This interview with Áron Kovalóczy, Managing Director, DLA Piper Business Advisory, was originally published by magazine and is republished with permission.

Q: Last year was the first full calendar year of DLA Piper Business Advisory. How do you evaluate the past year?

A: Last year was a hugely a successful year exceeding all expectations. We are proud that DLA Piper Business Advisory ranked 1st place based on number of successful M&A transactions in Hungary in 2019 according to the league table of financial advisors published by MergerMarket.

Q: What kind of transactions have you been working on?

A: We have had a wide variety of transactions, we worked on both buy-side and sell-side and served clients both from the private and the public sector. In terms of transaction size, we have worked on large transactions of several hundreds of millions of EUR and on smaller, few millions of EUR deals as well. From an industry perspective, our primary focus is on the regulated sectors, primarily the energy and infrastructure industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and health care sector. The transactions in which we were involved, were typically related to these industries, but we worked on a successful transaction in the telecommunication sector as well.

Q: Are you providing only M&A advisory?

A: No, in addition to the M&A transactions, we worked on several other interesting projects. The DLA Piper Business Advisory team has a very strong financial modeling and business valuation expertise, we have a huge amount of these kind of projects not only related to M&A, but for example related to competition cases and banned state aid cases, as well as for accounting and taxation purposes. We are providing strategic consulting and project management services as well to our clients.

Q: Are you providing services only in Hungary?

A: No, especially the aforementioned financial modeling is a service that we can provide outside of Hungary, but we but we also have unique experience in some industries that can be successfully utilized abroad. Last autumn there was a week when the team worked on three different continents in five different industries. Within Europe, we have had advisory projects in several different countries - Romania, Croatia and Greece, for example.

Q: What is the size of the team that can work on so many different projects?

The DLA Piper Business Advisory team currently has 7 people, all of them are outstanding, very hard working and customer focused professionals, whom I am very proud of and grateful for their seamless work. However, in some cases, even this may not be enough for us to work on so many different projects, so we regularly work with proven, trusted external partners in areas like financial due diligence or strategic consulting for example.

Q: What is the secret of your success?

A: We are the new business advisory service line of DLA Piper, which is one of the largest law firms in the world and one of the most powerful legal brands on the market. I believe that our most important competitive advantage, our differentiating factor and our secret to success is the excellent cooperation with our lawyer colleagues, which enables us to provide our clients with integrated services to solve complex problems, covering both legal, financial and business aspects. Our clients have problems that require legal, financial, business or even other competences, and we can provide this in an integrated, one-stop-shop approach thanks to our multi-disciplinary team, which is greatly appreciated by our clients according to our experiences.