Benchmark #1 Privately Held Mergers and Acquistions Advisors Worldwide

How Technology is Streamlining the Deal Process

Posted on May 18, 2023 By

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have come a long way since the days of tedious paperwork and manual processes. The evolution of technology has revolutionised the M&A landscape, making the once paper-intensive process more cost-effective, streamlined, and efficient. 

Charlotte Burgess and Erica Skittrall are experienced executives who support the transaction leaders at Benchmark International’s Manchester office. In this article, they explore the shift to technology in M&A transactions, take a closer look at the different platforms that have emerged to drive these changes, and how Benchmark International uses these platforms to the advantage of our clients.

Virtual Meetings: Simplifying the Deal Process with Microsoft Teams & Similar Platforms

Gone are the days of stuffy boardrooms and endless meetings. With the help of technology, the initial deal process has been simplified, making it easier to communicate and collaborate with teams. Clients, buyers and teams of advisers no longer need to spend hours travelling to meetings when calls can be arranged with just a few clicks.

These platforms avoid the need for strangers on site, as remote meetings allow for a discreet approach to conversations. Plus, the added benefit of recording calls means that no details are lost in translation, and everyone can refer back to the conversation at a later time.

The advantages to our clients are clear:

  • Relationships with the Benchmark team, buyers and advisers can be built quickly, and maintained throughout the process.
  • Clear, quick, and easy lines of communication allow key issues to be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
  • All-parties meetings can be arranged at short notice, avoiding the need to plan travel and book meeting rooms across the country.
  • Documents can be securely shared, either on-screen for all to view simultaneously, or through direct upload.

Technology has undoubtedly saved everyone time and expense, while also making the initial deal process less nerve-wracking and more efficient. Yet at the same time, the human touch remains essential during planning, communication, and decision-making.

Even though there’s been a shift to online calls, it’s key to maintain the same level of professionalism and protocol as a face-to-face meeting. Ahead of any calls or meetings, your deal team will typically request an agenda and a list of attendees; this allows you to fully prepare and address any questions or concerns.

The option to have a call with your deal team is often offered beforehand to test the technology and address any apprehensions you might have. Once the agenda has been reviewed, you and your deal team can determine which party is best suited to lead the call and take charge of important agenda items.

Benchmark like to go beyond the conclusion of the call, as it is crucial to collect feedback and actively engage with both parties to determine the most appropriate next steps and maintain the momentum.

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Virtual Data Rooms: Optimising Due Diligence & Deal-Closing Processes

Virtual data rooms (VDRs) have become a popular tool in the deal-closing process. As the term ‘virtual’ implies, they are not a room at all and, in fact, they look nothing like a room: think more in terms of the layout of a lever-arch file, with dividers creating relevant sections, and contents pages conveniently located.

At Benchmark International, we use a tried and tested VDR which is offered to clients without extra cost. This platform has been extensively utilised in the majority of our transactions, primarily due to its exceptional reliability, user-friendly interface, and robust security measures.

Here's how your deal team will typically run the VDR process:

  • Your deal executives will open and map out the VDR, often following the buyer’s initial wish-list format. This allows you as the client to begin uploading the necessary documents, sometimes with the deal executive’s assistance.
  • Authorised parties, such as lawyers, solicitors, and buyers, are invited to access the virtual data room.
  • Your chosen lawyer may wish to review sensitive information before this is released to third parties.
  • Once logged in, parties can access the documents and data stored in the VDR.
  • VDRs allow your deal team to monitor who accesses the virtual data room and track activity within the platform. In particular, your deal team can see whether or not buyers and their advisers are making the necessary inroads to keep the deal on-track.
  • Upon successful completion of the transaction, the VDR is archived and closed, and a link sent to solicitors.

With document management and security all in one platform for all deals, it provides a secure space for confidential information to be stored, shared, and tracked easily, with access restricted to authorised parties. The online accessibility of VDRs is another huge advantage, allowing users to access documents from anywhere in the world, at any time. And with audit trails, there's an added level of transparency, ensuring everyone is on the same page throughout the process. Perhaps the biggest advantage of VDRs is their ability to be run up to the last minute.

Future of M&A: Advancements in AI Technology

The digital transformation of M&A transactions has brought about significant benefits in recent years. Embracing this switch is no longer optional, but rather a critical component for success in the modern business world.

While the deal process has come a long way already, there's still so much potential for future advancements with AI and other technologies. At Benchmark International, we are also continuously enhancing our internal CRM system, SISU, to align with the requirements of our team and our evolving processes.

Currently, SISU allows your deal team to easily connect clients with their ideal acquirer on a global scale to provide real-time market updates. Designed solely for sell-side M&A, SISU’s data processing allows Benchmark to handle large volumes of data and its built-in AI enables your team to understand market trends and buyer appetite better than anyone else.

Moving forward, Benchmark International will continue to develop SISU, in addition to embracing other new technologies and digital solutions, always looking for ways to improve and modernise the M&A process, giving Benchmark and its clients a clear advantage.

 Charlotte Burgess Authors
  Charlotte Burgess 
  Benchmark International
  T: +44 (0) 161 359 4400


  Erica Skittrall 
  Benchmark International
  T: +44 (0) 161 359 4400


Schedule A Call

Europe: Michael Lawrie at +44 (0) 161 359 4400 /

Americas: Sam Smoot at +1 (813) 898 2350 /

Africa: Anthony McCardle at +27 21 300 2055 / 


Benchmark International is a global M&A firm that provides business owners with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. Benchmark International has handled over $10 billion in transaction value across various industries from offices across the world. With decades of M&A experience, Benchmark International’s transaction teams have assisted business owners with achieving their objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses. The firm has also been named the Investment Banking Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor and the Global M&A Network as well as the #1 Sell-side Exclusive M&A Advisor in the World by Pitchbook’s Global League Tables.

How technology is streamlining the deal process


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