The Deal Mediator

What is a deal mediator?

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George Washington Bridge, New York-New Jersey

A deal mediator is a neutral third-party who helps businesses form better deals. Using a mediator’s skills, competencies and tools, the facilitator assists negotiators to clarify their objectives, uncover value, identify gains from trade, find creative solutions, and conclude their optimal transaction. A deal mediator has two overriding objectives: The first is to help the parties make their deal – that is, avoid deal failure – and the second is to ...

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Why use a deal mediator?

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 Footbridge Over Mountain River, Croatia

A deal facilitator is an invaluable resource for anyone who plays a role in putting together business transactions. Negotiators can benefit immensely from the involvement of a neutral third-party whose mandate is to help both sides discuss their underlying needs and interests, and who is focused on identifying options for mutual gain and maximizing transaction value. When making deals, negotiators typically become focused on dividing what they believe is a fixed pie, ...

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How does a deal mediator add value?

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Severn Bridge, England-Wales

A deal mediator can make the difference between the success and failure of a business negotiation. As an impartial manager of the negotiation process, his job is to eliminate barriers to efficient dealmaking and to help all parties negotiate more effectively so they can find and consummate their optimal transaction. A deal mediator is able to accomplish what the two parties alone cannot. Negotiators can generally work out a deal with a mutually acceptable ...

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What skills and expertise should the deal mediator have?

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Alvsborg Bridge, Gothenburg, Sweden

A deal mediator must have considerable training and experience in the field of mediation, but conflict resolution skills are not enough. In addition, the deal mediator must have a strong business background, substantial experience in a broad range of transactions, an understanding of deal dynamics and the ability to control a process usually inhabited by business people who feel they know best.

Phil Neiman is a Marin County based mediator who provides dispute resolution ...

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What are some of the things a deal mediator does?

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Shaikh Isa Causeway, Bahrain

The deal mediator’s mandate is to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved for all parties collectively, in other words, to facilitate the consummation of the most efficient transaction.

A skilled deal mediator:

  • Manages and organizes the negotiation process
  • Improves communication between the parties
  • Keeps the parties on track in their discussions
  • Identifies each side’s objectives
  • Senses misunderstandings and helps clarify them
  • Encourages each side to discuss their underlying interests
  • Neutralizes negotiation tactics and posturing on both sides
  • Breaks deadlocks
  • Manages and ...
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What is a deal mediator not?

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 Stone Footbridge, Location Unknown

A deal mediator is not a decisionmaker in the transaction; he is not a negotiator for either side; he is not an evaluator of the deal terms; and he is not the equivalent of a judge or arbitrator.

Phil Neiman is a Marin County based mediator who provides dispute resolution and deal mediation services throughout Northern California and the greater Bay Area, including Marin, San Francisco, Sonoma and the East Bay.

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Does the deal mediator take sides?

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Langeais Suspension Bridge, Loire Valley, France

The deal mediator is neutral, meaning he or she has a responsibility to assist all parties in a balanced way. He does not favor one side over another and, in effect, is “on everyone’s side.” The mediator’s promise is to work fairly on behalf of all participants by helping them reach their own best agreement.

Phil Neiman is a Marin County based mediator who provides dispute resolution and deal mediation services throughout ...

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Will the deal mediator pressure the negotiators to reach a deal?

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Tokyo Gate Bridge, Tokyo, Japan

The goal of deal mediation is to consummate the best possible transaction for all parties collectively. However, a deal mediator must never pressure either side (or both sides collectively) to close a deal. As anyone in business knows, not every deal is worth doing, and it’s not appropriate for the mediator to make that determination for the parties. The deal mediator facilitates the negotiation, and helps the negotiators formulate their best possible ...

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Will the deal mediator offer the parties his opinion as to terms?

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Wadi Abdoun Bridge, Amman, Jordan

Each side in the deal will have its own negotiators and, in most cases, its own advisors (such as lawyers, investment bankers or accountants). The mediator will not provide an opinion as to what deal terms are appropriate or how the transaction should be concluded. The deal mediator is there to facilitate the transaction on behalf of all parties, and he is at all times agnostic about the outcome.

Phil Neiman is a ...

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Is a deal mediator the same thing as an “honest broker”?

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New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, West Virginia

The term “honest broker” is often used in the geopolitical arena and is defined as “a person, group, or country that serves as a mediator to help other people reach an agreement”. The first usage of the term can be traced to the late-19th Century when German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck referred to himself as an “ehrlicher Makler” (honest broker) as he brought together the representatives of various countries to ...

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How is a deal mediator compensated?

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Rama VIII Bridge, Bangkok, Thailand

The only appropriate way for a deal mediator to be compensated is at an hourly rate or, at the parties’ election, based on a flat fee upon an estimate of the number of hours to be devoted to the mediation. A deal mediator must never receive a success-based fee or a commission in which payment is tied to the closing of the deal. The reason is that it’s sometimes best that a ...

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