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Advest Brokerage is one of the nation's oldest Brokerage firms with an active investment banking practice. Advest Group's investment advisory group provides customized balanced, equity and fixed-income portfolio management to high net worth individuals and institutions.

The Need

Advest bankers needed to target, research, and track companies involved in multi-million dollar merger & acquisition deals. As M&A opportunities progressed and active interests with prospective Clients developed, the dealmakers at Advest and their staff were having a difficult time tracking who said what to whom and when. Each dealmaker at Advest had his/her own contacts and notes, and marketing efforts could not be managed and coordinated to avoid duplicate efforts, and management level information could not be extracted regarding status and progress on deals in process.
Consequently, Advest management explored a number of off-the-shelf contact management systems, and quickly discovered that these systems were designed for individuals to track individuals, and lacked much of the functionality required to track companies and industries, and were not geared toward managing M&A or financing deal lifecycle processes.

The Solution

PCA spent several weeks analyzing Advest's business processes, functional requirements, workflow, business priorities and primary operational needs. Within 6 weeks, PCA designed and developed a solution that enabled data-rich screens to show views of companies, industries, individuals, and deal engagements with customized standard screens for layers of detail under each.
PCA designed and developed a custom MS Access Database solution to enable M&A bankers and their teams to more efficiently manage M&A and financing deal lifecycle activities — from initial client prospecting, through the sales process to close and relationship management. PCA worked with Advest's M&A department to design a solution from existing contact management applications and MS Excel spreadsheets.
The custom solution allowed dealmakers and their teams to quickly and easily target, research, and track companies that are part of (or potentially part of) acquisition deals, track active interest, and determine the best/most efficient way to move deals forward. The system PCA developed needed to support an "occasionally-connected road warrior," using a Laptop, so MS Access was selected as the appropriate system. To enable Advest to consolidate historical data over time, PCA build data import capability into the solution from other systems including Excel Spreadsheets, ACT!, and other CRM and contact management systems.
Advest Tracking System in MS Access
Results and Benefits
  • Simplified access to and team coordination of company, industry, and contact intelligence
  • Allowed multiple users to track and enter data in a consistent manner
  • Provided management with a high degree of confidence that all parties exposed to a deal were working off the same/best set of information, with a complete contact history at hand
  • Streamlined deal marketing and prospecting efforts
  • Provided more complete and accurate management reporting