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By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins.
Recently, a Kreston firm in Asia was looking to help a business they work with undertake a debt refinancing of $60 million.
The company is long-established, profitable and cash-positive, but as a family business had taken various loans from local banks over a period of time. They saw this refinancing as a way of consolidating their debt with a single larger bank, at a lower overall financing cost.
They approached another Kreston firm – this time in the UK – which they thought might be able to identify potential debt providers.
“It’s a great opportunity to support our Kreston colleagues by helping them raise money for their client, whilst showing our own clients and contacts that we are capable of delivering such opportunities, and potentially get an introduction fee as well,” says Jack Clipsham of Kreston Reeves, the UK firm.
“If it works out, everyone wins.”
It’s a fantastic example of the boost to business you can experience, when you join a new venture we’ve just launched here at Kreston.
I’m talking about our brand-new Corporate Finance special interest group.
The idea originated when Jack joined Kreston Reeves as corporate finance partner last year. He was used to working closely with corporate partners from around the globe.
But while the Kreston firms did occasionally refer buy and sell mandates and other corporate finance transactions to each other, “it wasn’t as proactive as it could be, and it was hard to identify the corporate finance specialists in the network,” he told me.
“For cross-border corporate finance, we all need to be talking to each other regularly – no matter where we are geographically – sharing ideas and material, and proactively trying to make deals happen.”
After floating the idea with Kreston International, Jack developed a discussion paper, showing how a more formal group could help Kreston’s corporate finance specialists get more opportunities and to manage these through to successfully completed transactions.
We announced the new group at our recent EMEA conference, where we asked all the corporate finance people to stand up – it was quite the sight!
There was immediate enthusiasm – in fact the group had their first meeting, then and there.
And before Cesare Suglia of Kreston GV Italy had even returned home, he had already started developing an international portal, which all Kreston corporate finance specialists will be able to use to communicate regularly and exchange opportunities.
While it is still in development, there will be a beta testing version ready shortly.
Meanwhile, both the UK and USA are developing local corporate finance sub-SIGs. The idea is that when there is good organisation locally, it will be easier to communicate opportunities internationally as well.
It’s already making a difference.
For example, one firm, which was pitching for two sales mandates worth around $200,000, asked whether anyone in the Kreston network had relevant experience. Several did, so the firm included this in their pitch document.
“They won those mandates,” Jack says. “It may not have been because of the additional input, but it certainly may have helped! That is exactly what we should be doing more of.”
In addition to sharing deal opportunities, the SIG is already sharing knowledge and experience.
Jack himself recently wanted to review a particular clause within engagement letters. He emailed the Kreston UK corporate finance SIG to find out how they handled this clause, and received immediate insight and advice.
“We are already sharing information like press releases, research and precedent documents. Why re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to?,” he asks.
So what are the lessons here for all Kreston members?
First, if you – or someone else in your firm – is a corporate finance specialist, get in touch with Jack Clipsham today (don’t wait!).
There is a brilliant new special interest group coming together, which can help drive new business for your firm and make your life easier in many ways. It’s what belonging to an international network like Kreston is all about – so please do take advantage!
Second, the corporate finance SIG shows just how much can happen when Kreston members take the initiative and leverage the network.
So if there is no SIG in your particular area of expertise, don’t let that hold you back – talk to us about creating one!
There are so many opportunities for you to help facilitate cooperation and referrals internationally, and ultimately generate more business for yourself – and for everyone.
Just get in touch with me if you have an idea that is worth exploring. It’s what we’re here for.
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