As a buy-side M&A advisory firm, Normandy Advisors works primarily with private equity firms looking to source add-on acquisition opportunities for portfolio companies. The Normandy team uses several platforms to help discover new companies– including their own in-house software engine. But even with a robust sourcing toolkit, they wanted to find more resources to identify private middle market companies.
Normandy Advisors assists clients by researching industries, reaching out to business owners (often on a cold basis), and understanding if they're a fit for what their clients are looking to accomplish.
Normandy doesn’t specialize in any one sector; in the past few years, the firm has gravitated toward more tech-enabled services businesses, but they have worked in manufacturing, industrials, and presently they’re working on a project in the healthcare space. They are largely focused on the front-end of the M&A process, so there's a lot of research involved in their work.
Andrew Hadley started his career as a Financial Analyst at JP Morgan, moved to the west coast and co-founded a startup called Biglio, and in 2020, moved back to Boston to join Normandy Advisors.
Hadley preferred to join a smaller firm and brings a startup mentality to his role at Normandy. The team is small, nimble, and constantly on the lookout for technology that can remove manual tasks from their workflows. Normandy’s vision is to use technology to identify proprietary acquisition opportunities for their clients quicker than any of their competitors.
It’s not uncommon for a client to change their thesis or target halfway through a project. Relying on industry-specific databases is not optimal.
This doesn’t often happen at Normandy because of their expertise and investment in expansive sourcing tools, but Hadley points out that, “There’s nothing worse than when we see an M&A press release come out on a company that would have been a really good fit for one of our clients that wasn't even on our prospect list.”
Prior to Grata, Normandy used a wide variety of resources including conference attendee lists, industry associations, and subscription databases to build companies lists. But the Normandy Advisors team began to wonder, what about companies that aren’t in those databases?
Normandy Advisors investigated new ways to ensure they were not missing any potential private companies.
Grata is the leading private market intelligence platform. It houses more than 8.5 million company profiles, constantly growing as it scouts company websites to give investors the most accurate and in-depth private company profiles.
“Grata is not a complicated platform, and it is very powerful. One of the reasons we use Grata over its competitors is the usability.”
Normandy Advisors is responsible for building a comprehensive picture of each clients’ sector. To stay on the cutting edge, they pull data from many resources to learn as much as possible about private companies– but there is only one platform where they can confidently search company data by keywords: Grata.
The Normandy Advisors team has used Grata to identify prospects for over 15 projects spanning a wide variety of industries and sectors.
“Grata is very impressive. The power of the search engine where we can use specific keywords and filters to produce lists on a mass scale is the biggest ROI for us.”