Leading M&A conference hosted by Bayes

World’s largest academic conference dedicated to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) returns to Bayes Business School

Over 70 leading practitioners and academics from the world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) came to Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) on Monday 19 June for the Seventh Annual Mergers & Acquisitions Research Centre Conference.

Having introduced the event, co-organiser Scott Moeller, Professor in the Practice of Finance and Director of the M&A Research Centre, said:

“We understand that this is the only annual academic conference exclusively focussed on M&A and its related topics. This parallels the M&A Research Centre here at Bayes Business School, known by its acronym, MARC, as the largest research centre focused on M&A at any leading business school globally.

“The conference organisers, Professor Anh Tran, Professor Paolo Volpin and I, would also like to thank all the authors, discussants and session chairs here today, as well as other participants. We know that many of you have worked very hard on those papers and presentations, and having reviewed all the submitted papers, I can tell you that we will have a very interesting day.”

Professor Scott MoellerCaption: Professor Scott Moeller speaks at the Conference

A wide range of issues and themes from the M&A world were discussed by leading academics and practitioners at the Conference, including Scope, Scale, and Concentration; Merger Waves and Innovation Cycles; Solving Serial Acquirer Puzzles; The use of escrow contracts in acquisition agreements; and the Incentives of SPAC Sponsors.

The keynote speech, which was entitled “What’s ‘the Deal’: What’s happened, what’s happening and what may happen – Market insights from the WTW M&A Barometer Survey”, was delivered by Amanda Scott, Global M&A Leader at Willis Towers Watson (WTW) who is also doing an executive PhD at Bayes.

During the talk, Amanda discussed the results from their survey. She highlighted five particular findings:

  1. Economic instability is driving more than half of the organisations to review their M&A strategy
  2. Joint ventures (JVs) and partners are a key plank of M&A strategy, as half of the organisations said that JVs are a key priority for business strategy in the next three years
  3. Integrating cultures is the foremost deal integration challenge, as 7 in 10 organisations report that integrating cultures is a challenge for acquisitions
  4. Key talent retention is the top metric of success on deals for 3 in 4 organisations
  5. Target assessment: Increased focus on diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) and climate, as while many organisations already review DEI metrics, many are now looking to review environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) or climate policies

Amanda ScottAmanda ScottCaption: Amanda Scott delivers her keynote speech

Speaking about M&A and the findings, Amanda said:

“M&A is a key growth strategy for many organisations, whether they're adopting new technology, sourcing new talent or entering new markets. It is the fastest way for an organisation to transform in order to remain relevant and resilient in today’s fast-changing world despite an unprecedented number of disruptive forces creating headwinds for dealmakers. But that really does create opportunities for experimenting, so our study shows some of the critical triggers causing organisations to rethink their M&A strategy. As expected, economic instability and inflation are leading the way combined with a few other constrictors that are on this list, such as legal and regulatory hurdles.”

Read the full programme.

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