In the challenging times we face now, it’s more important than ever to come together as a community and recognize the people and companies that excel and lead. We invite you to join us in honoring the 2019 winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Awards.

In contrast with the volatile coronavirus-driven conditions unfolding in 2020, the dealmaking environment of 2019 was remarkably stable. Private equity enjoyed a record-breaking year, with firms raising more money than they had in any previous year.

Among the PE firms benefitting from the auspicious fundraising climate was Vista Private Equity, which raised a $16 billion fund – the largest technology-focused PE fund ever raised. Mergers & Acquisitions is honoring Vista founder and CEO Robert F. Smith with our 2019 Dealmaker of the Year Award. In addition to leading his firm’s unprecedented fundraising, Smith excelled in philanthropy. When he spoke at the commencement of Morehouse College, he announced he would pay off all the student loans of the HBCU’s 2019 graduates, providing a helping hand in the student debt crisis facing many U.S. families.

The financial services sector saw a lot of consolidation in 2019. Piper Jaffray wins our 2019 Deal of the Year for buying Sandler O’Neill to form Piper Sandler, which instantly became a leading investment bank in the financial services sector. And Stifel wins our 2019 Investment Bank of the Year for growing dramatically and making several acquisitions.

Here are this year's winners:

Piper Jaffray takes home Deal of the Year for creating a powerhouse in investment banking for financial services when it bought Sandler O’Neill, forming Piper Sandler.

Robert F. Smith wins Dealmaker of the Year for leading Vista Equity Partners to raise the biggest tech-focused private equity fund ever and for paying off the student loans for the Morehouse College Class of 2019.

Audax Private Equity scores Private Equity Firm of the Year for closing many deals while celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Sumeru wins Private Equity Seller of the Year for closing a record number of exits.

ACI Worldwide scores Strategic Buyer of the Year for purchasing Speedpay to become a giant in payment technology.

Stifel wins Investment Bank of the Year for making a slew of acquisitions to grow.

Twin Brook Capital Partners takes home Lender of the Year for significant growth since in its first five years.

Kirkland & Ellis wins Law Firm of the Year for deal volume, advising on 400 U.S. PE-based deals.

Also see, 5 years of M&A Mid-Market Award winners: Piper Jaffray, Robert F. Smith, Audax and Twin Brook among this year's honorees.