Marc Moyers, the new head of KPMG LLP’s U.S. buyouts practice, is concerned about a recent falloff in deal volume.
“In the first half, activity was steady and consistent with what it had been the previous six months, and certainly up from the depths of the recession,” Moyers told Buyouts. “It has slowed down in recent weeks.”
A number of factors could be affecting the market, Moyers said. He mentioned concern about credit conditions in leveraged finance, where lenders have been tightening in recent weeks, and volatility in the stock market. (Days after the interview, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which already had been trending lower, suffered a one-day drop of more than 512 points. Then Standard & Poor’s also cut the U.S. sovereign credit rating, further roiling the markets.)
By most measures, economic activity remains slow, with high unemployment and sluggish growth, Moyers said. “There’s another level of uncertainty coming into the market.”
Moyers, 56, in July was named national sector leader of KPMG’s U.S. private equity group, succeeding Shawn Hessing, who is retiring from the firm. A 30-year veteran with a background in accounting, Moyers is a former managing partner of the KPMG office in Richmond, Va., where he still lives. But he said he spends half his time now working out of the New York office, coordinating cross-functional teams of KPMG audit, tax and advisory pros.
The group focuses on the special needs of buyout firms, and Moyers said he also oversees coordination with the lawyers, bankers, engineers, consultants and HR pros who may become involved in deals and exits.
Moyers has spent five years in the buyouts practice, most recently as the global lead partner on the
For all the uncertainty in the market, buyout shops are sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars of dry powder and corporate balance sheets are strong, Moyers said. “In many cases, uncertainty creates opportunities.”