April 24, 2017

The Death of Traditional M&A Advisors

The evolution of financial services is not slowing down.

Banking has changed over the past five years and technology continues to increase the speed of deals. According to a report published by PwC, integrations completed at a faster pace than a company’s normal operations, led to greater success in achieving strategic, financial, and operational goals.

Mustafa Ghafoor, an Investment Banking Analyst at Robert W. Baird & Company, says, “M&A processes are becoming more commoditized, forcing groups to close more deals, more efficiently.”

Today, the power is with the buyer. Sellers and advisors must prepare in ways they never had to before. Dealmakers have access to a robust collection of resources and data they use to make informed decisions. “Efficiency can no longer be a low priority,” warns Ghafoor.

As technology changes the way complex transactions are managed, some advisors are keeping up, while others are trailing behind. While traditional advisors struggle to keep their feet under them, present-day advisors close deals faster than ever. As the gap widens, the traditional advisor grasps onto relationships. They clench their experience, believing it will keep them in the race. But it won’t.

Here’s the deal:

Technology is changing M&A transactions and advisors must adapt.

As automation replaces routine tasks, the demand for high-skilled, technologically-adept advisors increases. Through automation, the diligence process takes 50% less time. In addition, junior bankers spend less time creating pitchbooks, tracking non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), preparing confidential information memorandums (CIMs), and responding to diligence requests. Automation lets bankers focus on value-add activities.

Clunky management processes and outdated excel sheets are like cement shoes. No matter how much energy the traditional advisor exerts, they remain motionless. The modern advisor is leveraging technology, protecting deals, and moving forward at lightning speed.

The modern advisor’s centralized process and transparency improves the client experience. By complementing relationships with powerful automation, they excel at making critical decisions. At the same time, outdated advisors hurt themselves by clinging to data room information that is simply not enough. As they clutch onto their basic analytics, the modern advisor sprints ahead. Modern advisors use predictive analytics to foresee buyer concerns and prepare for meetings. Advisors can proactively address buyer concerns before they even come up. Present-day advisors create engaging diligence experiences for buyers, and identify risks faster. The traditional advisor? They lose deals as they wait for buyers to identify risk.

As the traditional advisor drags themselves to the finish line, the modern advisor has already facilitated a smooth transition. Their buyer is using diligence data to execute post-closing activities and integration. The modern advisor’s process allows buyers to:

  1. Plan for integration from the beginning
  2. Reuse diligence data for integration—saving time and money
  3. Ensure post-closing success with a seamless handoff

Although the traditional advisor may finish the race, they have no energy left to give. They are too weak to consider the company’s success post close. But the modern advisor? Their buyer is positioned for continued success.

Technology is changing M&A. Adopt the technology or lose clients. Are you ready?

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