Mergers and Acquisitions: The state of the Art – part 3

So new my final summary from the conference where (a lot of) academia met (at least some) practitioners! It is amazing what aspects of M&A actually are studied in a scientific way. We practitioners pick-up a extremely small portion of it only, so therefore I was so happy to be able to listen to this conference. 4 keynotes and 16 papers in total, of them only 5 practitioners, this leaves 11 contributions to discuss today. So I will summarize a bit and generalize also since every single scientific paper has such a huge amount of data behind it. A lot of the studies don’t bring surprises to table, no they rather confirm the gut-feeling, the experience we have done in daily practice. That is also good because I now know there is scientific evidence for my theories – BTW it is not “my theories”, the other practitioners also confirmed this. On a few occasions the scientific studies show a surprisingly result for us and that was maybe the most interesting topic since then we together try to understand if there is really evidence for something we have not perceived like that, if the sample chosen was misleading, if there is any deep-dive possible to analyze further, etc.

So for example we have seen that there is scientific evidence that the stakeholder relationships can impact the likelihood to be acquired, as well as higher seniority of financial advisors show impact on the acquisition premia, visual representation of the strategy improves communication when acquisitions are announced, social ties and political orientation impact post-M&A integration and customer retention, inherited alliances really play a role, etc. Not to forget about the learning done from M&As and about sources of knowledge – a favourite topic of me: let us avoid to repeat the mistakes others have already done….

So when did we argue about scientific results? Well, usually not about the exactly presented study, it was rather related. E.g. discussing the impact of financial advisors and their seniority on acquisition premia we also meant that the compensation model is impacting – maybe a follow-up research is coming. Also we discussed that some study that has chosen a sample of a very specific domain would be interesting to see applied in others – but we know that getting data of samples is difficult, so this specific niche was actually chosen as mainly the only one with statistic relevant number of deals. Or the impact of strategy visualization when announcing a deal is already known by industry leaders and to keep short-term impact on the stock market moderate, they might chose to not communicate in best way…. So combining scientific results and long practical experience lead more or less to new statements and some of them should become target for new research. Which then would give us new evidence and therefore more confidence – maybe some surprise would occur as well……

I don”t know if you get this stimulation as we had those two days in London, however I wish you a great and successful week.