I would like to find resources and or advice on starting a Mergers and Acquisitions company. I know of at least one training/ mentorship program, but the cost of attendance is $20,000. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
It would help to understand whether you intend to be a transaction advisor or whether you intend to buy and sell businesses for yourself and your partners/investors.
I do the former (for middle market clients) and the latter is commonly referred to as Private Equity (P.E.). Most P.E. firms are limited partnerships that buy equity in a company to gain control over operations, provide management oversight, and then sell their stake after 4-7 years for significant returns.
Advisors/Consultants who start their own firms are usually highly credentialed in a certain industry (e.g. worked in industry for 15+ years) or are functional experts (Finance, HR, IT) or solution experts (buy and integrate, sell and separate, turnaround and restructure). This is how they get their foot in the door with new clients, otherwise it's hard to get initial sales. There's also elements of operational, financial, and commercial due diligence as well as tax advisory which are material to nearly any transaction.
Private equity associates are almost always former investment bankers who have experience with financial modeling, valuation analysis, creating deal memos, and facilitating deal origination to reduce transaction costs. They usually employ managers with significant industry experience or experts in synergy realization. PE firms usually have deep pockets and can employ a number of strategies. Learn more here: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-careers/09/private-equity.asp
In either case, formal business education and firsthand experience will be needed to better flesh out your aspiration. As a veteran, if you use your GI Bill correctly and get your business degree where these firms recruit (often the top 25 ranked programs), you'll be well positioned to get that experience. Investment banks especially get really jazzed about hearing how your military experience is relevant to their industry. Whatever you do, don't bother with the $20k training/mentorship program. It's not going to get you where you want to go.
Thank you for visiting ACP AdvisorNet! I would recommend browsing the “Community” section of the website. There we have many skilled advisors that may be able to provide advice and recommendations for such a program. I recommend using the “Refine Search” feature to narrow the search by sector - such as “Financial Services”, “Small Business” or “Consulting”.
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