M&A Integration Processes and Issues

In M&A it is essential to avoid damaging the value of the deal. You must therefore be patient and plan and create your process. I’ve found that check the most common problems are relating to people – how they react to changes or change, how they resist it and what they do if things don’t go according to plan.

One of the key things we do for our clients is to assist them in setting an approach that will allow them to identify potential issues early and then respond quickly. This can be done by holding an annual IMO meeting and working streams to review the progress made and escalate issues and risks to SteerCo.

When the strategy for dealing with problems is established It’s important to concentrate on the execution. This means that the team is aware of what it’s expected to accomplish and how it will be evaluated, and when. It also means clearly stating accountability (i.e. taking ownership of end results) and the authority to make decisions for the entire company.

It’s essential to ensure that the CEO and top management are able to devote at 90% of their time working on core business matters and avoid being distracted by integration activities. One way to accomplish this is to select an experienced leader to oversee the Decision Management Office (IMO) which will help triage the decisions and oversee the work streams. The person could be from the acquiring company or be a rising star within the newly merged company who has the support of their boss.