At GaP, our mission is better representation that consistently leads to better results. Therefore, our client-to-broker ratio is among the lowest in the industry. In practice, that means every engagement gets the “A-team,” or we won’t take it. This discipline ensures we deliver on our promises to clients. What else sets us apart? There are several unique and proprietary factors.
As you begin to choose your M&A advisor, think about these things: Are you being pushed to sign up before the advisor has a solid grasp on YOUR individual business and all that makes it unique? What is their fee structure? Will they take a closing risk alongside you, or do they get paid handsomely throughout the engagement whether you reach your goals or not? Do they actively market your business to financial and strategic buyers, or is their process more passive where your business is "listed" using the Internet with the hope that interested parties will stumble upon you and call them?
The size of your transaction shouldn't mean you are forced to settle for inferior representation. No one else fields a “team” to work with clients in the lower middle and middle markets. Every M&A engagement at GaP is staffed with a core team consisting of a CFO/CPA, a Strategist/Analyst, and a "former business owner" Partner. Our financial staff has more experience and expertise than any other. And our strategists and analysts possess credentials that can only be rivaled by huge investment banks doing massive deals.
When required, we incorporate specialty disciplines which ensure our clients are guided and advised by subject-matter professionals at this critical time when there are no chances for a do-over. Additionally, when a buyer enters the due diligence phase of an acquisition, our team matches their team CPA-to-CPA, Analyst-to-Analyst, etc. This assures a seller is never outgunned in the critical phases of negotiation and ownership transfer.
As founders and exiters of multiple businesses each, we have extensive experience selling an asset that made up most of our net worth. Each time we went through this process, we felt that existing approaches to selling a privately-held business were skewed to benefit the broker, regardless of whether they accomplished our objectives or not. Large engagement deposits (used to fund sales commissions) and hourly billing practices ensured the broker was well compensated long before we, as the shareholders, had a sense that our goals would be met.
GaP was founded because of this frustration with the status quo and available options, so we reinvented the process, personnel involved, and fee structure to ensure we always: (a) agree with a selling owner up front regarding financial arrangements, timing, and expectations; and (b) work where our financial success is contingent upon our ability to meet or exceed the owner's stated goals.
By taking a closing risk alongside our clients, we are engaged more like a partner. Our “skin in the game” ensures we are always incentivized to act in the best interests of reaching clients' goals.
By structuring engagements the way we do, our own resources are put at risk to accomplish the mission. This approach forces discipline upon GaP to: (a) understand fully and exactly what your intentions are; (b) determine if your business is properly priced, has obstacles to closing, and is worthy of offers from multiple suitors; and (c) assess our ability to assist you in achieving your goals BEFORE we agree to work together.
Why would you trust the last big sale of your life to a firm that takes short cuts or flat out doesn’t believe that clearly understanding these factors as a condition to their ability to deliver results is important?
I am the sole owner of a 14-year-old electrical construction company that is focused on the oil and gas industry. Before the Pandemic it was on a trajectory for growth which financially positioned it to survive during 2021 and 2022. In the spring of 2022, I recognized that I was mentally tired, discouraged, and feeling lonely at the top, which resulted in networking for a business coach & mentor. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to Matt Gilbert. At our first meeting, Matt was a great listener who quickly grasped my feelings and began positively leading and encouraging me to steer the company out of surviving into thriving again. He is very astute and perceptive, with an admirable “street smartness” that is well received. In addition, he has a quiet confidence that bodes well for a leader. I enjoy working with him and can attest that he is playing a significant role in getting my company into a position much more robust and stable than before Covid 19.
I just wanted to drop you guys a note to say thank you for all your help in the sale of my business. I know this sale was a different business and experience for you, which brought some new challenges, but you guys were able to grasp the generalities of our atypical business operations and close the transaction. On another note, you seemed to find the correct fit for the business as well. The buyers are great people, and I see them continuing with the business with great success. We work well together, and the transition will be very smooth. So, again - THANK YOU for everything- this transaction would not have happened without all of your assistance and dedication.
Every month I review offering documents for dozens of lower middle market companies being marketed for sale by a wide range of intermediaries, including business brokers, financial advisors, and investment banks. When we are interested in further discussions, I contact the designated intermediary representative to arrange a discussion. I have been very surprised at the lack of responsiveness of some intermediaries (especially in Houston and the southern States). Even after multiple emails and voice messages, they take several days to respond or often never respond at all. Over time we learn which intermediaries are unresponsive and avoid pursuing the deals they are marketing, even when they otherwise appear to be a good fit. To their business owner clients, this means the companies they are marketing are missing out on interest from potential buyers with real conviction in pursuing a deal. We have found Gilbert & Pardue to be head and shoulders above their peers and would encourage any business owner who is thinking of selling their business to consider this very important intangible aspect regarding the integrity of the firm they choose to take them to market.
