In the December 2016 FOCUS Newsletter, I described the collaboration between FOCUS and Aeternus Corporate Finance, and the resulting opportunities we have uncovered to pursue business together in industries that span our borders.

As you may recall, Aeternus Corporate Finance is an independent investment bank providing M&A and corporate finance advisory services to mid-sized companies in the Netherlands and throughout Europe, headquartered outside of Amsterdam.

In November 2016, in a trip that spanned the globe, I attended the 25th Annual M&A Worldwide (MAWW) Convention in Delhi, India. This skillfully organized event, led by the team at Corporate Catalyst India (CCI), incorporated the GLOBAL INVESTMENT and ACQUISITIONS FORUM 2016, dedicated to cross-border M&A and international investments, through which over 150 Indian investors and corporations met with attending MAWW members.

Lesson Learned (Again): The Value of the Face-to-Face Meetings

FOCUS has partnered with CCI on a buyside mandate for an Indian client seeking acquisitions in the automotive parts market in the U.S. Although a number of viable candidates had been identified, the client had reservations about pursuing all but a very few–significantly reducing the chances of a successful transaction.

CCI took advantage of the MAWW meeting in Delhi to facilitate a hands-on meeting including the client and FOCUS, opening the lines of communication and building a stronger, direct relationship.

In face-to-face discussions with the client, as FOCUS explored the client’s acquisition objectives and current business operations, it became clear that the initial hesitancy (related to a pre-existing OEM partnership) was less critical in the U.S. market and ought not restrict outreach initiatives.

This discussion resulted in fewer limits on the search criteria, and therefore–with a much larger universe of candidates to approach–the client, FOCUS, and CCI are all newly optimistic about ultimate success.

Benefits of the MAWW Network

The MAWW network enables members to better serve their clients with the support of trusted partner firms around the globe. At the Delhi meeting, top management representatives of five candidate M&A advisory companies from Bulgaria, Canada, Portugal, Ukraine, and Thailand/Vietnam traveled to India to present their candidacies for membership into MAWW. Following their presentations and the MAWW network’s Board deliberation, their candidacies were accepted, thus enhancing the number of members in the MAWW network to 42.

Douglas E. Rodgers, FOCUS Chairman Emeritus, served as CEO and Managing Partner from 2001 until late 2018. During his time as CEO, he led the firm’s growth from one office in Washington, DC, to three offices across the US. He has C-level management experience in software, aerospace, e-commerce,