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How to Set Clear M&A Objectives: M&A Advice from a Former Marine

How a Former Marine Approaches M&A

An M&A Science Podcast

Hosted by Kison Patel

"We see small companies all the time that start with a small strategy and have that strategy evolve over time. Not only there’s nothing wrong with having a strategy evolve, it makes sense."

On this episode

Ken Marlin, author of The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street and managing partner of the investment bank Marlin & Associates, discusses advising buyers, business strategies, and setting clear business objectives. 

Marlin's military training inspired him to develop a strict approach to M&A. Like in the Marines, Marlin sets and achieves clear objectives, identifies strengths and weaknesses upfront and is truthful with potential partners and clients.

Marlin explains that similar to the Marine Corps, all tactics must be designed to advance a business towards a clear, long-term objective.


Show Notes

00:00 - Introduction

05:10 - The Author of The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street Discusses His Time in the Marines

07:35 - Clearly Articulating Long Term Strategic Objectives

10:45 - Issues Created by Disorganized Objectives

11:30 - Asking the Hard Questions Upfront 

13:35 - Aligning New Objectives with Long Term Goals

16:10 - The Problem with Taking A Stand

20:55 - Avoiding Confrontation 

25:23 - Identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, and Motivations of Parties During Negotiations

29:40 - The Importance of Knowing Your Strengths 

31:50 - Overestimating Yourself

33:33 - Validating Your Weaknesses

38:51 - Controlling M&A Timelines

41:30 - How to Plan for the Unexpected

45:20 - The Importance of Thorough Preparation 

51:02 - Balancing Different Approaches to M&A

52:15 - Key Lessons Learned

55:50 - Ending Credits

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