What happened to all the baby boomers?

October 20, 2015

Since the most recent economic downturn M&A professionals have been touting the exodus of Baby Boomer business owners as the driver of the next big wave of M&A activity in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article expressing the idea that this Baby Boomer wave simply never hit.  

Below are a few factors that I believe have delayed the Baby Boomer exodus:

They work later in life.

They are in better health and generally live longer.

High levels of job satisfaction. 

Coming out of an economic downturn, many business owners are still trying to understand when the right time to sell is and are not in a hurry as they see continued improvements in the economy. 

The environment of inflated businesses valuations is creating a disconnect between business owner expectations and private equity buyer capacity. 

A recent study by the Transamerica Center For Retirement finds that 65% of all Baby Boomers plan to work past the age of 65. At some point these Baby Boomers will indeed exit, however it looks like the expected influx of sellers will trickle in over a much longer period of time than originally expected.