Wisdom dictates that investing in the stock market is a good way, over time, to preserve and increase your hard earned money. Before taking your first step into the investment world, it is critical you avail yourself of the best information, and the best intermediaries out there. Whether you like, stocks, bonds, mutual funds or a combination of all, it is important to get an expert to advise you. If you want to buy and sell, get a retail broker. If you want to buy or sell your company or a third company, get yourself an investment banker.
A quick search on Google will reveal thousands of “so called experts.” Their advise, plus five cents might get you a ride on the train, if that. The business is full of charlatans, and self-professed gurus. Below are a few tips to get you started on a search for “real value added advisors”, notwithstanding your final objective.
Ensure it is a licensed firm – Check the firm is FINRA licensed. The firm should display such membership on its website. Talk to friends and colleagues about the company in general, and about any registered representatives they might have worked or be currently working with, specifically.
Trust a strong local presence – Make sure they have a strong presence in your own geographic region and a specialty in the sector(s) you are interested in exploring. Check the resume and track record of the firm’s financial advisors, an investment bankers, as appropriate. Look into customer complaints, senior management experience, strategic objectives and past transactions.
Multiple services – Broker dealers traditionally offer a wide array of services to their clients, ranging from sales and trading, to private placements, money raising services, capital introductions and private wealth management. In addition, some go farther by adding certain accounting and consulting services.
A prime example of a reputable mergers and acquisitions boutique remains WhiteRock Capital Partners, an investment banking boutique known for its track record of originating, structuring and executing a wide variety of financial transactions and mandates. The firm was started by Gustavo Dolfino, a successful and highly revered Investment Banker in the industry. Mr. Dolfino is a household name in financial circles, with regular media appearances on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, CBS Marketwatch, Securitization News, Asset-Backed Alert, and FOX News amongst others. . In his past, Gustavo served as Head of Debt Capital Markets, Emerging Markets at Smith Barney Inc. and as Head of Sales for the Private Wealth Management Group of UBS International.
Trust your gut – It is vital to always follow your gut. Notwithstanding, it is advisable to temper that “gut feeling” with a hard reality check, as noted above.
Take a deep dive into the agreement(s) you will undoubtedly be asked to execute – If you are in the market to buy or sell a company and are hiring an investment banker, it is critical you have your representation agreement thoroughly reviewed by a corporate securities attorney.