Myth #1: All majors are consolidating to create a Big 3. Simply not true. There are great companies at every level of this industry that thrive on their own and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. There are also those companies that are struggling in this environment or have capital issues, and they will need to merge or sell to stay alive. But they are a select, unfortunate group.
Myth #2: Clients only want four or five major service providers. Partial myth. As corporate services continue to move through the procurement process and global procurement departments of major corporations are becoming decision-makers, two objectives are evident: 1) reduce cost; and 2) deliver value. Reducing costs can be accomplished by very large firms through economies of scale, but value is a very different animal and the "voice of the client" will tell you that clients want real strategic advice and that is the domain of the best – not the biggest.
Myth #3: Every roll-up or acquisition strategy is a process to build a platform and sell it. Absolutely false. Two of the largest companies in our space have grown exponentially by design and have every intention to stand alone. Speaking personally, this is where we differentiate Avison Young with the industry and are so excited about our strategic plan. It takes into account scale for the purpose of delivering for clients and employees as well as shareholders, but is a sustainable partnership model.
Myth #4: Everything is personal in our business. That is just wrong on so many levels. Great personal relationships with clients are augmented by great brands, and those brands are backed by great platforms and culture. Also, executives do not leave one company to "get even" with another. People join or start other firms because there is a better opportunity and a platform for success.
Myth #5: Every company with debt is going bankrupt. Nope, only the poorly managed ones.
Myth #6: Annually stated, every company and producer is having or will have their best year this year or next. We are an optimistic bunch, but...... well, you know the answer!