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Drinks With The Deal: Nixon Peabody's O'Keefe on Advising Founders

Published: February 16th, 2023
Amy O'Keefe, an M&A and PE partner at Nixon Peabody in Boston, discusses the rewards and challenges of advising founders on the sales of their companies on this week's Drinks With The Deal podcast.

Representing a person who’s selling a business for the first time is 40% law and 60% psychology, Amy O’Keefe said on this week’s Drinks With The Deal podcast.

Such assignments are “a different practice” from working with corporates or private equity firms, said O’Keefe, an M&A and private equity partner at Nixon Peabody LLP in Boston who advises all three kinds of clients.

“It can be challenging, but I also find it super-rewarding,” she said of working with company founders and owner-entrepreneurs. “This is potentially a business that they’ve spent their whole lives building, or that generations before them started and have built. To go through a process where you’re going to let that go can be very emotional for a seller.”

O’Keefe and three of her partners have built a practice advising founders and entrepreneurs by developing “a strong network of everyone you need to get a sell-side deal done,” she said. “We have accountants, wealth advisers, investment banks and insurance brokers. We can build a team around a seller to make sure that we’re coordinating everything and bringing in all of the other advisers they need to get a good result. It’s turned itself into a self-perpetuating engine.”

O’Keefe also discussed her work for Health Catalyst Inc. (HCAT), which she advised last year on its purchase of ARMUS Corp. and KPI Ninja Inc., as well as SAES Getters SpA, which she is representing on its $900 million agreement to sell Memry Corp. and SAES Smart Materials Inc. to Resonetics LLC, a deal announced Jan. 9.

Listen to the podcast with Amy O’Keefe below:

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