In two prior posts regarding, we addressed various questions for a seller to consider when selecting an investment bank to help the seller achieve its transaction goals.   Those questions, as well as those below,  are just a handful of questions that we suggest companies consider . Ultimately, if you determine that working with an investment bank makes sense for your transaction, a bank can help you move a transaction along in an efficient, low stress and financially rewarding way if you are able to find the right bank for you.

 Is the magnitude and type of transaction exciting to the investment bank such that it will keep the bankers’ attention and keep energy focused on pushing the deal through to completion?    In other words, does the deal fall within the bank’s sweet spot? Deals that are at the larger end of a bank’s typical transaction size may mean that the bank has fewer contacts with the types of investors/buyers that should be targeted. Deals that are in the smaller end of a bank’s typical transaction size may not keep the bankers’ attention to drive the deal efficiently toward closing. 

Will the investment bank be willing to follow your management’s lead on the key deal terms (including which targets are contacted, how the various stages of the process will run, etc.)? With the seller management team, does the bank have strong relationships with one or a few leaders that you perceive would be favored over other seller leadership? Alternatively, do you as the seller prefer an investment bank that will lead you through the process and is the investment banker able to do this for you?

Are the bankers willing and able to provide significant research and insight into potential buyers?  For many sellers, choosing a buyer turns on not only the purchase price but on the buyer’s reputation and own strategic goals as well. This is particularly true when all or some of the seller management team will be staying with the buyer going forward.   Most investment banks have research teams who can provide the desired information, but if in-depth information relating to the buyers is important to you, this is one aspect of the bankers’ services that should be discussed.

 Does the proposed timing and track of the deal process proposed the investment bank make sense to you and work with your needs and goals?

Finally, what do the bankers’ clients have to say about them?  The bankers should offer the ability to contact references from current and former clients. Discussing your questions with these references, particularly former sellers, may prove to be very enlightening as to the road ahead.