20 Jul Scam M&A Firms Don’t Use Real Names of Past Clients, Deals
Are you considering hiring an M&A firm? Does the firm you’re considering disclose the actual names of past clients or nebulous descriptions?
Check out the tombstones and testimonials on the firm’s website and printed materials. Do they contain the real names of companies, buyers and sellers?
Scam M&A firms (i.e. up-front fee collection scams) play to your naïve view of confidentiality. Don’t be fooled. When a business sells, the transaction soon becomes public knowledge. Yes, even private business transactions become public knowledge. At closing the ownership change is announced to all the employees. They, in turn, immediately tell their spouse, relatives and friends. If the buyer is a company or equity group, they’ll issue a press release and place the announcement on their website. If an M&A firm is used, they’ll likely do the same. Newspapers almost always pick up the announcements and publish stories.
The point is, within a few months of selling a business the cat is well out of the proverbial bag. Happy clients of M&A firms are more than willing to have their identities revealed. Ah, it’s already been revealed many times over.
So, you got it now. If the M&A firm you are considering does not reveal the real names of the businesses, buyers and sellers of their past transactions (right there in their tombstones and testimonials), you can safely assume that their done deals listings and testimonials are fictitious. You have your sights on a bogus firm.
Time to move on. Yes, even if they say they can get you the big buck. All they REALLY want is your up-front fee.