Behind Jack Nicklaus’ Marketing Alliance With Generational Group

By Generational Group


“We share many of the same core values, in life and work.”

Jack Nicklaus could have teamed up with anyone.

In March 2021, Nicklaus – considered by many to be the greatest golfer in history – formed a unique corporate alliance with leading middle-market investment bank Generational Group. The Dallas-based, privately held financial services firm has offices in 16 North American cities and specializes in helping business owners with strategic growth, enterprise valuation, and full or partial exit strategies.

“Without question, Jack could choose to work with any investment firm in the country,” said Ryan Binkley, Generational Group’s CEO. “He chose us. That’s an honor, and it’s a testament to the type of company we’re striving to create here.”

Nicklaus was in Dallas last week for “The Generational Salute: A Tribute to Our Troops”, a fundraising event sponsored by Generational Group that is held each year in conjunction with the Veterans Day holiday. The two-day event raised money for foundations that improve the lives of our nation’s veterans by providing critical resources and services.

Giving back to the community is just one more connection between the Golden Bear and Generational Group.

“I’ve always taken pride in choosing the right partners, whether in golf or in business,” Nicklaus said. “The Generational Group is family-owned, like-minded. We share many of the same core values in both life and business.”

“I also believe in the importance of creating a legacy, leaving things better for the next generation,” Nicklaus continued. “That is part of Generational’s mission as well. They are focused on what a client is trying to accomplish in business, in life and for future generations.”

Generational Group and Nicklaus share many of the same core values, including integrity, focus, preparation, commitment to family – and a belief in giving back to the communities where we live and work. Thus, the marketing alliance between Generational and Jack Nicklaus is more than just an endorsement deal. The three-year agreement makes Generational a Nicklaus Companies’ partner for helping business owners plan strategic growth, enterprise valuation, exit strategies and multi-generational planning.

Generational’s suite of financial services includes mergers and acquisitions, business consulting, and wealth advisory services.

Generational is also working with Nicklaus Companies to develop a five-year strategic growth plan for Jack’s companies, as well as with business development and lead generation for Nicklaus Design, the renowned Nicklaus golf course design company.

Jack Nicklaus is one of the world’s most iconic brands, not only in the sports world but in global business as well. Commonly referred to as the “Golfer of the Century”, with a record 18 major championships, Nicklaus is a renowned entrepreneur and business owner, having created dozens of companies over 50 years. In 2007, Nicklaus partnered with golf entrepreneur, banker and philanthropist Howard Milstein to institutionalize the Nicklaus brand and its global business – which is similar to the goals of Generational’s clients, who seek to monetize their business and establish a legacy for future generations.

“Jack Nicklaus is the gold standard,” Milstein, Executive Chairman of the Nicklaus Companies said. “Beyond golf— where he left so indelible a mark—what Jack has accomplished in business and philanthropy is equally remarkable. There is perhaps no greater responsibility or honor than being entrusted with protecting and enhancing this legacy. We look forward to continuing our work with the Generational Group to establish success for both our companies.”

In conjunction with the new relationship, the Golden Bear has contributed a series of videos on the Generational website describing his approach to golf, to business and to life – on topics that include market timing, preparation and working with the right partners.

A Unique Partner to Growing Companies

Based in Dallas and with offices in 16 North American Cities, Generational ranks near the top of most league tables for deals up to $1 billion. The firm is home to more than 250 professionals whose goal is to help clients with growth strategies designed to ensure business success and, when the time is right an exit strategy, with either a full or partial sale of their business.

“We combine the capabilities of the large ‘bulge bracket’ banks with the agility of a boutique,” Binkley said.

“Ultimately,” he continued, “we want to be known as a different kind of investment bank – more focused on client relationships as we work towards a transaction, or whatever our clients’ goals are.”

In 2020, the firm was listed in Refinitiv’s 2020 rankings as the No. 1 investment bank in deals closed for valuations up to $25 million and No. 2 up to $100 million. The firm was also ranked No. 8 in deals valued up to $500 million––one of only two privately held investment banks in the top 10.

Binkley points out that many Generational executives are themselves former business owners, so they have the “business owner’s DNA.”

“We understand this journey: the challenges, the emotions and the risks. We have a unique understanding, which we believe translates into a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” Binkley said.

A Banner 2021 in Middle-Market M&A

In October 2021, Generational Group closed its 1,100th deal – just six months after doing so on its 1,000th deal. The firm’s closings are up more than 60% year-to-date over 2020, which had previously been the firm’s best year.

“This is very gratifying for us,” Binkley said, “as we strive to make a difference in the lives of our clients and their families.”

A major advantage for Generational Group is its data on more than 34,000 potential global buyers that tell the firm what they’re looking for. Generational leverages technology through its proprietary platform, DealForce, which allows buyers to efficiently preview acquisition opportunities in the industries where they have interest.

Generational Group also offers services in growth consulting through the Generational Consulting Group and wealth management through Generational Wealth Advisors.

In the end, the relationship between Generational Group and Jack Nicklaus and his companies comes down to trust – the same critically important element business owners seek as they work to solidify their legacy and ensure a prosperous future for themselves and their families.

"I know how important and how emotional it is to create a company and build it over many years in hopes of one day providing for the next generation,” Nicklaus said. “This is why I believe we identify so well with the Generational Group’s clients and prospects.”  

To learn more about Generational Group and its alliance with Jack Nicklaus and the Nicklaus companies, visit