Selling a business Greenville SC

Why Use Watermark Advisors

For companies thinking about acquiring or merging with another company, Watermark Advisors is the only investment banking firm (that we know of) that provides comprehensive M&A services in all 3 phases of the M&A process: preparation, transaction, and integration. These services are summarized below:


  • Master Class in M&A
  • StrategyMap ©
  • Markets Identification
  • Targets Identification
  • Targets Due Diligence
  • Target Approaches


  • Cultural Due Diligence Valuation
  • Synergy Analysis
  • Deal Structuring
  • Financings
  • Negotiations
  • General Due Diligence
  • Integration Planning


  • Post-Transaction Consulting

Other investment bankers, law firms, and accounting firms that provide M&A services focus almost exclusively on the transaction phase. The reason this is problematic is that it is not working: only 20-30% of acquisitions end up producing significant return on investment (ROI) for the acquirer.* That means 70-80% of deals fail. Many times, there are big problems with integration after the deal has closed.

The challenge is that failure in M&A usually does not become apparent to the acquirer until about two years after the transaction has closed. During the transaction, the acquirer works with a sharp attorney and accountant, and often investment bankers. The deal is structured well, and it appears that all gaps between the buyer and seller have been resolved. Why then do so many acquirers fail to meet their goals? Unfortunately, many investment bankers, attorneys, and accountants—and acquirers themselves–only focus on closing the transaction. After that, the burden will be on the acquirer to take the target and hit ROI goals. But because the acquisition focused too narrowly and shortsightedly on the transaction, too few acquirers achieve their goals.

Watermark Advisors takes a different approach. To obtain a successful M&A outcome requires much, much, more than a savvy deal team and closing a transaction. It requires a comprehensive approach to M&A, which means you take a longer term view and ensure you have a team that has mastered all of the processes involved in M&A. You plan for and pay careful attention to all 3 phases of the M&A process: preparation, transaction, and post-deal integration.

* Research by Dr. Robert Bruner, Dean of Darden School of Business, UVA (Deals from Hell, 2005).

Below is a listing of acquirer services provided by Watermark compared to those of other typical service providers.

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Acquirer Services Provided by Watermark Advisors Compared to Other M&A Service Providers

Watermark Comparison Chart






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