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Phase 2: Understanding the M&A Process

As an advisor, you will likely play some role in the M&A process for your client, depending on your area of expertise. While it is not necessary to know everything about the M&A process, understanding the general stages will help you advise your client and give you an idea of where you might be able to offer assistance.

The information in this section is a brief overview of what the M&A advisor does in various stages of the M&A process. I have also discussed what is expected of the client and suggested areas in which an advisor can help.

The most important thing to remember about the M&A process is that it is very stressful on the client. There is more work to do, the outcome is extremely important, and things can go wrong along the way. When things do go wrong, such as the client losing a major customer, it can be much more stressful than usual because it doesn’t just affect the business—it might affect the deal. In addition, the client is often worried about maintaining confidentiality and may feel bad about keeping the sale a secret from employees. The best help any advisor can give someone going through the M&A process is often just to listen calmly and ask what needs to be done to make the situation less stressful.