The whole is often greater than the sum of the parts. That’s the prevailing idea behind mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – two constituent companies can come together to form something far greater than the individual entities. It’s a one plus one equals three type equation. It is an idea that corporations all the world over have come to embrace as a means of inorganic growth. Over the last three decades, the global value of mergers and acquisitions has risen in lock step with the economy’s ever-expanding performance. In 2019 and 2020, the M&A industry hit $3.4 trillion and $2.8 trillion in volume, respectively. Behind every large M&A is a well defined process run by experienced M&A professionals and a number of supporting staff.
Crafting an Efficient M&A Process
Given the volume of business involved with the mergers and acquisitions industry, it is in your best interest to plan any future merger or acquisition (M&A) meticulously in order to make the process agile, efficient, and routine.
For companies with a solid, core business foundation, the M&A process is a great way to expand:
- Holdings and assets
- Product lines
- Brand awareness
- Corporate footprint
In fact, many of the world’s biggest corporations are the result of multiple mergers over the years (think AOL & Timewarner, Heinz & Kraft, Morgan Stanley & E-TRADE, etc.) . In order to make your M&A process smooth, efficient, and overall repeatable, you must have your M&A positions properly staffed. In other words, you want key players installed in the right positions.
The Key Players Involved in Your M&A Process
All the top mergers and acquisitions consulting firms will tell you the same thing: there are a few key roles that are essential to the M&A process. Without them, the already complex and lengthy process would stall. Some of the most important players involved with the mergers and acquisitions process include:
- Professional consulting firms
- Corporate development professionals
- Administrative positions such as lawyers, appraisers and accountants
- Senior leadership
Below are five critical roles your company should properly staff before heading into an M&A.
1. The C-suite
A smooth M&A process begins at the top of the company. Proper senior leadership is necessary in order to steer the proverbial ship in the right direction. Each member of your executive staff must be invested in the process. Some of the most essential executives include the:
The CEO can help provide a clear direction for the resulting company post merger. The CFO will help drive the complex financials involved with the M&A process, while the chief operating officer drives the logistics behind the union. You must have synergy with your c-level team before engaging in a merger.
2. The Corporate/Business Development Officer
The business development officer (BDO) is a highly specialized position included in the c-suite. However, when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, they have a more central role in the process. A BDO will have a wide range of background knowledge and experience suited toward growing the company exponentially. Part accountant, part COO, part analyst, the BDO is instrumental in rapidly advancing the size and fortune of your company through mergers and acquisitions.
3. Corporate Lawyers
An M&A is a very involved process. There are numerous rules and regulations that must be adhered to. Everyone from the federal government to the SEC is involved in the merger process. Adherence to policy and procedure more often than not requires a professional’s touch. Involving your own corporate lawyer —whether in house or external— can help you ensure the integrity of your merger, keeping your company safe, secure, and legally compliant.
No matter what position your company finds itself in during the M&A, be it the buyer, seller, or parent entity, accountants are essential to the M&A process. They are responsible for laying the groundwork that ultimately facilitates a smooth transition. Essentially, an accountant becomes a merger and acquisition analyst during the M&A process. Their role includes:
- Cleaning up outstanding balances
- Reconciling the general ledger
- Preparing valuation documents
- Driving financial strategy during negotiations
- Financial due diligence
- Quality of earnings
It is essential to enlist a solid team of accountants in order to perform all necessary due diligence prior to the close of the sale.
5. Risk Management Associates
Everyone from your executive team to your front line staff are responsible for mitigating risk going into the merger process. Your CFO, COO, and accounting staff are especially critical for risk management. However, each of those professionals also has a host of other duties during a hectic merger window. A dedicated risk management professional is an essential type of analyst who can help round out the team, identifying potential risks and financial hazards associated with the pending transaction. Consider hiring a professional specifically for the role.
How Jennings Executive Search Can Help
Ever hear of the saying it takes a village to raise a child? Well, the M&A process is not all that different. It involves investment from a virtual concert of professionals in order to make the transition as seamless as possible. From accountants, to analysts, to dedicated executives, each plays a key role during mergers and acquisitions.
Each of these positions, however, requires well-qualified individuals in order to meet the lofty expectations of their respective roles. Jennings Executive Search can help with that. We are a professional staffing firm known for our ability to recruit highly-qualified, top-tier talent. Mergers and acquisitions require employees who are well-versed in a wide range of business skills. Let Jennings Executive help you fill these critical roles, ensuring the long-term success of your company going forward.