News & Events

Investing in the IC: Event Summary


Avascent, McKenna Long, KippsDeSanto, and NextFed sponsored a discussion on “Investing in the Intelligence Community (IC)” for financial sponsors and strategic investors in New York City on May 16. Event speakers provided market and investment insights for operating within the Intelligence Community and discussed key transactional lessons.

  • Customer Insight: Analytic Transformation

Panelists discussed the “analytic transformation” underway as the IC shifts focus and resources to intelligence integration and analytics. This is driving adoption of commercial solutions and a shift in culture and tradecraft, given the community’s historic focus on ever-expanding collection capabilities. Industry opportunities are emerging with new customer requirements for analytic technology and support services related to new intelligence forms (e.g., social media, human geography analysis). However, analysts are increasingly aware of the capabilities and limitations of these tools, further challenging industry to deliver innovative and intuitive solutions.

  • Market Opportunity: Transition to the Cloud

Not immune to cost pressures, the Community has prioritized movement to the cloud—and expects to lean heavily on industry for implementation instead of developing solutions in-house. With evolving requirements and a relatively inexperienced acquisition community, industry can develop relationships and align its expertise across the Community to work on integrated solutions with multiple customers that have historically operated in isolation.

  • Transactional Lessons: The Right Value, Timing, and Structure to Closing Deals
    • Value Proposition: For companies serving the IC, mission proximity closely correlates to revenue stability. However, mission-critical work often leaves providers in a niche and crowded space. While firms with large subcontract or back-end support exposure are expected to face pressure from budgetary uncertainty, near-term middle market opportunities are likely to emerge.
    • Timing: Speed is crucial. Having a strong team that can thoroughly diligence a target while quickly flagging risks enables buyers to come to the table with full information.
    • Structure: Unexpected interruptions are standard on diligence efforts, but structuring a deal with an experienced legal and advisory team helps buyers reach a viable valuation and ensure post-transaction success. As panelists remarked, there is always a way to get a deal done—it requires a strong investment thesis and the right set of advisors to identify and manage risks.

Speakers & Panelists

Tim Garnett, Partner, Avascent

Kevin DeSanto, Managing Director, KippsDeSanto

Joanne Isham, Co-Founder of NextFed, Former Deputy Director of the NGA

Fran Landolf, Former Senior NSA Executive and Current NSA Advisory Board Member

Alan Wade, Alan Wade and Associates, Former CIO of the CIA

Jeremy Silverman, Partner, McKenna Long

Jim Hunt, Co-Founder, NextFed

Jeremy Silverman, Partner, McKenna Long

Fred Funk, Former VP of Corporate Development for KEYW

Peter LaMontagne, CEO, Novetta Solutions