By now, the so-called BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China are well known to business people. But Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who gave them the nickname in a seminal 2001 report, later identified another group of lesser-known, fast-growing countries that he predicted would have a significant impact on the global economy. In 2005, he called them the Next 11, consisting of: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Phillippines, South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam. In 2011, Goldman Sachs followed up by launching the N-11 Equity Fund (GSYAX), which invests in 10 of the 11 countries. (Goldman does not invest in Iran, due to U.S. sanctions.) The fund has delivered a year-to-date return of about 5 percent as of May 31, and O'Neill recently retired as chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
In this issue's cover story, we focus our M&A lens on the 10 emerging markets O'Neill identified. We examine the opportunities these developing nations offer U.S. dealmakers, such as inexpensive labor and a rising middle class, as well as the obstacles, such as political unrest and dangerous working conditions. Middle-market dealmakers are increasingly drawn to emerging markets as they look for new sources of deals.
The project involved the considerable efforts of our entire editorial team. Thanks are due to assistant managing editor Anthony Noto, reporter Allison Collins, contributing editor Danielle Fugazy, research editor Toby Walters and art director Nikhil Mali.
Closer to home, we venture to ACG Boston for the chapter's Growth Conference 2013, where we spoke with former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) about the threat of losing manufacturers to other countries. He is concerned about the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices that went into effect on Jan. 1. See Private Equity Perspective for his thoughts. To view photographs from the event, see The M&A Scene in Watercooler. And to watch videos with Brown and other dealmakers at the conference, such as ACG Boston president Ben Procter of the Watermill Group, visit http://themiddlemarket.com/video.
Mary Kathleen Flynn
Mergers & Acquisitions | TheMiddleMarket.com