M&A Buyer’s Transition Team - dummies

By Bill Snow

In preparation to take over a company in an M&A deal, you should have a dedicated transition team in place. You should begin assembling this team as early as the due diligence phase. This team generally includes the following members:

  • A financial person (often the CFO or another high-ranking financial executive) interfaces with the acquired company and answers questions pertaining to banking, payroll, working capital, and so on. The financial person also may or may not be able to handle questions regarding operations (order processing, customer service questions, vendor relations, and so on).

    If the financial person isn’t the one to answer operations questions, a separate operations executive should be available.

  • A human resources (HR) person should be available to help the employees of the acquired firm with any paperwork they need to complete (401k, tax information, insurance documents, new hire paperwork, and the like). The HR person also distributes the employee handbook and is on hand to answer questions, which may involve some handholding for some of the employees.

    A change in ownership can be a shock for some people, and they may need a little extra attention to help them deal with the new situation.

  • You want an IT person available to help the employees of the acquired company with any technological issues (phone, Internet, computers, software, e-mail, and so on). This team member is especially important given the prevalence of computers and the Internet in almost every facet of almost every job today.