6 Questions with Our Trusted M&A Advisors
Raincatcher is a national business brokerage that specializes in small and mid-market businesses. Our mission is to help entrepreneurs build, buy and sell remarkable companies. In an effort to locally serve national business owners at every stage of their journey, Raincatcher has a M&A team with the appropriate skills and experience to work with large companies.
Meet Our M&A Advisors
Our M&A advisors are consultant-focused, providing strategy and planning options to potential sellers.
Marla DiCarlo - CEO & Co-owner
Marla DiCarlo is an accomplished business consultant with more than 28 years of professional accounting experience. As co-owner and CEO of Raincatcher, she brings in her background working for an M&A and Investment group that specialized in purchase, capitalization, and management of real estate and businesses in various sectors. She has worked with groups such as Credit Suisse First Boston, ISS Group, Venture West Group, and Madison Dearborn Partners.
Jason Thomas - COO & Co-owner
Jason has more than 15 years of business and transaction experience focused on the lower-middle market and commercial real estate development. He partners with entrepreneurs and business owners to help source the best win-win deal for all parties. A serial entrepreneur himself, Jason both understands first-hand the challenges that business owners face, and he truly knows what it takes to get a large transaction through the finish line: hard work, communication, and the ability to connect with your clients.
A seasoned investment banker with nearly $1.0 billion in transactions closed and a passion for entrepreneurs, Aaron leverages 15 years of experience advising privately-held businesses in business sales and recapitalization, corporate finance and accounting strategy, and P&L optimization. Aaron is relentlessly dedicated to serving the founders, families, and entrepreneurs who've invested diligently and worked tirelessly to build them as they seek to harvest the fruits of their labor and realize their own American Dream. He holds an active Colorado CPA license and FINRA Series 79, 63, and 24 licenses.
Steve has over 15 years of business and transaction advisory experience focused on middle-market mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, valuations, and strategic consulting. He has more than 15 years of business and transaction advisory experience focused on middle-market mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, valuations, and strategic consulting. His clients have included entrepreneurs, multi-generational family-owned businesses, large international companies, and private equity covering a wide range of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, technology and business services. He is leveraging his deep deal experience to bring a middle market investment banking level of service and expertise to business owners historically underserved by traditional business brokers and lower middle market investment banks.
Based out of California, Mark spearheads Raincatcher’s digital brokerage division as we bring our portfolio of eCommerce and other digitally native companies to market. The founder and CEO of a boutique digital brokerage himself, he understands firsthand the challenges and advantages each company owner brings to the selling table. He built his business from scratch as a white-glove brokerage focused exclusively on online businesses. Their clients were successful entrepreneurs who sold their digital businesses valued between $250K - $5MM in annual profit. Mark is dedicated to assisting successful entrepreneurs build value for and sell their companies through the nuanced process of evaluating their enterprises so he can take the special care needed to bring eCommerce, SaaS, media website, marketing agency, or other digital service businesses to sell for maximum value.
6 Ways Our M&A Experts Can Serve You
Our experts have used their decades of experience to answer the most important questions related to M&A advisors.
1. How relevant is your team’s experience with M&A transactions?
Completely relevant. Our team has worked on complex M&A transactions across a multitude of industries. The transactions have generated upwards of several hundred million dollars in enterprise value. We have expertise in construction-related verticals, as well as manufacturing, B2B services, oil & gas, technology, SAAS, and the gig economy.
Marla points out that: “Our experience is on both the buy and sell-side, ranging from investment banking, through M&A, down to simple brokerage. Although the deal quality and diversity speak for themselves, M&A skills are mastered through the number of deals as well, and our M&A team has helped thousands of clients collectively.”
2. What is your M&A advisory approach?
Our philosophy is to truly do what is best for the client to help them achieve their goals and exit to the best buyer from the maximum value. We leverage the value of the team when working with a client by having multiple advisors and support staff on the assignment. We strive to be responsive and efficient, so we are adding value and never getting in the way of the deal getting done.
Jason explains that: “As former business owners, CPAs, attorneys, and brokers, our team members are unified by the entrepreneurial spirit. We know what business owners go through and can navigate the stresses and emotions during a sale process.”
Frequently, M&A advisors place their sole focus on doing whatever it takes to complete a deal (after all, that is the way we collect success fees). We stray from that model.
Although completing deals is important, looking out for your client’s best interest is more so. If we sense a problem with a buyer, we tell the client, so they don’t consummate a deal and then live to regret it.
Even if a deal can be completed at a lower price or for less favorable terms, we go the extra mile and put our own success fee at risk by squeezing out the best deal that we can. And most of all, rather than simply pushing financial and legal advisors to get the deal closed at all costs, we roll up our sleeves and steep ourselves in the diligence and legal work, so we can provide useful guidance and problem solve the issues for our client.
