22 Sep, 2018

BankerAdvisor Beta

Official Beta Launch

BankerAdvisor is the trusted review site for investment banking and M&A advisory services. Our mission is to help buyers make better decisions when evaluating and selecting investment banking and M&A advisory services by focusing on content quality from credible reviewers.

The importance of feedback on business reputations has exploded in recent years as reviews have become the battleground for brand reputation. This trend started in the consumer areas with websites such as Amazon, Angie's List, TripAdvisor and Yelp! and has moved to the enterprise space with examples such as G2, Capterra, Glassdoor and others. We have shifted from a world where brands talk to the market to where clients share and prospects listen.

Investment banking adn M&A advisory services represent a meaningful portion of the financial services industry. As as result, we believe that a peer review ecosystem can provide significant value to prospective buyers of investment banking and M&A advisory services as they navigate the selection process. A recent survey in the financial services industry indicated that more customers are likely to leave a positive review about a good experience than previously believed. In addition, more than half of the customers said that reviews are influential when choosing financial services.

As an experienced CFO and board member, I have had the opportunity to participate in dozens of transactions ranging from IPOs, spin offs, acquisitions, sale of businesses, venture capital financings, public mergers, PIPEs, etc. From my positive experiences with many bulge bracket and boutique investment banks, I have concluded the following about the process of selecting an investment bank or M&A advisory services provider:

A Challenging and hurried Process

As a young CFO with limited experience, the process of selecting the best investment bank for our IPO was a new experience. Interviewing a handful of boutique investment banks in an investment banker bake-off was overwhelming and confusing. The pitchbooks from the potential underwriters to lead our technology IPO each featured their own proprietary investment banking league tables emphasizing and ranking their strengths versus their competitors about their qualifications. This was a challenging and hurried process based on limited and subjective information for such an important engagement and transaction. Access to an independent resource and insights from peer professionals would have been very helpful and corroborating in this process.

Trusted and Credible Peers are the Best Source

As a battle-field promoted CFO early in my career, I was forced to networking with peer CFOs to get advice from peers on operational areas that were new to me. From learning about shopping and negotiating the cost of healthcare insurance to the purchase of Director adn Officers liability insurance, I learned a great deal from more senior peers and the value of building relationships with trusted peers and sharing information among a network. We hope to provide similar value on scaled level to our community of users in the selection of investment banking and M&A advisory services firms.

Authentication of the Reviewer is Crucial

The stakes for a business are high in the selection of an investment banking or M&A advisory services provider. Ensuring that the reviewer is verifiable and credible is paramount to the reliability and usefulness of the reviews. As a result, we are using in a two-step verification process of LinkedIn and email to validate a user’s identity. Every reviewer is authenticated and every review is vetted by our research team prior to being published to provide our users with confidence and trust.

Depth of Insight Outweighs Volume

The more complex the service is, the more important that depth and breadth of the feedback matters to the decision-making process. We have provided a robust platform for providing feedback on a number of areas in order to encourage comprehensive feedback on the engagement experience. We believe that details and depth will enhance our users’ experience and provide valuable feedback and insights. We welcome your input and feedback on the platform.

Industry Sector Focus is More Important Now Than Ever

Industry sector focus has always been an important differentiator among investment banks and appears to have grown in importance. Increased complexity and the pace of change seems to have accelerated in business across all industries. The ability for an investment banking or M&A advisory services firm to remain current on a particular industry's trends has become increasingly more challenging and a major differentiator to an engagement.

Active Advisors with Recent Track Records Stand Out

Markets cycles change, industry sectors evolve, managing directors change firms, retire, and move or form new investment banks that periodically emerge as bankers strike out on their own. As a result of these changes, the strengths and sector focus of firms can shift over time. It is imperative to monitor these changing market dynamics to understand which firms are most active and demonstrate a successful track record in your industry sector. These firms will have greater insight about your sector and access to the current buyer and investor contacts that matter and adding significant value to the engagement.

We are excited to launch our beta and welcome feedback from early supporters. We look forward to learning from your feedback and sharing our progress with you.

Mike Casey, Founder & CEO