Jennifer Maag is Founder and Managing Director of Capital Concepts International AG (CCI). She has over 20 years experience advising clients worldwide in mergers & acquisitions as well as related financial issues. Prior to founding CCI in 1999, she worked for KPMG Corporate Finance as well as Deloitte & Touche in Zurich, Switzerland and Munich, Germany, as an auditor. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in Economics and passed her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in 1994. CCI’s Advisory Services include Mergers & Acquisitions, Succession Planning & Divestitures, Management Buy-Outs or Buy-Ins, Corporate Financing, Capital Markets, and Business Development. The impressive list of clients and references include names such as Siemens Building Technologies, Artemis/Franke, Metall Zug and other publicly quoted and privately held or family owned companies.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS ADVISORY?
After completing my studies in Berkeley, I wanted to work in international trade or something similar and decided to move to Germany to look for employment. I found a job in auditing and four years later, after passing my CPA exam, I was offered a job in Mergers & Acquisitions in Zurich. I felt the combination of numbers, creativity, communication and negotiation skills fit perfectly and I took the job.
YOU ARE THE FOUNDER OF CAPITAL CONCEPTS INTERNATIONAL. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THIS STEP?
After three years of M&A at a larger firm, I felt that a “boutique” approach to M&A advisory would better address the needs of clients who appreciated a more personal approach to advisory. I founded CCI 17 years ago and we have been advising on transactions between $10- 500 million since then. Interestingly enough, M&A boutiques have been on the uprise in particular in the last 5-10 years. I think the accessibility to platforms and data through the internet has supported this trend, as pricing for financial data platforms such as Bloomberg and Reuters has come down considerably as a result of this increased transparency and access. Even on Microsoft’s latest acquisition of LinkedIn, two boutique M&A advisors were advising the LinkedIn owners on the sales process. This underlines the importance of a trust relationship in M&A advisory, as the LinkedIn owners had known their advisors for many years.
WHAT TYPE OF PROJECTS DO YOU ADVISE ON?
Our approach is to work with clients over many years on different types of transactions. Often, these clients are larger family owned businesses or high net worth individuals with whom we have built up a trust relationship over many years. We work equally on sell-side as on buy-side engagements and sometimes also in fundraising or private equity. We are sector agnostic but have over the years built up a certain expertise in various industrial sectors. For example, we are now involved in 5 projects, 3 sell-side and 2 buy-side. The buyside projects are clearly international, with Asian buyers looking for acquisition targets in Europe and the US. In this case, we obtained the mandate through a partner company of ours which has an industry specialisation.