#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

 

Bio:

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.

 

Quotes:

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:

Axial

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

No transcript available...

Other Episodes

Episode

March 14, 2019 01:00:47
Episode Cover

#136: The ‘Texas Shootout’ Partnership Exit [Part 2 – The Exit]

Welcome back to Life After Business. This episode is part two to my interview with Michael Kaplan. Michael was a financial partner in a carpet cleaning business called ZeroRez. To recap, episode 135 is the companion episode to this one. During the last episode, Michael told the story of how he got involved in ZeroRez and how they grew a 300 thousand dollar business to 18 million. This episode, Michael explains why he exited the business and how his relationship with his partner changed. Michael and his partner had an agreement laid out since day one. There was a clear protocol to solve problems established. As time went on, however, the agreements began to erode. Michael honestly explores how the communication broke down and the last straw event that led to what he calls “the Mexican Standoff.” Michael is very candid about what happened in his partnership and he doesn’t shift all the blame to his partner. It is a real glimpse of how business partnerships work and why you need to lay all your cards out and stick to your guns. What you will learn: A quick recap of part one of this interview. How the original partnership began and the initial agreements. How Michael protected himself when other partners left. How they handled the first departures. What is a “shotgun clause” and why do you need one? A change in capital structure. A new Omaha location and the lessons learned from the experience. An offer to purchase equity in the franchise. Why they didn’t just buy the franchise. The beginning of agreement erosion and the issues that developed. The launch of new locations and the success and growth rate. Addressing the problem of “meddling” with the technicians. A change in company culture ...

Listen

Episode

August 16, 2018 01:08:00
Episode Cover

Passion, Planning and Perseverance: One Man’s Story of Surviving Y2K as a Tech Company

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.15″ custom_margin=”|0px||0px” custom_padding=”|0px||0px”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.15″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” custom_margin=”|0px||0px” custom_padding=”|0px||0px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.15″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”] My guest today is Scott Schwefel. Scott is a business coach, leadership, and team trainer. We talk about 3 of his businesses and how he sold 2 of them for over $1,000,000 (but not without a challenge or two) and how each one has taught him something about himself and the importance of good team dynamic and communication. Currently, Scott is living the life of his dreams as a speaker who promotes the Discovery method of business management. He is a facilitator and an enthusiastic trainer of the Discovery system. Discovery is a communication method that he has found to be essential in team communication. We discuss why he so passionate about improving business culture and communication and how you as the listener can find the passion you need to keep a business going. What you will learn: Scott’s early days in college, and a change in career. The Pro Net Marketing experience and what it taught Scott. The importance of having a good spouse who will support your entrepreneurial dreams. Scott’s time in the food industry and what he learned. What it is like working with a venture capital investor. The mistakes Scott and his partner made in the food business. How to measure the value of a business when there was no profit. The beginning of Benchmark. Why Scott chose to go into a tech business. Knowing your team and the role you play within it. The 2000 tech crash and how Scott bounced back. How the Discovery method changed how Scott does business. How Scott rebuilt Benchmark. What ...

Listen

Episode

August 26, 2020 01:01:22
Episode Cover

#212: The Impact of Remote Working on Business Valuations, CRE, Company Culture and the Economy

Liam is a serial entrepreneur who runs Time Doctor and Staff.com (one of the most popular time tracking and productivity software platforms in use by top brands today). He shares his insights from hundreds of thousands of users, and what trends are accelerating at lighting speed. What You Will Learn in Today’s Podcast Interview: What the future of work and business will look like post COVID vaccine The crucial difference between “remote working” and “work from home” Why managing remote working is like “printing money” Why 22% of Liam’s clients have already cancelled their commercial leases What 50% of Liam’s clients are thinking about as it relates to the future of their office How to free up one of the largest expenses on the P&L Ways to build a company culture “on purpose” vs by accident Why high performers are using the remote flexibility to get 2 more hours of sleep a day How one entrepreneur is buying traditional business and taking them remote to grow a portfolio of extremely valuable companies How their data shows that efficiency, instead of more time, leads to greater success How Time Doctor allows companies to evaluate performance both within the organization and among other similar companies What the hierarchy of communication is, and why less communication can facilitate your work flow Why the days of the $500k Google developer are gone How to analyze and optimize productivity for each position in a company Why Liam sees this time as a restructuring of our economy Podcast Interview Summary: Today’s guest is Liam Martin, the co-founder of Time Doctor (time tracking tool) and an advocate of remote work. With hundreds of thousands of users and clients like Verizon and Keller Willams, Liam has insights into how big and small companies are planning on managing ...

Listen