SCD Advisory launches offering for consultancies seeking an exit

01 July 2020 3 min. read

SCD Advisory, a corporate finance advisory and M&A boutique, has launched a new service offering for consultancies considering or actively pursuing an exit strategy. 

The objective of the new proposition, named ‘The Apollo Journey’, is to support a consultancy in preparing its equity story and optimising a future liquidity event by designing a roadmap for its board, explained Pierre Briand, the founder and managing partner of SCD Advisory. 

The approach is based on Briand’s dealmaking track record of over a dozen deals in Australia’s consulting space in the last five years, including the recent acquisitions of data analytics specialist Bistech and change management consultancy The Terrace Initiative by Deloitte (sell side), and the acquisition of Calcutta Group by TSA Management (sell side). He also contributed to deals involving DXC Technologies, Grant Thornton and Mercer. 

Briand has been based in Australia since 2015, having relocated from France where he among others worked in investment banking and acquisitions at J.P. Morgan and Bank Degroof, as well as leading his own M&A boutique. 

The Apollo Journey

Asked why he launched ‘The Apollo Journey’, he said: “Entrepreneurs are very successful at creating and managing their business in a market they understand well: my experience in advising entrepreneurs shows that they are commonly less equipped and prepared to optimise their business for sale. This is where the offering steps in.”

Briand says that the proposition walks entrepreneurs / partners through every step of the exit lifecycle, just like a personal trainer helps his/her clients with getting into shape. “A deal is a pivotal moment for any firm, it can write the next chapter of its journey and change the future of partners for good. Taking the process seriously can maximise the value that a deal can bring.”

The programme takes a longer term approach to exits. Delivered monthly or quarterly, the series of twelve advisory sessions helps leaders explore major questions such as: Is my firm exit ready? What do the buyers expect? How do I grow my business with an exit strategy in mind? What should I do to increase valuation and sellability of my business? 

“The objective is to become the ‘sparring partner’ of the founders and the boards, with an innovative approach of ‘Advisory as a Service’ during a period of time in line with the exit strategy’s goal.” 

The launch of the new offering comes at a time of slowing dealmaking activity in Australia. A recent report from Deloitte found that the Covid-19-induced downturn has taken a dent out of deal appetite, with over half of business leaders admitting that their merger & acquisitions endeavours have been put in the fridge. 

However, Briand contests that despite uncertainties on the market, consulting businesses should continue to be innovative and agile to capture new market opportunities. “They can embark on the next step of their journey: organic growth, acquisition or sale, in order to take their business to new horizons in a ‘new normal’ world.”