Over the years, investors have been drawn increasingly to the lower middle market, the sub-segment of the middle market in which deals are worth $250 million or less. In this issue's cover story, we take an in-depth look at the space. To prepare for the project, assistant managing editor Anthony Noto traveled to the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors' (AM&AA) Winter Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he met with dozens of private equity investors, investment bankers, attorneys and other advisers who work on lower middle-market transactions, including Matthew Carroll from WestView Capital Partners and Jeri Harman from Avante Mezzanine Partners.

Back in New York, we spent time with many other M&A practitioners who operate in the lower middle market, such as BCMS Corporate's Robert Goldsmith and Brynwood Partners' Joan McCabe, a consummate investor in consumer products, including Zest. Both talked about the nuances of the lower middle market, where tactical moves, rather than strategic ones, rule the day. The result is an in-depth look at the hallmarks, challenges and approaches at work in today's lower middle market.

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