Diary: Beckett plays broker to ageist adland marriage

Agency marriages are just like any other - high risk and often ending in tears. So let Diary offer some guidance to those off to the altar.

We are indebted to Graham Beckett, the chief executive of the corporate finance company Results. Beckett's new book, Driving a Successful M&A, offers tips to those agency founders looking to cash in their chips and buy that villa in the West Indies.

An important bit of advice from Beckett to those tying the knot is not to make a song and dance of your flashy habits. "If you must indulge in fast cars, boats, planes and women (or men), you will be well advised to keep them out of sight," he writes.

Alas, he has bad news for the industry's old gits. You may think you've got plenty of miles left on the clock, but potential buyers may beg to differ, believing your get-up-and-go might already have got up and gone amid thoughts of retirement. When it comes to an M&A, ageism rules.

And when the deal is done? Don't just pocket the cheque and bugger off on an exotic holiday because it's still possible for the deal to go pear-shaped.

Common sense, really, Beckett declares.

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