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5 Things to Look for in an M&A Consultant

By Tim Luscombe

A good M&A consultant can mean the difference between a successful, stress-free transaction and one that blows up in your face. To say a company’s choice of M&A consulting services is critical is to reinforce the importance of getting that critical advice and guidance whether a company is buying or selling.

I pride myself on being an M&A consultant more than capable of leading a company through a successful transaction. Through many years of experience in the field, I’ve come to understand what companies need from their M&A consulting services. Below are the five most important things to look for in a consultant or consultant firm.

The 5 M&A Consultant Checks

1. Process Management

It would be normal to list experience as the most important thing for M&A consultants. However, all the experience in the world is useless if effective process management is not in place. Therefore, I believe in checking out a consultant’s commitment to process in depth.

Does the consultant manage the transaction from start to finish? Are offers thoroughly analysed and vetted? Is the consultant involved in the evaluation process, negotiations between buyers and sellers, and financing issues? Most importantly, does the consultant have a track record of exercising due diligence to its fullest extent?

2. M&A Experience

Second on the list is experience. The best consultants in the business demonstrate a history of past transactions that could be worth millions of pounds. Their past experience shows them to be capable, qualified, and able to get behind a company to help it achieve its vision and goals through the pending transaction.

Experience also speaks to the qualifications of those individuals who will actually provide M&A consulting services. If past experience indicates advisers lack the proper credentials, perhaps another firm should be chosen.

3. Marketing Capabilities

It goes without saying that marketing is extremely important in the M&A arena. It is imperative when searching for M&A consulting services to work with individuals or firms with proven marketing capabilities. Often, the difference between a successful and failed transaction can be traced to marketing.

4. Communication Capabilities

Clear and open communications are an important aspect in every area of business. They are critical in the field of mergers and acquisitions. It only takes one miscommunication to completely scuttle a deal. Therefore, choosing an M&A consultant requires evaluating communication capabilities.

5. Industry Ties

Lastly, the typical M&A consultant must work with others in the industry to complete strategic transactions. Does the consultant have the proper industry ties? Does the consultant have a history of being able to work well with others? M&A consulting services rely on being able to work closely with multiple parties in order to complete a deal. A good consultant has solid ties and a good reputation within the industry.

Settling on just any M&A consultant to help complete a transaction is not wise. Companies need to do their own due diligence to seek out and find the
best consultants for their projects.

By Tim Luscombe.

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