The Building Blocks of Ownership Transition

Building a Strong Deal Team

The Building Blocks of Ownership Transition

M&A, recapitalizations, ESOPs and other types of ownership transitions are complicated transactions requiring the skills and knowledge of a wide variety of deal professionals. Like a winning sports team, a successful transaction advisory deal team requires the contribution of individual players at the right time and in the right measure throughout the deal process to successfully execute and close a transaction. The ability of the deal team to interact, communicate and collaborate can have a dramatic effect, both positive and negative, on a transaction outcome. A smoothly functioning deal team assists the business owner determine transaction goals and objectives, prepares the Company, plans and executes the transaction process and anticipates and mitigates deal problems. Properly addressing all of these factors will increase the speed to close and will ultimately contribute to the overall success of the transaction.

Most business owners have existing groups of advisors with which they consult when they have specific business needs or face problems. Typically these groups include the owner’s accountant and attorney and may include others, for example members of a Vistage Group or Young Presidents Organization Group. While these advisors and counselors are helpful in the day to day operation of the business, additional specialized knowledge is often required in ownership transition transactions. As a result, the business owner may need to look outside the existing advisory circle to find professionals with ownership transition expertise. Finding advisors with extensive transaction experience honed through the completion of similar deals is critical to successfully execute such a transaction. Often the existing advisory group can suggest experts with the appropriate skills for these types of transactions. When building a specialized deal team, it is essential that the owner form a comfortable relationship with each professional to develop respect and trust in the advice they deliver.

There can often be significant overlap in the skill sets and experience of the individuals on the deal team. It is important that the roles and responsibilities of each deal professional is clearly defined and communicated to make sure the deal is executed smoothly and all facets of the transactions are covered. One professional, usually the investment banker, functions as the team leader to martial the resources and orchestrate the overall transaction process.

At a minimum an effective deal team should include professionals from the following business disciplines:

An experienced advisory team with diverse skills and a collaborative work ethic is essential to the successful completion of any ownership transition transaction. It is important that the business owner is comfortable with all members of the team and that the respective roles and responsibilities are clearly communicated and understood by all team members. The success of an ownership transition transaction is largely due to the skills of the deal team, the preparation made at the beginning of the process and the smooth execution of the deal. That is why the important first step in an ownership transition transaction is building a strong deal team.

Terrel Bressler is a Managing Director at Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc. He can be contacted at 312.348.1323 or by email:

‍Download the full article above.

Connect With
Prairie Capital Advisors

Subscribe to Our
Resources & Insights