In my business, our clients are expecting us to take a vested interest in their success. Our first introduction of GaP to a client met every expectation we had hoped for. GaP is a very transparent, focused, and capable organization which helps support business owners in the journey through transition. I believe it starts with their desire to see the client be successful. I look forward to a continued relationship with their organization.
Bret Pardue represented a very important client of mine as broker. My client not only received unparalleled brokerage service, but as a much welcomed bonus, they also gained invaluable information from Bret’s seasoned experience as past CEO and founder of a successful, larger business enterprise. When we first met with Bret, he listened to my client to determine if they were in the right mode and business cycle for acquisition. He asked poignant, detailed questions to assess my client’s needs. Once it was agreed it was indeed a good time to sell, Bret took the deal by its horns and walked us through the process seamlessly from start to finish. Bret’s due-diligence preparation guidance and shedding of light on potential risks that might loom ahead were on-point advice for multiple concerns my client had through this big transaction.
How is Matt Gilbert different? He doesn't have an MBA in business administration or finance. He doesn't come from one of the large local private equity firms. He has been a business operator, with his own 'skin' in the game, in several businesses that had improved earnings and sold. In my mind, he has a better chance of understanding me than anyone else I have met. In the process of deciding whether or not it was time to sell several years ago, I took about a month and went around to visit every Houston-based private equity firm and M&A lawyer I could get to meet with me. I had some quality visit time with almost all of them. Many of them stayed in touch. However, I have chosen Matt Gilbert to 'TRUST' finding me one last partner, so that my life's work doesn't just disappear.
Our firm has had the pleasure of working with Gilbert & Pardue Business Advisors (GaP). GaP exhibits vast practical experience and a very good understanding of the market, regardless of industry. Their ability to walk the client through the process, both from a timing and pricing standpoint is invaluable. Their firm is our go-to firm for middle market companies that want to be brokered to potential strategic and financial buyers.
Many business brokers will get a seller’s hopes up with unrealistic valuations or sales prices…and then they may charge a slew of fees for marketing, financial review, legal, etc. before getting any interest from buyers. In those cases, it is possible the business brokers make their money up front without regard to the seller’s prospects of selling the business. Because the price is not realistic, they may never get serious traction. This doesn’t happen with GaP. Another thing GaP does that I find unique is their cultivation of relationships with buyers (even if inactive) so that they may be able to privately sell a business without openly advertising it for sale. This can be incredibly valuable to a seller requiring utmost discretion. Most business brokers balk at the amount of work it takes to develop relationships with inactive buyers. GaP welcomes the opportunity.
I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I have been with Matt Gilbert and the team associated with Gilbert & Pardue. I have been in banking for over 30 years and have had many opportunities to assess the trustworthiness and professionalism of clients and their businesses. Without doubt, after visiting with Matt Gilbert, I felt I could recommend and refer him to any of my clients who might have need of an advisory expert as relates to their business. He has proven that my impression was not only correct, but he has continued to prove that his years of experience have enabled him to create a network of people and businesses who rely on his ability to guide them in the right direction and to pull together the components they need to achieve their goals. Anyone who seeks counsel from Matt and his team are in good hands!
My clients are often nearing retirement age, with no suitable heir to their business and a desire to sell. What many don't understand is that business owners’ businesses are like their babies. They created and nurtured the entity from its infancy and simply want to ensure the business goes to someone that will take care of it like they did. Matt understands this well from his own personal experience of creating, owning, and selling businesses. As a financial advisor looking to provide my clients with a seamless and enjoyable retirement, Matt and his team have been instrumental in assisting my clients with their business transaction needs at a level of service that exceeds our expectations.
As a new business owner, I was not familiar with what an M&A firm does. When I first learned of GaP and the M&A services they provide, I thought that they just assisted in selling and buying companies. However, after speaking with them, I quickly learned that they help companies with a variety of services to become more successful, whether they are ready to sell or not. A prime example of this is the fractional CFO services they provide. We really needed that financial leadership when it came to financial modeling and cash flow forecasting. This has enabled us to grow. GaP will guide you towards thinking about aspects of your business that you are unable to think about simply because you are too busy in the business itself.