After the Deal: CEOs Discuss M&A’s Impact on Growth

On our blog we often talk about the strategic rationale of acquisitions and the mechanics of planning and executing M&A. But after an acquisition is completed, how does M&A affect your company and what is it like to run a newly merged entity?

As a third party M&A consultant I have learned best practices from years of facilitating deals for clients, I am happy to offer my perspective, but I’m sure many of you would be interested in hearing directly from the CEO or owner of an acquiring company.

In October, a group of about 20 CEOs, CFOs and senior-level executives from the Washington, DC metropolitan area did just that. One of our clients, CEO Kirk Drake of Ongoing Operations, presented at “Grow or Die: A Midmarket Panel Discussion,” the second event hosted by Capstone and Access National Bank to foster education and discussion about M&A among executives.

Kirk has lead Ongoing Operations through three acquisitions: CU Recover, Teneros and Cloudworks.  Through these acquisitions and organic growth in the past nine years, Ongoing Operations has grown from serving a handful of local organizations to over 500 clients nationwide.

Kirk described his company’s experience of growth through M&A and their plans for the future. Most interestingly, he addressed how Ongoing Operation weathered unexpected challenges after its most recent acquisition and how it developed solutions for success.

These lessons learned provided valuable insights for the CEOs in the audience. Tips included developing a plan for communicating with your board about the acquisition, taking more action to keep decision-making objective during the M&A process and suggestions on how to handle cultural differences that arise during integration.

CEO Mike Clarke of Access National Bank provided insights on trends in lending and financing, and I offered an overview of middle market M&A. My hope is that these events will inspire executives like you to seek out opportunities for growth and to think more creatively as you craft your growth strategy.