3 questions to smart minds

Due Diligence Research and the Role of Expert Networks

For this 3 questions to Marta Margolis

Atheneum Part­ners in Munich
28. Septem­ber 2021

Atheneum just closed a $150 million finan­cing round They are often called upon as advi­sors to help private equity firms prepare for a deal or tran­sac­tion. You need to perform due dili­gence and find out what content is important for the tran­sac­tion and analyze poten­ti­als. What is rele­vant here? Every company and every indus­try is different.

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Marta Margo­lis, Mana­ging Direc­tor & Chief Commer­cial Offi­cer Atheneum Part­ners in Munich, Germany

1. Atheneum has many private equity firms as clients. Where are their needs? Why don’t they audit their targets themselves?

We live in a time of infor­ma­tion over­load. Access to the highest quality and most up-to-date infor­ma­tion is also a major chall­enge for private equity funds. We fill this know­ledge gap by connec­ting our custo­mers with the world’s best profes­sio­nals and indus­try insi­ders. Thanks to our AI-powered tech­no­logy plat­form of around 800,000 experts and a team of 500 employees in 11 global loca­ti­ons such as Munich, London, New York or Shang­hai, we are thus able to support nume­rous private equity funds in all invest­ment phases.

In the prepa­ra­tion phase, or “pre-deal phase”, Atheneum experts help our private equity clients quickly deve­lop a solid under­stan­ding of the indus­try and its dyna­mics. The private equity fund or invest­ment mana­ger can cont­act the expert directly by tele­phone for a quick and uncom­pli­ca­ted exch­ange of information.

In the “due dili­gence phase”, the experts support on the one hand with detailed market know­ledge such as size and growth, key purchase factors, tech­no­logy deve­lo­p­ments, regu­la­tory envi­ron­ment, etc., and on the other hand with compe­ti­tive dyna­mics inclu­ding strengths and weak­ne­s­ses of compe­ti­tors. We place our experts “on demand” — from a 60-minute expert call to an expert assign­ment that can last seve­ral months. We also arrange face-to-face meetings or surveys in the form of quan­ti­ta­tive B2B surveys.

In the port­fo­lio manage­ment phase, our experts support add-on invest­ments, key growth/transformation initia­ti­ves and exit prepa­ra­ti­ons through calls, work­shops and inte­rim placements.

2. Which areas do you cover? Who else are your custo­mers? Can you briefly explain your rese­arch approach?

We cover even the most deman­ding niches, indus­try-speci­fic insights can be gained within the shor­test possi­ble time and across count­ries. We enable “on-demand access” to global infor­ma­tion through our AI-powered tech­no­logy plat­form, our exten­sive expert pool, and custom search capa­bi­li­ties for experts in over 40 languages. We are parti­cu­larly strong in health­care, with a focus on go-to-market stra­te­gies and drug commercialization.

Our one-stop-shop approach toB2B primary rese­arch allows us to work with a wide range of global firms, inclu­ding leading invest­ment firms, top manage­ment consul­tancies and blue chip companies.

We bring our custo­mers toge­ther with the right experts in the shor­test possi­ble time — often initial discus­sions take place in less than 24 hours. After all, time is money and a perso­nal conver­sa­tion with an indus­try expert is often more profi­ta­ble than reading a long study. And thanks to our global loca­ti­ons and network, we offer around-the-clock rese­arch on many projects. I would also like to add that “diver­sity” — in all its forms — is one of our company’s core elements. Gender diver­sity, from asso­ciate to top manage­ment level, is not a goal but a matter of course for us.

3. What are the future plans for Atheneum?

We just successfully closed a $150 million finan­cing round. Despite the Covid 19 pande­mic, we grew by 45% last year, and our sales even doubled in the first seven months of this year.

The new finan­cing will further drive the expan­sion. We want to streng­then our posi­tion on the dome­stic market as a Euro­pean supplier, but also further expand the US & Asian market, which we alre­ady star­ted in 2014. In addi­tion, we plan to hire more employees and make further important invest­ments in our plat­form tech­no­logy to further drive the digi­ta­liza­tion of clas­sic rese­arch proces­ses. — Now is the right time to go full throttle.

About Marta Margolis

Marta is chief commer­cial offi­cer and mana­ging direc­tor at Atheneum. Prior to joining Atheneum, Marta spent 6 years at McKin­sey & Company, where she was respon­si­ble for sales and stra­tegy projects in EMEA. Previously, she foun­ded, mana­ged and led an envi­ron­men­tal services start-up to exit. Marta holds a Master’s degree in Busi­ness Admi­nis­tra­tion from the Univer­sity of Lodz and an MBA from INSEAD. — She is a mother of two child­ren — 5‑year-old Mila and 3‑year-old Max.

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