Up until his 60th birthday, Hermann Schneider had kept putting off the question of who would succeed him at the company’s helm: “I had secretly hoped that one of my two daughters might express interest,” he says. It was his bank advisor who eventually presented the facts clearly and opened his eyes: He needed to act. But how would he find a suitable buyer without shouting his intent to sell from the roof- tops?
Schneider’s client advisor directed him to Paul Monn, who is responsible for the OpportunityNet platform at Credit Suisse, a referral platform for companies. It brings together potential buyers and sellers of companies, and also links investors to growing companies with financing needs. “My job is, initially, about collecting data and really getting to know the company,” explains Paul Monn. An anonymized profile is created, which is intended for the Credit Suisse advisors of potential buyers. Only Credit Suisse employees can access the anonymized data, which includes economic sector, turnover, number of employees, profits, and if necessary, the asking price and the region.
OpportunityNet was created in 2007 as a service for Credit Suisse clients. It facilitates up to 20 matches a year, with a financing or investment volume of over 100 million Swiss francs, and the numbers are growing. “Just one suitable candidate was suggested to me through OpportunityNet, but he fit to a T,” says Hermann Schneider, summarizing his experience. Without this match, his workplaces in Switzerland would have probably been lost, as is often the case when no suitable successor is available. But Hermann Schneider had things turn out the way he wanted them to: The former owner retained part of his shares, and he assumed a limited advisory role in his former company. Now he is looking for a new investment opportunity – through OpportunityNet, of course.
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