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Considering Selling Your Business? How to Find the Right Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor For You

True North Mergers & Acquisitions

December 19, 2023

You've poured your heart, soul, and countless hours into building your business. But like any journey, there comes a time when you must change paths.

Whether you’re looking to retire, explore new ventures, or simply cash in on your success, selling your business is pivotal. To protect your legacy and investment, you need a partner—a seasoned mergers and acquisitions advisor to help you navigate the transition. Here’s how to find the right one.

Broker or Merger & Acquisitions (M&A) Advisor?

The differences between a broker and an M&A advisor are fairly clear-cut.

Brokers are typically sufficient for small to mid-sized businesses with lower market value who need a third party to broker the deal. However, suppose you operate a larger, more complex business involving multiple stakeholders. In that case, M&A advisors have broader expertise and will help you navigate intricate financial structures, legal agreements, international components, or a strategic merger.

If you determine that an M&A advisor is the right choice for you, the following best practices are a good starting point to ensure you find the perfect fit.

Consider the Size of the M&A Firm

While larger M&A firms may have more resources, it's essential to remember that bigger doesn't always equate to better.

Larger firms may have more extensive resources—a larger team of advisors, legal experts, and financial analysts—at their disposal. This can be advantageous, especially when handling complex transactions. However, it’s worth noting that smaller teams often have specialized expertise and may also provide more personalized attention.

Consider the complexity of the transaction, the firm’s track record, whether you require industry specialization, any cost constraints, and compatibility. In short, do not choose a firm based on size alone.

Look For an Experienced Team

Research the M&A firm’s team roster. Look for seasoned professionals with deep knowledge in mergers and acquisitions, finance, and law—people with a proven track record of navigating complex deals in your industry.

A well-rounded and experienced team can offer comprehensive support and tailor their approach to meet your specific needs.

Assess Wealth Management Expertise

When most owners exit, they come into substantial sums of money—a big reason to partner with a firm wealth management expertise.

A wealth manager will help you navigate tax complexities, offer investment strategies, and ensure you allocate funds wisely, diversify investments, and plan for long-term financial security.

Consider Communication & Engagement

How well does the prospective firm communicate, and are they engaged? This will profoundly impact the success of the transaction. Look for an engaged advisor who responds promptly and makes explicit efforts to get to know your business, its unique qualities, and aspirations.

Regular and open communication builds trust and rapport, nurturing a collaborative environment that increases the likelihood of a smooth sale. Conversely, poor communication (and disengagement) can be disastrous—leading to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities.

Let’s Design Your Exit Strategy Together

At True North Mergers & Acquisitions, we help business owners identify and prioritize their objectives for their businesses, employees, and families. If you’re ready to talk about your goals for the future and get insights for achieving them, we’d be happy to sit down and talk with you. Contact us today.

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