Mila Marinkovic in conversation with Jonathan Rabiei: Building a Career in M&A

Mila Marinkovic, Senior Consultant at Miramar Global, interviews Jonathan Rabiei, a Global Director in Business Development and Strategy

Jonathan Rabiei started his career in technical sales and project management, before moving into strategy and performance before his current career in developing business opportunities in the specialty chemicals sector. His career path to M&A has not been a standard one. Here, Mila Marinkovic asks Jonathan to share his experience and advice for others who want to emulate his progression with their own careers.

Can you tell me about your personal career progression in the M&A sector? It is interesting to learn that you didn’t join the sector through the more traditionally understood route.

“I’m an engineer and that’s my background, so I started more in technical roles in product development and innovation and managing innovation and gradually moved into growth strategy. I started at a regional level, moving gradually to global. I reached basically a career point where I became involved in business development. I was able to bring my experience in innovation and organic growth, so I naturally developed into the M&A world”

What was the driver for you to work in M&A and take that leap from the technical career path you had been on until that point?

“I would say that it’s always exciting to work with the innovation piece and with the organic piece and to add, let’s say, the inorganic piece. What I discovered was that this has really the power to really transform businesses. You can really create a new trajectory for a business, you can add crucial innovation or technology to a certain business that you have, and you can transform a portfolio in a sense as well. That’s extremely exciting because you can really be part of transformational change and create transformational growth as well. So that that’s really the major driver for me. I would say the chance and the ability to really make an impact.

What advice would you give to people who currently work in other industry verticals, but would be interested to move into the M&A space?

“I would say that given the situation that is very important to work on your strategy, singularly and as part of a team. I’m giving this from a perspective of a strategic buyer of course, and private equity might have little bit of a different take on it. You have that nail down the vision so it’s clear where you’re heading. I think even during tough times you can move forward and execute your plans. What is important that you have worked on that strategy to work out what are the different targets that that you are looking at and of course constantly being close to and monitoring the market. Get close to advisors, but also be close to the innovation. That’s really important. You want to eventually execute a tilt to your business so that you lead yourself to a successful path. Everybody wants to be a success.”


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