We hope that you enjoy GRAPH Papers™ - our ongoing series covering best-practices for assessing market opportunities and conducting commercial due diligence.
The insights behind these short pieces derive from real-world diligence experience. Our aim is to help our team and our clients develop and apply “standard work” methods that lead to better deal outcomes. Some of the tips will apply to specific sectors or types of asset, but we expect that most will be of interest to everyone in the diligence community – given that so much of what determines deal outcomes ties back to business fundamentals.
If you would like to share your thoughts about our ideas, please reach out to us.
Take a look at the topics covered in past GRAPH Papers™.
Assessing the Impact of Cyclicality in an Investment – a Voice-of-Customer Informed Diligence Approach
Goldman Sachs recently forecast that US growth will slow “significantly” in 2019. And with the US economy now in its second longest period of growth since WWII, it would be surprising if there wasn’t a decline at some point in the coming years. Given that context, it’s no surprise that more of our clients seem increasingly keen to understand how a prospective acquisition would perform in…
A Practical Commercial Diligence Approach to Assess the Risk of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Disruption
The impact of constantly expanding applications of AI technology (Note 1) has many investors nervous about traditional human-labor-based businesses – from professional and technical services to administrative clerks. The sustainability of these businesses is a deep and challenging topic to assess. However, it is made harder by the convoluted analytics that many consultants have proposed to…
Timing the Meeting (the Commercial Due Diligence Partner Meeting with Management)
It is well established practice to bring your commercial due diligence partner to the Management Meeting. It creates context and gives your diligence practitioner a first-hand view of what management represents to be most significant.
Competitor Forecasting in Commercial Due Diligence: How to Chase Down a Moving Target
Why competitor forecasting matters. In a typical commercial diligence process, a significant amount of work is conducted to understand how the end-market and channels will grow and develop - ‘market forecasting.’
Avoiding Asymmetric Competitors in Technology Investing
In a recent conversation with a leading technology-focused sponsor, I was asked an interesting question: if [insert hyperscale technology company name] is getting into everything, then how do I know what’s safe? In this case, we were talking about Amazon, but the same could have applied to Microsoft, Google, Apple, Salesforce, Adobe, and more.
An Alternative Approach to Capturing the Potential of IoT Investments
Judging by my recent conversations with clients, it seems that IoT (and more broadly, Industrial Tech) is a focus for both corporate and PE investors right now.
Observations on how Financial (PE) and Strategic (Corp Dev) Investors Consider Segmentation Opportunities Differently from One Another
Serving a wide-range of clients, one pattern that I have noticed is the degree to which the strongest Corp Dev groups (the “Strategics”) consider customer segments as a means for asset value creation – and do so in ways that outrun what many Private Equity firms consider.
Building Habits to Reduce Due Diligence Mistakes
Private Equity investing has been described as a combination of art and science, calling on a wide range of disciplines to make good judgements. In that spirit, I wanted to share a few thoughts I use to test my own judgment. They all surround a central question: What am I missing?
Commercial Diligence Tips for Tech-Enabled Service Businesses
Many recent PE deals have targeted businesses that apply technology to help customers streamline processes which have previously been manual and “paper-based.”
Diligence Trappings of Lawn Sign Decisions
Regardless of where any of us stand on a political spectrum, there is a superbly valuable due diligence lesson for investment teams that derives from the behavioral sciences of psychology and politics. There is a dangerous trap that we refer to as the lawn sign decision.