The Advisor’s Role, Part 1

By Tom Cobery
In January 17, 2013

The role of a Business Advisor during a search for either an acquisition candidate or a partner to sell to is sometimes unclear, so let’s try to shed some light on the subject. There’s no magic to the advisor’s role, but it does take industry knowledge, M&A transaction expertise, and the willingness to do a fair amount of groundwork.

If asked to search for a candidate, the advisor will research candidates that fit the client’s candidate profile. It sometimes begins with a search of NAICS codes or combing lists from a variety of sources, ranging from industry periodicals and association membership lists to offerings from major business list brokers.

Once candidates have been identified, the advisor prepares an introductory letter and sends it to the best prospects. To maintain client confidentiality, letters are written on the letterhead of the advisor, who signs them and serves as the contact person for any inquiries.

Letters are followed by phone calls to the candidates to evaluate their interests and help further qualify them. In my experience, an advisor with industry expertise who represents a well-known organization will have greater success in getting to the decision-makers.

Once the candidates have been identified and the list narrowed down, the Advisor will begin to arrange for client and candidates to speak together, serving as meeting facilitator. (Meetings are initiated only after Non-Disclosure Agreements have been signed by all interested parties.) If both parties want to move forward, the advisor will arrange and take part in a site visit, where he will continue to serve as point person for the process. (Next time: What happens if the site visit is successful.)

Tom Cobery

Dealing with the day-to-day needs of running a busy printing operation often leaves company leaders little time to plan for the future of their enterprises on their own. Tom works with chief executive officers and senior management executives in the Tag and Label Industry to develop growth opportunities through strategic transactions, new markets, or new service opportunities. Available for consulting on individual projects, he can also be engaged to serve as an Advisory Partner, helping executives guide their company into the future, serving as an impartial sounding board for ideas, and working with them to set the right course for continued growth and greater profitability. Tom’s personal experience as a Tag and Label Industry company president and chief executive officer, plus his extensive networking with other industry executives through his volunteer leadership activities with the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) give him a unique perspective on the tough issues today’s company leaders face in this specialized segment. Companies engaging Tom will find his insight and independent advice an invaluable asset in helping them achieve their growth and profitability goals. More than a consultant, Tom Cobery wants to be your trusted Advisory Partner.

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