Find My Avisor

Business Broker, Investment Banker or M&A Advisor?

Choosing the wrong sell side advisor can cost a business owner hundreds of thousands, if not millons of dollars in sale proceeds.


Dan Anderson

Attorney @ Thompsan & Associates
Lead attorney on 25 + M&A deals for Manufacturing companies.

Your thinking about selling your business and you want to know who will get you top dollar?

You can setup a free consultation with a transaction professional to learn about how each will get the most for the company you have built. The market place is full of buyers at every level looking for companies to purchase. This is an opportunity with no commitment to speak with a professional about how to get the best return on your business.

Owners Week is your single solution for finding the right sell side advisor

Lawyers, CPAs, Business Brokers, M&A Advisors, & more. We match you with professionals that have experience selling businesses in your industry. This leads to

(1)An increase in the final sale price due to the process being guided by professionals that understand your industry’s nuances and trends

(2)Less time spent on the market with advisors that already know which buyers are in your market looking to purchase a business

(3)More efficiency by professionals that have done similar work with similar companies

Choosing Among the Many Transaction Professionals

When it comes time to sell the business you have worked hard to create finding the right type of transaction professional can be a daunting task. The difference between making the right and wrong choice can cost you hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in sale price. For an overwhelming majority of deals there are three types of key transaction professionals: (1) Business Brokers, (2) Investment Bankers & (3) M&A Advisors. Each group gets you to the same goal – selling your business – but can take a different pathway to get there.

The Business Broker: Connecting Buyers & Sellers

The business broker normally handles the largest volume of deals, but will typically handle smaller deals (usually below $5M in enterprise value). Their process often includes listing the business on listing services and marketing those businesses, not too dissimilar from the process used in selling a home.

Once a buyer is secured, the broker will help guide the business owner through the sales process. Business brokers often sell to individual buyers, though sometimes can sell to institutional/larger investors. Their fees are a percentage (usually 10%) of how much the company is sold for. Owners Week can put you in touch with business brokers who have sold businesses in your industry & region.

These brokers are the most likely to help get you top dollar for your business because they know who the key players are in your market. Further, Owners Week brokers will get your business sold faster, as they will likely already come to your business with a few buyers in mind.

Investment Bankers: Leading the Sales Process

Investment banks are deployed on larger deals often divided into different markets, middle market ($50 to $500 enterprise value) & upper market ($500+). The largest investment banks will handle deals in the billions. The investment bankers process includes proactively contacting potential buyers with the hopes to create an auction between the prospective buyers.

They will also work with the buyers to help raise capital if needed. Investment banks will charge a retainer fee and then a percentage of the sale of the company. Owners Week does not work with investment bankers, but we provide business brokers and M&A Advisors who provide a similar level of expertise and high-touch point.

M&A Advisors: Helping the Seller from Pre-sale to Close

M&A Advisors generally work with companies that have an enterprise value in-between the business broker and investment banker. They will commonly assist the business not only with the actual transaction, but also getting ready to sell the company. M&A Advisors will help craft the right strategy to maximize your company’s potential value.

Then once the company is ready to go to market, M&A Advisors will run a process similar to that of an investment banker where they will reach out to potential buyers and try to create an auction process for the business. The main different between an investment banker and M&A Advisor (other than size of deal they work on) is that M&A Advisors also provide services to companies during the pre-sale process, while investment banks are generally focused only on the transaction.

M&A Advisors often charge a flat-fee for their services, but some can include a percentage of the final sale price. Owners Week can match you with the right M&A Advisor to help create a strategy that will maximize your company’s value. These M&A Advisors understand the key performance indicators that buyers look for and they know which buyers are most interested in buying in your industry and region. .

Let’s Make the Right Transaction Professional Match

Exit multiples and time on the market are two of the most important factors for selling a business. You want to find transaction professionals that will achieve better than the market medians:

Working with a transaction professional that can obtain a higher seller’s discretionary earnings exit multiple will instantly increase the value of company. This is generally achieved by finding the right buyer who can see the full potential of your company. Further, an Owners Week transaction professional who has done multiple deals in your industry & region will be more likely to get your business sold faster than average due to their ability to foresee potential issues and troubleshoot them before they become issues.

How do you find the right fit? Obviously, the expected sell price of your company will be one determent about which transaction professional you engage with. Another key factor is knowing if you want an expert that will help with the strategy and planning phase as you consider an exit, liquidation or succession plan. We believe the best way to find the right fit is to work with us and allow us to match you with a professional that meets you need, so please reach out to us today to find the right transaction advisor for you company.