As the promise of 2022 looms on the horizon, most people are anxious to close the books on what is likely the most unsettling year — from the pandemic to politics to supply chain shortages — we will ever experience. Strong leadership has never been more essential than it is today. To share their best leadership practices, Az Business magazine sat down with Arizona business leaders to watch in 2022, including Jim Afinowich, founding principal and designated broker for  IBG/Fox & Fin.

READ ALSO: With $2 trillion in private equity looking to buy, is it time to sell business?

Highlights of Jim Afinowich interview

Afinowich is M&A Source’s “Advisor of the Year” for 2021. He has more than a quarter century of successful experience in the M&A industry and has managed and supervised more than 500 transactions. He is well-known as a creative problem solver.

IMPACT OF PANDEMIC: “The pandemic is like a lot of other things we experienced in history of M&A. There are ups and downs in the market, and those ups and downs are good for some people and bad for some other people. This last challenge that we had with the pandemic postponed a lot of business sales that were affected by what was going on … So depending on who you are, it was a very good year or a very bad year.”

WHEN TO SELL: “Now is a good time to sell. Before the pandemic, there was $1.5 trillion in private equity looking for businesses to buy and a lack of good businesses on the market. During the pandemic, the amount of capital increased. Today, there is more than $2 trillion in private equity chasing deals. So that capital overhang is going to last for a while. That money isn’t going to get all spent in the next six months. The next year, two years, there will be plenty of cheap money in the market and a lot of desire from investors for buying businesses.”

ARIZONA ENVIRONMENT: “Arizona is a very good place to start a business, buy a business, grow it and sell it because there’s growth here in the market. We have one of the fastest-growing markets in the United States, one of the best construction markets in the United States. So it is an excellent place to have a business.”

OUTLOOK FOR 2022: “I think 2022 will continue to see very strong M&A activity, as some of the businesses that have held off going to market in the last year start coming to market. That will add more inventory to the market. It’ll mean more available businesses, but the amount of money that is out there to buy businesses is still going to exceed the supply for several years to come.”