Michael Lyon is Founder and Managing Director at Vista Point Advisors in San Francisco. With their unique value proposition, they know what they stand for and what makes them different.
M&A is, by definition, chaotic. There's lots of surprising things that happen. One of the things we try to do is bring order to that chaos. And an important way in which we do that is at the diligence phase.Michael Lyon, Founder and Managing Director, Vista Point Advisors
In our day-to-day dealings, we have the privilege of meeting with thousands of advisory firms all around the world. We come across all sorts of brand positioning and differentiation in the market, and we celebrate all diverse points of view.
Vista Point Advisors is one firm that certainly sets themselves apart. With their unique value proposition, they know what they stand for and what makes them different.
Michael Lyon is the Founder and Managing Director of Vista Point Advisors. Michael has spent 24 years as a technology investment banker and chemical engineer, and has advised on transactions with an aggregate enterprise value of >$20 billion ranging from sell-side and buy-side advisory to IPOs. Mike’s advisory focus at Vista Point is on SaaS, Mobile, Digital Media and traditional software businesses.
“I think for us, the reason why founders want to work with us is largely because of our unconflicted approach. We never work for anyone who could be a buyer, whether that be a private equity firm or a strategic buyer of our company,” says Mike.
“Since we don't have any of those conflicts, our process tends to be a little bit more aggressive. We either don't grant exclusivity or grant it very late in the process, and that leads to better terms and higher valuations.
We feel like this unconflicted approach has paid a lot of dividends; for us it's been about building awareness of us and our business model. We want to continue to grow organically, be developing our junior talent into senior bankers and really be the dominant player for founders in software, M&A, and capital raising. That's been our focus from day one and that remains our focus.
M&A is, by definition, chaotic. There's lots of surprising things that happen. One of the things we try to do is bring order to that chaos. And an important way in which we do that is at the diligence phase.
The thing we counsel our clients on is: the more buttoned up we are on diligence upfront, the less questions buyers are going to ask, the more smoothly diligence is going to go. And so Ansarada and the data room in general plays a huge role in that, being able to get organized up front, present that organized front to buyers – that ultimately allows you to get due diligence more quickly.
We also like the customer support that we get. We're working with a lot of founders who haven't been through a data room exercise before, so being helpful to get us up and running quickly is very important.
And then the last thing that's really important to us are just the analytics around buyer intent. I think one of the things sellers don't oftentimes understand is the difference in commitment level between buyers who bid. And so we're using a lot of data we get from the analytics platform on Ansarada to help us make the decision about who we think is most serious. And that's a big driver of who we go with in the end.”