If you can use a broad European network of advisors among whom are many industry experts it is much easier to find the right buyer for your M&A project. Is it still good to meet-up regularly with fellow M&A advisors? Or is video conferencing replacing the need for these personal meetings?
Many topics are discussed during the congress. Individual advisor firms present deals they are working on. This can give an advisor good input on how to structure a deal and which European companies are acquiring in the industry. There is also a lot of time for informal one on one networking. This networking increases the strength of personal relationships. An important part is, of course, to find buyers for each other’s projects. Getting access to the right buyer is crucial. Hence, it is important to have a good understanding of the business projects your partners are working on. When industry experts talk to each other it can lead to getting new target buyers for projects. Has the added value of meeting personally diminished since the rise of M&A related Internet portals?
M&A advisors are still interested in networking and visit the CFIE congress as the meeting always attracts roughly the same people (a group of 15 individuals from different offices). In this Internet era with M&A portals, the question is, does being a successful merger and acquisition advisor still depend heavily on the network you are involved in? Does it all still come down to personal relationships? Or are automatic M&A tools, portals and suppliers like Dealsuite, Zephyr or Mergermarket sufficient for an advisor these days? Is there still so much we can learn from other M&A people in the team? One might think that it is sufficient to just work on individual projects and have 15+ years plus M&A experience. On the other hand, it could be very valuable to share confidential data on target companies in a closed group with trusted advisors.
Most advisors of the CFIE network still think a personal meeting is a valuable part of the M&A community. However, we should be open and point out which items are crucial during these meetings. Does meeting up together create a better team spirit? How much value do these personal contacts have? Can we learn about other methodologies in the European M&A world? How can we work to increase activity between the various CFIE M&A advisors after the congress? What is the best way to cooperate between M&A partners in a network? Next year’s meeting is planned in Sofia by the CFIE M&A advisors. We can discuss the above items there. If, in the meantime, you already have an opinion please leave it here.