Winning Corporate Finance Business

This course can also be presented face to face in-house or via live in-house webinar.

Winning Corporate Finance Business Course Objectives:

Participants will:

  • Study the whole business origination process – from before first contact with a potential client, through to winning the mandate
  • Focus on how to initiate and develop dialogue with a potential client, and how to build an advisory business
  • Gain an understanding of best practice for building the client relationship
  • Consider which opportunities are good – and which are less so
  • Appreciate the best way to position and leverage your expertise, ahead of a pitch meeting
  • Get to grips with the minutiae of preparing a pitch document
  • Explore what a good pitch document looks like
  • Develop ideas on the conduct of the beauty parade itself
  • Discuss what may influence decision making on the part of the client
  • Come away with a strong appreciation of the importance of being able to compete for and win work, and how best to do it

Winning Corporate Finance Business Course Content:

The importance of being able to win work

  • Why winning business matters to all of us
  • Why we have to work hard to win business
  • Winning business as a journey
  • Self-starting: a framework for your own origination/ BD programme
  • Why perseverance and determination matter

Basic business development practices

  • The importance of a structured framework
  • What a good sales framework looks like
  • Tools for having good meetings and building dialogue
    • Listening and communications skills
  • Understand the client:
    • Why are they selling (and why now/ soon)
    • Consider what they will most need from their M&A adviser
  • What makes effective dialogue:
    • Developing insight and understanding of the client
    • Gathering relevant information
    • Proprietary analysis
  • It’s not just about the pitch; what can be done ahead of time?
    • Focus on stakeholders. Who may influence the decision?
    • Relationship building and positioning: how to develop this
  • Qualifying opportunities:
    • Should we devote more time to this? How to assess whether you are well placed
    • What is our firm’s relevant sector and transactional expertise?
  • Stages on the journey – where can you aim to get to, pre-pitch?
  • Pitching started yesterday: anticipating the formal invitation

The pitch document

  • A good start is vital:
    • Agree a clear roadmap from the outset:
      • Format and style of the document
      • Agreeing the fundamental messages
      • A detailed timetable
    • Ideas for great visual presentation
    • What areas are normally addressed in an M&A pitch document?
      • Key areas to cover
      • Examples of good content
    • Balance and perspective:
      • It’s not just about your firm, it’s about the client’s business and deal
      • A customised document is key
      • Present the solution and the results – not the product
    • What other advice may the client need?
      • Ensure you have all relevant areas of expertise covered
    • The importance of understanding how the document may be used – and how this shapes content and presentation
    • Don’t undersell- presenting the wider team and the whole firm’s relevant capability
    • Logistics – should never be overlooked!Identify your project team – bring together all relevant disciplines and individuals
      • Brainstorming the content of the document
      • Ensure you are fully aligned to the ITT and any process rule

The ‘beauty parade’

  • Who should attend? What is the optimal mix of attendees?
  • Ensuring correct expectations for all parties
    • Know the rules (timing, format) and client’s expectations as to how you will engage and the ground to be covered – work to them
    • Use of the pitch document vs. stand-alone session
    • Visual aids?
  • What constitutes effective preparation?
    • Dry runs, full rehearsals, independent challenge
  • The rules of good presenting
    • A delivery which helps the client keep track and reinforces messages
    • Personal conduct
    • Team behaviour in the meeting – how to work together
  • Engaging with the client’s side – how to encourage dialogue
  • Key areas of focus
    • Be clear what you want to achieve from the meeting, and what key messages you want to convey ….
    • …. but retain flexibility to adapt how you get your message across
  • Key messages to conclude: What is the optimal number?
  • Never leave the room without …. Where you must plan to be, post-meeting


  • What may happen next?
  • An understanding of client decision-making
    • The fee negotiation

Exercise: You will be presented with two very different types of client and asked to suggest what, in your view, should be emphasised in your approach to them as a potential client – both beforehand and in the pitch itself. Followed by discussion of these suggestions, broad-ranging questions on the session, and concluding remarks.

Background of the trainer:

He has worked for over thirty years in corporate finance and equity capital markets, completing transactions for clients from over thirty countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Having participated (on both the client and the advisory side) in well over one hundred pitches for advisory roles, he brings a unique perspective to the challenge of winning corporate finance business.

Winning Corporate Finance Business Course Overview:

Why is pitching important? Corporate finance is a competitive and crowded industry. Many advisers may be credible for any particular transaction: there is a real challenge for potential advisers to differentiate themselves. Whether the client making the selection is inexperienced (such as an owner-manager) or a frequent buyer/ seller (such as a private equity firm), it can be hard for the client to identify the ‘right’ firm to execute the deal for them.

What is the best way to build a business? The course gives a framework for anyone wishing to create a niche for themselves, or indeed wishing to set up alone or with a colleague.

M&A, whilst challenging to execute, is popularly seen as lucrative, bringing high fees – but winning an M&A mandate is an intense process which can call for just as much effort as the transaction itself. Building a potential advisory relationship even to the point where you can expect to be asked to pitch can take many months of work. Pitching itself is highly competitive and, done well, requires a considerable amount of bespoke preparation.

In all areas of business, there are good pitches and bad pitches. What makes the difference? Learn about how what happens ahead of a pitch shapes the pitch meeting itself and can have a major impact on the outcome. Focus on areas to highlight in the pitch document, and the conduct of the pitch meeting itself. In addition to relevant expertise, success calls for considerable time and effort, astute judgement, strong relationship building and great teamwork.


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