Week of January 29, 2024
Last week, EFCG hosted our 2024 Rising Leaders Conference in New York City. This year's conference included a record number of attendees, with over 90 participants representing firms from across the AEC space, to learn and discuss key topics impacting the industry.
The event kicked off with EFCG Managing Partner, Rebecca Zofnass, presenting out the AEC Industry Overview, highlighting key trends and industry insights from EFCG's proprietary survey data. Attendees also participated in conference sessions covering topics such as Artificial Intelligence and Technology, M&A, ESG, Compensation, DEI, and Leadership. Day 1 concluded with a panel session featuring Greg Kelly (President and CEO of STV) and Chris Nelson (CFO of McKim and Creed) who shared their advice and the lessons they've learned throughout their careers. Michelle White (President and CEO of Harris & Associates) and Gwen Perez (CFO of Freese and Nichols) capped off the conference discussing the steps that rising leaders from any background can take to capture their own success in their careers.
EFCG would like to thank all of the attendees participating in this year's Rising Leaders Conference! For more information regarding the 2025 Rising Leaders Conference or any of the upcoming EFCG Executive Conferences and Forums, please reach out to Kim Thieme (KThieme@efcg.com).
House Passes Bipartisan Tax-Cut Bill Benefiting Businesses and Low-Income Families
The House passed a bipartisan tax-cut bill that could benefit companies and low-income families. The bill was supported by a broad coalition and passed with a 357-70 vote.
The $78 billion Smith-Wyden agreement would revive several tax provisions curtailed by the 2017 tax law. This includes allowing businesses to deduct domestic research costs immediately instead of over five years, which could improve the cash flow of companies.
The bill would also expand deductions for equipment purchases and interest costs, which could be particularly beneficial for AEC firms investing in new technology or infrastructure.
The business and child tax credit changes would last through 2025, aligning their expiration with the bulk of the tax cuts from the 2017 law and potentially setting up a significant tax debate next year.
Despite bipartisan support in the House, the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Major Funding for Infrastructure Projects
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a $1.2 trillion, five-year bill, is nearing its halfway mark, with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announcing $4.9 billion for major highway, bridge, and other projects.
The funding comes from two programs: 'Mega', created in the IIJA, and Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA), established in 2015 and expanded by IIJA. INFRA’s total funding for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 is $8 billion, while Mega’s funding totals $5 billion for the same period.
The DOT awarded 39 grants to 37 projects in the latest round, with two projects receiving two grants each. Eleven projects fall under the Mega category and 28 are INFRA projects.
The largest grant, $1 billion, went to an INFRA project for the replacement of the Blatnik Bridge, which links Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis. The largest Mega grant totaled $600 million for a “seismically resilient” new Interstate-5 bridge between Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore.
Demand for the new Mega and INFRA funds greatly outran the funds available, with the DOT receiving 117 applications for the Mega dollars, requesting a total of $24.7 billion, and 190 applications for the INFRA funds, seeking $24.8 billion.
January 29, 2024
Global Infrastructure Solutions Inc. (GISI), a California-based consulting and engineering services firm, has acquired Malaysia-based infrastructure engineering firm, T&T Konsult (T&T), and Singapore-based fire engineering consulting firm, SHEVS IFT Consultants (SHEVS). Post acquisition, T&T will rebrand as Asia Infrastructure Solutions and SHEVS will retain its brand identity. The acquisitions significantly expand GISI’s global presence and expertise. Alex Kwan, GISI Asia CEO, commented, “By adding T&T and SHEVS into our portfolio, we are expanding our reach and enhancing our ability to deliver innovative infrastructure solutions in Asia.”
January 30, 2024
Northern Engineering, a Colorado-based civil engineering and survey firm, has merged with EPS Group, Inc. (EPS), an Arizona-based civil engineering firm. The merger bolsters Northern Engineering’s suite of services and expands their pool of resources. Nick Haws, President of Northern Engineering, commented, “For Northern Engineering, joining forces with EPS Group is a win for our associates, clients, and communities. Creating broader, more diverse opportunities for our team members and elevating the client experience have always been part of our mission and this merger enables us to realize those goals. As a privately-held company, EPS has the resources, experience, service mix, and culture that fit Northern’s current and future needs.”
January 30, 2024
LaBella Associates, a New York-based architecture, engineering, environmental, and planning firm, has acquired Brooks Washburn Architecture (Brooks Washburn), a New York-based full-service architectural and architectural engineering design firm. The acquisition strengthens LaBella Associates' Northern New York State presence, bringing its total number of New York offices to 14. Additionally, the team of architects from Brooks Washburn will join the LaBella Associates team. Jeff Roloson, President of LaBella Associates, said of the acquisition, “We are excited to welcome the Brooks Washburn team to the LaBella family. Their broad architecture experience and deep relationships across the North Country will enable us to more effectively serve the North Country community in order to meet their specific regional needs.”
January 30, 2024
RTM Engineering Consultants (RTM), an Illinois-based engineering and consulting firm, has merged with Alban Engineering, a Maryland-based MEP consulting firm serving K-12, higher education, worship, and other public and community facilities. The merger opens new opportunities for RTM by expanding their presence on the East Coast and combining team experience and resources to better serve educational clients nationwide. Tony Mirchandani, CEO of RTM, said of the merger, “We have great respect for the technical expertise possessed by the Alban Engineering team. Their well-established reputation within the educational market is a testament to their wealth of experience and dedication to building lasting client relationships. We are truly privileged to be welcoming them to RTM.”
January 31, 2024
Terracon, a Kansas-based engineering consulting firm, has acquired Texplor of Dallas, Inc. (Texplor), a Texas-based geotechnical and environmental drilling services firm. Texplor is now known as Terracon and will continue to operate throughout Texas from its Dallas location. Jeff Roberts, Texas Division Manager at Terracon, commented, “We are pleased to welcome Texplor to our team, and allow our clients to benefit from their environmental and geotechnical drilling services, staff expertise, and high-quality soil sampling equipment.”
February 1, 2024
Geosyntec Consultants (Geosyntec), a Florida-based consulting and engineering services firm backed by Blackstone, has acquired Gradient, a Massachusetts-based environmental and health risk sciences consulting firm. The acquisition expands Geosyntec’s services in risk sciences and enhances its abilities around scientific analyses of challenging environmental, health, and safety issues. Manu Sharma, President of Gradient, commented, “Since our inception, Gradient has held steadfast focus on our dual mission of providing trusted scientific analysis on complex environmental and health issues while supporting a collaborative, collegial, and multidisciplinary team. Geosyntec was built on similar values…together, Gradient and Geosyntec will harmonize our strengths to address the most consequential environmental, health, and safety challenges facing our clients around the world.”