BCG buys stake in matchmaking platform Opportunity Network

18 April 2016

BCG has intensified its partnership with Opportunity Network. Through the deal, the consulting firm gains a minority stake in the matchmaking platform for banking executives and dealmakers, as well as sees one of its senior partners join the company’s board. In return the Opportunity Network gains access to BCG’s wider banking network, opening a rich seam of potential new users of its platform.

Opportunity Network was set up in 2014. The company operates a platform through which banking clients can look for trustworthy partners to support them expand into new markets, execute cross-border mergers and acquisitions, sell privately held enterprises, and maximise asset utilisation. In addition, the FinTech player helps partner banks gain insights into their clients’ expansion plans and appetites for M&A activities. The member-based platform* is open for any deal above $1 million, spanning M&As, partnerships and ventures, has so far served thousands of companies across 78 countries, in the process hosting over $30 billion in opportunity deal flow.

The firm – based in New York, London, Barcelona and Dubai – recently announced that it has struck a strategic partnership with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the globe’s largest and most prestigious management consultancies. The consulting firm was already actively supporting the company, having participating in its latest funding round. As part of the deal, BCG gains a minority stake in the company, and one of BCG’s senior partners, Lionel Aré, joins the Board of Directors of the Opportunity Network.

Aré has been with BCG since 1991, when he joined the firm’s French office. He currently served as a Senior Partner and leads BCG’s Global Financial Institutions Practice. Commenting on the deal, Aré says that the Opportunity Network offers a “very attractive value proposition for banks, and we’re happy to provide this opportunity to our clients.” He adds: “In partnering with Opportunity Network, we are looking to address an important issue: the fact that many midsize businesses and private investors lack the tools and networks of contacts needed to grow, which in turn reduces opportunities for the commercial banks and wealth managers that serve them.”

The partners have hit the ground running to drum up new business for the network. The two parties have already jointly opened discussions with corporate- and private-banking divisions of leading financial institutions. According to the partners, “banks are expressing enthusiasm for the opportunity to provide their top clients with access to Opportunity Network’s platform.”

Brian Pallas, CEO and founder of Opportunity Network, says that the partnership with BCG will allow financial institutions to “strengthen their relationships with their clients by enabling them to find trustworthy business counterparts worldwide at the click of a button.” Pallas continues: “Companies must gain access to trustworthy partners in an effective and efficient way. Their banks must serve them as they execute deals at the speed of continuously changing markets. Digital technology can now play a leading role in expanding the global economic system by supporting both companies and the financial industry.”

Prior to founding Opportunity Network, Pallas worked for five years at BCG. Based in Milan, Italy, he dealt with a variety of projects, both strategic and operational across several sectors including consumer goods, retail, banking, insurance, energy, and media. Pallas, who recently was named one of Italy’s most promising professionals under 35, also gained experience in Private Equity and Investment Banking.

* Members are invited only through reputable financial, legal, and professional services firms that ensure the reliability of the members.