The Tampa office of Benchmark International is now looking for business professionals to fill entry-level roles on its sell-side mergers and acquisitions teams. The Tampa office was founded in 2013.Since then, numerous analysts have been promoted to associate roles in this and other Benchmark International offices.
Our analysts begin learning negotiation skills, valuation metrics, and the entire M&A process from their first day on the job. They engage clients and potential acquirers on a daily basis; generating buyer interest in our clients, negotiating the terms of non-disclosure agreements, and initiating the response to the buyer’s due diligence investigation into their team’s portfolio of businesses for sale.
This is a role requiring the ability to hold your own against business owners, private equity associates, and business development professionals from Fortune 500 companies. You will work on multiple files, across a variety of industries, every day. As an entry-level position, you will not be expected to have any particular M&A knowledge but must have a keen interest in growing your knowledge-base in this exciting field of business. All aspects of the company sale process will unfold on the trading floor within easy earshot of your workstation. As you gain experience, your involvement and responsibilities will progress further through the process. As there is more than enough work to go around on our teams, those with the interest and ability will be given additional responsibilities on a case-by-case basis after first proving their ability to go toe-to-toe with the various constituencies involved in the process and come out with favorable results for our clients.
Our deal teams have been closing between one and two transactions per month over the last several years. They rely on their analysts to continually restock the pool of interested buyers in order to continue that success.
Client origination, general firm marketing, and similar operational distractions are taken off the teams’ plates, keeping to Benchmark International’s model. This allows a more focused approach on operations and portfolio management. The teams’ obligations regarding each client commence with a signed engagement letter and detailed file, prepared by the separate Deal Origination Department, and continue through every aspect of the transaction (other than legal and accounting services) to the closing and collection of the resulting success fee.
Analysts will work together in pairs, under the direct supervision of an associate serving in the role of Senior Deal Associate. The role of the Senior Deal Associate serves as the next logical step in the analyst’s advancement and they will thus have clear visibility into future potential career opportunities.
Your specific duties as an analyst will include:
- Developing and building relationships with Benchmark International’s clients (business owners pursuing the sale of their business) and pool of potential acquirers for those businesses. This is a front-line role involving frequent communication with seller-clients and buyers, primarily via phone and email.
- Managing early stages of each acquirer-seller relationship from introduction to preliminary negotiations including (i) performing research to uncover potential companies and individuals interested in acquiring businesses owned by Benchmark’s clients, (ii) reaching out to potential acquirers via phone and email, (iii) managing client’s profiles on third party and proprietary online portals and responding to inquiries on such portals, (iv) negotiating nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with potential acquirers, (v) preparing executed NDAs and acquirer profiles for clients, (vi) obtaining clients’ approval of NDA’s and potential acquirers’ access to client’s marketing materials which contain sensitive business data, (vii) fielding approved potential acquirers’ additional questions about clients, replying where possible and seeking additional data from clients where required, (vii) arranging meetings and conference calls between clients and acquirers, occasionally moderating such calls, (vii) following up on conference calls and on site visits, and (viii) driving approved potential acquirers to submit offers for clients’ businesses.
- Developing relationships with private equity funds, venture capital funds, family offices, and active trade buyers.
- Assisting associates in preparation and revision of clients’ marketing materials, primarily through requesting additional information from clients and assembling lists of potential acquirers.
- Filing and keeping Benchmark International’s networked customer resource management system up-to-date for all of the above.
- Communicating effectively with clients by phone and electronic means to obtain client information and convey results of analysis.
- Researching industries and M&A market segments.
- Preparing reports of findings, illustrating data graphically, and translating complex findings into written text.
As an analyst, you must be a highly energetic and passionate individual with a positive and highly motivated can-do attitude. You must have the strong desire and ambition to succeed in this rewarding industry. It is also vital for your role as an analyst that you possess excellent verbal and written communication, analytical, mathematical, and interpersonal skills, as well as presentation abilities.
Our analysts deal only with existing clients. As a client-facing role, each analyst must be able to convey bad news and deal with clients’ unique sensitivities while keeping each client moving through the company sales process at a steady pace.
Specific qualifications for the M&A Outreach Analyst include:
- Experienced in professional business writing.
- Prioritization and organization skills.
- Proficiency in Word, Outlook, and Excel.
- Communication skills: written and verbal; delivering information in an empathetic, yet persuasive manner.
- Proficiency with online research including proprietary sources such as Hoovers, IBISWorld, DealNexus, PrivCo, Corpfin, Pitchbook, OneSource, and First Research.
- Commercial understanding and awareness of business.
- Possession of a valid and current driver license.
- A bachelor’s degree with a concentration (or an advanced degree) in Business, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, or Accounting or an unrelated degree with significant work experience in one or more of these fields.
- Ability to consistently present yourself in a professional manner in keeping with Benchmark International’s image (as shown, for example, on the company’s web site).
- Availability and willingness to work outside normal business hours at times, whether early or late, as required by client schedules and expectations.
- Availability and willingness to travel for occasional overnight trips on short notice (rarely, if ever, longer than two days).
- Ability to obtain a Florida real-estate sales associate license within 90 days of employment.
- Absence of any unfavorable history with FINRA, the SEC, or any state regulatory agency.
Analysts receive a bi-weekly salary in the range of $35,000 to $40,000 and commissions equal to a percentage of revenue obtained from closing transactions with an additional end-of-year bonus if the team’s target is achieved. As a result, overall compensation can vary from year to year based on success and on target performance could result in total compensation in excess of $60,000.
All Benchmark International positions offer paid time off, standard holidays, and community service days. Employees are eligible for highly competitive company-subsidized medical, dental, vision, and AD&D insurance; 401k with company matching; flexible spending accounts; and flexible dependent care assistance accounts. Quarterly team outings and standing desks are employee favorites at present.
Benchmark International is an active, contributing member of the communities in which we work. The company participates in significant charitable giving opportunities throughout the year. Many of the recipient charities have been identified by our individual employees as a result of their personal passions for supporting particular needs. In addition, each employee is encouraged to use two paid work days per year to provide their labor and skills to the community.