Corporate Finance – it’s a team game

13 May 2019 - Elizabeth Nichols

Mark Smith, Senior Manager in the Corporate Finance Department at Scrutton Bland reflects on recent extraordinary sporting events.
Last week was an extraordinary week of football – both European and domestically. Particularly when it comes to European football (and as a 70s child I will admit to a degree of bias) Liverpool’s performance was particularly impressive.
Why? Well, on paper Liverpool had a weakened team, a massive first-leg deficit to overturn and were playing against a rested team full of superstars. So, how on earth did they manage to win 4-0?
In my opinion the final result came down to teamwork and determination, with teamwork being the key factor. Shaqiri has to want to do it for Origi, who has to want to do it for Henderson, who has to want to do it for Klopp and so it goes on.
So, you might ask, what this got this got to do with Corporate Finance? Well – with any successful Corporate Finance transaction, there are least two teams you (as an adviser) will be playing for: your client and your colleagues.
Sometimes, as was the case with Liverpool, the odds can be against you, if you are up against, say, one of ‘the big four’ accountancy firms. But, as any elite athlete will tell you, it’s the positive mental attitude that counts. It may be that to an outsider looking in, you and your team look as though they are up against it, but with the right attitude – your team can find a way to succeed and win.
As both Liverpool and Tottenham have found out this week, with the right teamwork, anything is possible and this applies equally to the Corporate Finance world. For example in the case of a business acquisition, the team will consist of – as a minimum – the Scrutton Bland Corporate Finance department, our client and our client’s solicitors. We all have to work together to achieve the end goal. If one of us lets our guard down and misses a tackle, the ball goes in our net and it’s game over.
And then there’s the team itself. Currently in the Scrutton Bland Corporate Finance team we have seven full time ‘players’ and every member of our team knows that they have to work together to get the transaction over the line. Inevitably this means assisting other members of the team, putting in the hours and, like Liverpool, simply having the drive and determination to get the deal over the line.
Our clients regularly compliment us on our service and many say that the thing that impresses them most is very simple: they know that they can call us, and if the primary point of contact isn’t available, there is a member of the Corporate Finance team that will take the call and has the power to get things done. That’s what you get from a dedicated team that works together. Would you get this level of service from a large fragmented firm? I’ll let you decide.

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