Investment banking firm LUMA Partners - led by Terence Kawaja - announced that Brian Andersen, who recently headed corp development at Omniture, is joining LUMA Partners and opening the company's Palo Alto office.
Andersen discussed his new role and his view of the advertising landscape.
AdExchanger.com: Why get into the investment banking business now?
BA: Good question. I’m not sure that I would in the conventional sense. I was in investment banking earlier in my career (M&A group at Robertson Stephens) though for the past ten years I have been working within software companies (Interwoven which was acquired by Autonomy and Omniture which was acquired by Adobe). When I left Omniture/Adobe two months ago, it actually was not my intent to switch back to investment banking, but when I learned of the LUMA Partner’s more strategic approach to corporate development, I saw a good fit. Terry and I started talking and felt that teaming up would create a truly differentiated platform in the market – Terence has extensive investment banking/deal experience and an incredible network, I have significant experience from the “buy-side” perspective, and we both have deep expertise in the digital media / advertising technology space. It was a “no brainer”. I am incredibly excited about this move!
How's your sense of humor?
Good – I don’t think Terry would have accepted me as his partner if it wasn’t. His lighthearted approach and creativity is a real differentiator – and I love the videos. Clearly LUMA is about delivering top quality strategic advice and substantive thought leadership. The humor is a bonus.
When you first saw Terence Kawaja's ecosystem map of ad technology companies, what did you think? And, do you see more M&A or more investment coming in the space?
My first thought was “this guy gets it.” At Omniture, we spent a tremendous amount of time investigating the advertising technology space, and the LUMA landscape meshed with our thinking and helped us identify additional potential targets.
Regarding more M&A and investment, my answer is a definitive “YES!” This is one of the main reasons why I am leaving the corporate/buy-side and joining LUMA. Many companies in the ad tech space are finally reaching enough scale that they have proven their technologies and sales models work, making them more attractive to buyers. There are a tremendous number of companies and consolidation is necessary. I also believe VCs will continue to be active financing ad tech companies. As we have seen over the past few years, the advertising landscape is an incredibly dynamic one, with entrepreneurs hatching new ideas and putting them into practice at an incredible rate. While there has already been a lot of innovation in the ad tech space, I expect we are not done and exciting companies will continue to emerge – and will need funding to do so.
What are the key learnings you'll bring forward from your corp dev roles at Interwoven and Omniture?
A number of things. First of all, I have developed a lot of knowledge about the landscape – just like Terry has in his role on the advisory side. But probably the most important aspect I will bring to the LUMA team – and therefore our clients – is I know how the buy-side thinks. This includes how companies are valued, how approval processes work for acquisitions, identification of key employees and how to retain them post-acquisition, integration, etc. This knowledge is beneficial during the negotiations of term sheet and acquisition documents, and will also help our clients understand what to expect – and prepare them for – what will happen after the acquisition closes.
-- New Video: Ad Tech... From Hype to Stereotype --
LUMA's Terence Kawaja continues his prolific film-making ways with a new work just in time for this week's ad:tech show in New York City. View it below: