Member Kevin Kujawski Speaks: Bring in the Bankers

The Challenge:

The case at hand was brought by an executive of a company whose managing partners had divergent strategic visions. He was looking for methods to push the managing partners to agree on a plan for the future.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

You have a tough situation to navigate here. Not only do the partners have misaligned desired outcomes, – e.g. one wants an IPO, another wants to withdraw money from ownership interest, yet another wants to stay the course – but they are also geographically estranged and living on four different continents. I know you’ve been through an IPO before and believe that the company is nowhere near ready for it. But how do you credibly impart that to the managing partners? If I were in your place, I’d bring in the investment bankers as a credible outside party to perform an in-depth analysis of your business and place potential strategic avenues on the table. They are adept at putting together concise and compelling presentations that lay out potential strategic decisions, associated costs, risks and upsides. This analysis can form the foundation for a fruitful conversation that creates consensus.

I was once in a similar situation with a company that was toying with the idea of an IPO. We had two big investment banks come in and complete in-depth analysis of where we would price in the market. Ultimately we decided not to IPO for a variety of reasons. But the analysis and the competitive data delivered to the board in a digestible presentation were immensely helpful to the formation of our own strategic views of what we should do as a company. Better yet, these investment banks will generally perform this work for free hoping to get your business and be paid on the backside. So what do you have to lose?