The Role of a Board Member in M&A
“If you’re hiring great people to run things, second-guessing them gives them an excuse to say I failed” - Allen Gilmer.
Allen and his company were very opportunistic in their M&A approach. They started very slowly until they got their growth partner. Then, as they became more acquisitive, they started failing and learned the importance of preparing for deals.
Through experience, he learned why there should be a strong emphasis on cultural integration. You need to learn how to walk away from a deal when the cultures don’t fit. The bigger deal, the more critical it is to walk away.
In addition, Allen learned the importance of identifying and retaining key people in the target company. You cannot rely on the CEO as they are likely to leave post-close.