Corporate FinanceAdvisory

LEAD Profile

LEAD was founded in 2007 by Dirk Liedtke as a Corporate Finance & Advisory specialist. LEAD advises on complex M&A transactions as well as succession, restructuring and longterm optimization projects.
In additon, we offer Coaching for entrepreneurs and leaders in midmarket and family owned businesses.

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Dirk Liedtke provides more than 25 years of experience in Mergers & Acquisitions, corporate finance, capital markets and strategic consulting.  Thereof, over 10 years as shareholder in an M&A firm with a successful exit to a leading US investment bank. His personal network around the globe was established in over 100 transactions.

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Dirk Liedtke, Managing Partner

CV and Career DL

Lead Expertise

M&A for family owned businesses/Succession-Coa­ching

Instead of pushing for a fast transaction, we support a longterm solution by advising on your firm’s value optimization, required restructuring projects and related top management issues. Of course we will be your M&A partner for any related transaction process until a successful closing.

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M&A for family owned businesses/Succession-Coa­ching

What does “succession coaching” mean?
We see family-owned succession advisory as a longterm process. Dirk Liedtke coaches as supervisory board member or on a daily rate basis according to your specifications. Topics mostly address leadership and economic conflicts or the general future strategy of the firm. It is a mediation process rather than a pure solution driven short term job.

What is LEAD’s focus on M&A?
Predominantly, LEAD focuses on family-owned businesses with financial advisory on sell- and buyside mandates or JVs. We serve in the strategic preparation phase and support throughout the process alongside your key employees and other advisors.

What exactly does LEAD do on an M&A process?
Dirk Liedtke is responsible for design, structuring and leading the mandate in person.  This includes valuation topics, investor universe, approach strategy and the negotiations with potential investors. Once the deal goes to market, we team up. With your expressed consent only, LEAD adds external partners from our network to support on documentation, due diligence and day-to-day execution.  Our global partnership with M&A and financial advisors has grown in Europe, Asia und North America over decades.

Why don’t I just take a big M&A firm?
Pure M&A firms live on transactions – they will provoke a transaction. Our business model generates transactions only in the context of a longterm process and we don’t just live on success fees. Sometimes no deal is the best deal you can get.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Any crisis should be solved together with experienced experts. M&A projects work differently in a challenging or even distressed setup. Corporate Financing measures are special and need deep know-how. We offer these competencies together with a longterm partner network aroud the globe.

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Restructuring and Insolvency

Who are LEAD’s target clients in restructuring?
Family owned businesses, insolvency administrators and diversified industry groups account for our customers since more than a decade. We also advise national and foreign investors on the buyside to share our 25 years experience in distressed M&A projects with its local specifications and hidden obstacles.

What’s special about LEAD’s network?
For a short term solution on management vacancies, ATREUS, Germany’s Nr.1 platform for interim management solutions, is our partner. Dirk Liedtke serves as industry advisor for ATREUS. For the investor side, we have created a global network from more than 100 successful M&A projects. We can deliver quick and substantial candidate approach strategies.

Coaching

Coaching seems a vague offering in some cases. We focus on two clear topics:

1. Coaching for consulting firms to stabilize and grow the partnership including an exit strategy.

2. Individual Coaching for leaders and entrepreneurs in substantial conflict situations and deep changes in the organization.

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Coaching

What exactly does coaching for consulting firms mean?
So-called “asset light” partnerships predominantly live on their employees’ competencies and the stability of the key team. Which are the best valuation and incentive models? How do you thoroughly expand the shareholder base?  We have strong experience in building partnerships, extending the key team, introducing respective incentive measures and successfully exiting. We share this knowledge in sporadic mandates or longer term board member roles.

What exactly is the content of LEAD’s Coaching?
Growth and stabilization tools with the focus on a successful generation change or exit. We advise on top management issues, leadership crises, support partner interviews and extension of the management team. Dirk Liedtke is a member of the Hephaistos (www.hephaistos.org) network, Germany’s leading coaching graduation and servicing platform.

Which tools are we using?
Incentive and valuation measures and tools need to be adopted and optimized over time. According to the respective phase and seniority miscellaneous forms of shareholdings can be introduced (Class A, B, Phantom, Exitkicker).  Any valuation metrics and effectiveness of tools chosen should be constantly monitored and adapted.

What do you offer as a classic single coach for leaders?
Dirk Liedtke is a member of the coaching graduation program of Hephaistos.  Deep changes in the organizational and entrepreneurial setup, leadership conflicts, challenging restructuring projects and general career topics are at the center of his expertise. Usually, 5-10 sessions will help finding the correct reflection of the deeper lying causes for disruption and help tackling the related problems.