If you, as an entrepreneur, are partnering with NOM as an investor, then you must be curious what that partnership looks like. It's a special relationship, because we own part of the shares and therefore have something to say. You can read more about that in this article, as well as about the formal and practical side of working with NOM as an investor. It is good to know that this is only about NOM as a co-shareholder, not when we finance companies with a (risk-bearing) loan.
No ordinary relationship
As an entrepreneur, you deal with "ordinary" customer-supplier relationships on a daily basis. Sometimes you are the supplier and you do the best you can for your customer. Other times, you are the customer and trying to get the best deal from a supplier. And although we think of the parties we work with as investors as customers, the basis of the relationship is different. This is because, as an investor, we own part of the shares and therefore have something to say about your company. In addition, we have a number of requirements for our cooperation.
The formal side of working with NOM as an investor
We lay out those requirements in the shareholder agreement. It's mostly about very basic things. We want to be kept informed, for example, about periodic financial figures and other matters that are important for the company. You can think about the firing of an important manager, or if a major customer comes in. Even a move or the hiring of many new people is something we don't want to find out about after 6 months. It's about all the important strategic choices and things that occur, but not about the day-to-day business.
As an investor, NOM also wants to have a say in the hiring and firing of directors, the adoption of the annual accounts and whether or not to pay dividends. And if, for example, you intend to sue a supplier, we'd like to hear that too.
NOM as a co-shareholder in practice
For many entrepreneurs, having a co-shareholder takes some getting used to. First you did everything yourself and were 100% owner, now suddenly you have to work with an investor. We fully understand that. Most entrepreneurs working with us were primarily looking for funding, not necessarily for a co-shareholder.
To keep this on track, we tailor management to the entrepreneur as much as possible. Some entrepreneurs want us to come by every two weeks to catch up with them, while others do their own thing and see us once every quarter. We offer entrepreneurs room to steer their own course, but of course we keep an eye on the bigger picture. Especially when things are not going so well, we will interfere more. And that may not always be pleasant, but the interests of the company are always at the forefront.
An important consideration for entrepreneurs who want to work with us is that we do not want to be a second-class shareholder. We are shareholders, co-owners and, on the contrary, we want to be successful together. That means we want to help you when the going gets tough, for example when negotiating with the bank or with important strategic issues. A good basis for working together is indispensable for this; we will both have to do our best for that. Only then can NOM deliver added value as an investor.
The added value of NOM as a co-shareholder
Working with NOM as a co-shareholder is special. This is because there is an important difference from other investment funds or private investors. This is because with these parties there is almost always a personal interest at stake. In the case of a private investor, it is about his own money. But this is also often the case with other investment funds, or investment managers receive a bonus if a company does well.
As managers, we have a fairly independent role at NOM. Of course we stand up for the interests of NOM, but the interests of the company are also central. Because there is no direct financial link between managers and the performance of your company, we ensure that we do what is best for your company. Especially when things get exciting, it sometimes happens that we put the interests of the company above the direct interests of NOM. And that's not likely to happen with other investors.
You now know what a possible partnership with NOM as a co-shareholder looks like. Want to know more about the impact of investors on your business? Then download our white paper and read all about it.
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