M&A

Jonathan Boyers knows a thing or two about doing deals.

As well as being a multiple award winner, he’s the head of corporate finance for KPMG in the UK and has done a series of high-profile deals including Sykes Cottages to Livingbridge, Utiligroup to Energy Services Group (ESG) and Love Energy Savings to LDC.

The division he oversees has just reported turnover of £68 million on 80 deals for the 12 months ending September 2021, compared with £29m and 45 deals when he took over in 2017.

 

Boyers has forged a formidable reputation for hard work. However he credits a piece of technology called DealCloud for transforming a sector he’s worked in for more than 30 years.

“We introduced DealCloud a year ago but we’d been working on it for 12 months,” he told Robert Walters’ recent ‘Deal or No Deal’ event. “We landed it on October 1st, 2020 in the mergers and acquisitions business.

“It’s an investment banking-specific execution platform. All our deals are executed on DealCloud but it’s also a CRM system. All our targets and origination activities are on DealCloud as well.

“Whenever we show a deal to a buyer or a private equity house, it automatically updates the CRM for those buyers.

“Our people are all on DealCloud as well so we can see who’s attached to what jobs.

“Because we know what stage every job is up to, we can work out how busy everyone was because there are peaks and troughs in our game.”

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KPMG’s corporate finance team in the UK employs 240 people and they’re all on DealCloud.

“We have so much more information about what everyone is doing and where we are with all our different clients and relationships,” says Boyers.

“It also produces a load of management information and data analytics that you wouldn’t believe about our business. We understand our business literally five times better than we did a year ago.

“There’s efficiency and improved origination activity and communication. If somebody goes out and meets the chairman of a business we’ll know they’ve done that (and it) will connect with someone who saw the CEO a week earlier.”

 

Before DealCloud, he says they relied on the information being shared through meetings and Excel spreadsheets.

The Big Four accountant used the downturn at the start of the pandemic to implement the technology.

Explaining how DealCloud improves their processes, Boyers says the technology enables them to track the behaviour of bidders, including private equity houses.

“We can see how many deals we’ve shown them,” he says by way of example. “We can see how the PE houses have behaved. We can see how often they’ve bid, when they’ve bid, if they bid in the first round, did they bid in the second round, did the bid go up or down, did they complete at the same price  as they did in the second round?

“At the press of a button we can run off the analytics for that.

“When people say ‘you don’t want to talk to them because they always chip their price’ we can prove whether that’s the case or not and often they didn’t.”

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