Carlin & Associates


This section contains the most common questions that our customers asked us before the start of the collaboration or during the execution of the agreed activities. We believe that they can be useful to better understand who is and how C & A works, and we suggest to the entrepreneur interested in using our services to read with great attention what is reported here because he will find many answers to his initial questions and requests. The FAQs are periodically updated.


1) What characteristics must have a "start-up" project in order to be rated by C&A and possibly be supported by that?

C&A evaluates any type of investment project, relating to products or technologies, belonging to any sector. It is necessary that the proposals possesses interesting characteristics of innovation, or peculiarities such as being able to catch a glimpse of its potential , enough to justify the investment by third parties. C&A will make an immediate preliminary assessment, both technical and commercial, to better understand the possibilities and only on the basis of a positive result will be able to confirm its willingness to manage the proposed project.


2) How does C&A interfaces with the business owner?

The relationship between C&A and entrepreneur is of course based on professional requirements that are well known and commonly used for anyone doing this job. It should, however, stood out the fact that C&A does not accept assignments where that ratio is also based on a mutual respect and absolute trust. This is less trivial than it may seem: the human resources and operational structures of C&A are limited as C&A is not the structural level of the well-known consulting multinational firms, and must dose carefully its resources only on projects that he believes in firmly and where there is a true and loyal relationship with the entrepreneur, for determination, synergy of vision and strategy, operational flexibility, openness to dialogue and confrontation. Only in this way, working in a dynamic and constructive team, it will be possible to achieve the desired objectives. If these conditions do not exist, C&A prefers not to take the job.


3) How does C&A interfaces with existing entrepeneur' professionals and consultants?

The consulting activities of C&A are parallel to and synergistic with the support currently provided by existing accountants or lawyers firms that are working with entrepeneur. In fact, C&A builds business projects and supports them operationally, but can not replace such skills and expertise specific to the accountant regarding tax matters or to the attorney for the legal aspects. Indeed, C&A hopes will also establish a working relationship and sharing of strategies, for the advantage of the company or of the idea to build. Any business strategy, whether or consolidation of development and expansion, must be approved by all members of involved professional bodies.


4) How does C&A "designs and builds" a new industrial initiative?

Generally C&A receives up to ten valuation requests per month, for a total of nearly 80 projects a year, in all sectors. Clearly C&A is not able to provide its services to all, both for reasons of dimensioning of its structure, and because many of these projects do not exceed the first feasability assessment phase. Usually the types of project are presented by two categories of promoters: the company that is already started and that aims to develop new activities, or the new entrepreneur who has an idea he believes is of great potential, but that has to be completely structured and organized. In the first case, you can work on a single project because there is already a solid background and so is easier to structure a reliable strategy. In the second case, projects startup really solid and of great potential that are able to support themselves are rare. Often the idea is good but it should be included in "boxes" where inside there are other ideas that put them all together in a synergistic way (same industry, products or services, technology-based, export markets). By this way, it means that the investor is more encouraged to support them as it is a risk diversification and amplification of a chance of success. C&A is particularly expert at finding the right synergies and the ideal points of contact in such situations.


5) What kind of agreement C&A uses to provide its services?

C&A offers a very simple consulting agreement, which can be exclusive in the case of special needs of the entrepreneur. For Italy' Clients, the contract is in Italian, governed by Italian law and for the regulatory and tax aspects, and has a variable duration (usually 4 months to preparation activities, BP drafting and contacting investors, up to one year, renewable for M&A and commercial agency) . The contract is subject to cancellation at any time, at very short notice and without penalty to the customer.


6) How is paid the C&A service?

C&A provides its customers with a very wide range of services, more than 50 different types. For each service are established two types of costs: one "fixed" at the activation of cooperation and one at "success". The first is important because it activates the contractual and consulting relationship, responsibly binds the parties and forces C&A to consider the just acquired customer with the same priority for customers with whom is already working. Lastly, the advance fee forces the customer to follow the job with C&A with speed and consistency, fact not always granted. In fact, the first payment, however, much more limited when compared to the size of the initial work expressed, covers only the costs of C&A and is essential: C&A in fact does not start consulting relations with any customer who is not willing to do this small initial investment . Instead, the true profit of C&A is to achieve the ultimate goals agreed with the employer, for which there is a fee to be agreed and payable only at the effective achievement of the provisions. On the other hand, C&A also makes an investment on the customer, as well as to mobilize its professional resources, as C&A "puts his face" and reputation in support of the project which is handling.


7) What is the C&A operational "practice" after the signing of agreeemnt with customer?

Concurrently with the signing of the consultancy agreement and its activation with the down payment, within a few days it is held the first meeting at the headquarters of the customer for the "kick-off meeting". This meeting is very important to agree on things to do, share best practices, acquire information and documentation, visit the company and, for C&A, to begin to "learn" the project salient features. The same applies if instead of a company the work object relates to a specific product or technology. Then begins an ongoing and continuous dialogue between C&A and entrepreneur, almost daily, not only on the progress of the work but also because C&A is always available to assist and advise the company on any collateral and contingent operational aspect. Generally, depending on the complexity of the project, after only a few weeks C&A is able to present the first results of his work, to be discussed and reviewed with the employer. In addition to this, C&A shall be immediately inform its international network of professionals about the new customer and of his offering, and will propose in the short term the possible business opportunities in the countries of their competence.


8) What they are and how they operate C&A counterparties or investment partners in M&A activities?

C&A maintains regular contact with many national and international companies in the field of industrial investments, to whom periodically offers and select the best and available opportunities. These realities are investment funds, international entrepreneurs who dedicate part of their assets in direct investments, financial operators and merchant banks. After having prepared the Investor Memorandum and Business Plan to be proposed according to the standard requirements, C&A identifies what are the correct and potential business investment partners and send them the Investor Memorandum. In case of interest, to obtain it formally, generally takes about 30-40 days, you go to the next step, namely the sending of the Business Plan which is then explained in detail with specific meetings. Goal is to get to the drafting of a letter of intent (LOI) where the investor and the company begin to formalize the guidelines of their potential partnership, according to the shared conditions and timing. During the period of validity of the LOI, usually three months, are carried out all the planned activities of thorough diligence and are prepared official documents for the formalization of the intervention and the subsequent activities. C&A oversees all these stages, until the completion of the final negotiation.


9) What guarantees has the entrepeneur of being approved his project by the investor?

None. The entrepreneur should be aware that the expenditure to engage the C&A services is part of the investment plan of his company for it to grow and improve. The work done by C&A, whatever it is, always leaves concrete and durable facts, regardless of whether the full success. The company will be guaranteed that C&A, once accepted the appointment, will make 100% to reach the finish, using all his skills, but the final decision on investments is always in the hands of the investor acting in independent and autonomous way. This decision may be influenced by many factors and variables (market movements, international socio-political situations, competing products or technologies that make the project not solid, etc.) of which C&A can not control.



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