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.

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