Introduction to Guidehouse's M&A Playbook

The internet is filled with content on M&A integration, leading to information overload for many M&A executives. To make sense of all this information, Jonathan Shiery, Director and M&A Lead at Guidehouse provides M&A leaders the #1 accelerator for M&A integration: simplification. To simplify M&A integration, Jonathan provides M&A leaders with a proven accelerator for M&A integration, which he has defined as the "M&A Duplex" approach.


Jonathan Shiery explains the different functions and best practices of the "M&A Duplex":

The Roof: Maximizing Synergy Potential

  • Validate as a model and challenge inputs, outputs, and assumptions
  • Manage synergies as a portfolio of projects with expected outcomes and accountable owners
  • Implement risk management practices to minimize dis-synergies (e.g. customer attrition, employee retention, etc.)
  • Communicate publicly  the synergy targets and progress to create awareness, common goals, and accountability
  • Leverage “best from both” analysis to find cost, revenue, financial, and transformational synergies

Unit #1: Operating Model

  • Make people decisions by Day 100  
  • Challenge existing corporate models to do more with less
  • Execute small, communicate broadly, often and across modern channels (e.g. blogs, videos, podcasts). Limit traditional corporate communication emails
  • Prioritize operation and technology that impacts your customers, reduces operational costs, and protect value
  • Take an outcome based, agile / waterfall hybrid approach
  • Always have the customer voice and employee experience represented  

Unit #2: Measuring Culture

  • Define culture into measurable and actionable areas (19 different drivers (e.g. compensation, rules/ policies, client service, credit appetite)
  • Utilize SMART specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound action plans 
  • Reward the “first finders” of operating model issues (e.g. shared resource accounting) collaboration that were not previously considered. 

The Foundation: Integration Management

  • Mobilize and organize around the key sources of deal value
  • Enhance the change management through increased transparency, not more bureaucracy
  • Be data driven, challenge the assumptions, and limit decision criteria to key metrics that prevent paralysis by analysis 
  • Kill the fringe case and conceptual arguments
  • Manage scope creep by requiring all projects map to the deal rationale 
  • Maintain communication between corporate development and operations to prevent divergence from deal rationale  

Special thanks to contributor: Jason Mraz.

We've had an opportunity to travel the country and speak to the leaders who will be instrumental in driving the next M&A lifecycle.

Jonathan Shiery, Director & M&A Lead at Guidehouse

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