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Baird Hosts 2020 Government & Defense Conference Featuring John Song, Jean Stack

Baird hosted its 2020 Government & Defense Conference on Thursday, a full day virtual event featuring a wide variety of experts across government, academia and industry to present their insights regarding the latest M&A trends and market value drivers influencing the defense and federal market. 

John Song, managing director of Baird, gave the opening address to welcome the virtual attendees to the conference and breakdown the company’s financial performance over the course of 2020, which included its recent involvement in Jacobs’ acquisition of The Buffalo Group as well as NuWave’s acquisition of BigBear.

Following his opening remarks, Baird’s Senior Research Analyst for Aerospace and Defense Peter Arment took the stage to provide a Wall Street based perspective on the federal sector and Jean Stack, managing director for Baird, followed him to provide her insight into the Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) landscape and current market trends. 

“In 2020 alone, government services companies acquired 5.6 billion in transaction value, and this year is not over. We expect that this M&A velocity will continue to impact organic growth into next year,” Stack said

Concerning the overall outlook for 2021, Stack noted that there is a changing buyer landscape, with both new buyers and emerging buyers as being additive to processes. With fewer buyers in the market, prioritization will drive faster deals, creating a preemptive process quicker results.

Stack also highlighted market themes, including 5G, space, directed energy, electronic warfare, hypersonics and cyber, which are in high demand. “We expect a very active first half of 2021, with more billion-dollar deals in the market, along with the emergence of new tier one players,” Stack concluded. 

In addition, other notable speakers that were featured at the conference included many Wash100 Award recipients such as Stu Shea of Peraton, Robert Cardillo, Nazzic Keene of SAIC, Kevin Phillips of ManTech, David Berteau of Professional Services Council (PSC), David Zolet of CentralSquare Technologies, Microsoft’s Rick Wagner, Sue Gordon, VADM Raquel Bono, Michael Kahn of Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions, Bruce Caswell of Maximus, Tiffanny Gates of Novetta Solutions, Kevin Robbins of Wolf Den Associates, Julian Setian of SOS International as well as numerous other top GovCon executives.

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