Hollie Haynes, the former Silver Lake partner who founded technology-focused private equity firm Luminate Capital Partners, has won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for the 2018 Dealmaker of the Year. In raising Luminate’s second fund with $425 million of capital, Haynes secured the firm’s position as a consummate investor in middle-market enterprise software companies. The San Francisco firm, which Haynes founded in 2014 after a successful 15 years at technology investing powerhouse Silver Lake, has completed nine deals and delivered one exit and two recapitalizations to date. As the firm’s leader, Haynes works on deals, but also spends a lot time talking with investors and management teams, in addition to handling firm issues like financials, tax and IT. “We believe we have earned the right to take a leading position in our sector of the market,” Haynes said in an interview. Haynes was previously honored by Mergers & Acquisitions, when she was named one of 36 dealmakers on our list, the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

Excelled. Innovated. Inspired. That’s what the eight winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ 12th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards did in 2018. Our awards honor the leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market. In addition to Luminate Capital Partners’ Hollie Haynes, award winners, included Nike, Fortive, TA Associates, the Riverside Co., Harris Williams and more. Read our full coverage: Meet the winners of the M&A Mid-Market Awards: Nike, Fortive, TA, Harris Williams.

Related: Read more about Mergers & Acquisitions‘ three annual special reports, including the M&A Mid-Market Awards, the Rising Stars of Private Equity, and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

Deal news
Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL) is buying real estate financial services firm HFF Inc. (NYSE: HF) for $2 billion. “Increasing the scale of our capital markets business is one of the key priorities in our beyond strategic vision to drive long-term sustainable and profitable growth,” says Jones Lang CEO Christian Ulbrich. Advisors to Jones Lang include: JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) and Sidley Austin. Advisors to HFF include: Morgan Stanley and Dechert.

3i Group is investing $179 million in data management company Magnitude Software Inc. The enterprise value of the deal is $340 million. Magnitude’s software helps businesses extract and analyze data efficiently. “The data opportunity, and challenge, is only getting larger with the increasing amount of data that companies generate and need to analyze,” says 3i North America co-head Andrew Olinick.

LLR Partners has invested in CareATC, an employee-sponsored healthcare marketplace. Corporations, labor unions and state and local governments across the U.S. rely on CareATC’s shared-site and onsite clinics to provide primary care, preventative health screenings, disease management, referral management and wellness for their employees, helping to improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care. Advisors to CareATC include: Canaccord Genuity LLC and PrayWalker. LLR Partners was represented by Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Gryphon Investors has acquired a majority stake in Learn Behavioral from LLR Partners. The target provides personalized behavioral treatment services for autism and related disorders. Advisors to Gryphon include: Berkery Noyes and Kirkland & Ellis. Advisors to Learn include: Harris Williams and McGuireWoods.

Janney Montgomery Scott is buying FIG Partners. Janney, an asset management and capital markets firm, will deepen its ties to the banking sector by buying FIG, known largely for investment banking and equities research. Read the full story: Janney Montgomery Scott to buy FIG Partners.

Hicks Equity Partners-backed Standard Industrial Manufacturing Partners has merged with DH Pump and Supply, a manufacturer of parts and pumps that are used in hydraulic fracturing activities. Advisors to Standard include: Wick Phillips, Montgomery Coscia Greilich LLP and RCP Advisors. Advisors to DH Pump include: Infinity Capital Partners and Kessler Collins. Financing is being provided by Orix Energy Capital.

ZF Friedrichshafen has acquired a majority stake in 2getthere Holding B.V, a manufacturer of electric and self-driving cars. Hampleton Partners advised the target.

Performance Foods Group Co. (NYSE: PFGC) is buying Eby-Brown Co., a distributor of pre-packaged candy, snacks, beverages and tobacco products.

HD Vest Financial Services’ parent Blucora is buying 1st Global for $180 million. Haynes and Boone is representing Blucora. Read the full story: HD Vest’s parent to buy 1st Global in $180M bid for tax-focused dominance.

After soaring to over $3 billion in AUM organically in less than two years, Cresset Asset Management has added M&A to its growth engine, snapping up $500 million RIA Evanston Advisors. The acquisition is part of Chicago-based Cresset’s push to add scale and deepen its reach in its home base as well as in Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver and West Palm Beach, where it already has offices. Read the full story: After rapid growth through direct investments, Cresset turns to M&A.

People Moves
Nikhil Bhat and Winston Song have been promoted to managing directors at middle-market private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners. Bhat focuses on business services, while Song concentrates on the consumer sector.

Carey Davidson and Karina Stahl have been named partners at Monroe Capital.

Justin Hamill was hired by law firm by Latham & Watkins as a partner. Previously with Paul Weiss, Hamill focus on M&A in the entertainment, media and sports sectors.

William Sorabella has joined law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as a partner. Sorabella was previously with Kirkland & Ellis, and focuses on private equity and M&A.

Brad Staley has been named CEO of Atlantic Street Capital-backed Advancing Eyecare. Staley was most recently the CEO of medical instruments provider United Scope.

Featured content
The Duke University Blue Devils, along with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, the University of Virginia Cavaliers and the Gonzaga University Bulldogs, rank as the top four seeds in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, which begins on March 21 and culminates in the national championship on April 8. This year, March Madness offers fans unprecedented access to online betting, thanks to a May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. More Americans are expected to place bets on the NCAA tournament than the Super Bowl, with the American Gaming Association’s predicting that about $8.5 billion in wagers will be placed on the tournament. Online betting and data companies, including sportsbooks from DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars, are drawing basketball fans and interest from investors.

Related: March Madness: DraftKings, FanDuel, Action Network draw fans, dealmakers.

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.

In Mergers & Acquisitions’ annual look at strategic buyers, we see significant deals aimed at enhancing the customer relationship, including Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) purchase of PillPack, Nike Inc.’s (NYSE: NKE) acquisitions of Invertex Ltd. and Zodiac Inc. and Target Corp.s’ (NYSE: TGT) acquisition of Shipt. Technology plays a key role in many transactions. But while technology is enabling developments, it’s not an end unto itself for many corporations. Instead, strategic buyers are using innovations as a means to achieve goals. Based on analyzing hundreds of recent deals, Mergers & Acquisitions has identified seven goals corporate dealmakers hope to accomplish through M&A transactions today: Integrate data with software; improve the customer experience and relationship; expand and improve distribution; process payments more efficiently; leverage tech trends, like autonomous vehicles; make manufacturing processes more efficient; and achieve better outcomes and efficiencies in healthcare. “Strategics have been really active,” says John Neuner, managing director, Harris Williams. “They are aggressive in pursuing the assets they want, as long as it fits within their strategy. Scale is critical to them, and they have to meet consumer demands by adding new capabilities.”

Related: 7 reasons why smart companies Amazon, Nike, Target are doing M&A.

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 in M&A. The list is based on volume of completed 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: KPMG, Houlihan Lokey, Goldman Sachs, William Blair.
Related: M&A soared in 2018; companies confident about dealmaking in 2019.

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.

Related: Meet the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

Events
The ACG Chicago Women’s Network is hosting a lunchtime conversation with Dorri McWhorter, the CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, on March 19 at the University Club in Chicago.

ACG New York’s Women of Leadership is hosting a golf event and reception on March 21 at Konnect Golf in Manhattan. The event brings together female dealmakers from private equity firms, investment banks and lenders.

Exponent Women LLC is hosting an evening of networking and conversation with leading economists at the New York office of Alliance Bernstein on April 4. Speakers include Lindsey Piegza, chief economist, Stifel Fixed Income, and Kathleen Fisher, head of wealth and investment strategies, Alliance Bernstein.