Over a dozen unopened, custom-engraved bottles of red wine sit on the top shelf of Grant Reindl’s office.
Each represents a merger the VP of corporate development, financial planning and analysis has led for Irvine-based engineering firm Salas O’Brien.
“I have not tasted the wine itself, but the engraved bottles are a unique and memorable way to commemorate the formation of our merger partnerships,” Reindl told the Business Journal.
Reindl has overseen 20 M&A deals since joining the company in 2020.
He led Salas through eight deals in 2022 alone, despite global strategic deal volumes falling 9% from the year prior, according to a report from management consulting firm Bain & Company.
For his work at Salas, Reindl was recognized with the Rising Star Award at the Business Journal’s 16th annual CFO of the Year Awards at the Irvine Marriott on May 11.
“It’s a great recognition, but it’s far beyond just me,” Reindl said. “We’ve got a lot of great people working behind the scenes.”
Reindl grew up in St. Charles, Ill. In school, he excelled in math for his knack for anything involving numbers.
At around the age of 14, Reindl moved to California after his father, Rob Reindl, accepted a job offer in Orange County.
That job was the head of HR at Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW), now OC’s second most valuable public company, from which Rob Reindl has since retired.
“Seeing the success he had, my dad has always inspired me to chase my dreams and see what I can do,” Reindl said.
Reindl attended the University of San Diego, where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in accountancy. He earned his CPA license in 2014, while working for PwC as an assurance associate.
He climbed the ladder at the accounting firm’s SoCal division, receiving early promotions at every level from associate through senior manager. After over eight years at the firm, he left his post as an advisory senior manager for his current position at Salas.
Several new wine bottles will be added to Reindl’s collection by the end of this year. Salas has already completed four M&A deals since the beginning of 2023 under his direction.
“We never pursue fixer-uppers or unhealthy organizations,” Reindl said. “We associate with high-performing firms that have an engaged leadership team and a strong, proven track record of success.”
Salas also chooses companies in markets it aims to grow in, especially those with tail winds, Reindl added.
The company recently combined with Crossey Engineering, a consulting engineering firm in Toronto.
Crossey “is known for strong technical leadership on highly complex projects like healthcare facilities and high-technology buildings,” Salas CEO Darin Anderson said in a statement.
The deal brings Salas’ total footprint to more than 70 North American offices with over 2,200 team members.
Reindl’s work with mergers has helped Salas more than double its revenue since he joined.
In 2020, Salas posted revenue of $160 million. Today, the company’s run rate revenue exceeds $500 million.
“Our mergers have been a meaningful driver of this growth,” Reindl said. “But equally as compelling and important is our organic growth, which is among the best in our space.”
He expects Salas will complete three to four more mergers this year, which will help the company reach about $600 million in annual revenue.
“The mergers that we do have a flywheel effect,” he added. “As we bring in additional leadership and market expertise, we’re able to sell more services to our combined clients, which helps us grow more organically.”