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Looking for advisory to support the sale process of a company one will find various types of service providers and consultants. As a layman usually the following questions is being raised:
“What is the difference between a broker, an intermediary, an M&A consultant, a corporate finance consultant, an M&A boutique or a corporate finance boutique?”
Generally you can differentiate between broker and consultants.
Broker (M&A agents, intermediaries or agencies) are companies or individuals who try to bring two parties (buyer and seller) together and usually receive a commission in the event of a successful outcome. Hereby only small or no advisory services are being provided.
Consultants (M&A consultants or corporate finance consultants) provide comprehensive advisory services and usually work for one party (either buy-side or sell-side). Hereby the consultant holds a mandate from the buyer or seller and only the ordering party pays a fee to the mandated consultants. A corporate finance consultant, different than the M&A consultant, provides comprehensive advisory services regarding the company’s finances (e.g. structure of debt capital). In general, M&A stands for Mergers & Acquisitions and refers to the consolidation of companies’ ownership structure.