Meet: Mark Bennett, former co-owner of Mitchell and McCormick and current Executive Vice President of Client Support, Harris Coordinated Care Solutions
Mark was the third employee at Mitchell and McCormick (M&M), which was originally founded as a certified public accounting (CPA) firm. Soon after he joined, M&M started to develop financial software for internal purposes but they quickly realized clients could utilize the solutions in their day-to-day operations and began offering solutions directly to their healthcare customers.
This shift in the business gave M&M the confidence to build out more solutions for their growing list of customers across the US, adding a practice management software product in the late 1980s. M&M developed an affinity for serving public healthcare agencies, thanks to the founder’s committee ties that developed their government funding models and policies. The founder retired in 1996 and Mark and another remaining executive took over. Mark was eager to experiment and grow the business but recalls “suffering the typical challenges of a small company – we had a frustrating cycle of growth followed by contraction and needing to refocus.” In 2013, they sold off a part of the business to do just that but regulatory hurdles and slow digital transformation for such a niche industry remained a heavy burden.
The thought of selling the business hadn’t crossed Mark’s mind, though calls from interested buyers were getting more frequent. The first call from Harris caught his attention because he knew Harris was a legitimate healthcare software provider and Harris’ businesses similar to M&M were growing. While it was evident that Harris was deeply rooted in the healthcare sector, Mark highlights, “their financial model was different than other private equity offers we received. A personal visit, hosted over a day-long meeting, to discuss the future of the business and my future is what set Harris apart. Their persistence paid off – I didn’t accept a second phone call from anyone else.”
Six weeks from Harris’ first call with Mark, the two co-founders signed a letter of intent and prepared to enter a new era with Harris. The acquisition has given Mark the ability to keep doing what he loves, to find and implement growth opportunities that he had to retreat from previously. In 2016, 2017, and 2018 Mark led the acquisition of strategic assets to broaden his business’ focus to achieve new avenues of growth.
What should Sellers know about Harris the acquisition process?
A critical and sometimes arduous part of the acquisition process is due diligence, but every step was done with honesty and integrity. “We did our own research on Harris and everything checked out”, notes Mark, “the level of trust develops quickly when you can have candid but productive conversations.” Harris has knowledgeable, in-house teams of finance and legal professionals to execute each step of the acquisition process in tandem with sellers to instill confidence in their decision and with Harris.
Connect with Mark Bennett to learn more about M&A at Harris.
Read more acquisition experiences: Iatric Systems and System Innovators.
Harris acquires vertical market software businesses, manages them using industry best practices, and builds them for the future. Through acquisitions, Harris has grown extensively from its roots in the utilities, local government, education, and healthcare sectors to operate over 150 businesses globally across more than twenty industries. Harris is an operating group of Constellation Software Inc. (TSX: CSU), one of North America’s most active acquirers of software businesses.