David Braun


David Braun is the founder and CEO of Capstone Strategic and author of Successful Acquisitions: A Proven Plan for Growth. His specialty is helping companies grow through acquisition.

Through consistent focus on this one specialty, David has built up a formidable expertise that has led to an acquisition success rate way beyond the industry average.

David Braun is a sought-after educator who has been teaching senior executives and financial professionals for over 21 years. His live seminars and online webinars are in high demand, and his blog is widely read by M&A professionals, business owners and all who wish to understand the dynamics of growth through company acquisition.


Market Criteria, Market Research

Markets First

I always emphasize to my clients the critical value of painstaking market research and selection before considering individual prospects. Simply by conducting thorough research, you immediately separate yourself from the majority of company buyers and place yourself at an important competitive advantage. Choosing Market Criteria Choosing the correct market criteria may be tricky. Here are […]

Pathways to Growth

Five Pathways to Growth

As you focus your attention on the growth of your company, there are five key pathways to consider: Grow Organically Exit the Market Be the Low-Cost Provider Do Nothing Pursue External Growth Before you even start planning an acquisition, remember there are other growth options available. It is an important realization that you do have […]

Cultural Integration Publicis Omnicom

Publicis-Omnicom Merger May Face Cultural Integration Challenges

The merger between two advertising giants Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group has caused quite a stir. The two companies combined to form Publicis Omnicom Group would have stock-market value of $35.1 billion, making this the largest advertising merger ever. Although Chief Executive Maurice Levy and CEO John Wren both stress this is a “merger of […]

Recent Posts

Can Walmart be Fashionable? Big Box Giant Buys Online Men’s Retailer Bonobos to Compete with Amazon

Can Walmart be Fashionable? Big Box Giant Buys Online Men’s Retailer Bonobos to Compete with Amazon

While most of the news has been focused on Amazon’s acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods, last week, Walmart also executed a deal. The big box retailer known for its low prices will acquire men’s fashion retailer Bonobos for $310 million as part of its strategy to build an apparel business to compete with Amazon. […]

Amazon to Acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion to Break into Grocery Industry

Amazon Acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion to Break into Grocery Industry

Amazon may finally be able to break into the grocery industry by purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. While Amazon already has a grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, which it first launched about 10 years ago, it has struggled to grow in the supermarket business. Amazon excels at ecommerce and, for the most part, has been […]

3 Reasons Why Nordstrom May Go Private

3 Reasons Why Nordstrom May Go Private

Faced with slow sales, the Nordstrom family is exploring taking the iconic department store private. It’s no secret that despite the strong economy, the retail industry has been hit hard and the rise of ecommerce has impacted brick and mortar stores across the world. Department stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears are struggling to […]

Deere Acquires Construction Equipment Company to Combat Falling Sales

Deere Acquires Construction Equipment Company to Combat Falling Sales

Deere plans to acquire German road construction company Wirtgen Group for $4.88 billion in order to expand its road construction operations and reduce its dependence on farm equipment. Wirtgen’s products span the entire road construction sector including milling, processing, mixing, paving, compaction and rehabilitation. Deere, most famous for its John Deere tractors, is heavily reliant […]

3 Reasons Acquisitions Fail and How You Can Avoid Them

3 Reasons Acquisitions Fail and How You Can Avoid Them

Done right, acquisitions create value and accelerate a company’s growth setting you up for long-term success. However, experience tells us about 77% of acquisitions fail. Deals often fall apart before they close or fail to generate their expected value. Here are three common reasons why acquisitions don’t work out and how you can avoid them. […]

Why Focus is Key to Successful Company Growth

Why Focus is Key to Successful Company Growth

Companies that grow in meaningful ways always take on a highly strategic approach to growth. This is because focus produces results. Lack of focus is like wandering around without any purpose or any clear direction of where you want to go. While you may walk for many miles, you’ll never reach your destination. On the […]

how to grow your business 5 options

How to Grow Your Business – 5 Options for Business Leaders

Do you want to grow your business? Of course you do. After all, growth is the key to a successful company and, without it, a business is almost certainly declining. The real question isn’t if you want to grow your business, but how you will go about doing so. The natural trajectory of a new […]

What the Middle Market Can Learn from Big Mergers

What the Middle Market Can Learn from Big Mergers

Multi-million and billion dollar deals dominate the news, and sometimes it can be difficult to see how these transactions apply to your company. But if you look past the zeroes and dig down into the “why” of an acquisition, you’ll find there are many lessons for middle market executives looking to grow their companies through […]

