Mergers & Acquisitions seeks nominations for the 12th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards, which will honor leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market in 2018. The deadline for nominations is end of day Friday, February 8, 2019. Click here to submit nominations. To determine the winners, Mergers & Acquisitions considers a variety of factors. We look for companies and individuals who overcame the challenges the year brought, embodied the trends of the period and took their businesses to the next level. Market leadership and performance are important, but league tables aren’t everything. Growth counts for a lot, especially when the rate of growth outpaces peers and the overall industry. Innovation also counts. We value companies that businesses. Thought leadership in the industry is also relevant. Looking at past winners provides a good guide to what we’re seeking. Last year’s winners included Campbell Soup, Huron Capital, Idera, LLR Partners, McGuireWoods, Stryker,Twin Brook and William Blair. For more information, read the full story: Call for Nominations: 12th Annual M&A Mid-market Awards Insight Venture Partners has invested $500 million in cloud data management company Veeam Software. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has also invested alongside Insight Venture Partners. Veeam has about $1 billion in sales, and helps more than 325,000 customers with cloud data backup and protection. The target will use the investment for organic growth and pursue M&A. Insight Venture Partners previously acquired a minority stake in Veeam in 2013. The PE firm was founded in 1995 and manages more than $20 billion. Data management companies are appealing to PE investors as companies become more efficient. MidOcean Partners has acquired construction data providers Hanley Wood and Meyers Research, and in 2017, ClearPoint Investment Partners has acquired a stake in data management company Shore Group Associates. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP represented Insight and Veeam. Deal news Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. has filed for a spinoff of its MoviePass unit, a discount-cinema service whose struggles to find a workable business model have left the parent company on the brink of delisting, Bloomberg News reports. Read the full story: Helios & Matheson files to spin off struggling MoviePass. Arsenal Capital Partners has acquired Accumen from Accretive. Accumen offers end-to-end strategy and services to drive value and long-term sustainability for healthcare providers’ clinical laboratories, outreach services, patient blood management systems, and imaging services. MTS Health Partners and Ropes & Gray advised Arsenal. Nexus Health Capital and Greenberg Traurig advised Accumen. Separately, Aresnal completed its $1.25 sale of Elite Comfort Solutions to Legett & Platt (NYSE: LEG). Wex Inc. (NYSEL Wex) is buying Discovery Benefits, an employee benefits administrator, for $425 million. “This combination strengthens our overall value proposition through new partnerships, integrated products, and the opportunity to offer a more comprehensive set of solutions," says Wex CEO Melissa Smith. KeyBank National Association is buying Laurel Road Bank's digital lending business. The deal does not include Laurel's bank branches. Debevoise & Plimpton is advising KeyBank. RBC Capital Markets and Fried Frank are advising Laurel Road. Dover (NYSE: DOV) is buying car wash equipment manufacturer Belanger. Kissner Group Holdings has bought NSC Minerals, a producer of salt products, from Atlas Partners. People Moves Chrisitan Keller was hired by investment bank Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI) as a managing director where is leading financial sponsors coverage in the DACH region. He was most recently with HSBC. Ann Sharkey is also joining the firm as a managing director, where she is focusing on hedge funds and alternative investors. She was previously with Castlelake and Carval Investors. Featured content Mergers & Acquisitions has named 36 leaders the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Kainos Capital's Sarah Bradley, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors' Nishita Cummings and Pelham S2K Managers' Venita Fields. All 36 are outstanding dealmakers both inside and outside of their firms. This year, we asked the featured dealmakers to tell their own stories through Q&As, including their advice for women. "Actively lobby and ask from day one to work on deals, so you can gain dealmaking experience early in your career," advises Bradley. "Too often, women are steered into functions like marketing, business development, and investor relations – the 'softer side' where it is easier to place a female. The excuse often used is that the females don’t have the deal experience of their male counterparts. That is why you must be an advocate for yourself and work on deals from the very beginning." Related: Meet the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Mergers & Acquisitions asked leading dealmakers about their outlook for the middle market in 2019. Watch the video conversations, shot at ACG Philadelphia's M&A East: It is a seller's market, and deal activity is expected to remain steady, says Ramsey Goodrich of Carter Morse & Goodrich: Outlook 2019: Great time to sell. Private equity firms and strategic buyers will use their excess cash and capital to look for deals, says Bharat Ramprasad of Stifel Nicolaus: Outlook 2019: Excess capital to fuel M&A. Rising interest rates and regulatory changes may increase volatility, cautions Mark Emrich of Murray Devine: Outlook 2019: Keep an eye on rising interest rates. Private equity firms are giving back - organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. Read the full story, The Big Give. GTCR managing director Phil Canfield learned the fundamentals of private equity investing at the Business Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin. Now he and his wife Mary Beth are giving back to UT’s McCombs School of Business. In recognition of the $20 million gift, the program has been renamed the Canfield Business Honors Program. "Private equity investors are wired to look for opportunities to get the very best returns for their investment," Canfield tells Mergers & Acquisitions in a Q&A. Read the full story: GTCR's Phil Canfield donates $20M to UT's McCombs School of Business. Dealmakers share their thoughts on Giving Back in video interviews conducted by Mergers & Acquisitions at ACG Philadelphia's M&A East. Check out our video with Reed Smith's Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are. And watch our conversation with Baker Tilly Capital's Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together. The construction data industry is fragmented, and there is a growing demand for technology that will help contractors, drawing deal activity particularly from strategic buyers. Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) and Trimble (Nasdaq: TRMB) are among the buyers in the sector. “There is a huge opportunity to streamline all aspects of construction through digitization and automation,” says Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost. Read the full story: Strategic buyers look to capitalize on construction data demand. The Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saintsall won their games and will move on to the championship title round. Off the field, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. Check out: NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE. Video Healthcare Investing Remains CompetitiveHealthcare companies are trading at an all time high. Healthcare tourists that don't focus on healthcare investing are driving the prices up, says Jonathan Lewis, a Managing Partner with Sheridan Capital Partners.SPONSOR CONTENTM&ASeptember 28, 2017Events ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit brings together women in the middle-market dealmaking community for a day focused on networking and knowledge sharing on Jan. 17 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Alexa Von Tobel, chief innovation officer of Northwestern Mutual, keynotes. Exponent Women kicks off the new year with an evening of networking on Jan. 24 at The Campbell, at New York's Grand Central Terminal. Jazz Age financier John W. Campbell converted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923, and it has recently been restored by design firm Ingrao Inc. ACG Boston, ACG Connecticut, ACG New Jersey, ACG New York & ACG Philadelphia host ACG Northeast Dealmaking at the Mountain at Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont Jan. 27-29. The event provides a chance for middle-market M&A professionals from across the northeast to come together for two days of close knit networking, shared conversations and valuable time spent to deepen your relationships within the deal community.