Babar Tanwir

Vice President, London

Babar Tanwir

Vice President, London

“Every business of scale in today’s world is becoming more and more tech reliant and if they’re not their world is getting disrupted by tech businesses.”

Joined Arma Partners in 2014. Previously spent over 5 years at KPMG in the Assurance, M&A and Business Modelling teams in London. Babar is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA) and holds a Bachelors in Science (Hons.) Degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University. He speaks Urdu and Hindi.

Background

When I was looking to make the move to M&A, there were a number of options, I chose Arma because its reputation in the market is amazing. Everyone I spoke to said Arma is the best place for Tech banking. It’s the place to be because in a lot of other places as a junior banker you spend a lot of time on speculative pitching whereas Arma does twenty five plus deals a year, and growing every year. Juniors need to work on live transactions to learn and grow in the M&A world.

Tech

I’ve always been interested in Tech and I worked with some technology companies before. It’s an area which is fast growing. Every business nowadays is tech or tech-enabled so it’s a very wide range of businesses that we look at and of course we segment it into sub-verticals with different senior bankers covering these sectors. Every business of scale in today’s world is becoming more and more tech reliant and if they’re not their world is getting disrupted by tech business, which I’ve found fascinating from the beginning.

Changes over the years

Joining in January 2014, Arma was based on Berkeley Street which we rapidly outgrew. We moved to The Shard in August 2014 and were one of the first businesses based here. The offices are amazing. When you come here for the first time it is very impressive! Culture wise there is a lot more focus on work life balance. There is a concerted effort now on supporting juniors, making sure any work on weekends is absolutely necessary and working late is closely monitored, measured and reported. Of course, In M&A, you do have situations where you are working late nights and on weekends when you have tight deadlines, but thoughtful attention from seniors has improved things considerably.

Infrastructure

This has been a big change in our culture over the years and even more recently, we have a Desktop Publishing Team, which really helps the juniors when it comes to presentations to ensure they are working on more interesting stuff. We now also have a Knowledge Process Outsource team who can help with more routine parts of the job, and I actively encourage my project teams to utilise them as much as possible. Those two extra resources have really helped.

Deal flow

As a generalist, the biggest change I’ve experienced in the deal flow is both in terms of size and profile. When I joined in 2014, when we used to have a couple of €500 million plus deals whereas now it is increasingly more common to be working on multi-billion deals. Many of our deals across sectors are in very high profile, amazing businesses, that have done really well and everybody in their industry would recognise them as market leaders. We work with some of the best Private Equity firms and companies on a daily basis.