Following a merger, the implementation of different processes, people, markets, and culture into a new corporate environment can be overwhelming and, as a result, a smooth transition process can sometimes be very complex. To address the general questions and concerns that surround acquisition planning and execution, The New Jersey CFO Leadership Council presented a very informative program in December, Post M & A Integration Strategies.
Our expert speakers included:
Here’s some of the advice that they offered:
Be Results Driven
As one of our panelists stated, anyone who has the monetary resources can write a large check and buy a company. But, finances alone are not enough for organizational success. Instead, it’s the driving forces that come together to help formulate a well-planned merger. So, what’s the best way to direct your company into a successful acquisition while attaining positive results? Think about your organization as a whole while you evaluate your long term goals and focus on strategies, finance, operations, and, most important, the people who will best help you to achieve everything. Then, taking all of these objectives into consideration, create a frame for your larger picture of projected accomplishments. Change can make everything more complex, so it is important to realize that the more processes you have in place will equal better preparation as you move forward with your long-term plans.
Identify A Strong Leadership Team
Consider all of the individuals within your organization and pinpoint those who are critical to get the merger deal done. Name your leadership team early on. Focus on key staff and retain them with contracts and management committee opportunities. Bring in an interim CFO, if needed, to help sort out integration issues. And, don’t disregard your nonessential employees. Evaluate their value to the company and execute a plan for their lateral moves within the organization.
Create Attainable Financial Strategies
It is important to focus on and understand the right synergies to go after without disrupting the value of the company. Ask yourself: What are the minimum operating requirements that are immediately needed to come into play? In addition, as you continue to drive topline growth, you must empower your team to meet and exceed revenue by offering them sales incentives while nurturing their newly merged working relationships. And, as you move forward, direct your efforts towards being a strategic CFO without ever losing sight of realistic expectations.
Be Aware Of Company Cultural Conflicts
One of our panelists stated that, if you expect people to come into your organization and fit your mold, then you may be contending with a difficult situation. To avoid disharmony, you must stand back and evaluate the reality of your present situation. Consider interoffice relationships, leadership issues, and office space logistics, as they can all make a difference in integrating two separate environments, especially when dealing with different industries or geographic regions. It is also important to understand where problems may arise and be cognizant of potential conflicts influenced by workplace cultures.
Maximize Your Value As A CFO
New goals and marketplaces will inevitably impact your current business and, when a decision has finally been made to complete a merger, you must realize that it is time for you to step back from your traditional role as CFO. Instead, work closely with and serve as an optimistic advisor to your new company owner and investors. Look beyond your role of financial expert and focus on being a strategist, a scorekeeper, and a transformation catalyst. On a final note, our panelists also emphasized that, at times, it may be necessary to walk away from a deal. Always be on the lookout for potential failure, especially those that could be people-based. Individuals are critical to the integration process and, as CFO, it is your duty to make sure that everyone is adding value to the company.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions or if you would like more information about any of our outstanding topics and speakers scheduled for 2016, please contact us. In the meantime, we encourage you to register now for our next chapter event on March 8, Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent.