Investors in People – Abdul Khan


October 18th, 2022


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Vesta Software Group

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Vesta Investors in People Abdul Khan

In our latest Investors in People feature, we sit down with Abdul Khan, our Manager of M&A and Strategy. We discuss how his journey with the group started and find out a bit more about what a typical day within our M&A team looks like.

Abdul Khan Investors in People

How did your journey with the group begin?

My career started out at KPMG in their Technology, Media & Telecoms department, where Constellation Software Inc. was actually a client of ours. I’ve always held a particular interest in the software and technology space, so I was keen when the opportunity arose to join Volaris Group (a subsidiary of Constellation Software Inc. & sister company of Vesta) in a finance role, where we were overseeing the functions of around 15 businesses.

I later stepped into an Associate role for M&A and Strategy at Jonas Software and met Vesta’s Head of M&A, Ken Barragan, while supporting him with a transaction. It was an exciting period of growth for Vesta, so I quickly joined the team as a Manager of M&A and Strategy after this.

Tell us a bit about your current role

As Manager of M&A and Strategy, I work across a few functions, namely finding new companies to acquire, reviewing potential investments, and participating in due diligence.

I work closely with Sofia Alfonzo, our M&A Analyst, to put together details around valuation and also help to prepare offer materials. If the acquisition proceeds, I take on more involvement during the due diligence process and look at company data, including financials, to help push any deals forward.

Post-acquisition, I draw on my finance background to support Tom Baptie and the finance team here at Vesta to help integrate the business and ensure a bit of continuity for any new companies joining the family. It something I feel is unique to us, and makes it much easier for them to settle in and get to grips with our processes and best practices.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My days vary, but usually involve working with financial information, collaborating with the team, and reviewing businesses from an investment perspective. We have been trying to set up more of a rhythm to help structure our weeks, which usually includes Sofia and I starting off by putting together our offer materials and working with vendors to answer our initial questions. Come the end of the week, we share our thoughts with  Ken and Vesta’s Group CEO, Richard Clancy, to get feedback and move forward with the M&A process.

I also spend quite a bit of time with the M&A research team to help generate new leads for our Business Development Executives.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love the variety that comes with this role. I get to talk to many different people who have accomplished so much over the course of their careers, so just hearing their perspectives on the business and industry landscape is really interesting – there’s always something new to learn!

Another great thing about this role is getting the opportunity to work with people through one of the biggest milestones of their lives. It’s not everyday that they’re going to sell a company that they started and worked hard building over the years, so it’s nice to be able to help make that process as smooth and stress-free for them as possible.

Is there a part of your role you find challenging?

In the world of M&A, the workload can be very up and down. We’re happiest when we’re at our busiest, but that can be a bit of a double-edged sword! Fortunately, Sofia and I spend a lot of time analysing our pipeline to mitigate any impact during busy periods, ensuring we are able to prioritise effectively and meet the needs of stakeholders involved.

Have you been offered learning and development opportunities?

My role in itself is a huge learning opportunity and I’ve definitely grown during my time here at Vesta. I work closely with Richard Clancy on transactions, so I’m always learning from his feedback and taking on board what he knows from his years of experience in the industry. The team also run regular sessions on different aspects of the M&A process, which is useful to help keep us on top of everything.

Ultimately, though, I think the most interesting insights come from the businesses we work with. Each and every one is different, so you’re always learning something new.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to progress in their career or business?

During the early stages of my career, I took the approach of trying as many things as I possibly could, then figuring out what I enjoy the most. During school, that meant taking computer sciences, accounting and finance before settling into a career in accounting initially. That role then transitioned into corporate finance and eventually into M&A currently. Chances are that what you’re passionate about will change over time, but trying out different things will put you one step ahead on the path to deciding where you want to be.

What books or podcasts would you recommend?

I recently read The Dhandho Investor by Mohnish Pabrai and enjoyed it, so would definitely recommend that!