The guidance extends beyond our advisory.
We help clients with tax planning, to determine what they need to do with their money (or how to invest), and make sure that clients have the proper help determining how to spend the rest of their days after the sale.
We help them to realize that they need to live to work, not work to live, so that the best years of their lives start in retirement. Because of those attributes, we don’t experience dissatisfied clients the way the industry does. Although polls show that 75% of business owners regret the sale after the fact, our experience is the opposite, with nearly all of our clients completely satisfied after the sale.
3. How Will the M&A Advisor Maintain Confidentiality Throughout the Process?
All of the buyers within Raincatcher’s database sign NDAs, and are vetting by our brokerage team. Here are some additional steps we take to protect your interests:
We make sure that we screen all buyers before they get any information and make sure they are serious, and have the funds to make the purchase.
We ask for proof of funds.
We create deal-specific data rooms for document storage.
We use encrypted software to protect our client's information, and only provide access to this data to verified buyers.
4. Will the Sale Process Disrupt My Business?
The role of our M&A team is to do the heavy lifting, so the owners of the business can focus on running the business.
It is imperative that the owners keep their eye on the business and continue growth, as if the business were not for sale, and allow our team to be the intermediary between the buyer and seller. The goal of the process is to see no change in the business.
In reality, if the owner relies on us for the heavy lifting and also keeps news of the sale to only a handful of key insiders, the business can proceed as if there is nothing out of the ordinary. For the employees, that’s almost a truism, since the owner is still there and the employees don’t sense a coming event.
By finding the right buyer, we can help to improve the situation of every employee. We focus substantial time on cultural fit with buyers, since finding someone with the right vision, mentality, and attitude is the key to success after the sale.
5. Can You Manage Complex Board Dynamics?
We are a group of seasoned professionals and current and past business owners.
Our team understands and can navigate the complexities of board dynamics, partner relationships, and complicated family dynamics. We strive to be our sellers trusted advisors and can assist in having difficult conversations with boards and the like.
Often family dynamics can be much more difficult than boards, although any situation of scattered ownership presents challenges.
We frequently advise second and third-generation owners looking to sell. These situations often mean multiple owners, all related, and all with highly varied outlooks on how the company should be run and how it should be sold.
Marla states: "The trick (whether in families, partners, boards, etc.) is to identify the dynamics early so that everyone can be heard and acknowledged before solutions are crafted."
6. What makes Raincatcher different?
Raincatcher’s mission truly separates us from other firms, and that mission is to help small business owners.
In many cases, our mission directly conflicts with how we make money, and closing transactions. Why? Because we are not transactional-oriented, we believe in doing the right thing by the business owner, and that may mean helping them improve their value before selling.
That is why we have our affiliate program of trusted advisors that help business owners prepare for a sale, grow, implement EOS, etc before going to the market. We also implement sell-side due diligence and risk assessments, so we can identify any challenges that may prevent the transaction from getting done. These are just a few differentiating factors.
When our clients are ready to go to the market, this is where we shine.
We have created efficient processes, and leverage technology to make sure that we are always adding value to the sale and moving it forward. More importantly, Raincatcher knows how to find buyers, whether it's through our proprietary database, sophisticated marketing channels, or by thoughtfully identifying the best strategic buyer and picking up the phone.
Although we are not the only group claiming to have processes, procedures, and disciplines that will raise the bar, our culture is unique.
We have a team of skilled professionals, such as CPAs, lawyers, medical personnel, investment advisers/wealth planners, real estate brokers, etc. Rather than hire just finance graduates and salesmen (we have all of that too), we hire a diverse team, and then every single team member helps to brainstorm regularly about every single deal. We have a skilled group, and the power is in the tribe.
Work With a Trusted Advisor
Our team has worked with thousands of businesses, and over 30+ years of combined experience.
When you work with Raincatcher, you join a team of experienced national experts who will guide you through all phases of the business selling and buying process. You won’t work with a franchise location with limited national reach, a single broker with little experience, or be passed off from one specialist to another. We use a team approach to bring the most value and experience to you.
Raincatcher will operate as your trusted advisor throughout the entire sale process, so you can sell your business at an attractive price without regrets.
Do you have a business valued at over $5 million that you are considering taking to market? We’re here for you. We’re also here to answer any questions that you may have about your business and how we can help you maximize its value for sale today, or further down the line.
Cameron Bishop, Steve Fisher, Aaron Linnebach, and Mark Woodbury are registered representatives offering securities and investment banking services through Britehorn Securities, a registered broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC).