Get the Right Deals at the Right Time: Buy-Side Firms

In this post of our Intralinks Dealnexus Knowledge Series, you'll learn how buy-side firms enhance their deal flow using deal marketing and sourcing tools.

17 December 2014


The Intralinks Dealnexus® Knowledge Series is a monthly post of topical articles authored by members of the Intralinks Dealnexus team, created to help you make the most of the expansive platform and deal ecosystem.

In this post, you'll learn how buy-side firms can enhance their deal flow using tools available on Intralinks Dealnexus. (If you missed last month’s posting, “‘Private Process’ and ‘Marketplace Process’,” you’ll find a link to it at the end of this post, in addition to the other articles in this series.)

This month we’re exploring how buy-side firms on Intralinks Dealnexus enhance their deal flow using the tools available on the platform. Buy-side clients on Intralinks Dealnexus span Private Equity Groups, Family Offices, Venture Capital groups, and Private Debt & Credit Funds. These firms use a variety of best practices to optimize their incoming deal flow.

In this post, you’ll learn the top five ways buy-side firms optimize the quantity and quality of the deals they receive through the Marketplace and Private Processes on Intralinks Dealnexus.

The top five methods are as follows:

  1. Customized, targeted Deal Alerts to filter incoming deal flow correctly
  2. Monthly Buy-Side Mandates to actively source new deals offline from other Intralinks Dealnexus members
  3. Optimized firm profiles to enhance visibility on the platform
  4. Full-team coverage to always keep eyes on deal flow
  5. Targeted keyword searches in the Deal Marketplace

Each of these tools represents a piece of the broader sourcing mosaic that helps buy-side firms optimize their visibility into deal flow through Intralinks Dealnexus. Let’s look at each one in more depth.

Customized Deal Alerts

Deal Alerts are private filters that buy-side firms can create on Intralinks Dealnexus to bring relevant deal flow into their inboxes intelligently, directly, and automatically. Deal Alerts can be created under “My Deal Alerts” and there is no limit on the number of alerts a firm can have. Private equity groups will usually set up a main deal alert to filter for Platform Acquisitions and will then set up individual Deal Alerts for each portfolio company where they are looking for add-ons. Other firms will set up alerts specifically for distressed deal flow or, they will sort their alerts by transaction type or industry sectors.

Once your firm has set up their Deal Alerts correctly, every deal that matches your firm’s criteria will come to you automatically across Intralinks Dealnexus; you won’t need to create new alerts until your sourcing criteria changes.

Buy-Side Mandates

The Buy-Side Mandate is the active tool on Intralinks Dealnexus that you can use to leverage the network of 3,400+ sell-side advisory firms on the platform. Creating a Buy-Side Mandate takes about 10 minutes and allows you to write a completely customized message highlighting a sector where you would like to source new deals.

The ideal mandate is a message with one or two short paragraphs that highlight why your firm is the ideal potential counterparty for a deal in the space. Buy-side firms frequently use mandates to highlight sectors where they have extensive experience, outstanding Operating Partners who work with their firm, regions where they have deep regional ties, or portfolio companies where they are looking for add-ons. The mandate then goes out both over the Intralinks Dealnexus system and as an e-mail alert to sell-side firms who advise on transactions in the sectors targeted by the mandate. Most sell-side firms reply to these mandates offline with deals that are too sensitive to be marketed widely.

We recommend putting up one mandate per month and using each mandate to rotate through a new potential industry of interest. The ideal Buy-Side Mandate is one where a sell-side firm that is working on a relevant transaction — at any stage in their process — feels that they can’t pass up the opportunity to put that deal in front of the buy-side firm that put up the mandate.

Optimized Firm Profiles

Every firm on Intralinks Dealnexus has a profile, and those profiles are searchable. Buy-side firms who want to create the best possible impression on potential counterparties will be careful to make sure their profiles are optimized. An optimized profile will include:

  • A clear and accurate outline of the firm’s investment criteria
  • Any relevant portfolio companies as well as clear markings indicating whether or not those portfolio companies are looking for add-ons
  • Accurate contact details for every Intralinks Dealnexus user at the firm
  • Separate accounts broken out for foreign offices looking for deal flow overseas

Full Team Coverage

All Intralinks Dealnexus licenses are firm-wide. One of the easiest ways to make sure that a buy-side firm is seeing all possible relevant deal flow is to ensure that all individuals who work on deal sourcing are registered on the firm’s accounts. At any given time, an individual user could be busy with a deal or travelling (or otherwise occupied). By having multiple users, the leading buy-side firms on Intralinks Dealnexus can know that there will always be eyes on relevant deals to ensure an agile and immediate response to all activities.

Targeted Searches

Finally, Intralinks Dealnexus offers all buy-side firms the ability to run searches for deal flow through the Deal Marketplace. Most relevant deals that are searchable in the marketplace will automatically go to related buy-side firms if they have correctly set up their Deal Alerts. That said, diligent buy-side firms make a point of periodically going into the Deal Marketplace and searching for relevant deals. In particular, the Deal Marketplace offers a keywords search feature that you can’t get anywhere else in the system; targeted keyword searches can help the best buy-side firms on Intralinks Dealnexus to uncover deals that may defy an easy industry classification.

With these tools, Intralinks Dealnexus offers buy-side firms a myriad of ways to improve the quality of the sourcing experience — and the quantity of deals — by providing better visibility into the deal flow.

I hope you found this third installment of our Intralinks Dealnexus Knowledge Series informative. Have more questions about how buy-side firms can enhance their deal flow using tools on Intralinks Dealnexus? Contact our Intralinks Dealnexus Member Success Team by email at

Stay tuned for next month’s article.


Previous articles in this series:

Get the Right Deals at the Right Time: The Buy-Side Mandate
Get the Right Deals at the Right Time: Private vs. Marketplace Process

Stephen Madsen

Stephen Madsen

Stephen Madsen joined the Intralinks DealNexus team in summer 2013. Stephen is Head of the Intralinks DealNexus global buy-side team and is focused on business development and sales to buy-side firms including financial and strategic sponsors, lenders, credit funds, family offices and venture capital firms. Before joining Intralinks, Stephen was at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), an investment research firm focused on connecting relevant experts to investors in their research across all sectors and industries.

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