There are a lot of M&A advisors out there. How do you compare them and know you are choosing the right group to drive your engagement?
Here are 5 things to look for in a great buy-side advisor:
1. Choose an advisory firm who knows the industry you want to be in and has success in your space. When speaking to business owners, it is important that your advisor can “talk the talk” in industry lingo. They don’t need to be a PhD, but being able to speak in a way that elicits confidence and capability in their space is important. Your advisor is creating a first impression and you only get one of those – make sure it’s a good one.
2. Find an advisor who stays engaged in your process. Some firms find opportunities and just “throw them over the fence” but having a firm who can help drive the process and push both sides as needed is important. They can help bridge the gap in areas of confusion and conflict that will arise as the transaction moves along.
3. Select a firm who isn’t afraid to walk. A firm who will support your desire to stop the process if you get into diligence and find out things aren’t what you were expecting. Don’t choose a firm who after an LOI is signed pushes you to close no matter what comes up. Steer clear of firms who just want to get their fee and won’t let anything get in the way of it!
4. Pick a firm who will navigate you through the process helping you avoid the pitfalls that kill deals. All deals have hurdles, make sure your advisor can help you push through them, but can also advise you when it’s time to walk.
5. Choose a firm who has a successful track record. If they sign up 30 buy-side engagements a year but only have closings on 5 of them, then that is not the firm you want to work with. Ask for references of past clients and also what percent of buy-side transactions they closed in the past year. Speak with the references and ask how the M&A firm added value in the transaction and if they provided support from start through closing. Anyone can toot their own horn, but getting someone else to give a raving recommendation is significant.
There are a lot of options out there for advisory firms, choose the one that is going to meet your expectations and get transactions done.
Take a look at some of BAMA’s client testimonials at the bottom of our home page. We love our clients!