The Oaklins Netherlands team ranks #1 in the Benelux and realized a record number of 32 transactions in 2018 up until now. This makes it the most active year in the 20-year history of Oaklins Netherlands. Compared to previous years, more deals have been closed in 2018 year-to-date than the total yearly average number of deals over the past few years. Recently Reed Philips, President of Oaklins International, spoke to Frederik van der Schoot, Managing Partner of Oaklins Netherlands about this remarkable achievement. In the interview, Frederik revealed the true drivers of this growth.

So what's your secret...

You closed 32 deals in 2018 year-to-date, which is remarkable. That's more than one deal per week. To what do you attribute this impressive performance?

“We are very proud of this achievement. It demonstrates our commitment to exceeding our clients’ expectations and being ahead of the game all the time. To make it even more spectacular, we have been able to significantly increase the number of transactions in a market that was showing a 20–30% decline in the number of deals closed.

What’s driving this continuous growth is our access to Oaklins’ global industry experience, combined with our expertise in M&A, debt and equity, and ECM advisory. Furthermore, we have split our M&A advisory into separate teams focusing on small and mid-cap deals. Consequently, we have a strong presence in the market, with significant spin-off from cross-selling our services.

In addition, the market acknowledges the value we bring with our increasing sector focus. Being a global financial advisory powerhouse, whilst remaining a local office with local roots, is having a great impact on our firm’s reputation. Oaklins is becoming a strong brand, recognized as a truly global mid-market M&A advisor. Our passion, flexibility and great understanding of our clients is differentiating us from other companies. Last but not least, we are greatly benefiting from strong commitment to and collaboration within Oaklins globally. It allows us to focus on what matters – achieving the best result possible. ”

“I believe this is a structural development,
rather than a one-off achievement.”

Q: Now that you've been branded as Oaklins for almost two years what impact has that had on your deal flow?

"In short, more opportunities to pitch, higher conversion rate of pitches, higher success rates of engagements at higher valuations than clients had initially expected.

With the founding of Oaklins, we decided to fully adopt the brand from day one. The market has now known us as Oaklins for almost two years. We have experienced a significant impact, and are expecting more to come. The brand is showing strong development and the market now recognizes Oaklins-branded content, such as industry reports and market updates. The same is applicable to transactions realized in other geographies.

As a result, we are not only opening doors more easily, we are also seeing parties pro-actively approach us to engage in conversation. On top of that, we are experiencing more willingness than ever for global collaboration within Oaklins on pitches and in the execution phase."

Q: How many of the deals were done with other Oaklins offices?

We have completed nine transactions alongside other Oaklins teams. As you can see, there are many ways to benefit from being a member of Oaklins:

  • Joint mandates: 1 deal
  • We introduced / contacted the buyer: 1 deal
  • A buyer was introduced / contacted on our behalf: 1 deal
  • We offered pitch support: 2 deal
  • We received pitch support: 2 deal
  • A client was introduced to us: 1 deal
  • We introduced a client: 1 deal

Q: What is the breakdown of the 32 deals? How many are from your large-cap M&A versus small-cap M&A and how many are from fundraising?

Of the 32 deals, 26 were M&A transactions, one was debt advisory, one was fundraising and four were financial advisory engagements. As small and large-cap M&A are relative, let me give you the figures in size brackets:

  • Small cap (Up to EUR 15m): 7 deals
  • Large cap (over EUR 15m): 19 deals