Success Story

Deal Research: Origination and Development of New M&A Strategy

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As an extension to the research function of this major consultancy, we have helped provide early-stage deal research across 50+ projects generating £1m+ acquisitions and partnerships so far.

Having successfully supported a range of deal research projects for our client, we were engaged at an early stage in the development of their new M&A strategy. The initial remit was broad: investments that would expand our client’s talent pool, client reach, service offering and / or footprint, were all on the table. After mobilising immediately, we delivered a successful board presentation within 4 weeks and our client continues to partner with us across a wide range of DO mandates.

"We’re extremely creative in the way we hone and present deal research. This gives us a real competitive edge on DO work, where hundreds of companies are being profiled."

Ole Pedersen, Senior Advisor, Freshminds Private Equity Services

Our Approach

There is rarely a perfect target that answers all desires and demands, so making sure that priorities are clear, agreed and strategically aligned before evaluation begins is the most vital step in developing an M&A strategy. It can be a tough process to balance stakeholder agendas with strategic direction and strong, clear guidance from a trusted partner is key.

Our origination work has resulted in over 50 $1m+ acquisitions, partnerships and JVs


Through a series of discovery workshops with key C Suite and MD stakeholders, we identified, prioritised and built consensus around a set of criteria for target selection. In parallel, we engaged our expert network to explore top level trends, identify key opportunities early on and segment the market into target clusters / areas of interest. Using the insights from these processes, we established research parameters and developed a project-specific scorecard with criteria weighted according to agreed priorities.

Phased Research

Beginning with a potential target list of 100+ companies, we conducted phase one secondary research to identify a top 40 most closely matched to our client’s key criteria. Phase two’s deeper dive included primary research (customer and industry), financial analysis (EBITDA, Turnover etc.), capability assessments and cluster comparisons.

We fed live data into our dashboard, updating our client regularly to ensure continued alignment to their priorities. On several occasions, these priorities shifted in the light of market insights and – thanks to our flexible model and the fact that our research capabilities are all in-house – we were able to adjust focus with immediate effect. Having narrowed the target list to 10, phase 3 involved a depth primary research to gather data for VOC analysis.

Our Impact

Busy clients don’t have time to read huge reports: they need to digest the essence of in-depth content, compare targets and understand key messages extremely quickly. To address this, we’ve invested heavily in developing cutting-edge data visualisation capabilities and honing executive summaries that are lean while remaining data-rich.

Our creative approach, combined with the speed at which we’re able to mobilise a specialist team of researchers and experts across any geography, has laid the foundation for a trusted partnership with our client and we are now a key collaborator for DO projects.

"We're always very keen to work with you because of what you do creatively: we have an immediate overview of a target just by looking at one slide."

Client lead, Corporate Fund, Global Tech Consultancy

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