When Ben Doltis sold both executive search firms to ManpowerGroup in 2013, he realized he could apply the principles of successful headhunting to an entirely different business: an M&A advisory firm.
In general, companies looking to hire new employees only have access to people looking for work. However, successful headhunters know that the best candidates are often those who aren’t even thinking about leaving their current positions, and it’s their job to seek them out and convince them to move. I am working.
In exactly the same way, Doltis’ newest venture, PCB Partners, finds successful companies whose owners have never even considered leaving. “Some people put up big ‘for sale’ signs over their businesses, and that’s fine, but a lot of companies bid on them and often sell for ridiculous multiples,” he said. say. “PCB Partners is not involved in these businesses. Give and negotiate.”
Founded in 2018, PCB Partners provides buy-side and sell-side services with a focus on digital transformation, professional services, management consulting and marketing services businesses. Our business team is made up of entrepreneurs, seasoned corporate finance executives and private equity veterans. Combining these skills with a headhunter mindset is a unique balance.
“Good headhunters match good individuals with great companies. We realized that with in-house corporate finance and private equity expertise, M&A firms could do exactly the same for companies.
Doltis co-founder Tim Farazmand was one of the unsuccessful bidders in his headhunting business and was at the time managing director of Lloyds Development Capital (LDC). “We got along really well,” he says. “We didn’t sell to Tim, but we knew he would be the perfect partner for our next venture.”
PCB Partners is a global company with operations in the UK, US and Europe, and offices in Israel, Australia and India, and clients in digital transformation, management consulting and professional services. “Ultimately, what our clients are buying from his PCB is access to our own network of entrepreneurial off-market companies and strategic buyers,” he says.
Starting his new venture, he faced some challenges. Compliance, governance and his FCA accreditation play an important role in establishing a corporate finance company. It was a complicated process and took longer than he would have liked. “We were his M&A advisory firm that was fully held, and the commission adjustment at the start was a challenge for the client,” he says. “But when I was given the chance, I quickly earned my stripes by closing deals.”
PCB Partners currently has 20 staff and advisors, a mix of seasoned M&A and private equity professionals and retired entrepreneurs who have built their own businesses. In a relatively short period of time, the company has secured some of the world’s largest technology and services companies.Last year, it secured IT services firm Atos Italia for British private equity firm Apax Partners.
The company’s most significant deal to date was securing Wemanity in France for Reply Group, which had been looking for a platform partner in France and the surrounding region for some time. “It took imagination, creativity and a real use of local networks to identify a profitable off-market consulting business of scale in France,” he says. “In the end, the perfect partner for Reply, he connected with the right entrepreneurs and team at Wemanity.”
PCB Partners focuses on off-market assets and offers highly attractive offers to clients at rates based on the multiples they end up paying for the business they purchase. . “The higher the multiple, the lower the return,” he explains Doltis. “We believe they shouldn’t pay above the odds when buying a business. We are ready to support you.”
Amid economic uncertainty, Dortis remains optimistic for this upcoming period. “I don’t think the digital economy of M&A is moving too fast, and the market valuations are largely holding up,” he says. “Nevertheless, it is more important than ever to ensure your business is relevant to the market and has narrow and deep competencies and complementary clients.”