Hi everyone - prospective searcher here. I'm evaluating the search model in the current market environment in North America and would love some perspective from the community. The overall question I'm trying to assess is around the current market environment for deals.

Seems that there is more capital chasing deals now than 2-3 years ago and the impact of this may be that it is either taking longer to find a deal or more searchers are coming up empty handed than the past Stanford study would suggest. What is the community's perspective? Particularly on the following:

  1. Is there significantly more competition for deals? Where is this competition coming from (mid-market PE firms, strategics, other searchers, etc)?
  2. What has been the impact on valuations?
  3. How long on average is it taking searchers to conclude a search? Has this lengthened during COVID?
  4. Are more searchers coming up empty handed than the previous Stanford study would suggest?
  5. What is the attitude among sellers towards searchers? Any change vs. previous years?
  6. And broadly, is this a good time to start a search?

Appreciate any words of wisdom/thoughts!