Credit unions and CUSOs are using their investing powers to be more innovative and entrepreneurial when it comes to technology and new products and services. Many are exploring co-investing with individuals and business founders who are looking for additional capital from credit unions. While these partnerships between credit union investors and individuals generate fresh new […]

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Culture is an important part of an organization, but it can be difficult to define. Unlike other areas, such as finance and operations, which have concrete metrics like revenue, EBITDA, and number of employees, quantitatively measuring culture can be challenging. Leaders often rely on their “gut” to understand another company’s culture, but this leaves an […]

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Whenever I am consulting on an integration program, I introduce a critical component I call the 100-Day Plan. I’ve found that when companies get the 100-Day Plan right, the likelihood for a successful integration is extremely high. But if you don’t implement the 100-Day Plan at the beginning, integration generally doesn’t go well. Why is […]

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Cultural due diligence is a critical task in the acquisition process. It exposes hidden problems and risks, but also may identify opportunities. However, if you do uncover red flags, you may need to reevaluate the deal. Sometimes you must simply call it off.  We have walked away from a transaction when due diligence revealed a […]

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Culture can often be neglected simply because it is difficult to measure, especially when compared to hard facts such as number of employees or company revenue. After all, what constitutes a “good” culture? Definitions may vary from company to company and even among members of your own acquisition team. Despite this challenge, company culture should […]

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Culture clashes can make or break a deal. Just think about a few infamous deals that fell apart, such as the Time Warner-AOL merger in 2001. In Deals from Hell, Robert Bruner analyzes the reasons for failure in depth along, including examples of deals that failed due to cultural issues. In fact, cultural issues are […]

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People are critical to the success of your company, and it’s no different in the business you are acquiring. But how can you go beyond the surface and find out what employees really think? It is doubtful employees will be completely open and honest when asked point blank, “Do you like your job?” One of […]

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How well do you really know your company? If you’re the owner or the CEO, you might say you have a pretty good handle on it. After all, you’ve been there since the beginning and you’re the leader. While that might be true, you may not really know everything about your organization. I’ll give you […]

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Pubicis and Omnicom have called off their proposed $35 billion merger that would have created the largest advertising agency in the world. According to reports, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy and Omnicom CEO John Wren disagreed over many details, including filling key management positions and corporate structure. This comes as no surprise to me. Ten months […]

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Buying the right company is essential, but it is difficult.  It may be easier to eliminate the “wrong” companies – prospects with glaring due diligence issues such as theft or lawsuits, or even more subjective issues like a poor cultural fit. However, the decision is not always so black and white. How can you know […]

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Cultural alignment while integrating two companies is a hot topic in the M&A world.  For instance, CFO.com recently quoted Jonathan Chadwick as saying, “The number-one reason I think deals fail is because there was not an agreement or a matching of cultures.” Should you have any doubts, read about Kidder-Peabody inside of GE. Those cultures […]

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