Introduction

“If you think professional advice is expensive – try ignorance.”– Jacob Orosz, President of Morgan & Westfield

Remember the original Dream Team? The occasion was the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona. It was the first time active professional players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) were allowed to ply their trade on the American Olympic team. And what a team it was! The likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird defeated their opponents by an average of 44 points before taking home the gold medal. Their collective notoriety “… was like Elvis and the Beatles put together,” said head coach Chuck Daly at the time. Despite their disparate playing styles and personalities, the superstars gelled. They played like a team, a dream team.

One of the first tasks when selling your company is building your own dream team. Let’s call it the deal team. You won’t necessarily need Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, but it would behoove you to pick proven role players who can effectively contribute to the task at hand.

Your deal team will consist of several key people, potentially including an M&A advisor, an M&A lawyer, an accountant, and several other people in roles with varied titles. In this chapter, I’ll walk you through how to build your deal team, offer tips for finding and hiring an M&A advisor or investment banker, and detail what roles your accountant and attorney play in the process.