Investment banking is a crucial segment of business that connects small and large-scale enterprises with potential investors. These companies primary goal is to advise their clients on financial aspects. However, owing to a lack of awareness of their functions amongst clients, investment banking companies promise loads and deliver a small chunk of that. This has now created a void in the market.
There are 350,000 middle-market companies in the United States, accounting for over 33% of the U.S. GDP. Yet over the years, when it comes to capital markets, they’ve been mostly left wandering in the dark. Whether they’re looking for debt, an equity investment, an acquisition, or a company exit, midsize companies have mostly been ignored.
Salt Creek Partners is filling the void in investment banking with its unique services. Salt Creek Partners (“SCP”) is a full-service investment bank servicing business leaders and owners in the emerging growth and middle markets.
Wei Zhang, Managing Director of SCP, was with the CEOViews team to tell their story about the problems they are trying to address.
How did it all begin?
When asked about the motivation behind starting SCP, Wei Zhang said, “We have seen firsthand that the growing and middle market companies are underserved, and we are committed to changing that reality.” SCP was established to fill the void for emerging growth and middle markets business leaders. SCP’s advisory capabilities are designed to teach clients how to build, grow, strategize and improve their companies and enterprise value to achieve varying exits and other strategic goals.
Reaching heights in no time!
Within a few years of its operations, SCP is named one of the innovative companies to watch in 2022. Wei believes that their achievements are a result of the company culture. Their culture starts with the team – the employees they hire come from a mix of conventional and non-conventional backgrounds such as private equity, buy-side investment banking, and management consulting, which naturally builds a pool of creative and diverse perspectives.
Salt Creek Partners (“SCP”) is a full service investment bank within the lower and middle markets.
As leaders, SCP emphasizes a highly collaborative process both internally in servicing their clients and externally in collaborating with the potential buyers. Unlike traditional investment banks, SCP has innovated their methods to adapt to the current climate and workflows of private equity and corporate buyers. SCP’s success can be attributed to executing a custom M&A process tailored to each client in which each engagement is an intellectual exercise requiring creativity and innovation. The traditional view focuses solely on transaction certainty resulting in a lower overall outcome for the clients, but they focus on competitive tension through a market-driven process. An effective deal process also involves enhanced preparation while retaining the flexibility to streamline the intensive marketing and due diligence phases without compromising quality. This allows SCP to meet the exact needs of each of their clients and deliver a better outcome of events.
Client first policy
Wei Zhang attributes one of the critical reasons for SCP’s success is to “know your client.” It is more than just having clients fill out a checklist. SCP’s guideline for conducting every transaction is to “know your client” like SCP is an internal company team. Once SCP have a complete understanding of companies’ current financial & operational standings, advantages, and weaknesses, SCP can guide the company in its decision makings as a part of the company itself with aligned goals, needs, and visions.
Also, the firm takes matters related to the client’s data very seriously. All internal (seller-facing) and external (buyer-facing) data are stored through professional VDR providers. And a second backup will be made through the 2nd VDR provider when transactions are completed. SCP has the policy to enforce no client data on any local/offline devices. Data security is critical in their space, and SCP is committed to providing all necessary measures/tools to keep clients’ data secure.
At SCP, there are no big or small clients. SCP treats every client and every transaction the same by providing an identical level of work qualities and attention. SCP is winning in the lower and middle market space because they have won clients’ trust to guide them through transactions and deliver results. Many new clients have come to SCP knowing that they will get high-quality services and a high level of attention through transactions that allow them to reach their goals.
Before engaging with SCP, most of their clients didn’t know their business value in a financial market transaction. More importantly, a full understanding of value drivers is usually missing or incomplete. Through their valuation services, they provide detailed valuation models that explain how each driver works and how each driver can create more value for the company. 100% of clients found this process extremely beneficial for both transaction and operation going forward.
Challenges in the industry
SCP knows that earning and keeping their clients’ trust is required at every stage of a partnership, and there is no better way to do that than demonstrating it through the quality of our service. The business environment is constantly changing, and the best way to serve the interests of their clients is to be willing to challenge the status quo, reject complacency, and learn from a diverse range of individuals and experiences. Consistently challenging the team to bring creativity and innovation in approaching client solutions while refining processes and workflows results in better outcomes.
Plans for the future
Answering our question on what plans management has for the firm Wei Zhang said, “We are already engaged in cross-border transactions and clients from other countries. Our unique operating model is already on the radar of many overseas companies. We’re continuing to grow and compete against the top banks in the industry. In the next few years, Salt Creek Partners will be known as the premium service provider and the go-to partner in the emerging and middle markets”.