Focus on Florida

As ACG heads to Orlando for Intergrowth 2013, middle-market companies throughout Florida take notice

It takes just over an hour for members of ACG Orlando and ACG Tampa Bay to drive on Interstate 4 to get to each other's meetings, which they frequently do, in the state that plays host to this year's ACG InterGrowth 2013.

The two chapters often work together, says Scott Wall, the president of the board for ACG Orlando. His chapter was spun out of ACG Tampa Bay. Last year, the two chapters hosted a joint golf tournament.

All four of Florida's ACG Chapters, which have roughly 660 members collectively, get in on the collaboration for the state's ACG Capital Connection event. Since 2005, ACG Orlando, ACG Tampa Bay, ACG North Florida and ACG South Florida have annually brought Florida's dealmakers together at the event.

The 2013 event will be hosted by ACG Orlando on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. The event connects hundreds of private equity professionals, investment bankers and intermediaries, corporate executives, lenders, development officers and other professionals.

"I think it's a good synergy builder for the four chapters," says Wall. "It brings us together annually, and it has always been an important meeting for all of our members."

The event showcases Florida's industries, which include healthcare, defense and simulation, manufacturing, distribution, real estate and hospitality.

Hundreds of private equity professionals, investment bankers, corporate executives, accountants and other professionals attended the 2012 Florida ACG Capital Connection, hosted by ACG North Florida on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

Attendees were able to network at the conference's signature private equity/investment banker marketplace, as well as at a scramble golf tournament at Golf Club of Amelia Island, a poker tournament, the Brumos Porsche Driving Experience and closing reception sponsored by Everbank.

Middle-market companies contribute significantly to Florida's economy, especially when it comes to job creation. Statistics from GrowthEconomy.org show that privately-backed companies fare better in Florida than other types of companies.

Floridian companies backed by private capital have also created more jobs than other types of companies over the last 15 years of available data, according to research from GrowthEconomy.org, a website put together by the ACG in partnership with PitchBook and the Edward Lowe Foundation for Exceptional Growth Companies. The website's purpose is to provide a historical comparison of the performance of private capital-backed businesses and publicly-traded companies.

Between 1995 and 2009, the number of jobs at private-capital-backed companies in Florida grew 252 percent, according to the website. In contrast, other types of business experienced job growth of about 51 percent over the same time period.

The immediate past has been more of a struggle for Florida's private companies, but they still experienced a 9 percent increase in job growth from 2004 through 2009, the last five years of available data. Public companies fared better, producing job growth of about 15 percent, GrowthEconomy.org shows.

From 2004 through 2009, privately backed companies in the U.S. produced job growth of 9 percent, while other businesses lost nearly 2 percent of their jobs, according to the website.

For an overview of Intergrowth 2013, see editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn's feature "Welcome to ACG Intergrowth 2013."

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