Clearly, the smaller and more peripheral the intended divestiture, the less significant the result to the executives involved, compared to an entrepreneur selling the commercial creation of his life.

The St James Partnership believes, however, that their addition to the selling team both improves the chances of a deal and the value achieved. Fees are designed to reflect the internal time saved and the external value generated. Once appointed, the Partnership has never been considered superfluous to the divestiture exercise or poor value for money.

Appoint TJSP properly; ensure the partners have adequate internal access; and let them do their job. And please, don't give a plum divestiture to a team with no personal in-depth knowledge of that sector of the publishing industry without giving TSJP a chance to pitch.

Two other points. Firstly, we all know that being the only buyer often gives the best chance of securing the target asset at a bargain price. So you know it makes sense when selling to broaden the field - and what better way to do that than using the sector-specific intermediary. While you may have a stream of enquiries from potential buyers, you don't specialise in proactively finding buyers: The St James Partnership does.

Secondly, and finally, management buyouts from plc's are delicate. Your shareholders will want to know that independent advice has been taken.