With so many bankers, brokers and financial advisors out there, how can you be sure that you’re making the best choice for your business? Here are just eight important considerations when looking for an investment firm.
1. Know Your Needs
What are you hoping to gain by hiring a broker? For example, if you’re seeking a majority private equity partner, you shouldn’t waste your time with someone who can’t make that happen. Before you go shopping for an investment firm, sit down and make a clear list of your goals, objectives and overall business needs.
2. Think About Size
Are you a start-up brand looking for someone to guide you through your first investments, or are you looking for a multimillion-dollar corporation that regularly handles business with Fortune 500 companies? Size is a very important consideration when comparing and contrasting the right broker for you.
3. Examine Their Work History
Don’t let a broker cut his teeth on your business. You’ll want someone with at least 5-10 years of experience in the field, and you’ll want that experience to be relevant to your interests. How many transactions have they completed? How many businesses have they worked with overall?
4. Discuss Their Failures
Don’t be distracted by glowing accounts of success. Ask about their failures too, and have them go through the deals step-by-step. They won’t be able to name names, of course, but they can provide a general overview that will allow you to gain a greater understanding of where they went wrong and how they plan to avoid those errors in the future.
5. Look for Well-Rounded Resumes
A good broker has connections to the community and memberships with important groups within their firm. For example, they might work with the Fixed Income Principal Investments Group or sit on the board of the Asian Real Estate Private Equity Business. The specifics don’t matter; their level of involvement does.
6. Consider Availability
Some firms are only available during traditional business hours. Others have websites that can be accessed 24/7, but their loading times may vary depending on the time of day. Do your due diligence as you research their availability. You never know when you’ll need your broker after 5pm.
7. Search For Them Online
In today’s increasingly digital market, it’s important to hire an investment professional who understands the Internet. Look for men like Peter Briger who have websites and social media accounts. Not only will this allow you to get a feel for them before scheduling a face-to-face consultation, but it can also give you a glimpse into how they operate.
8. Ask for References
What do previous clients have to say about their services? Most businesses don’t advertise their brokers outright, so you’ll need to ask the brokers directly if any of their clients will speak highly of them. Once you have names, start making calls and asking questions about the firm’s experience, efficacy, fairness and professionalism.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when looking for a broker or investment firm. It’s the kind of decision that shouldn’t be made lightly, so don’t be afraid to take your time and get it right the first time. The future of your business could depend on it.