Progress Partners

Specialty M&A firm enables fast, secure document sharing with Intralinks virtual data rooms


Picture this: you’re on the verge of closing a major M&A deal. The client provides critical updates that must be shared with all potential buyers. But one interested buyer gets missed. After the deal closes, that company threatens a lawsuit.

That’s the scenario Davis Rosborough, a vice president at investment bank Progress Partners, wants to avoid. He saw it happen to a colleague at another investment bank that used a Dropbox-style solution for document sharing. “That’s why we use Intralinks,” he says. “I honestly can’t think of a world without it.”

Rosborough says the problem with Dropbox is you can’t control how documents are handled by potential buyers. Someone could even download a document and make changes. And documents have to be manually added to each buyer’s Dropbox. That’s not only time-consuming, but also risky as his colleague learned.

As bankers, we understand the care that must go into sharing confidential documents. With Intralinks, there’s only one source to check no matter how many documents there are. That makes it easier to maintain security and control, so we don’t have to worry about security breaches or people sharing documents inappropriately.

— Davis Rosborough, Vice President, Progress Partners


For secure, controlled document sharing, Progress Partners uses 20-25 Intralinks virtual data rooms (VDRs) over the course of a year for deals ranging from $20 to $200 million, mainly in digital media and marketing technology industries. Each VDR, which on average supports 20-30 users, stores up to 13,000 document pages, including company financials, contracts, marketing presentations and reports about headcount, sales pipelines and customer turnover. Company-wide, that adds up to 260,000-plus pages accessed by hundreds of deal stakeholders annually.


Rosborough emphasizes that when providing buyers with deal information, speed is of the essence. He says Dropbox slows the process because it requires building folders for every prospective buyer and manually adding documents to each. By contrast, Intralinks is quick and easy, automatically updating all buyers whenever a document is added to the VDR.

“Intralinks is so fast and easy to use,” notes Sam Thompson, Senior Managing Director. “It provides seamless, ubiquitous updating of documents in one fell swoop, which saves a big chunk of time. It saves me at least an hour per week. Spread that across the firm and that’s half a full-time employee.”

Intralinks also provides Progress Partners with security and visibility that alternative solutions lack. Clients are naturally skittish about populating shared document space with confidential information. Intralinks allays those concerns.

“With Intralinks analytics, we can show clients exactly how their files are shared, who has opened them, when they were opened—details that make everyone more at ease,” Nick MacShane, Senior Managing Director, explains.

“That level of reporting also helps us get deals done faster because we can tell who the serious buyers are by how often they access the documents.”

He adds that Intralinks lends credibility to Progress Partners. “If you’re using Intralinks to share documents, clients see a professional-looking, well-managed VDR – that shows we’re serious about getting deals done.”

Rosborough concludes, “One of the great things about Intralinks is it does exactly what we need it to do, and does it well. Everyone at Intralinks goes the extra mile to help us get the most out from our investment. As bankers, that’s expected of us all the time, so when it comes back around, we appreciate it to no end.”