John Carvalho, President, Divestopedia, poses the question:
I find that sometimes investment bankers are hesitant to admit to using technology or tools that automate the process, because they feel that in the eyes of their clients, their value proposition is diminished.
As an example: if a firm is using a deal marketing tool, it might communicate the messaging that the firm is not doing the hard work to uncover that perfect buyer in the marketplace. I also think that some people may still be skeptical of the efficacy of this new technology; would you agree?
100%. It's a case where that perception could be altered a little bit. Take the deal marketing example you mentioned. Oftentimes the investment bankers are struggling to gather information and relay that information to their clients. Their clients are hungry for information, especially early in a deal. They want to know what buyers are engaged in the process. They want to know who's looking at the teaser, who's signed the NDA and who's really active.
Gathering that information with current traditional processes is really hard. It's a lot of manual effort to follow up with phone calls, with emails—it's a highly labor-intensive effort. Leveraging technology tools, you're able to see who's actually read the teaser or the confidential information memorandum (CIM) without picking up the phone. Technology provides you with that level of intelligence.
At the end of the day, the client is appreciative of that additional insight. It really is becoming a differentiator for a lot of these firms to be able to leverage technology tools to better relay information and run their deal processes more effectively.