Thought Leader of the Year

Congratulations to Christopher Snider for Winning Thought Leader of the Year 2016! 

Christopher Snider, President/CEO, Exit Planning Institute, empowers business owners and advisors to proactively embrace exit planning as a management and life planning system that enables best-in-class performance in the owner’s financial, business and personal life in his book “Walking to Destiny.”

"I am flattered to receive the 2017 Thought Leader of the Year on behalf of the more than 600 Certified Exit Planning Advisors (CEPAs) worldwide. I would like to express my thanks to Mike Nall and his entire leadership team, BKD, the selection committee, and all members of the Alliance.

I would also like to recognize a few people that inspired me to write Walking to Destiny – 11 Actions Owners Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value and Unlock Wealth. Peter Christman, the cofounder of EPI, once told me “there are a lot of people that can do, but not a lot of people that will do.” That idea firmly planted in my head has always inspired me to back up my ideas with action. And I would like to thank Scott Snider, my son and business partner, whose energy and passion inspires so much energy and passion in me. And finally, I would like to acknowledge the entire staff at EPI, but especially my always positive VP of Marketing, Brooke Norman, who at every roadblock in writing Walking to Destiny would encourage me with, “we can do this!”

Walking to Destiny was written for business owners to provide them a roadmap to building a more valuable business that one day is positioned to transition – preferably on their timeline and terms- enabling them to harvest what is for many a life’s worth of work.

Baby Boomers own nearly two-thirds of the privately held businesses in the US market. They will continue to mature into their 70’s over the next 17 years. This tees up what could potentially be the most robust M&A market in history.

There is at least one thing the members of AMAA and EPI have in common. We all want to see more businesses bought and sold. AMAA members want to buy and sell these businesses. EPI members want to prepare more of them to be bought and sold.

I truly believe that if we work together we can make the middlemarket M&A market over the next 10-15 years historical. I believe we can do this. I believe that we will do this. And speaking for our industry, I believe this is our destiny."

- Christopher Snider


The Alliance has partnered with BKD to recognize the 2016 Middle Market Thought Leader of the Year.


About the Award
If the middle market were a country, its GDP would rank it as the fourth-largest economy in the world, just behind Japan’s.* Comprised of over 300,000 companies with sales between $5 million and $500 million, the middle market provides a third of all private sector GDP and jobs, making it the true engine of American economic development and growth.

Yet, the marketplace has primarily focused its attention and resources on businesses at either end of the spectrum: very small, “mom and pop” style businesses or big, multi-billion dollar businesses. While it is a vital part of our economy, the middle market is often largely ignored and under served by the popular media, educators, and lawmakers.

Seeing a lack of recognition for leaders in this sector, in 2009, the Alliance of M&A Advisors (The Alliance) instituted the Middle Market Thought Leader of the Year award to honor individuals in the Private Middle Market Financial Community who create and advocate new ideas that add value to the marketplace, through the publication of works that promote research and higher standards of excellence. Furthermore, these contributions add to the body of knowledge serving as a solid foundation for The Alliance’s education and credentialing programs.

*National Center for the Middle Market, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University


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