At the recent CFO Summit there was a very diverse mix of enterprises. For some, mergers and acquisitions activity has reaped benefits and is a fundamental part of their business strategy.

It was with great interest we heard from Colliers Australia CFO, Sean Unwin, who delivered an engaging presentation: Managing Diversity: Dissecting the role of the CFO in consolidating the business in a post acquisition context.

There were some fascinating insights on the targeting, valuation and due diligence processes; but also a strong signal that it is only when the ink is dry that the major work begins. There is a strong emphasis on people considerations, the change management process, a well-honed engagement and transition process as staff and management take on new systems, processes and often a new organisation. During a merger or acquisition, the business should maintain its focus on customers and prospective business and not begin a deep dive in performance due to internal focuses.  Indeed those touched by the process have much on their plate and for customers and suppliers continuity is at stake. It’s a key moment of truth.

So there are many things that need to come together to make this work; not once, but consistently through many mergers and/ or acquisitions, and Colliers clearly have a successful model.

In a nod to the digital capabilities that have helped enable Colliers with this scalability, Sean Unwin told the seasoned CFO audience “Write this down… XMPro!”

What had XMPro delivered? Digital business processes with the elasticity and scalability to immediately absorb the mergers and acquisitions growth, again and again.

This elasticity is an important factor but then again so are the people considerations.  Processes need to support the new business models, cross old business boundaries, support a dynamic organisational chart, and fundamentally be intuitive and immediately accessible.

No mean feat.

When I consider Sean’s engaging perspectives on the whole mergers and acquisitions process it strikes me, shouldn’t all business systems have this elasticity? To immediate scale and descale?. Most businesses have systems like quick drying cement. The boots won’t lift.  Indeed I saw a fantastic quote from Professor Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, “In the new world, it is not the big fish which eats the small fish, it’s the fast fish which eats the slow fish”.

 

You can read more about Professional Advantage and XMPro here.

You can read other blogs for CFOs by Jonathan Marcer here or follow the High Performing CFOs LinkedIn page to keep up to date.

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