About Me

Paul Inouye was born in San Francisco and grew up in San Carlos, and is one of three brothers. Paul Inouye attended Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, UC Berkeley, and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for my MBA.

Paul Inouye's hobbies include cycling, running, swimming, CrossFit exercise, travel, skiing, 80s music, EDM, 80’s movies, reading, military history, and fantasy football. Paul Inouye played both high school and collegiate Rugby and have completed The Vineman Ironman, the Vineman Half Ironman, the Hawaiin Half Ironman, and the San Francisco, Avenue of the Giants, and NYC Marathons.

Paul Inouye has worked for over 30 years in west coast technology banking. He has strong domain knowledge, deep insights into strategic and financial buyers, well-honed negotiating skills, and extensive knowledge of the M&A process. His focus in his career has been in M&A transactions for both software and internet tech businesses, and, like many of my clients, Paul is an entrepreneur himself in running his own M&A boutique.

Paul understands how hard it is to grow a business successfully, so he is very motivated to ensure that he gets successful outcomes for his clients, who have spent many years working hard to build great businesses., having worked at Robertson Stephens, Morgan Stanley, Piper Jaffray, Lehman Brothers, Perella Weinberg, and Moelis & Company. Paul Inouye is the father of two children Miles and Sutton.

Western Hills Partners is named after the foothills of the mountain range that run along the Peninsula in the Bay Area. Inouye's home office looks directly at these beautiful hills overshadowing Silicon Valley and he often rides or hikes up these hills in his spare time.

The idea for the firm comes from Inouye's early roots in banking at Robertson Stephens where he worked with the early entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. While he also spent time as a senior banker at bulge bracket firms working with the largest tech players in the Valley, his true professional passion has always been in advising vibrant tech founders and entrepreneurs to build their businesses.

Paul has been featured in Sportztalk where he shares his tips for training and preparing for your first marathon. Paul isn’t just a founder and CEO, he also has many hobbies and interests, and he regularly competes in marathons and Ironman races. In addition to staying active, he embraces the idea of pushing himself. Paul is here to share his advice and top tips with us. Even if you’ve never run a mile, a marathon is still possible.

In other recent news, Inouye has been featured in YahooFinance, where he shares his expert advice for How to Prepare Your Software Business for an Upcoming Sale. Paul Inouye offers insight on how to best prepare for a successful m&a transaction. His recent conversation provided insights into what processes software and SAAS businesses adhere to in order to best ensure a smooth and successful m&a sale.

Paul says that it is important to be positive and proactive in positioning the business: "As the company leader, your approach towards the merger will rub off on everyone else involved," warns Inouye. "It is also important to take a hands-on approach to the process including being highly involved in its positioning, articulating its value proposition, its competitive advantages and its key business highlights and in working closely with your advisor."

Inouye says entrepreneurs need to choose a banker they trust. “You are going to depend on this investment banker to take you through this complex process,” Inouye stated. “Choose a banker who has experience in your industry to help you get the highest possible price. A great banker will also help you avoid the common risks that come with selling a business. You need to have an expert who is knowledgeable with core business and financial due diligence requirements.”

He also says owners should look at the size of the deals the investment banker is handling before going with that professional or firm. “You want to pick a firm that frequently handles deals your size,” he says. “Choosing a firm used to large deals where your deal is the smallest might mean being pushed to the bottom of the priority list. If you choose a company used to smaller deals than the one you are working on, they might not be prepared to handle what you are after. A great firm will have the right team to handle your company, putting you inattentive and capable hands,”

Paul's day is highly varied which is one of the things he loves most about his profession. A single day may consist of a 2-hour client call, making outbound marketing calls to buyers or prospective new clients, reviewing an important due diligence-related analytical analysis and work, and collaborating with colleagues on a live project. In addition, Paul is often researching an industry or a business or creating some new pitch materials for a project on a given day. Each activity requires a unique and distinct skill that really energizes me intellectually.

Paul Inouye's key to a productive day is to keep a very organized calendar that allocates discrete dedicated time slots to get each day’s critical agenda items completed. Paul ends each day by reviewing the next day’s agenda and meetings and adjusting his calendar to accommodate any new meetings or important tasks. Then, throughout the day he keeps a tracking sheet of items that require follow-up and uses that to plan his subsequent workweek. While a bit old-school and rote at times, Paul says that he has personally found his method to be highly effective and useful.


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