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How Search Funds Win Competitive Deals – with Max Artz of Peterson Search Partners


Today, we’re publishing Peter Lehrman’s conversation with Max Artz, a search fund expert and Partner at Peterson Search Partners, a professional investment firm focused on backing the top search fund talent. 

Max shares insights on the world of small business mergers and acquisitions including strategies for securing the best deals, the importance of understanding an owner’s willingness to sell, and how traditional bidding techniques have evolved. He also highlights the crucial role of trust and chemistry in successful acquisitions. The conversation delves into the current state of searcher outreach and how Peterson Search Partners supports the searchers they back by removing growth hurdles. Additionally, Artz discusses changes in the search / EtA market and offers advice for those considering taking over a small business.

This podcast is produced by Axial ( Axial is an online platform that makes it easy for small business owners to confidentially research and connect with top-ranked small business M&A advisors and capital partners. I am your host, Peter Lehrman, Founder and CEO of Axial. In every episode, we explore the vast world of small business M&A, interviewing both the proven and the emerging owners, operators, investors, and advisors whose strategies and methods are being put to the test.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, spread the word and give us a review on Apple or Spotify. If you’d like to go deeper, head to, where there are dozens of recorded Axial member roundtables, downloadable tools for dealmakers, quarterly league-table rankings, and other useful information. If you’re a business owner, professional acquirer, or M&A advisor, you can start using Axial for free at

Click the link below to join the podcast newsletter list, where we’ll notify you each time a new episode gets published.

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Discussion points:

  • Max Artz background and previous careers
  • Search fund investing and state of searcher outreach
  • Traditional bidding techniques in small business M&A
  • Understanding an owner’s willingness to sell for success
  • How Peterson Partners supports searchers and sources talent
  • Trust and chemistry in successful business acquisitions
  • Changes in the search market and sourcing talent beyond business schools
  • Impact of pricing on a deal
  • Advice for those interested in taking over a small business
  • Importance of taking a break in the relentless search process
  • Emphasizing trust, relationship building, and search beyond the top MBA schools


Max Artz LinkedIn

Peterson Partners

Peter Lehrman LinkedIn

Axial Website


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