My guest today is Peter Lehrman the Founder and CEO of Axial, and we’re going to be talking about the market of buying and selling privately held companies, the inefficiencies as well as the progress.
Peter is CEO and founder of Axial, responsible for delivering the company’s vision to become the trusted platform where private companies and their trusted advisors connect with capital. Prior to Axial, Peter worked in private equity at SFW Capital Partners and was part of the founding team at Gerson Lehrman Group, where he helped to build the company’s global technology platform for on-demand business expertise. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and received his MBA from Stanford Business School. He lives in New York with his wife Eve and their four children.
If you’re a business owner thinking about selling for the first time, and you have no idea where to start, this episode is for you. There’s a ton of information out there about how and when to sell your company, but not all advice is weighted equal. Bad advice goes a long way to souring your view on selling your company. Let’s turn to a market expert who will share how to find and assess M&A advisors that align with your goals. Peter Lehrman is the Founder and CEO of Axial — a marketplace where small businesses can find their next M&A advisor, investor or buyer — and he’ll help clarify what areas you need to educate yourself in and how best to achieve that education in time to make a positive difference in the sales process. On today’s show, we talk about inefficiencies between the buyer and seller, the state of the marketplace and the trends with entrepreneurs through acquisition (ETAs) in the lower middle market space. This is an awesome episode full of smart insights into the booming market of mergers and acquisitions.
Peter is CEO of Axial and responsible for driving the company’s vision to be the trusted platform where private companies connect with capital. Prior to Axial, Peter worked in private equity at SFW Capital Partners and was part of the founding team at Gerson Lehrman Group, where he helped build the company’s dominant global technology platform for on-demand business expertise. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and received his MBA from Stanford Business School.
12:01 - “The number one goal for Axial is to create a set of introductions for buyer and seller, at the right points in time, on the right opportunities, with the right types of buyers and the right types of sellers.” - Peter Lehrman
16:38 - “I think we’ve made a huge leap forward in terms of the amount of people making content in the form of podcasts and books.” - Peter Lehrman
21:15 - “Sellers are reviewing a variety of indications of interests typically from a variety of different buyers and trying to get a sense of, ‘who do they want to spend time with?’ Because you can’t spend a huge amount of time with a huge number of buyers. I think that process can happen within the first month of a formal engagement with formal buyers.” - Peter Lehrman
24:13 - “You have to understand that, if you’re a financial intermediary, and your profession [...] is to sell businesses, if you’re extremely good at that and you’re extremely well trained [...] you’re going to make a lot more money as an advisor, advising bigger companies.” - Peter Lehrman
31:32 - “The reason you became a buyer is because you wanted to buy businesses.” - Peter Lehrman
32:56 - “[Axial] think businesses are fundamentally different because there are employees there. There are a lot of sensitivities. People often want to sell businesses very often confidentially or quietly.” - Peter Lehrman
35:34 - “I wouldn’t say that [FBA or Shopify] businesses can be bought and sold like publicly traded stock. But those businesses are more templatic.” - Peter Lehrman
43:39 - “You have this class of highly educated, highly capable and upwardly mobile but somewhat disenfranchised young talent that’s saying, ‘I don’t want to work for KKR for the next thirty years.’” - Peter Lehrman
47:41 - “You really have to do something different with that business once you own it, in order to get the return.” - Peter Lehrman
Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!
My guest today is Vicki Raport, one of the founding members of Quantum Retail Technology. Vicki was on the front lines of Quantum’s sale. The story she has to tell is impressive and is a clean-cut example of how a company sale should happen. We discuss the journey Vicki and her partners took to build a successful business and how they kept a delicate balance between five (yes, five) founders. They pivoted the business from a SaaS to an Enterprise model, Vicki explained how they reached that decision and what it meant for the business as a whole. If your goal for your business is to build a lucrative company and then sell it, Vicki’s story is inspirational and fascinated. You will learn about: Vicki’s background and the career change that was the beginning of Quantum Retail Technology. How Vicki used skill sets to find the right people for her team. How Quantum Retail Technology pivoted into “deployable software.” The pros and cons of Enterprise software and what is it? What triggered the sale plans. How Vicki and her team planned for the company sale. The failed attempt to maximize the business. The importance of being intentional in business. The team’s goals for the company sale. How to hire the right investment banking firm. Why the chosen buyer was a good fit. How Vicki and her team handled running the company during the sale negotiation. How Vicki’s employees responded to the sale. What Vicki would have done differently. The importance of hiring the right lawyer. How to cope with emotional and mental drain during a sale. Today’s show highlights some very interesting and useful points for any ...
Mike Nunez founded AffiliateManager.com with his brother but always wanted to work for Channel Intelligence in Orlando. After a random encounter with the CEO of Channel Intelligence, he was called up to work for them. Six years later Channel Intelligence was acquired by Google for $125 million in an all-cash deal. Now Mike’s back growing AffilateManager.com into an industry leader by applying all the techniques he learned selling to Google. If you listen, you will learn: How a start-up company operates with the clear goal of acquisition The importance of taking advantage of networking opportunities What Google looks for when acquiring a company and how to align your business to be ready for an acquisition The importance of having a clear vision and initiatives in your business How Google handles acquisitions and the merging of employees Having a solid team of employees is everything Channel Intelligence Mike Nunez always wanted to work at Channel Intelligence in Orlando. They were a good company with a great reputation. Mark knew he couldn’t get hired there right out of college so built up his experience. He discovered affiliate marketing in college and ran a few different affiliate marketing programs at different companies as well as working on his own business. While networking at a conference, he met the CEO of the company he always wanted to pursue. Eight months later he was recruited to work for Channel Intelligence (CI). CI just received $15 million in funding so the company grew to around 150 employees in 2007, six years before they were acquired by the big guy, Google. Aligning with Google Channel Intelligence was a provider of technology to companies that enabled customers to buy their products online. They were active in ...
Entrepreneur and family office investor Andy Billman faced death head on when he was talking to the surgeon who was removing a tumor from his skull… while he was wide awake! After a lifetime of doing deals (at one point he did 14+ acquisitions in the course of 5 years) Andy was faced with devastating news that he had brain cancer. Since his brain surgery, Andy has made it his life’s mission to help entrepreneurs understand how to take their obstacles, recalibrate their minds, and use their businesses and their lives to help change others. On the show he talks about the ups and downs of his career (buying a company, getting sued, going bankrupt, acquiring 14 companies in 5 years, and how he ended up at a family office) and why having a good perspective on life is the one thing that can make the whole ride worth it. What is the first thing you would do with your business if you were faced with horrible news? Would you try to sell everything tomorrow or would use that news to put into action all the things in your business and life that you’d been holding out on? Andy shares his experience of facing death, so we can understand the importance of reflecting on what’s important for you, your life, and your business. Life is finite and the best thing you can do is come to grips with that. Once you do, you will have a lens to view the world with that helps you prioritize what’s really important. It can help you transform your business and life while allowing you to enjoy the ride. What you will learn: Why leaning into challenges can be ...