Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier,'" wrote Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It's a sentiment shared by many dealmakers throughout this January issue of Mergers & Acquisitions. As you'll see in the Private Equity Perspective column, we recently polled PE investors, corporate buyers, investment bankers, attorneys and other M&A advisers to gauge their predictions for 2014. A whopping 71 percent of survey participants said M&A will improve in the new year. Jones Day's consummate M&A attorney Robert Profusek agrees - at least when it comes to the middle market, as reporter Allison Collins writes in Experts Corner.

In our cover story, authored by assistant managing editor Anthony Noto, contributing editor Danielle Fugazy, Collins and myself, we highlight six promising industries that flourished in 2013 and are poised to continue to grow in 2014: health care; technology, media and telecommunications (TMT); financial services, insurance and real estate (FIRE); retail; energy; and manufacturing. From technology innovations to new regulations, these industries are seeing great change and with it, great deal flow. One company that has emerged from trends in both the TMT and FIRE sectors is Opus Global Holdings LLC. Our cover features Opus CEO Doug Bergeron, the former CEO of VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY). Bergeron reunited with backer GTCR LLC to form the new company, which is looking to procure technology assets being sold by banks.

Deals in some of these sectors, including health care, TMT and manufacturing, are also blossoming between middle-market companies in Europe and investors in the U.S., as I discovered when visiting London to moderate a panel at ACG EuroGrowth. Read our feature on cross-border deals and view photos from the event at The M&A Scene in the magazine and online in the slideshow section of www.themiddlemarket.com

As we usher in a new year, it seems an appropriate time to acknowledge our colleagues in art and production, especially art director Nikhil Mali; production manager Barbara Lau; videographers Jonathan Carrera, WenWyst Jeanmary, Youl Ah Kim and Elizabeth Solomeina; digital product manager Mick Wurster and proofreader Keith Button. As Sir Walter Scott said: "Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer."

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