A global financial institution was in trouble. Bankruptcy was inevitable. Wanting to get ahead of it, a regional team member approached us to explore options.
- Profiled every team member, identifying their skills, aspirations and team cohesion;
- Reviewed their deal sheets, understanding their capabilities and sectorial coverage;
- Pinpointed critical team members to each cluster and business; and
- Provided an existing client with an overview of the team, discussing capabilities, cohesion, linchpins and possible constructs.
Equipped with an in-depth understanding of the team and their capabilities, the client led discussions with the institution’s leaders to discuss the business, their options and if partnership/acquisition made sense.
The acquisition did not take place. Our client’s bid became untenable when another bank acquired the business, paying cash bonuses with the hope of retaining the team. Unfortunately, that strategy did not work, and team members started disbanding within six months due to a lack of cultural fit with the acquiring organisation and a lack of deal flow.
Why it matters
If you were buying a Lamborghini, Aston or other car of your choosing, would you check out the engine or just the bodywork? Would you want to buy the car to drive or just have as a trophy in your garage? The same rationale can be used for a merger or an acquisition. Check out the engine i.e. the people doing the actual work, not just the people in positions of power. And make sure you can deploy them effectively. Every minute humans in your company aren’t adding value is costing you money, but it’s costing them time and their track record, elements they can’t replace.
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