Negotiation in M&A Don't Ruin the Buyer Seller Relationship

Negotiating in M&A: Don’t Ruin the Buyer-Seller Relationship

Negotiating for an acquisition is quite a bit different than any other type of negotiation. Unlike a debate or argument, where your goal is to soundly best the opposite side no matter the cost, in acquisition, you must achieve your goal while maintaining a positive relationship with the opposite side. This is because you’ll likely […]

3 Ways to Combat Rumors in Mergers and Acquisitions

3 Ways to Combat Rumors in Mergers and Acquisitions

From the somewhat plausible to the downright outrageous, rumors abound whenever a transaction is announced. While some rumors may be innocuous, unfortunately others may have lasting, damaging effects on your company and employee morale so it’s important to quickly put a stop to them. Here are three practical steps to kill gossip and reduce confusion. […]

Verizon Acquires Straight Path

Verizon to Acquire Straight Path to Build 5G Network

Verizon will acquire Straight Path Communications for $3.1 billion, beating out AT&T’s initial offer of $1.25 billion. The primary driver for the deal is accessing Straight Path’s millimeter wave spectrum which will be key to building a faster 5G network. Disruptive technology and evolving consumer habits are reshaping the telecommunications industry at a rapid pace […]

5 Things Middle Market Leaders Should Know About Today’s Market

5 Things Middle Market Leaders Should Know About Today’s Market

Last week the Wall Street Journal hosted the Middle Market Network to discuss issues relevant to middle market firms in the US. The good news is that middle market companies are getting healthier. With an increase in M&A activity and a boom in the construction industry, middle market businesses are growing and CEO confidence is […]

Due diligence more than a hammer webinar

Due Diligence – More than Just a Hammer

Due diligence is more than just hammering away at a company to find out everything that might be wrong with it. It is about taking a focused approach throughout the acquisition process to uncover key points that will help you methodically evaluate a company to make sure it is the right fit. Traditionally, due diligence […]

How to Face the Pressure of Today’s Business Environment

How to Face the Pressures of Today’s Business Environment

All companies, even those that are profitable, face pressure from today’s economic environment.  Whether its regulator hurdles, increased competition, geopolitical risk, or new technology, the world today is constantly changing. Unfortunately, many companies realize this too late and “suddenly” find themselves in an impossible situation that is incredibly difficult to reverse. The best way to […]

How to Bridge the Price Gap in Acquisitions

How to Bridge the Price Gap in Acquisitions

Price is often the number one focus in mergers and acquisitions and everyone is eager to get down to the numbers. However, as you might expect, buyers and sellers have very different expectations on price, which can lead to friction between the two parties. On the one hand, most sellers plan to offer their business […]

David Braun, CEO of Capstone and Kirk Drake, CEO of Ongoing Operations at the NACUSO 2017 Network Conference.

How CUSOs and Entrepreneurs Can Build Successful Partnerships – Insights from NACUSO

Credit unions and CUSOs are using their investing powers to be more innovative and entrepreneurial when it comes to technology and new products and services. Many are exploring co-investing with individuals and business founders who are looking for additional capital from credit unions. While these partnerships between credit union investors and individuals generate fresh new […]

Amazon Acquires Souq

Why Acquisition Is Not All about Price: Amazon Acquires Souq

Many are convinced that the buyer with the most money always wins the deal. Although many acquisitions by financial acquirers and strategic buyers are driven by the desire to grow revenue and the company’s bottom line, it is possible to win an acquisition without offering the most amount of money. A successful acquisition is about […]

4 Reasons to Consider Not-for-sale Acquisitions

4 Reasons to Consider “Not-for-Sale” Acquisitions

Think you can only acquire a for-sale company? Think again. Although it may seem impossible to buy a “not-for-sale” company, a company that is “not-for-sale” simply means it is not actively thinking about selling. However if the owner receives a compelling offer, they might change their mind. Here are four reasons why a not-for-sale acquisition […]

Going with your gut - common acquisition mistake

Going with Your Gut: A Common M&A Mistake

“We’ll know it when we see it,” many leaders say when asked to define their ideal acquisition. Unfortunately, this approach is a recipe for disaster. How will you know if it is the right company for acquisition based solely on your gut instinct? This is not how we, as business leaders, approach other decisions so […]

Krispy Kreme Owner Acquires Panera to Compete with Starbucks

Krispy Kreme Owner Acquires Panera to Compete with Starbucks

JAB Holding Company announced it would acquire Panera Bread for $7.5 billion to further its presence in the US fast-casual restaurant market. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2017. The acquisition also gives JAB access to Panera’s experienced management. Chief Executive Ron Shaich and the management team will continue leading Panera after the […]