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Private placements are tough. Here’s why: Investors are preoccupied--particularly individual accredited investors. Marketing deals is difficult--both preparation and outreach require learned skills that are typically not internal to company founders and management. Regulation D 506(c) may have improved the environment for private placements, but syndicating deals is one way to greatly improve the success of your next private equity deal. Proper, successful syndication of private placements requires the...

Cash -- Cash is king, but not always. Cash is only king when cash is either needed or when cash trumps a bigger potential strategy. Stock -- This could include private and public stock mergers. In almost all cases, I would advise against the former. The latter can be a great boon or bust. It really depends on the deal. Earnouts -- Multiple books could...

Clients spend a great deal of time vetting their advisors and, rightfully so. Unfortunately, many boutique investment bankers do not spend the same amount of time vetting their clients. Most boutique bankers would consider themselves "industry agnostic" and "opportunistic." Those are fancy words for non-discerning. It's the age-old mantra of shooting everything that moves or engaging with someone who simply fogs the mirror. Some investment bankers--due to lack...

Garage Ventures has a great piece outlining some of the blunders they have experienced in startup pitchbooks. While some of what is included there seems a bit contrarian--either to make a point or to stir a conversation--many of the points are especially poignant as it relates to startups, but meaningless for a business performing sell-side M&A (a.k.a selling their business). Additionally, some of the points,...

What if your dentist gave away his services for free? Would prevention still matter? Would you still floss? What about your attorney or any other professional services firm? In my work as an investment banker, we often charge up-front fees for the work we do. Such fees include preparation for pitchdecks, marketing lists and actual manual deal sourcing. It’s a way for us to mitigate...

Sizzle sells the steak, but if someone is hungry enough, the sizzle matters less. Today’s cash-flush private equity groups are activefly seeking steak. That is, they are looking for quality deals with solid meat on the bone. In our world that typically translates into companies with large revenues and sizable EBITDA and EBITDA margins. I may not eat my steak cold, but it does not...