A client story from our Senior Director of Acquiom Business Development
In every relationship I have with a client, I listen to what’s important and try to deliver the best results to meet their specific needs, which sometimes requires creative solutions to unique problems. It also requires dedication and, often times, long hours. Everyone says they, “listen to their clients,” or claim that they’re available “24/7.” But until they put action behind it by answering calls late into the evening or over a holiday weekend, their words are just that – words.
On the day after Christmas, I received a call from a client at a large private equity firm. I knew the call had to be important for him to be calling me on a Sunday over the holiday weekend, and after stepping away from my family to take the call, I was glad I did. The call was about a complex payments transaction involving multiple creditors and shareholders on an extremely tight timeframe aiming to close before New Year’s Day.
Initially, one of the largest creditors in the deal, a subsidiary of one of the top tier banks, was insistent on having their own escrow and payments group handle the transaction. However, their banking colleagues admitted that there was no way they could get the account open and initiate payments within the necessary timeframe. As a result of the bank’s inability to meet the target date, and a solid recommendation for our services from our client, we stepped in at the last minute to handle the transaction.
With limited enthusiasm from the lender, an expectant shareholder base, and a tax driven deadline to make 100% of the payments before the New Year, I felt extraordinary pressure to deliver on our promise. After all, I valued the relationship with my client and wanted him to know we were committed to delivering the result they needed on the date required without excuse. So, I rallied the Acquiom team to get started right away.
After hustling to gain the necessary account opening documents over the weekend, Monday morning we confirmed the payment account was open with SunTrust, our banking partner. On Tuesday, we received the necessary payment information from the parties, loaded it into our system and verified all was in good order to begin making payments the following day. By 8 a.m. on Wednesday payments were initiated through our online platform, and hours later we had achieved 100% success in disbursing all funds – a result that transcended the typical paying agent’s 9 to 5 routine and 2-week turnaround – with two days to spare!
“Listening to our needs and maintaining open communication over the holiday gave me peace of mind,” commented a major shareholder when he received his wire earlier than expected. He added, “This transaction had a lot riding on it. Beyond the huge tax benefit we gained by receiving our payments early, we felt like you cared about our interests.”
After it was all over, my client admitted, “With no bank or agent willing to accept this payments nightmare, I wasn’t sure it was humanly possible to complete it on time.” He added, “But in spite of the bad timing, your team handled our deal with enthusiasm and efficiency when no one else would.”
Most deals don’t happen on days when it’s convenient. This one was fueled by an anxious group of shareholders and a fast deadline. Each closing is as unique as the people involved, so it’s important to listen to the nuances of the deal in order to find the best plan of action. At the end of the day, hearing how my efforts impact people in a positive way energizes me to dig deeper and always find better ways to do things.