Turning an acquisition into a success rests on the people involved before, during, and after the transaction. One particularly critical team is the one tasked with ushering the company through the financial milestones. Picking the right one is tricky. Financial services firms can range from a few people to hundreds. And being experienced is the price of entry. In a previous blog, we talked about what to look for in a CFO. But with more private equity funds relying on outside firms or consultants to manage transitions, what should you look for in a transition team?

The legal documents have been signed and now it’s time to turn this deal into a success. But the odds are against you. The planned complexities will become unexpectedly more complex. The planned challenges will spawn unexpected challenges. And each time the unexpected arises, it sets you further away from realizing the planned value creation.

Everyone in the process must be delivering 100%. With private equity funds relying on service providers handling different aspects of the transaction and post-transaction transition, it is critical the right ones are in place to ensure the unexpected is kept at bay and that objectives are reached. Who the right provider is can be different for each fund and each transaction. So here are our top-line ways to zero in on your right provider.

“No one got fired for buying IBM.”

If you’re not familiar with that old saying, there’s a lot to be learned from it. On one hand, you could read it as IBM, the biggest provider of IT hardware at the time, always delivered on their promises. But in reality, IBM’s solutions rarely worked better than competitors. They were chosen by IT managers because if the systems didn’t perform, the managers could say it wasn’t their fault because they hired the biggest name in the business. Small consolation to any performance objectives that needed to be hit. Don’t choose size alone to give yourself cover. Get behind how that size is relevant to the work ahead and how that company will bring that size to bear for you. Will the actual team be larger than working with a medium or smaller firm? What percentage will be senior people? Or will the job be populated by a junior team once the contract is signed? 

Is it just another transaction?

Regardless of firm size, get a sense of whether this is just another transaction from the players who will be engaged in the work. There will be too many challenges for people who don’t have fire in their bellies. Are they simply moving from one project to the next with little motivating them beyond clocking in hours? If they’re passionate about the work, what’s driving that passion? What does having a very successful project mean to them and their careers?

The team’s track record.

Finding a firm with a great track record is easy enough. What about the senior team who will be responsible for your work? Get inside their track records to get a real expectation on what to expect from them.

Getting our answers.

Still not sure if you are zeroing in on the right financial services firm? Give us a call. As experienced professionals who have worked on both sides of the table for firms both big and small, we know what to look for.