Financial services firms seeking marketing leadership positions will need to explore M&A and partnership opportunities that create scale, leverage technology and create cost efficiencies, said Dan Avery and Jim Kearney, M&A and financial services leaders with Point B Inc., a management consulting, venture investment and real estate development firm based in Seattle, Wash.
“There are several factors driving how financial services firms approach their M&A strategies, including eroding margins and adoption of emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, and robotic process automation,” said Avery. “These will influence how firms evaluate M&A and partnership opportunities.”
“The push toward developing and improving analytical capabilities will force some institutions to take a closer look at potential partnerships,” Kearney added. “Organizations that have better market and/or client data, and have successfully used it for business intelligence and predictive analytics purposes, will be attractive targets to large, traditional banking institutions — specifically those that have struggled with organizing, analyzing and monetizing information in the past.”
Given these issues, where should financial institutions looking to become more active in M&A focus their efforts? Kearney and Avery suggest the following when evaluating potential partners:
- Develop a deep understanding of the target’s performance drivers and honestly assess the ability to positively impact those factors throughout the deal and integration lifecycle.
- Build an integration strategy to set the pace of integration. Move as quickly as possible from purchase agreement to close to limit any degradation in enterprise value prior to ownership transfer.
- Create an acquisition performance management team comprised of deal team and integration team members. This team will drive the alignment with, measurement of and visibility to KPIs for the transaction.
- Ensure that all constituencies involved with pre-close integration planning and post-close integration execution fully understand the key criteria that enabled a “go” decision at completion of diligence.
- Supplement rewards for completing integration efforts with rewards for achieving specific, longer-term combined business performance targets.
- Beware of hidden dangers such as indecision, insufficient capacity to deliver and neglecting the impact of the workforce can all work against you if you don’t navigate the integration carefully.
For more information about how to explore M&A opportunities, click here.