From the M&A Mid-Market Awards to strategic buyers, from tech M&A to our list of top investment banks, here is a rundown of what we've been covering at Mergers & Acquisitions:

Top investment banks in PE-backed deals

Top investment banks in PE backed deals

Mergers & Acquisitions profiles the top 28 investment banks of 2018, with KPMG, Houlihan Lokey, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), William Blair and Lincoln International ranking as the five most active investment banks in private equity-backed deals. The list is based on volume of completed PE-backed deals, with PitchBook as the data provider. It was a good year for dealmaking, with activity in the U.S. middle market exceeding $400 billion, the first year to achieve the milestone.

Related: Top investment banks in PE-backed deals: KPMG, Houlihan, GS, William Blair
Related: M&A soared in 2018; companies confident about dealmaking in 2019.

Winners of the 2018 M&A Mid-Market Awards

Winners of the 2018 M&A Mid Market Awards

We're continuing to honor the winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ 12th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards. Our awards honor the leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market. If you haven't already, say congratulations to the 2018 winners:

Deal of the Year: Fortive Corp.’s $775 million acquisition of construction software developer Gordian from Warburg Pincus LLC was a transformative deal for the buyer and for the construction industry as a whole.

Dealmaker of the Year: Hollie Haynes raised Luminate Capital Partners’ second fund with $425 million of capital, securing the technology-focused private equity firm’s position as a consummate investor in middle-market enterprise software companies.

Private Equity Firm of the Year: TA Associates invested a record $2.8 billion in new portfolio companies (more than double the previous year). The firm also celebrated its 50th anniversary, and completed its 500th investment.

Private Equity Seller of the Year: The Riverside Co. completed 16 exits, made 60 investments, and delivered a record fundraising year, as the firm marked its 30th anniversary.

Strategic Buyer of the Year: Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) bought Zodiac Inc. and Invertex Ltd., bringing aboard “world-class data-science talent and best-in-class tools to power 1:1 relationships with consumers through digital and physical consumer experiences.”

Investment Bank of the Year: Harris Williams completed 87 transactions in 2018, the most in the firm’s history.

Lender of the Year: Monroe Capital grew AUM by $1.8 billion, or 35 percent, over the previous year, bringing the total to $7 billion.

Law Firm of the Year: Goodwin grew by double digits across key financial metrics, marking the firm’s sixth consecutive year of record revenue and profits, with technology-rich practice areas driving growth.

Read our full coverage: Meet the winners of the M&A Mid-Market Awards: Nike, Fortive, TA, Harris Williams.

If the shoe fits....apparel makers buy to customize

If the shoe fits....apparel makers buy to customize

The way consumers shop continues to change. Customers want to put their own touch on products, not wait too long for them and in most cases, never step foot in a store to buy them. Apparel and sneaker retailers, such as Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), are embracing these challenges by snatching up companies that can provide customized products to customers, and advancing digital capabilities to businesses.

Related: Sports retailers Nike, Foot Locker, buy digital startups to help customize sneakers

Is your portfolio ready for digital transformation?

Is your portfolio ready for digital transformation?

A common mantra in the business world is “Every company is a technology company now.” We hear it repeated ceaselessly by a host of industry pundits, tech reporters and consultants. That’s not only because it’s catchy – it’s also a valid point. The line between “regular company” and “technology company” has been blurring for decades, and for private equity firms, that means every company in which they invest is a technology company.

Be sure to read the full guest article by Saggezza's Arvind Kapur: Is your portfolio ready for digital transformation?

10 PE firms excelling at tech M&A

10 PE firms excelling at tech M&A

Technology M&A is thriving, and private equity firms are hot on the trail of innovations that will drive sustainable value to customers and make companies more efficient, more effective and less expensive to run. Among the developments appealing to PE investors are: artificial intelligence, data management, data virtualization, digital marketing, healthcare IT, industrial automation, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine learning, payment processing and Software-as-a-Service. To gain more insights into what kinds of tech deals will dominate the field in 2019, Mergers & Acquisitions reached out to 10 private equity firms that are active investors in technology: Francisco Partners, Genstar, Great Hill, HGGC, Insight, LLR, Riverside, Silver Lake, TA and Vista.

Related: 10 private equity firms share strategies for tech M&A.