How important is data in the world in Mergers & Acquisitions?
Amy Oakes, Senior Data Analyst at KBS Corporate, gives an insight on how high-quality data and the latest technologies can help shape the future of the M&A market.
Please tell us a little bit about the Buyer Matching Engine.
The Buyer Matching Engine, or BME as we like to call it, is an intelligent tool designed and created for our Research Analysts to improve their processes, and combine multiple tasks into one platform.
Why and how was it made?
It was designed to speed up certain processes whilst also delivering more accuracy to the buyer targeting operation in general.
There was a lot of initial dialogue with our Research Analysts as we tried to gain an intricate understanding of their specific processes and how they fulfill their roles. We were also keen to cater for other departments too, so we did a lot of preliminary research. With this information, we analysed the current procedures and tried to improve on it. So when designing BME, we knew what we wanted and what we wanted it to do, so it was a design project from there.
As with anything, you learn more as you journey through the project, but our ultimate aim was to improve the buyer matching process to generate faster, more streamlined internal processes, which would in turn improve the service we offer our clients.
The system also underwent significant testing to ensure any flaws were removed before we rolled it out to the whole team. I am very lucky to work alongside a very experienced and knowledgeable Data team at KBS Corporate, which has grown significantly over the past few years. This means we really focus on the quality of our data and systems, and BME is just one example of how we are transforming the M&A process through technology.
What benefits will it bring to clients?
The researchers will be able to draw up more refined initial ‘buyer lists’ which will contain only the most relevant prospective acquirers. The streamlined process will grant our Research Analysts more time to contact the relevant decision makers at each company.
In the short time since implementation, we have experienced the benefits that the BME was designed for as we are able to invest more time initiating a direct dialogue with prospective purchasers from across the globe. The whole process has become more efficient, more accurate and is starting to yield better results for our clients.
Another feature that we have built into BME is the wider array of criteria our Research Analysts can call upon to create their initial lists. They can now filter and search based on specific criteria, such as if a company has expressed an interest in any of our mandates in the past and what relevance that interest may have on our current clients. We can also view the wider market and historical acquisitions data to find out who is particularly ‘acquisitive’ and may have an appetite to purchase our clients’ businesses. The intelligent platform then ranks certain businesses to provide an order or priority to our Research Analysts to open contact with. We determined the algorithms and metrics, so it’s a completely personalised, bespoke system which we are in complete control of.
What makes it different to systems our competitors may use?
This is a completely unique system, and I’m not aware that anyone has anything like this built for them. It has completely transformed the process of buyer matching, and our clients have already begun to see the benefits this system can bring as our Research Analysts identify a range of more suitable buyers which, in turn, delivers higher deal values.