Recruitment news: August reinforces its Strategy and M&A offering
Antti Roiha, a former member of the Nordea Investment Banking team, joined August as Manager in the summer. Although Antti’s new role is a generalist consultant, his specific experience and knowledge of M&A and equity capital markets (ECM) transactions are very valuable additions to August’s expertise. As August’s internal growth path often starts from the very junior level, Antti is a bit special recruitment for us, so we wanted to do a little interview to ask what made him to join us, and what’s his view of August when looking from the viewpoint of a former investment banker.
What was it that attracted you to join August?
Antti: Investment banking was a great place to learn intensive, project-oriented work, where you’ve got to get multiple stakeholders aligned in order to get things done in a hectic environment and most often with high stakes at the table. While M&A and ECM transaction processes are tremendous three-to-nine-month crash-courses to client company’s market, strategy and operations, they leave you nonetheless a bit more focused on “how things are or would look good on paper” rather than understanding and developing root causes.
Working in consulting at August enables me to exploit my learnings, experiences and networks from investment banking so I don’t need to start from scratch. However, longer perspective in developing client businesses, wider variety of cases and diving deeper into clients’ businesses – in contrast to merely trying to sign a transaction – will certainly expand my capabilities in the long run and make me a more relevant advisor to clients. So it’s different kind of learning, which I think suits me perfectly at this stage of my career path. I should also add that while everything I mentioned is important, in the end it was the entrepreneurial, agile and down-to-earth attitude of the people at August that made the transition extremely appealing.
What do you think that August has to offer on the M&A field?
Antti: It’s important to note that we neither are, nor are we trying to become investment bankers in the sense of making deals and charging success fees. What we are is brilliant strategy consultants, and for us, M&A remains a tool inside the toolbox when we are, for example, looking for new ways to grow and reorganize a business. Using the words of one blue-chip CEO I just recently met, “if you can bring a bit more realism and accuracy on the table when talking about M&A as part of strategy, you already add value.”
Generally speaking, regardless of whether we’re dealing directly with an M&A process or broader strategy work (which sometimes may lead to such transaction), I think it’s definitely a big asset for us and our clients that we not only understand the big picture from our client’s perspective, but also what goes on in the heads of the other advisors and stakeholders, and how to leverage the situation to help our clients’ to bring home the most value.
Strategy consulting seems to be in many ways quite close to investment banking advisory, but what’s the most different thing that you have worked with?
Antti: About fifteen years ago, I was working in France at a shipyard that was building a ship called Queen Mary 2 (the largest cruise ship in the world at that time), and installing some of the IT systems on board. That ship is definitely at least the physically largest project I’ve ever worked with…
Welcome Antti and congratulations for the appointment!