For sellers, a comprehensive approach to M&A means that Watermark uniquely offers preparation services in order for the owner to exit and liquidate ownership in their company in such a way that they are satisfied long after they have exited. When sellers prepare well, they are in a peak condition to be able to time the market optimally and exit for greater return on investment. When the transaction is closed, it also gives them greater ability to sleep at night when the assets they sold (their people, tangible, and intangible assets) are being stewarded well by the new owners. Watermark works with clients to prepare well, before going into the market, providing integration services to ensure their brand and the people behind it are transitioned well.
Focused Capital Raises for Companies With $5MM EBITDA or Less
Most investment banks cater to raising capital for issuers with EBITDA greater than $5MM. It is a fact that the capital markets are increasingly difficult to maneuver, and it is difficult to make capital available for issuers with less than $5MM. Watermark concentrates on serving this more challenged issuer.
Full Service for Acquirers
Watermark uniquely offers “cradle-to-grave” M&A services for acquirers. This means that unlike those of other investment banks, our services span the entire M&A process, from pre-planning for a merger or acquisition to post-transaction integration. Such a comprehensive approach is an acquirer’s best bet in creating ROI from M&A. Conventional, market dominating methods which focus almost exclusively on the transaction have proven to result in M&A failure in most cases. We strongly believe that the comprehensive approach we offer is not only novel, but that it will become the next generation in investment banking, resulting in clients reaching and even exceeding their ROI goals.
For both sellers and acquirers, Watermark provides strategy consulting services. Strategy is the most important and first step to success in M&A. A clearly defined strategy maps out when and in what circumstances a company should use M&A to grow. We focus on this because failures in strategy can easily result in expensive, failed mergers or acquisitions. Our strategy consulting is both effective and affordable. For sellers, a healthy strategy drives future growth, which is the number one attribute buyers are looking for in a company they are considering acquiring.
Master Class in Mergers & Acquisitions
In addition to strategy consulting, Watermark offers another key service that no other investment banking firm to our knowledge offers: our classes on mergers and acquisitions. For sellers, our half-a-day class teaches best practices on how to prepare their companies for an exit and helps attendees appreciate how to know when their company is indeed ready to enter the marketplace to be sold. For acquirers, the full-day Master Class on M&A seeks to strengthen client outcomes in M&A. Thus far, in the absence of an existing in-house M&A team, many firms’ only option to educate themselves has been to send one or two executives off to a week-long training program at a prestigious university, at a cost of $10,000-15,000 per person. The problem with training only one or two persons is that effective M&A typically requires many more company members to have expertise in M&A. Watermark’s Master Class walks clients through all the processes involved in M&A transactions at a fraction of the cost of university-run courses.
Industry Leading Expertise
Watermark’s senior team of investment bankers and consultants (Hagen Rogers, David Furse, and Randy Dobbs) each have deep subject matter expertise and years of experience in their respective areas. Rogers has approximately 19 years of investment banking experience, while Furse has over 40 years in strategy consulting. Dobbs successfully oversaw integration efforts of over $5Bn in acquired companies while President and CEO of North America at Philips Medical Company as well as integrating over 50 businesses while CEO of GE’s Capital IT Solutions.
Favorable Fee Structure
We allow most preparation and integration service fees to be credited against the ultimate transaction success fees for both sellers and acquirers.
Watermark received FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) membership status in 2004. FINRA is the leading non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public— about 4,140 firms employing nearly 633,155 registered representatives. Watermark’s operations are under the authority of FINRA including our financial operations, general operations, underwritings of capital raises, merger and acquisition transactions, and sales practices. Watermark must submit quarterly financials to FINRA and it must receive an annual audit by a third party accounting firm. These rules drive transaction and operational controls resulting in transparency for investors.
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