Top Takeaways from DealMax 2024

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend the 2024 DealMax conference in Las Vegas with some of my fellow DealRoom colleagues, and this blog recaps the top takeaways from the event for those who may not have been able to attend.

For those not familiar with DealMax, it’s an annual conference hosted by ACG that brings together industry leaders, dealmakers, and experts from around the globe for an exchange of insights, strategies, and opportunities in the world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). 

This was my first time attending DealMax, and in short, it was fantastic. During the event, I spent most of my time at the Strategic Acquirers Forum, which was a smaller group of 150 individuals within a larger event attended by 3,100 people. This allowed for more intimate discussions and engagement.

Here are the top takeaways from this year's conference:

AI in M&A

  • A recurring theme throughout the conference was AI. And specifically, how to leverage AI for M&A deal-making.For the most part, people feel that AI will be a positive tool for M&A, butthere were some concernsexpressedaround privacy and job security.Most of the discussions centred around specific use cases where AI can be helpful, and due diligence was clearly the area wherethere is thestrongestvalue for AI. The general sentiment is that we are in the early days of AI for M&A and that practitioners should keep experimenting with AI so we can flesh out the best ways to derive meaningful business value.

Interest Rates

  • There was a lot of discussion regarding interest rates, which emphasized the importance of resilience and patience as the uncertainty regarding interest rates continues. However, the general sentiment was that there are still opportunities out there, especially with all the dry powder on the sidelines, and there is a strong sense of optimism for deal volume to pick up in the second half of 2024 and into 2025.

Evolving Regulatory Landscape

  • Regulatory developments and geopolitical shifts were hot topics at the conference, with experts dissecting their implications for cross-border M&A and investment activities. The failed Adobe / Figma acquisitionwas brought upseveral times, and there was a lot of discussion around antitrust scrutiny, foreign investment controls, navigating regulatory complexities, and mitigating risks.

Networking and Collaboration Opportunities

  • Beyond all the great sessions and panel discussions, the conference provided tons of opportunities for networking, relationship-building, and collaboration. Attendees had the chance to connect with industry peers, potential partners, and service providers, fostering valuable connections and laying the groundwork for future deals and partnerships. Honestly, for me, this was the best part. I met a ton of new people in the industry.

In summary, DealMax was great. I was able to obtain a wealth of knowledge, insights, and inspiration - ranging from embracing AI and digital innovation to navigating regulatory complexities, and most importantly, had some fun and met some great new people.

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