Choose A Banker That Values Your Culture
As a company prepares for a sale of its business, the banker must understand the importance of the preservation of the culture.
- Entrepreneurs spend a significant amount of emotional capital developing a culture.
- The investment bank needs to assess the value of the culture in the M&A process.
- Bankers should voice the founders’ preference for a buyer that will preserve the culture.
The Power of Culture
The culture that a founder can instill within an organization can foster an environment where employees work with the passion and enthusiasm needed for a new business to succeed. In our early years, we disrupted the eye care electronic health records (EHR) industry by bringing the first fully-hosted SaaS offering. In addition to developing a novel product, the co-founders agreed to build a business model that was highly unconventional. The business would be completely virtual, with 100% of the employees working from home. Through the use of web technologies including free instant messaging programs, online video conferencing, and even virtual telephone systems, the company developed a strong position with its employees who were empowered to innovate from the confines of their own home office. Although the delivery of our SaaS technology only encompassed a minority of the eye care EHR industry, the virtual business model represented a vital operational component which attracted intellectual talent and fueled the stellar growth of the business.
Trusting the Banker to Deliver Your Core Values
As a company prepares for a sale of its business, the banker must understand the importance of the preservation of the culture. When we retained Arbor Advisors, our ambition was to identify the most ideal financial partner for our product and company to flourish. Early in our discussions we made it clear that we needed to find a partner that would have unquestioning confidence in the virtual nature of the business. This highly-unusual workplace configuration was represented by Arbor from the beginning of every conversation, with the proper emphasis placed on its importance to the founders and their employees. By the time our acquisition entered its final stages, all of the engaged prospective partners respected the culture but were also expected to define their thoughts on the future of the culture. This criterion alone was one of the key factors that led to the selection of our acquirer and ultimately resulted in a relationship with a financial buyer who valued the workplace configuration of our company.