Managed Services Experts Launch Merger & Acquisition Firm

Managed Services Experts Launch Merger & Acquisition Firm

Three veterans of the managed services industry have launched Cogent Growth Partners, a consulting firm that assists MSPs with mergers, acquisitions and post-acquisition integration services. Cogent surfaces as M&A activity in the managed services industry seems to be accelerating. Here's a look at the Cogent co-founders, and their business strategy.

At Cogent, the managing partner team includes:

  • Michael Halperin, an IT services specialist who has more than 20 years of industry experiences. A Xerox veteran, Halperin also plays a key role at Transformation Strategies, a consulting firm that helps solutions providers become MSPs.
  • David Schafran, another well-known leader at Transformation Strategies. Schafran has also held key managed services positions at such companies as Devise Associates and Exenet. Schafran has twice landed on our MSPmentor 250 list (which tracks the industry's top executives, entrepreneurs and experts) and is a business advisor for the MSPAlliance, an association that serves MSPs.
  • Rick Murphy, the founder of Streaming Media Corp., a broadband video streaming specialist that grew via multiple acquisitions. Akamai ultimately acquired the resulting business for $150 million. Murphy also focuses on management consulting as president of BizDev LLC.

What's the Strategy?

During a phone conversation yesterday, Schafran mentioned that Transformation  Strategies continues to grow and thrive -- including a first-time engagement in Europe.

But the Cogent Growth Partners team came together because they see a unique opportunity in the market: While some consulting firms assist MSPs with M&A activity, Cogent goes the extra mile (or kilometer...) because it can also assist with back-end integration services and post-acquisition sales and technology strategies.

Indeed, all three Cogent managing partners -- Halperin, Schafran and Murphy -- have real-world experience either building or running MSP practices, or advising organizations on business development.

No doubt, there's plenty of M&A activity across the managed services market. Just last week, All Covered -- an MSP that blankets North America -- acquired The I.T. Pros of San Diego, Calif. And MSPmentor hears at least one piece of M&A chatter each week.

Still, a growing list of folks hopes to assist MSPs with potential M&A engagements. Martin Wolf Securities has advised scores of VARs, MSPs and integrators on M&A activity. And MSPAlliance President Charles Weaver launched Weaver & Associates to assist MSP M&A activity.

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