The Need for Speed Is More Critical Than Ever in Navigating the M&A Landscape8 December 2021
The adage “time kills all deals” has never been truer.
With mergers and acquisitions (M&A) currently operating at record levels despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increasing pressure on dealmakers to work smarter and more efficiently to stay ahead in a highly competitive environment. Innovation and adoption of new technologies have never been more critical to achieving these goals. This sentiment was proven even more relevant during “Discover How Top Dealmakers are Navigating This Year’s M&A Frenzy,” a recent panel discussion held during SS&C Intralinks M&A Global Virtual Summit, featuring insights from Ana Dutra, global board director at CME Group; Venkat Paruchuri, corporate development senior director at Bristol-Myers Squibb; Jeffrey Sherry, senior director, enterprise strategy, corporate development at Lowe’s Companies; and Austin Corbett, managing director, M&A strategy at Accenture Strategy.
The largest pain point shared was the pressure placed on deal teams to work with urgency as competitive processes continue to move faster than ever.
When the right opportunity presents itself, deal teams need to be ready to act quickly. However, the unprecedented boom in M&A activity has led buyers to factor in new variables into their deals and long-term pipelines that they had not done previously. That’s why it is now crucial for deal teams to use a purpose-driven approach when looking at deals and opportunities that incorporate both short-term and long-term potential. Advisors must view their transactions through both a strategic and opportunistic lens to best take advantage of elevated market activity and prepare for the inevitable downturn.
M&A through a new lens
Amidst all this growth, new approaches and tactics are being utilized across the market. Traditional horizontal and vertical deals are being pushed aside to make room for distributive plays for innovation. By implementing various transaction types and understanding the appropriate methodology to maximize the potential and value of an asset, advisors are modernizing the dealmaking process.
The increased activity in the M&A market has been felt across the entire industry, imploring many overworked deal teams to ask: “How can we stay ahead and maintain discipline?”
The panel touched on best practices to get ahead and effectively navigate the current environment. Firstly, it was suggested that being proactive and continuing to develop relationships and build out existing pipelines should be every dealmaker’s priority. Waiting for reactive opportunities to come about is no longer a practical way to conduct business. Secondly, it is critical to recognize and address solvable problems and understand and anticipate future market trends and future needs of clients. Finally, the panel emphasized the importance of focusing on understanding and articulating value through innovation and synergies.
Though the 2021 M&A market has introduced many new challenges, the adversity has forced deal teams to think outside the box. Teams have been digitizing and automating processes, which allows for the elimination of guesswork, creates greater efficiency and ultimately allows deal teams to work smarter without having to work harder.
As our panelists highlighted during the session, it has never been more important to understand and capitalize on your capacity as a deal team to proactively focus on achieving target numbers.
Watch a replay of "Discover How Top Dealmakers are Navigating This Year’s M&A Frenzy" in its entirety here.
Amelia Hunt is a sales associate at SS&C Intralinks supporting the advisory and corporate development teams in the Midwest. She joined Intralinks in February 2020 after working in tech sales at Oracle and Toast.
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