Axial's Growth 100 : Ryan Gerhardy

Ryan Gerhardy

CEO, Pitchly

A Digital Pitch

After several years in the M&A world, Ryan Gerhardy recognized a need for a solution to lost efficiencies when developing client pitch decks. “The premise of Pitchly is to make it easier for transaction teams to display tombstones on their website,” he says.

The bigger vision, however, is transforming the way M&A professionals work. Today, analysts and associates at firms large and small spend countless hours piecing together the information that will be most relevant to specific pitch decks. 

Pitchly enables users to store transaction credentials, team bios, case studies, and other digital assets on their platform, and then easily drop the information into a client presentation. “You can search by industry, deal value, deal date,” Ryan says. The platform enables users to arrange multiple tombstones and easily export to a PowerPoint presentation.

Time Saver

In Ryan’s experience, the knowledge transfer from senior team members to analyst and associate level employees (who have very turnover rates) is one of the biggest problems in the industry. He says his beta customers saw more than 80% in a reduction of time taken to produce pitch books. “It leveled the playing field for new analysts coming onto the team and senior analysts,” he says. 

Pitchly has a unique value for small and large firms. “The smaller firms like the single source housing as well as the ability to use the content in different channels,” Ryan says. Most of these firms don’t have the in-house marketing resources like the big firms, and the Pitchly product allows them to easily hang a shingle.

For larger firms, Pitchly is an added layer of security. Especially for those who have different staff in different offices across the world, it enables effective communication and data protection without having to get IT involved every time. “The big advantage is being able to search the database to find the right kind of assets,” says Ryan.

A Not-So-Brief History

Ryan shares the long history of one of the cornerstones of investment banking marketing collateral — the tombstone. “Transaction tombstones are 70 years old,” he says. In the “old days,” he says, a transaction was only considered formal if it was advertised in the Wall Street Journal. He says the most recent evidence of this practice dates back to 1987.

“We’re trying to revolutionize not what [tombstones] are, but how they are being used,” he says. Pitchly wants to give their users the ability to transform clients are finding this important piece of marketing and reacting to it.

“A lot of these firms don’t use sophisticated tools; they rely on Excel and email,” Ryan says.  “Investment bankers work long hours and do repetitive tasks more often than they like to.” Pitchly, he says, can give them some of this coveted time back.