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LAVA series: Working at a challenger boutique – having a voice to shape the organisation

From greater deal autonomy to the benefits of building a team from a blank sheet of paper, our new interview series has been exploring the LAVA team’s experiences working at an independent M&A boutique.

This week, Partner Hamish Martin shares a couple of his main observations on the differences between working at a challenger boutique versus a large, international corporation.

Having a voice to shape the organisation and collaborating more with your wider network”  Hamish Martin, Partner

One of the most amazing things about working for a new challenger boutique is that all team members have a voice that they can use to help define and shape the culture of the business. This is something we really encourage within LAVA to ensure everyone has their say and isn’t afraid of having conversations that challenge our way of working.

Our flat structure encourages this, as the team knows these changes can be implemented swiftly, and we can easily monitor and assess their impact. If they work, fantastic. If they aren’t working, then we are happy to fail quickly and learn something from the process. 

Ultimately, this approach allows us to build an environment where everyone receives support but is also challenged and, most importantly, feels that they can enjoy themselves.

The one aspect of working for a new M&A independent that has surprised me the most is how others in the industry have treated us. Many large organisations have quite an isolationist way of working, whereby they believe they can manage everything in-house and therefore are less open to collaboration with others.

Since setting up LAVA, we have been out there building relationships and are pleasantly surprised by how helpful, and collaborative everyone has been, even our competitors!


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