Corporate Speed Dating

Looking for some M&A? Try this event.

IT CAN, apparently, take just three minutes to fall in love with another person. Cavendish Corporate Finance, a British merger-and-acquisitions boutique, hopes that something similar is true in the business world. On October 15th it is holding an "event" ("conference" would conjure up unsexy images of droning speakers) at the annual meeting in Amsterdam of M&A International, a network of M&A firms, closely modelled on speed dating.

The event will enable potential buyers and sellers of companies to get together. Rather than indicating hair colour, educational background or height, suitors tick boxes indicating geographical or industrial desires. Meetings will last only 20 minutes: as with speed dating, the object is merely to see whether there is any chemistry. A bell will be rung when the time is up. "What people enjoy at conferences are the coffee breaks; this is a lot of coffee breaks," says Howard Leigh, Cavendish's managing director.

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