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:
Everyone 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.