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The role of expert networks amid increasing diligence complexity

3 Min Read

When evaluating an investment, private equity firms have long relied on expert networks to connect them with professionals with the deep industry knowledge and insights needed to make an informed decision.

But in today’s investing environment, due diligence is becoming increasingly dynamic. It’s no longer just about sector knowledge and revenue models. ESG, cyber security, and talent due diligence are just a few additional angles investors must understand when evaluating a deal.

Given the evolution of due diligence, let’s explore the benefits and challenges of using a traditional expert network for your industry intelligence needs.

What is an expert network, and how do they work?

An expert network firm is a company that sources professionals with specialized knowledge and then connects them with you to make a more informed investment decision.

Traditional expert network firms have a database of advisors in various industries and roles. When looking for expertise on a particular investment angle, you provide a basic list of criteria such as years of experience, education, job title and other relevant descriptors to the expert network firm. Then the firm uses this criterion to search their database to find professionals that match your requirements.

Generally, you’re matched up with a list of approximately 10 professionals. From there, it is up to you to research and evaluate the best advisors to engage.

How do expert networks work to your advantage?

When you know the exact expertise required, a traditional expert network is an efficient, effective, and reliable way of meeting experts who can help you make an informed investment decision.

Traditional expert networks have large, extensive databases. As a result, they can provide you with a list of potential advisors within a few hours. That same day you can talk with an advisor who can give you the crucial insights needed to decide whether to pursue or pass on a deal.

Is there a better solution to expert networks?

Yes. While an expert network can quickly connect you with professionals who meet your criteria, you still need to vet the potential advisors. And challenges can arise when you are unsure of the exact requirements or none of the potential advisors is a great fit. This will cost you valuable time evaluating experts and the investment life cycle. Another consideration is the increasing complexity of due diligence we mentioned previously. If you are running on five angles, you are now developing five expertise criteria lists and are evaluating approximately 50 potential advisors, again costing you valuable time.

Apex Leaders takes a consultative and holistic approach. With every project, their process starts with a comprehensive intake call where your dedicated project lead will dive into your goals and investment angles. With your strategic objectives and diligence angles as the guide, the team conducts angle-specific research and custom recruits and personally interviews potential advisors. This approach takes the burden of vetting advisors off of you and ensures you are connected to the industry experts that meet your exact needs.

What are the benefits of working with Apex Leaders?

Apex Leaders does not have a static network. The Apex team does not merely rely on experts we already have; Rather, we go out and find who you need. . Through project-specific research and custom recruiting, Apex Leaders can connect clients with executives and operating partners rarely found in traditional expert networks. Apex’s clients gain a competitive edge by talking to experts their competitors aren’t.

Apex’s support doesn’t end after advisor introduction. The Apex Leaders team will follow up to understand if you have gained the insights needed to invest in a deal or walk away with confidence or if a pivot must be made based on findings from your advisor calls. Their team will iterate to provide the precise-fit advisors to navigate the new angle if different expertise is needed.

On top of this, Apex works to grow your network, not theirs. Traditional expert network companies charge you per call and to take an expert out of their network. Apex Leaders is different. After introduction, they give you ungated access to your advisors, so you can grow and leverage your network to steer your firm based on your unique needs. And as you well know, having the right people in your network is essential to success.

Find your Precise-Fit Partner

Ready to go beyond the expert network and gain your competitive advantage? Talk to Apex Leaders today to get started.