Takeaways from Scott Moeller’s talk ‘Why M&A deals fail and how to rescue them’

We hosted a successful 10Eighty event last Thursday at The Beaumont Hotel, Mayfair ‘Why M&A deals fail and how to rescue them’ when we were delighted to welcome guest speaker Scott Moeller. Scott is Professor in the Practice of Finance and Director of the M&A Research Centre at Cass Business School and the former CEO and Director of Executive Education.


And we wanted to share some takeaways from this engaging evening event.

Our CEO Michael Moran said: “Having heard Scott it re-emphasises the importance of getting the people dynamics of a merger/acquisition right. Knowledge workers have choice. You need to win the hearts and minds of those you are acquiring. All too often we forget it is people that create shareholder value.

Accountants can see the undoubted benefits that economies of scale can create often forgetting that without those who add value at the front end of the business there is no business. Scott’s story about HP’s acquisition of Autonomy should serve as a lesson to all those who acquire without regard to the people dynamic.”

Director Dave Harrison, was also in attendance and told us: “The key learnings for me were: ‘It’s not all about the financials, don’t forget about the people as they are the ones that will make (the business) successful. Be open, be transparent. With regard to the people, act fast too. Don’t draw it out'”

Watch a video of the event…

We produced two videos from footage shot throughout the evening. The Coffee Break/Highlights version which is 4 minutes and the Lunch Time/Full version which is 11 minutes. Take your pick!

… and read the article too

Katie Jacobs of HR Magazine was one of our guests, and she wrote an article on Mergers and Acquisitions titled: Focus on the people agenda to avoid M&A derailment which quotes Scott on the many things that can cause an M&A deal to go wrong.

As well as engaging discussions, delicious food was also on the menu:

beaumont-mayfair-10-eighty-event-why-ma-deals-fail beaumont-mayfair-10-eighty-event-why-ma-deals-fail


why-deals-fail-how-to-rescue-them-scott-moellerEveryone got a signed copy of Scott’s lastest book Why Deals Fail and How to Rescue Them: M&A lessons for business success available from Amazon (other book retailers are available!).

The 3 Big Mistakes of Dealmaking

Michael Moran’s LinkedIn Pulse article, published today, M&A: When soft stuff becomes hard stuff goes into more detail about Scott’s talk, in particular the 3 Big Mistakes of Dealmaking – planning, communication and people

Planning: Moeller says that if you do not have a clear and detailed deal strategy, no planning for integration will suffice, because the two are so closely intertwined.

Communication: We all recognise communication as a good thing, but it’s crucial to understand exactly why. Good communication is, crucially, a reflection of a well-prepared, well-aligned combined management team.

People: Closest to 10Eighty hearts. Moeller says poor communication and a lack of understanding of a new culture leads to the third failure: to appreciate, evaluate and consider the value of people.

Scott’s points, especially the last of these, goes to the essence of what 10Eighty believes. It even reflects our name – all mergers and acquisitions stand or fall on how you work to inspire the 10% of highly talented individuals and the 80% of employees, who are the bedrock of the business.


Michael is Chief Executive of 10Eighty. 10Eighty is a career and talent management consultancy that helps organizations maximize the contribution of their employees by ensuring satisfying jobs and careers for their employees. Michael is a Human Resources professional, having worked in the National Health Service, Insurance, Commodities and Derivatives industries. He has worked within the career coaching business for fifteen years, both managing a £7 million business and delivering bespoke, one to one career coaching. In the last 15 years Michael has run businesses that have helped 75,000 people make successful career transitions. He is a frequent commentator in the press/media, which includes a range of topics on “successfully managing your career” and talent management. Most recent media mentions have included BBC South, CNBC, Radio4, Financial Times, City AM, Financial News, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times, The Grapevine and HR Magazine, to name but a few. He writes a careers column for People Management, a blog for the Human Resources Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Thompson Reuters HR Portal. Michael is known as a thought provoking speaker in the HR industry. In the last 18 months, Michael spoke at the Careers Partner International Conference, NHS breakthrough conference, NHS North West Leadership Academy, London School of Economics, University of Westminster’s Talent Management Conference, ICAEW Finance Directors Conference, CIPD learning and development conference and CIPD branch seminars. He is also Chair of the CIPD’s Central London Branch. Additionally is a non executive director of Marshall ACM, an e-learning company and the Total Reward Group, a compensation and benefits consultancy. Michael plans to publish his book “The guide to everlasting employability” in the Autumn 2012. He has just launched an iphone app “careers snakes and ladders” and an online interactive version of the book in collaboration with Marshall ACM to coincide the launch of his new business 10Eighty. Michael has a degree in Economics, a MBA from Warwick Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He holds an accreditation from the British Psychological Society for the use of psychometrics. Michael has completed the Fairplace Internal Accreditation Programme, the training element of which is externally recognised by the Association for Coaching. Michael Moran was until January 2012 Chief Executive of Fairplace and a main board director of Savile plc, the career and talent management consultancy. Fairplace is part of the Savile Group, an AIM listed plc. The Savile Group was placed 16th in the Sunday Times top 100 small companies in 2010.

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.