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Nick Leopard – Learn How the Very Best PE Firms Transform the Finance Function – Ep. 18


Today Peter Lehrman welcomes Accordion’s CEO and founder Nick Leopard onto the podcast. Nick started Accordion after prior chapters in investment banking and private equity / mezzanine lending. Accordion has become a leading financial consulting firm focused exclusively on serving the office of the private equity-backed CFO. Their clients, which include investment leaders Bain, Apollo, Hellman & Friedman, Golden Gate, Thoma Bravo, and many others, speaks for itself.  

Nick and Peter dive deep into the finance function and what the best acquirers and operators do beyond the nuts and bolts of accounting and financial statements to get real strategic leverage and value from the office of the CFO.  Specifically, they talk about:

  • How the up-market PE leaders professionalize the portfolio company finance function
  • What business owners can unlock if you hire a great CFO earlier than one typically does
  • Exploring the concept of ‘Exit Readiness’ and why it’s so valuable for owners to prioritize it
  • Accordion’s own M&A story and why they turned to acquisitions alongside organic growth
  • What Nick has learned watching the best PE firms transform the CFO function
  • Some potentially easy wins operators can achieve with simple technology and process discipline

This podcast is produced by the team at Axial ( Axial is an online deal-sourcing platform that makes it easy for small business owners to confidentially explore transactions and connect with top-ranked 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 enjoy the podcast, 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 lots of 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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