As the holiday season arrives, Oaklyn Consulting is 6 months old. The firm was founded on the idea that we could help more business owners considering mergers, acquisitions or fund-raising in a way that “just don’t do it” stayed on the table as an option.
We are responding to a need among small and mid-sized businesses for ‘investment banking’ advice delivered as ‘consulting’ rather than ‘brokerage’, with everyone aligned around making the best decision rather than necessarily closing a deal. This is different from the M&A advice generally available to these businesses or their go-to professional advisors.
Here are some businesses we helped in 2016:
- A management team seeking backing to buy home health agencies. We helped orient them to the investor market, until they felt confident enough to go it alone.
- A financial advisory firm at a crossroads in the founder’s career. We helped the founder identify, quantify and assess options.
- A systems integration company approached by a Fortune 100 company about buying the business. We helped the owner present his company in a polished, professional way, interacted with the suitor’s corporate development staff, and moved the transaction discussion toward a conclusion.
- A medical practice approached by a private-equity backed company about buying the practice. We helped the partners (1) understand the investment group’s due diligence request, (2) communicate the due diligence information in a way that highlighted trends in their business and led to a high-quality Letter of Intent, (3) identify their alternatives to accepting an offer from the investment group, (4) determine the criteria for a sell/don’t-sell decision, and ultimately (5) decline the offer with confidence in their choice.
- A team of repeat entrepreneurs needing scale-up capital to take advantage of a new distribution agreement. We helped the team by articulating the business in terms that investors would understand, approaching >150 potential investors on their behalf, and connecting them with joint investor-business development contacts in their industry.
- A new hedge fund management company seeking its first limited partners after being seeded by a large investment company. We applied our experience as asset allocators and our network in the pension and endowment community to help the fund managers hone their pitch to investors.
- A healthcare consulting firm that needs equity-like capital as bonding. We helped them present the investment opportunity to one strategic investor and acted as a sounding board for the leadership team as they engaged with larger industry players.
- A family-owned manufacturing company running out of time. We helped the CEO and a key family shareholder confirm that they had considered and pursued all the practical options for the company. We managed the process of contacting potential strategic buyers, including competitors, on the company’s behalf.
- A well-funded financial technology startup. We acted briefly as interim CFO and provided extra bandwidth to support the CEO in raising angel capital.
- A consulting firm with a well-researched idea about a company that would benefit from their investment contacts. We helped them strategize the approach to both the company and investors, in pursuit of a deal that would make sense to all parties.
We got to know these businesses by being a consistent source of support for our professional colleagues: lawyers and CPAs in regional firms, financial planners, and commercial and investment bankers.
We helped these professionals by being uniquely prepared to address their clients’ complex, speculative projects, and immediately available to listen to their clients’ issues and concerns.
I feel proud of Oaklyn Consulting’s start and look forward to making a difference for more clients and professional colleagues in 2017.