#275: Peter Lehrman - Founder of Axial: The M&A and Capital Raising Platform for the Middle Market

November 18, 2021 00:58:21
#275: Peter Lehrman - Founder of Axial: The M&A and Capital Raising Platform for the Middle Market
Intentional Growth
#275: Peter Lehrman - Founder of Axial: The M&A and Capital Raising Platform for the Middle Market

Show Notes

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.


What You Will Learn



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


Links and Resources:


Peter Lehrman LinkedIn

Middle Market Review

Mastering Your Cash Flow Digital Course

ARKONA Boot Camp

Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!


You can also reach out to me via email at [email protected], or on my LinkedIn.

Episode Transcript

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