M&A Integration Processes and Issues

The most important rule in M&A is to not destroy value, so you have to spend the time to design your processes and plan carefully for the eventuality that something goes wrong. My experience has shown that the most frequently encountered issues revolve about people – how they respond to change as well as their resistance to it and how they react when something doesn’t go according to intended.

One of the key tasks we provide to our clients is helping them set up a procedure that will allow them to identify potential issues early and react quickly to them. This can be achieved by holding weekly IMO meeting and working streams to assess the progress made and escalate issues and risks to SteerCo.

After the process of solving issues is established, it’s vital to concentrate on implementing. This means ensuring that the team knows what it’s expected to accomplish, how that will be evaluated, and when. It also includes clearly publishing accountability (i.e. the ownership of the final results) and decision-making authority for the entire company.

It is essential that the CEO and top managers are able spend at least 90 percent of their time on the most important issues and not be distracted by integration activities. It is best to designate someone who will oversee the Decision Management Office and coordinate work streams. This could be a person from the acquisition company or an emerging star within the newly merged company who has the backing of their boss in making this commitment.