What’s it really like to be a Manager at Marktlink? How does it differ from the role of a consultant or a senior consultant in the team? We spoke to four of our high-profile Managers to find out.
Hesse van der Werk is a relative newcomer to Marktlink. He’s been a Manager in Amsterdam since January 2022, but already had two years’ M&A experience under this belt. Following a BSc in Business economics and an MSc in Finance, he worked in Transaction Advisory Services at EY TAS, mainly on financial due diligence. Hesse was impressed by our focus on taking ownership and scheduling your own time: ‘The Marktlink model guides you quickly towards a dealmaker role. I was encouraged to work on my networking and commercial skills, and learned a lot by ‘doing’. Instead of working on just a couple of deal like before, I now do five or six at the same time, which has done wonders for my dealmaking and project management skills’.
Winand Leenaars started with Marktlink in July 2021 as a Manager in the Den Bosch office. He got interested in mergers and acquisitions while studying International Business at Tilburg University, and was inspired to complete a master’s in Financial Management. He then joined a boutique M&A firm and worked his way up to the role of M&A manager, heading up deal teams for everything from small acquisitions to cross-border deals. ‘Working with mid-market entrepreneurs has always appealed to me,’ he says. ‘I’d known about Marktlink for several years and was impressed by its growth and international focus.’
Petra Borkent studied at the Hotel School in Leeuwarden and was working in New York for a luxury hotel chain during the 2008 crisis. That roused her interest in the inner workings of the financial world and motivated her to take a masters at Groningen University, specialising in Advanced Financial Management. She joined Marktlink in December 2014 as a Consultant in the Deventer office, and in 2019 gained promotion from senior consultant to Manager.
Yasin Maloglu studied finance in Germany, UK, and Turkey, and worked for several years in Transaction Advisory Services for KPMG in Switzerland. After a stint on the corporate side at METRO AG, he made the move back to consulting, and joined the Marktlink office in Dusseldorf in February 2022. His in-depth knowledge of processes and technical matters made it easy to switch from execution-driven management to the commercial awareness required at Marktlink.
Now read some of our panel’s views in more detail:
How do you describe your work to people at parties?
Hesse: Supporting entrepreneurs in their personal and growth ambitions, whether that’s buying or selling a company, or attracting an investment partner.
Winand: As an M&A Manager, I’m the lynch pin of the whole process and the main point of contact for everyone involved. Finding the right match takes creativity. The valuation and legal elements are detailed and theoretical. You need to take account of the emotions involved too. But the most dynamic part of the job are the negotiations, which demands a unique mix of soft and hard skills.
Petra: Guiding SME entrepreneurs through the process of buying or selling businesses.
What inspires you about the work?
Hesse: The sheer variety. Working directly with business owners, developing my network, continually improving my dealmaking skills, and getting to know different businesses and business models.
Winand: Every deal is different and has its own challenges. The process can be a rollercoaster, but you build the key working relationships pretty quickly. I still get a buzz from M&A even after more than 12 years.
Petra: It’s an honour to guide clients through one of the most important business decisions they’ll ever make. The combination of financial and commercial elements and the human factor makes mergers and acquisitions endlessly interesting.
Yasin: No two days are the same. The work is project-based and there can be challenging external factors involved, so there’s no typical structure to the day or the tasks to be done.
What’s your main objective as a Marktlink Manager?
Hesse: To keep improving my personal brand, network, and dealmaking skills, and to keep enjoying interesting projects with great clients.
Winand: The top priority is always the best deal for our clients. But it can be an intensive and complex process, so it’s important to keep a sense of humour, and vital that Managers like me create a safe and supportive work environment where our consultants can develop professionally.
Petra: My internal goal is developing team members so they can step up to the role of Manager. My external goal is to successfully guide entrepreneurs through the process of buying or selling a business.
Yasin: I want my clients to get a great deal that acknowledges all the hard work they’ve put in and delivers on their plans for the future. I also want to be accountable to my colleagues and always accessible for business and personnel-related questions.
How do you see the future? What’s your next step?
Winand: I’ve done quite a few deals in the logistics and food industries. I want to make further use of my sector knowledge, and perhaps focus on the West Brabant region, which is the centre of my network.
Petra: To be a partner at Marktlink.
Yasin: Maybe a move to Dusseldorf…I want to help us grow and expand within the German market and become the go-to M&A solution provider. We’re going to need more colleagues to help us spread the success story of Marktlink in Germany.
Why did you choose to become a Manager at Marktlink?
Hesse: I was drawn to the freedom of being surrounded by knowledge and expertise while building my ‘personal brand’ and network.
Winand: I’d known about Marktlink for some years and a brief chat with some of the partners was all it took for me to make the decision.
Petra: The focus on the European SME segment, and Marktlink’s company culture. The entrepreneurial culture really appealed to me.
Yasin: The main reason was the potential of our brand. It’s exciting to play a part in building up Marktlink and positioning us as a market leader in Germany.
What’s your proudest ‘Marktlink moment’?
Hesse: Being a trusted advisor for my clients. Closing great transactions between top business owners and buyers, including the sale of Petite Amelié to Mentha Capital.
Winand: A cross-border deal gives an extra dimension to an acquisition, and there are a number of those I’m particularly proud of. But also my first year at Marktlink, especially building a new portfolio of interesting and challenging projects so quickly.
Petra: The pre-exit deal that forged a partnership between the 706 Seating Group and AVerest Capital.
Yasin: There are several deals I could mention but I’m really proud of becoming a leader and a trainer for our consultants. Having such a diverse and talented team makes it a pleasure to build a collaborative environment where we have each other’s backs and deliver effectively on common goals.
What’s been your most ‘epic’ moment at Marktlink?
Hesse: All the ski-trips and galas!
Winand: Work hard, play hard, is the mantra. I have never experienced this more than during the ski-trip with 160 Marktlink colleagues. Amazing experience!
Petra: Progressing from consultant to Manager in just eight years.
Yasin: Marktlink staff events are always pretty special, but the Formula 1 trip really stands out!
Inspired by what you’re just read? Interested in helping us achieve the best deals for our clients? At Marktlink, you’ll be a key member of the team from day one. We’re looking for dealmakers with strong financial and analytical credentials, and great communication and listening skills. To find out more about the role of an M&A Manager or Consultant, just visit our careers page.