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In the world of investment banking and private equity, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are one of the primary avenues that companies use to drive value. In recent years, the booming economy, which has now entered its longest expansionary period in U.S. history, combined with low interest rates and inexpensive financing, has led to an increase in both deal activity and deal size. According to Deloitte’s 2018 State of the Deal, 76% of the leaders of domestic-based private equity firms say that this trend will continue into 2020.
One of the best sources for M&A opportunities is conferences. There, industry players congregate to maximize their deal origination efforts. It’s worth noting that some firms and banks come better prepared than others, especially those that utilize data scrubbing tools or other digital technologies to aid them in their research. Such technologies help unlock M&A value, not only leading to more productive meetings at the conference but also more quality management or pitch meetings at the firm.
With this in mind, it’s vital that you ask yourself, “Am I using an M&A platform optimally, allowing me to drive more management or pitch meetings?” If not, it’s time to embrace change.
The Cost of Conference Attendance
Conferences provide a strong opportunity for M&A deal origination since dozens of key industry players are all congregated in one spot, thus saving you from having to fly all over the country for individual M&A pitches or meetings. That said, there are several costs involved with attending a conference. These can be delineated into hard and soft costs:
- Hard Costs – The physical upfront costs of simply attending the conference.
- Registration fees
- Time away from the office
- Soft Costs – This may include time and labor of analysts, associates, and bankers who have to spend time researching and planning for the conference. This is harder to quantify but can be just as costly, particularly if inadequate research leads to walking away from the conference empty-handed.
In order for conference attendance to be worth the input costs, you need to enter the room fully prepared. Your aim is not only to secure as many meetings as your schedule permits, but also to ensure that those meetings are as productive as possible. In the past, in order to track down private company information in preparation for M&A meetings, a firm or bank would have to spend countless hours using outmoded investigative methods which may include:
- Google research
- Manually scrubbing conference, speaker, and awards lists
- Physically calling and interviewing
Often, even with a dedicated research team investing notable time and effort to get ready for a conference, they’d still regularly reach the conference underprepared. Today though, the soft costs can be reduced or minimized by using automated digital M&A tools such as SourceScrub to:
- Make the research phase less time-intensive and costly
- Produce better and more relevant information
How to Utilize M&A Tools to Increase Quality Meetings at Conferences
A recent Wall Street Journal article shared insights on the trend towards digital M&A tools, “While leveraging digital tools is no guarantee of increased deal value, survey respondents indicated that these technologies make post-integration run more smoothly, reduce costs and shorten the time to completion.” As mentioned, SourceScrub is one such tool featuring deal flow software that will not only help you increase meetings at conferences but also ensure that they’re more fruitful. The platform’s goals are simple:
- Maximize sourcing efforts with human-audited company data points without ever having to scrub a list for data sources.
- Remove the hassle of both preparing for and attending a conference.
- Discover and track investment opportunities proactively.
- Secure and control more quality management or pitch meetings at the firm.
The sophisticated deal sourcing platform accomplishes this by providing you with the tools allowing you to realize many different outcomes or projects, including:
Total Available Market (TAM) Analysis – SourceScrub is optimized for searching and filtering functionality, allowing you to apply your own proprietary taxonomy of Industry keywords across a comprehensive record base. The research process begets access to more insights and data related to private businesses across industries, including investor information, growth data and other key financial firmographic points.
This information allows you to optimize your deal sourcing efforts by giving you a better view of the M&A landscape, which makes it easier to locate and select ideal opportunities.
Conference Intelligence – A database of over 20,000 Sources including Tradeshows and conferences, as well as intuitive tools for quick identification equips you to:
- Programmatically leverage data management and scrubbing tools that are optimized for filtering and searching on firmographic company details, allowing for quick company analyses within conference lists.
- Identify the optimal leads at a conference ahead of time.
- Improve your data quality by systematically aggregating thousands of lists from both domestic and international conferences fueled by validated business data audited by a team of 500+ Research Analysts.
Post-Deal Marketing – Improve your marketing by identifying competitive businesses operating within the space and then accessing contact information for the key decision-makers. Such M&A tools and features allow you to reach out to the right investment opportunities at the optimal time.
Embrace the Future
Today, automated M&A tools have digitally removed many of the factors that once made conference attendance a headache. Gone are the days of manual scrubbing, list aggregation, and hoping to set up meetings. Now, there’s a better, more efficient way. If you want to increase management meetings and ensure that you don’t walk away empty-handed, it’s time to embrace the future. Partner with SourceScrub and you’ll take your deal origination to an entirely new level.
- Protiviti. A Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions. https://www.protiviti.com/sites/default/files/united_states/insights/guide-to-mergers-acquisitions-faqs-protiviti.pdf
- Deloitte. The State of the Deal: M&A Trends 2018. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/mergers-acqisitions/us-mergers-acquisitions-2018-trends-report.pdf
- The Wall Street Journal. How Digital Tools are Helping Unlock M&A Value. https://deloitte.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2018/02/27/how-digital-tools-are-helping-unlock-ma-value/
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