Mergers & Acquisitions is personal
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs.… well, actually of ex-entrepreneurs because when the communists came to power after the Second World War in Eastern Europe, they confiscated or nationalized all privately owned businesses, including those belonging to my grandparents and uncles.
As I was growing up in Romania, my family did not talk much about the old businesses because it was not “prudent”; in this new world order, having been a business owner was a major drawback and a stain on someone’s past that was better omitted or erased from memory. But from the untold stories and between the lines, I could sense the anguish my relatives felt at having had the work of a lifetime taken away without any reward or compensation.
Ironically, entrepreneurship and small businesses were the missing backbone in communism that ultimately led to its collapse not too long after my family and I left the old country for Germany in the early 80’s.
Fast forward 15 years.
I was fortunate to live and work for more than 6 years in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley – the tech entrepreneurs’ Mecca.
During that time, I worked at Cisco. Cisco wrote the book on acquisitions in the technology space, and one of the key factors that contributed to its legendary growth during the 90’s—and to Cisco becoming the most valuable company on the planet in early 2000 —was its excellence in identifying, executing and integrating acquisitions. One of my roles at Cisco was running an organization responsible for integrating the sales function of acquired companies like Aironet and Altiga, into Cisco’s sales force.
After Cisco, I joined a global ERP company as CEO of their North American business. The unit I was running was the result of an acquisition by the German parent company of a U.S. company, and my prior M&A integration experience from Cisco came in handy.
When my boss, the founder of the company, later decided to sell the business, a long process ensued, which finally resulted in finding a buyer and us being acquired.
After leaving that business, I reached out to several mergers and acquisitions firms looking to possibly acquire an IT company and continue my journey in technology. During one of those conversations, the M&A firm I was talking to recruited me to join their team as an M&A advisor.
As we started discussing the advisor’s role during the sale process, it became evident to me that when we sold the ERP business and did not have an M&A advisor on our side, while we did a lot of things right, we missed a couple of very significant steps, like negotiating offers simultaneously, which would have streamlined the process and, most importantly, increased the price the company fetched by up to 20%.
I then realized that I have a story to tell and value to deliver to clients in Mergers & Acquisitions. I was hooked! I decided to become an M&A Advisor. This role enables me to combine my experience in IT, with that of integrating and selling companies and with an M&A process that has consistently delivered great results.
That was 19 years ago, and I’ve never looked back.