Industry merger and acquisition activity grew 14% to about 200 deals nationwide last year but was relatively flat in the tristate region, says Mick Morrissey, managing principal at A/E/C management consulting firm Morrissey Goodale, in Newton, Massachusetts. Even so, many buyers continued to view the tristate region as a good place to spend their merger and acquisition dollars.
"New York tends to be a harder place [for an outside firm] to get into. That said, it tends to be one of the most popular states" for deals, Morrissey says. "That's because it is a significant economy—a world unto itself that's a very attractive place to be because it has so much work," when compared with many other regions, he says. Given the state's stringent licensing and practice laws, it is also easier and quicker for an outsider to enter the market via acquisition, he adds. New Jersey is another favorite market, largely because of its proximity to New York.