The Most Creative M&A Project Names of 2016

10 April 2017


What do your M&A project code names say about you? Well, based on our research, they reveal your favorite films, TV shows and superheroes.

That’s right: Dealmakers are going off-piste and getting creative with their deal names, digging into news and contemporary culture for inspiration.

Every year, we publish the most popular deal project names – see the full rundown here  – but this year we’re also highlighting the most creative and adventurous deal project names of 2016…

…and that’s what Lannister, Gryffindor, Gandalf, Jedi and Trump all have in common. Who knew it?!

But what’s in a code name?

Dealmakers usually assign a code name to each M&A transaction or project to maintain secrecy during the deal process, and they refer to the code name in communications about the deal.

In the past, we’ve discussed how using common deal names can risk revealing a deal’s identity to outsiders – defeating the purpose of a code name. So, if we leave common deal names behind, where do we turn?

According to our research of almost 5,000 deals in 2016 – all of which used an Intralinks® Virtual Data Room – we revert to Bond, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Game of Thrones for inspiration.

If you think about it, associating a powerful word in popular culture with a stressful deal injects a bit of humor into a demanding situation. Deal teams face very tense (and sometimes ridiculous) situations practically hourly – from bidders pulling out to revising key documents constantly, to highly demanding and unpredictable clients. Clearly Gandalf, Lannister and Batman help lighten the mood.

Our highlights from 2016 are:

  • Winterfell
  • Gryffindor
  • Gandalf
  • Lannister
  • Jedi
  • Yoda
  • Skyfall
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Goldfinger
  • Spectre
  • Spiderman
  • Wolverine
  • Trump
  • Rocky

If you want to get creative, try out our M&A project name generator to help inspire your next deal name. Or wait for the next Star Wars film.