their team and feed into their decision-making process. They need tailored services that respond to their unique situation and market context.

At Houser Henry & Syron, our entire focus is on serving the mid-market. We recognize that the mid-market is the engine of Canada’s economy and we are dedicated to helping this vital segment succeed. Our professionals work hand-in-hand with mid-market decision-makers to help them plan the best future for their organization. That is why our firm is increasingly viewed as the Champion of the Mid-Market in Canada. It’s a reputation we are proud of.

I encourage you to contact me directly to learn more about the issues facing mid-market organizations, or to discuss your own unique market challenges and opportunities.  Please feel free to contact me at MHenry@houserhenry.com or 416-860-8021.

[1] The MME Sector In Canada, HSBC Bank Canada, 2015