In the context of deal making and deal management, a wave of optimism is sweeping Wall Street and the Square Mile as the economy shows signs of recovery. Stock market tickers are glowing green after a string of big-money IPOs and takeovers. A continued flood of international money along with foreign tycoons and financiers is helping London maintain its reputation as Europe’s foremost global financial capital. But don’t take my word for it, look at some numbers instead…
Total global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2014 has increased by 67 per cent on last year to $2.29 trillion, bringing the total number of M&A deals to 23,685 (source: City AM). In the spotlight is Amazon’s recent announcement of a £585m takeover of eSport video website Twitch which pushed the value of global tech M&A, so far this year, to $174bn. Let’s also not forget Facebook’s $19.5bn takeover of WhatsApp earlier this year. Okay, these figures are still less than half the M&A volume seen in 2000, but 2000 was just a silly year for this kind of thing.
Based on these figures, it’s fair to say that big city deal making is back with a vengeance. And kudos to the masters of the universe, people like Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver, Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins, et al. They dared to dream and had the vision to make such audacious deals happen in the first place. But after the glory of making the deal is done and dusted, it’s left to mere mortals to actually manage the deal.
Whether it’s an IPO, M&A, leveraged buyout or bankruptcy and restructure, when all’s said and done, financial deal management is a complex affair. It involves numerous interested parties, thousands of documents, time constraints, security requirements, legal due diligence, regulatory compliance and a whole host of other factors that make it a collaborative minefield. So why not employ the wheels of technology to help things run quicker and smoother with the benefit of saving money thrown in for good measure? Why not think about enterprise collaboration software?
Enterprise collaboration will allows you to invite all deal participants (such as originators, credit committees, syndicates, relationship teams, sales desks, lawyers, accountants, clients and so on) into a secure online portal. Within this space they will be able to communicate and work in a number of ways. There are layers of security including advanced permissioning, so that only certain groups or individuals have access to certain information (much like ethical walls and access levels in a real office).
The social functionality emulates a real life working environment where individuals can learn about one another through personal bios and talk to one another using tools like private messaging, public commenting and liking. Wikis create opportunity for brainstorming and iterative development of ideas. Blogs allow knowledge to be shared to large groups with dialogue and engagement. To sum it all up, activity streams keep you appraised of what everyone has been working on.
This sort of collaborative platform also offers workflow tools like a tasks module which is ideal for project management and an events module for managing deadlines and milestones. The spreadsheet/database module provides a powerful way of carrying out data analysis and due diligence. There’s also a Q&A tool that will structure and streamline questions and answers being shot back and forth between the buy side and sell side.
Next up is the secure file sharing module with support for granular folder and file-level permissions, full version control, check-out, approval workflow, custom metadata, full-text search and digital rights management to protect sensitive documents. No more emails lost in the wind or knowledge being siloed and left to evanesce. To wrap it up, the platform is accessible 24/7 from any location through multiple devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops.
It’s true, humans have collaborated since time immemorial without the benefit of enterprise collaboration software. Finance deals in particular, in their current form of sophistication, have been executed just fine for decades. But then again, humans used to send letters written on paper and construct proper sentences until email and text messaging came about. It’s time to adapt and evolve.Why not contact us or request a demo to see how HighQ’s range of deal management solutions can help you get the deal done faster?