An interview with Stuart Rose, a partner at Mirus Capital Advisors.
Few people in the investment banking world have more experience and knowledge than Stuart Rose. A partner at Mirus Capital Advisors, a Boston-based middle-market investment banking firm, Rose has been in the industry for nearly two decades, including four years at Mirus.
Rose started his career in the industry, managing budgets and eventually a chain of shoe l stores for a dozen years. He then transitioned into catalogue and eCommerce, running divisions or companies for another dozen years. In addition to his extensive experience, Rose has taught direct marketing at the college level.
For the past 16 years, Rose has been focused on selling companies in the eCommerce, direct marketing, retail, wholesale and consumer product industries. In that time, he has closed dozens of deals totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Rose’s experience and knowledge have made him one of the top investment bankers in the country.
“I ran e-commerce companies,” he said, emphasizing how his experience has translated into success in investment banking. “I know how they are run. I know what’s possible. I know the dynamics of it. And I can understand and present and articulate what makes an E-commerce company special.”
But it’s not just experience that makes Rose a top investment banker. He sees himself as a good listener who tries to understand sellers’ motivation and what they are looking to achieve beyond just a financial transaction.
“These are their babies,” he said, referring to the emotional attachment many sellers have to their businesses.
“Being a good listener and letting them come forward with that and accept the risk that comes along with that as well because most people know that they’re not going to live forever and they’re going to have to exit at some point. And they should exit to someone when they have control,” he added.
When asked what advice he gives to eCommerce entrepreneurs looking to sell their businesses, Rose highlighted the importance of understanding the value of their company and preparing for the sale process well in advance.
“The toughest part of the deal, aside from signing up a new client, is the preparation because most of our entrepreneur-led businesses don’t have the systems and the accounting to properly present the business to a sophisticated buyer,” he said.
He added that “having good records and a good understanding of the business model [and] what drives value in your business” is critical to getting the right kind of buyers interested and ultimately achieving a successful transaction.
“You have to have a book that is understandable and correct. And having two or three years of good financial data certainly helps,” he added.