30 Things your corporate financier should have told you

  • Your transaction will take twice as long as you think it will
  • You will go through periods of severe doom and gloom
  • The other party’s lawyers will appear to be from another planet
  • Your lawyer will appear to be from another planet
  • Plan for war, pray for peace
  • Silence is a great negotiation tool
  • Don’t give up prematurely
  • You will wish you had never started this process
  • You will wish you had started the process 3 years ago
  • Take your key staff into your confidence straight away, you will need them
  • You will be asked seemingly ridiculous and pointless questions by your advisers (they are neither)
  • Stuff happens (or words to that effect)
  • It’s not over till it’s over
  • Everyone wants a bargain
  • Both sides want to win no matter what they say
  • Brinksmanship is rife
  • The first offer is never the last and last offer is rarely the last
  • Understand you WILL have to compromise
  • Some people are incredibly rude and have no manners
  • Having a high EQ is more important in negotiation than a high IQ
  • Don’t forget to laugh
  • There is always another way
  • Your deal is not unique
  • Your CF adviser will have seen it all before
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Let your advisers do their job
  • It will all be ok at the end and if it isn’t, it isn’t the end
  • When people say it’s not personal it is
  • Bankers will lie
  • If there is bad news, the sooner it’s out sooner it’s dealt with
Jo Haigh is head of FDS corporate finance services and the author of The Keys to the Boardroom – How to Get There and How to Stay There. 

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