Q&A with Anthony Hill Director of Deal Exchanges

With the announcement of a recent deal that utilized our services, we spoke to Anthony Hill, Director of Deal Exchanges at Intralinks about the acquisition of PE-Nexus and MergerID and what it means for our business.

12 June 2013

With the announcement of a recent deal that utilized our services, we spoke to Anthony Hill, Director of Deal Exchanges at Intralinks about the acquisition of PE-Nexus and MergerID and what it means for our business.


[Q]: What inspired you to create PE-Nexus?

[AMH]: The fundamental inspiration for PE-Nexus came from doing middle-market M&A work with co-founders Matt Wells and Kevin Doyle.

On the sell-side, associates carry the majority of the burden when it comes to taking a deal to market. Everything from buyer research to the laborious process of dialing out, pitching and narrowing down the field of prospective suitors falls on one or two individuals, and it can be fairly hit-or-miss at times. No matter how hard you researched or kept up with the trade publications, you always knew there were groups you missed. After announcing a closed deal, we would invariably receive a flood of inbound calls from private equity professionals we knew, lamenting “I would’ve done that deal. Why didn’t you show it to us???” To that, all we could say was, “how were we supposed to know?”

On the buy side, we knew first-hand from Kevin (who was with H.I.G. Capital at the time) the frustrations private equity dealt with in deal sourcing. Private equity firms expend massive amounts of resources trying to make sure they don’t miss the right deal, but it’s virtually impossible - the middle-market is simply too fragmented, too volatile and too fast-paced.

We knew there had to be a better, faster more efficient way to connect on deals. What ultimately differentiated us was the concept of the built-in professional network – not just matching deal criteria. Building a living, breathing network - where, in addition to intelligent deal sourcing, members can find one another, connect, communicate, and build their own private networks - was a challenge, but also the key to the platform’s value proposition and long-term success.

[Q]: Describe how a customer would use PE-Nexus and MergerID

[AMH]: Currently, PE-Nexus offers a free basic account which is a great way to get acquainted with the network and its deal sourcing capabilities. Members who want enhanced functionality can always upgrade to a premium account. MergerID follows a very similar model.

If you are an investment banker or M&A advisor with an active sale mandate, you would use our Deal Manager system to (i) create a blind deal profile, (ii) generate an intelligent suitor list and (iii) confidentially share your blind deal profile with as few or as many suitors as you like, using a simple push button interface. The system maintains a log of everyone who’s viewed the deal profile, requested follow-up information, etc., so you can see how the deal is progressing in real-time.

If you’re a private equity or corporate development professional, it’s even easier. You just need to set up and maintain the right investment criteria on the platform and the system will automatically find, save and notify you when matches take place, also in real-time. If you receive a deal you’re interested in, you can open or request information right on the spot. If it’s not a fit, you can pass and archive the deal.

Anyone who’s interested in learning more should give us a call. If you are in United States, call 786.837.0866. If you’re located in Europe or Asia, you should call our London office at +44 (0)20 7010 6360.

[Q]: What do you see as the value of PE-Nexus and MergerID now that it’s part of Intralinks?

[AMH]: It’s almost impossible today to quantify the value that Intralinks brings to the table. Time will tell how far we can go with the support and resources of a world-class technology company like Intralinks, the introduction of a full lifecycle solution for our strategic transactions clients, and the countless synergies we plan on exploring. Suffice to say, in the not too distant future, I think we will offer an industry-changing product.

On a more academic level, these acquisitions are a validation of the online deal sourcing concept as a whole, and an endorsement of how PE-Nexus and MergerID have run their businesses. Sixteen years ago, Intralinks was in a similar position to PE-Nexus and MergerID: innovating an antiquated process with a technology-enabled solution which, eventually, became the industry-standard. I wouldn’t be surprised if, fifteen years from now, people look back and point at this acquisition as the birth of the online deal marketing and deal sourcing era.

[Q]: What can customers expect from PE-Nexus and MergerID going forward?

[AMH]: In the immediate short term, as we focus on merging the two networks, our customers can continue using either or both PE-Nexus and MergerID exactly the way they have in the past. The two platforms will continue operating in parallel, with no disruption in service.

In a few months, when we officially launch the combined ecosystem, customers can expect an overnight doubling or tripling in firm base, unique member base, usage, sale mandates and more. The new platform will boast a fair amount of new functionality, streamlined user experience and substantially improved back-end performance. We’re currently looking at the summer of 2013 as a tentative launch date.

We’ve only just begun scratching the surface of what we can accomplish together long-term. For now, first things first: we need to successfully combine PE-Nexus and MergerID and prepare ourselves for a successful launch this summer.

Ian Bruce

Ian Bruce

Ian Bruce is the VP of Corporate Communications at Intralinks. He has 20 years of international marketing experience across software, hardware, consulting, and financial services at both VC-backed start-ups and large multinationals. Prior to joining Intralinks, Ian held various marketing and communications roles at Avid Technology, HP, Novell, Systinet, and CSC.