The process of mergers and acquisitions can be a stressful one that involves some seriously detailed and forensic analysis. Success depends on preparation and knowhow.
2020 was a tough year for M&As due to the uncertainty we experienced due to Covid-19 according to Investopedia. However, notable among this climate was Morgan Stanley’s purchase of E*TRADE and S&P Global Inc’s purchase of IHS Markit for $13bn and $44bn respectively.
If you’re looking into the possibility of an M&A the following 10 tips may be of benefit.
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1) Remember You Have A New Organization: You should recognize that any M&A actually creates a brand-new organization. Adopt that as your mindset, and treat it like a start-up. The corresponding responsibilities and work involved should make the integration proceed smoothly and effectively.
2) Communicate Constantly and Clearly: Identify every group of related stakeholders. Make them aware of the primary reasons behind this M&A. Also let them know about what values, as well as associated costs, each group will see from it. If you want to have a truly successful outcome, then you need to minimize costs while optimizing the benefits. Getting everyone’s buy-in goes a long way towards getting that done.
3) Integrate Ownership At A Very High Level: Including key players is always a wise choice, but the CEO and/or president should be the one moving the process forward with group leadership. Allowing them access to all data via a virtual data room to communicate effectively is a must in 2021.
4) Create An Integration Plan: It needs to incorporate every facet of each business, organization, culture, and operation. Set measurable increments to analyze at 30, 60, 90, and 180 days out.
5) Make Assignments: Assign either individuals or teams that have designated leaders ownership of parts of the plan. Make sure every part of the plan has someone accountable for it, because this is where the true success of an integration plan comes into play.
6) Develop Assessment Tools: You want the plan to progress nicely, but unless you have tools that can assess that, you won’t really know.
7) Regular Meetings: The principal players involved need to meet on a regular basis to review the progress of the M&A and talk about any alterations that need to happen along the way. Integration plan owner meetings need to happen at least weekly, and at some points, they might even be daily affairs where everyone involved focuses on objective and measurable progress as a means of previewing coming steps and phases.
8) Honor Stakeholder Relationships: No matter how long an M&A takes, communicate with every stakeholder, internal and external alike, on a monthly basis at a minimum.
9) Bridge The Cultures: Find common ground to create a new common core. Let a bit of each culture survive for balance and respect. Everyone should embrace the commonalities but also respect lingering differences.
10) Garner Employee Feedback: Get it. Use it. Make this information lane a tool to again measure the progress and performance of the overall integration. No one ever has too much information, and employee moods and thinking are something any corporate leader needs to be well-versed with at all times.