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February 6, 2023

Managing the Entire M&A Process from Start to Finish Part 1

Managing the multi-faceted process of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be a daunting task, especially for those in charge of overseeing the entire process. In this article, Andy Wijaya, Senior Director of M&A at KLA, shares his insights on how to effectively manage the entire M&A process from start to finish.

"The transaction and the integration are all critical. But integration is hard, so you need to make sure that the integration team is well aligned as early as possible." - Andy Wijaya

Zooming in and out of deals

Andy's engineering background has taught him to be methodical and structured in his approach to M&A. He believes that the ability to zoom in and out of deals is crucial to effectively managing the process. 

As a senior director, he must communicate with key stakeholders in the organization, including executive leaders and the board of directors. Zooming out allows him to think about the big picture and communicate the deal's overall strategy, while zooming in allows him to dive deep into the details and work with team members on specific tasks.

Conducting diligence and integration planning

Involve the integration team during the diligence phase to avoid a disconnect between the two teams, which can slow down the transaction’s value creation. 

In fact, Andy believes that the diligence team should be the integration team post-close, although this is not always possible due to resource limitations. But the most important thing is to have the right integration lead for the specific transaction working with the diligence team.

Decision-making framework

The M&A process is full of challenges that require quick decision-making to avoid multiple problems at once. Andy uses a framework to promote fast decision-making:

  1. Listen - The first step is to listen to the stakeholders' discoveries, whether during target engagement or the due diligence process. Allow them to explain their findings in their own words.
  1. Synthesize - Analyze and understand what their findings mean and how the findings affect the entire deal. 
  1. Formulate / Framing - Work with the stakeholder and develop a plan to handle the situation. Keep in mind that they are the experts in their field and may have initial thoughts about how to proceed. The goal is to provide options, help them see things more clearly, and validate their plan. The goal is to help them formulate options to handle a given situation.
  1. Converge - Facilitate the discussion among stakeholders to converge to the best course of action based on the previously formulated options.

By following these steps, Andy is able to manage deals from strategy to closing with a structured and methodical approach. He can effectively communicate with key stakeholders and make quick decisions when challenges arise.

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