Executing M&A business can be tough work. Winning it can be even harder! This course addresses how to be effective in positioning for advisory work, successfully presenting to clients and winning their business.
Winning Corporate Finance Business Course Objectives:
- Study the whole process from first contact with a potential client to winning the mandate
- Focus on how to initiate and develop dialogue with a potential M&A client
- Gain an understanding of all the tools which can be used to build the client relationship
- Appreciate the best way to position and leverage your M&A 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 acquiror/ vendor
- Come away with a broader appreciation of how to position for and win corporate financial advisory work
Winning Corporate Finance Business Course Content
Part one – before the pitch
- Appointing an M&A adviser: the beauty parade as the tip of the iceberg
- Who is or may be a seller? Is this transaction good business for our firm?
- How to identify and qualify the opportunity
- Understand the client:
- Why are they selling (and why now/ soon)
- Consider what they will most need from their M&A adviser
- 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
- Do your own research – a key potential differentiator:
- Developing insight and understanding of the client
- Gathering relevant information
- Proprietary analysis
- What is our firm’s relevant sector and transactional expertise?
- Ways of advancing your client relationships
- Why are we the best M&A adviser? Building competitive advantage: where can you aim to get to, pre-pitch?
- Pitching started yesterday: anticipating the formal invitation
Part two – the pitch document
- A good start is vital:
- Identify your project team – bring together M&A and any other relevant disciplines
- Brainstorming the content of the document
- Ensure you are fully aligned to the ITT and any process rules
- Agree a clear roadmap from the outset:
- Format and style of the document
- Agreeing the fundamental messages
- A detailed timetable
- What areas are normally addressed in an M&A pitch document?
- Key areas to cover – allocating responsibilities and ownership
- Balance and perspective:
- It’s not just about your firm, it’s about the client’s business and deal
- A customised document – no sausage machines!
- 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
- Examples of smart content
- Don’t undersell- presenting the wider team and the whole firm’s relevant capability
- Logistics – should never be overlooked!
Part three – 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 feeling you have given everything you wanted to share
- What may happen next?
- An understanding of client decision-making
- The fee negotiation
- Exercise: preparing a pitch for two different clients
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? M&A is a competitive and crowded industry. Many advisers may be credible for any particular transaction: there is a real challenge for candidate 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.
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. Pitching is highly competitive and, done well, requires for 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.