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Middle-Market Companies Actively Pursuing Growth Strategies

November 30, 2016, 07:19 AM
Filed Under: Economy

Mid-market executives are more confident about future growth and are actively pursuing multi-faceted growth strategies in the coming year. These are some of the observations from Jeff Kilrea, Group Head and Managing Director, CIT Sponsor Finance, a division of CIT Group Inc., a leading provider of commercial lending and leasing services, in “Middle Market Economic Outlook,” (, the latest piece of market intelligence in the CIT Executive Insights video series.

“Middle market executives indicated they expect to see a lot of geographic expansion in 2017,” said Kilrea. “Alternatively, we anticipate that we will see these companies look at other ways to deploy capital, i.e. via new technologies and digital strategies, as well as new product line extensions. Businesses are also forecasting greater investments in marketing/advertising and the workforce.”

Results from the annual CIT Voice of the Middle Market survey indicate that middle market executives expect federal interest rates will begin to rise; however, despite this, signs point to an ample supply of capital for the middle market in 2017.

When asked about the prevalence of M&A versus private equity investment in 2017, Kilrea said, “Acquisitions are just as probable as investment in organic strategies. Private equity fund managers see growth potential consistent with the middle market owners and leaders. We expect private equity to look at select opportunities in energy and energy-related services as oil prices stabilize. We also expect the healthcare and technology sectors to be of interest for PE firms. Private equity capital will continue to fuel sector growth in 2017; however, the frothy deal environment may be a precursor to a future downturn.”

Kilrea also points out that optimism is dampened somewhat by concerns over obstacles, in particular: data security, changes in the healthcare system, uncertainty in our tax policies, global terrorism and cyber threats. There is also the “known unknown” in this post-election year: How will federal policies affect American business? However, he believes that business leaders are being proactive should there be dramatic changes in the tax regulation and/or governmental spending declines.

Founded in 1908, CIT is a financial holding company with more than $65 billion in assets. Its principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A., (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender) has more than $30 billion of deposits and more than $40 billion of assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services principally to middle market companies across a wide variety of industries primarily in North America, and equipment financing and leasing solutions to the transportation sector. It also offers products and services to consumers through its Internet bank franchise and a network of retail branches in Southern California, operating as OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank, N.A.

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