(From left: Jamie Carter - GK Strategy, Susan Laws - Duanne Morris, Rob Donaldson - RSM UK, David Fergusson - The M&A Advisor and Mike Hinchliffe - Merrill DataSite)
(From left: Jamie Carter - GK Strategy, Susan Laws - Duanne Morris, Rob Donaldson - RSM UK, David Fergusson - The M&A Advisor and Mike Hinchliffe - Merrill DataSite)
Thapelo Moloantoa
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Thapelo Moloantoa

Journalist at Finbuzz.com
Highly experienced Digital Content Journalist who is one of our ‘foot soldiers’ in the hustle and bustle of the world’s financial capital, London.

Armed with a rich profile in Content Management, Thapelo has lived and worked as editor and journalist between London, Johannesburg and Cape Town since 2002. His entrepreneurial drive saw him establish a digital content start-up in London, FullCircle Circle Online, which he sold in 2013.

Thapelo attained his Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSosci) at the University of Cape Town, where he studied International Relations and Industrial Sociology. He continued his studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada.

Thapelo’s vast digital content experience is supplemented by further studies at the University of Westminster Business School, where he recently attained a Certificate in Digital Marketing (Institute of Digital Marketing).

He enjoys playing and watching football (Arsenal fan who lives 10 minutes from the Emirates Stadium), reading up on the latest in Fintech and also keenly follows trends in international politics and socio-economics.
Thapelo Moloantoa
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Great Post-Brexit Debate saw a range of M&A professionals exploring and discussing the implications, trends and research that have come forth since the vote and how that affects mid-market deal-making.

The morning teed off with a review of the comprehensive pre- and post-vote M&A market analysis conducted by Merrill DataSite and The M&A Advisor. The audience received an exclusive first view of the latest research conducted with global investment leaders on the topic that has been raging through the corridors of London’s investment banking world for the past few months.

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An interactive panel debate followed with speakers sharing their insights into how the post-Brexit landscape is shaping up, what the future will hold and the opportunities for mid-market investors, advisors and service providers.

Brexit is, at the moment, no more than a kaleidoscope of options for us to choose from

Robert Donaldson, Head of Corporate Finance at RSM UK, set the pace with his call for calm amidst an imaginary storm.

“Brexit is, at the moment, no more than a kaleidoscope of options for us to choose from,” the mid-market specialist of over 20 years said.

“In this environment planning for Brexit is practically impossible and I imagine that most businesses are, therefore, getting on with the day to day as best they can,” he continued. “It seems certain that some very long term investment decisions might well be postponed in this environment but our prognosis is the effects of Brexit, whether positive or negative, will never be truly quantifiable and will occur gradually over many years. In the meantime, we keep calm and carry on,” concluded Robertson, who heads the RSM UK National Corporate Finance practice which spans M&A, Private Equity and Public Company Advisory, Due Diligence, Capital Markets, Financial Modelling and Valuations.

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Continuing on the notion to exercise caution, Susan Laws, Partner at Duane Morris said that Post-Brexit, “Businesses are less concerned about the timing and process for giving notice and political turf wars than in what practical steps they should take here and now.

“They risk being panicked into making decisions in relation to employees, IP, funding and collaborations, when there is no clear and present danger – while at the same time missing potential opportunities,” said Laws, who is one a few UK solicitors to hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

There is a mood of cautious optimism among deal-makers

The positive outlook permeated beyond the investment community into the realm of Political Risk Analysis, as represented by the views of Jamie Cater, Research Manager at GK Strategy, a consultancy that offers Political Due Diligence and Risk Analysis to the mid-market community.

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“There is a mood of cautious optimism among deal-makers, and we have seen much less of a slowdown in activity since the end of June than we might have previously anticipated,” Cater explained. “While it will be essential for investors to monitor political developments closely as they unfold over the coming months, there is a degree of confidence that Brexit will present significant opportunities for those looking to make acquisitions.”

Event Moderator David Fergusson, President and Co-CEO, The M&A Advisor went about highlighting the need for and positives stemming out of gatherings of this nature.

“The uncertainty surrounding the potential referendum results contributed significantly to the near record decline in mergers and acquisition activity during the first half of the year leading up to the vote. Post-vote, it is a paramount at this juncture to caucus on how the investment industry, government and trade bodies can collaborate to effect M&A market growth in the new Brexit reality.”

Rebecca Guerin, Partner, RSM UK & Chair ACG UK concluded proceedings with more encouragement for the principles behind hosting the event when she declared that “ACG as a leading network for 14,500 mid-market dealmaker members worldwide, has a mission to support mid-market growth both locally and cross-border. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to provide this forum for leading members of the UK’s mid-market investment and advisory community to debate the implications to business of the UK’s momentous decision to leave the EU.”

The Great Post Brexit Debate comes off the back of The Great Brexit debate event, which was hosted by ACG (UK) prior to the vote. They are due to host EuroGrowth 2016 in Barcelona, Spain on the 20th and 21st of October.

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