Thoughts on a Crisis
Alastair discusses the inevitable change in working structure, the joys of having a baby whilst working from home, virtual deal-making, and how sectors like Digital transformation, AdTech, and Social are receiving a great deal of attention.
What have you missed the most about being in the office?
The simple pleasures of day-to-day human interaction. We are a tight-knit team and bounce ideas off each other, which has obviously been more difficult via video call. The past year has shown me that the social side of work, including meeting new and prospective clients face-to-face, is an essential part of my working life.
What have you learnt from working through a pandemic and how will this change the way we work in the future?
Luckily we work in an industry that lends itself to remote working, meaning that it has been easier to dispel the myth that working from home is less productive than being in the office. Many employers now trust their staff to deliver the same quality of output without being sat at their office desk. The pandemic has accelerated an inevitable change in working structure: it is much more likely that employees will now prefer to split their time between office and home.
What has been your best lockdown moment?
My life changed dramatically – in a good way – when my daughter was born in September. She is a real handful, and whilst she has made working from home slightly more challenging, she has brightened up our home and has certainly made the time pass quickly.
Can you tell me about an interesting deal you have worked on during lockdown?
We have been lucky to have worked on a number of very exciting deals over the past year. The highlight was the sale of Just After Midnight to Ultima: JAM (a cloud services provider) is a brilliant business with a superb management team that worked hard to get a deal over the line in very tight timeframes before the budget deadline in early March. The transaction perfectly illustrates that when both sides want to get a deal done, nothing can stop them.
How can you expect M&A activity to change post Covid?
Economic recovery is on the horizon. There is also considerable pent-up demand from buyers and investors, who have significant capital to deploy, which will undoubtedly drive a large increase in M&A and fundraising deals. Within the Media & Technology industries, certain sought after sectors like Digital transformation, AdTech and Social, are receiving a great deal of attention and are attracting eye-watering multiples……which will make for a very interesting year.
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