The deal is done. You’ve successfully navigated the merger and acquisition processes. But now comes the hard part – integrating two different organizations, managing talent through the transition, evaluating infrastructure needs, and more.

On April 21, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute will host the 3rd Annual New York M&A Integration Forum at its 3 Times Square office. So we spoke with Mike Tierney , director of Acquisition Integration at Thomson Reuters – and the event co-chair – to talk about the complexities and variables inherent to the M&A integration process and what attendees can expect at the event.


Legal Current: What are the biggest hurdles to successful integration?

Mike Tierney: There are two hurdles that are key to the integration process: culture and planning.

Culture cuts across several levels, from the deal itself to managing human capital across the right team and beyond. For example, are the right people managing the project either internal or external? And as the integration process unfolds, is the team hitting the planned benchmarks. After all, the acquisition might look good on paper, but the last thing you want when you’ve just bought a company is for all the good people leave, or to not know if you are succeeding.

Given the more than $8 trillion merger and acquisition deals done in the last two years globally, an integration management office is becoming a common feature for organizations managing change throughout the acquisition process.

LC: Talk about building an integration management office – do you think that’s a vital function for an organization?

MT: Absolutely. There are more companies making acquisitions than ever before. And whether your organization is a publicly traded firm or a family-held company, the success of an acquisition will be noticed either by Wall Street or Main Street. So with that, having an integration management office (IMO) – or an outside firm that can help you navigate this process – is key.

An IMO will keep success in view – from the finance and stock implications of an acquisition to the talent that will continue to drive success of the integrated organization. The idea is to have people in the IMO who understand the business, but also the virtues and value points that need to bring about a successful integration. Again, it comes down to people.

LC: Tell us about the program that’s coming up on April 21?

MT: If you look out at the M&A landscape, there are countless people who can tell you about the front-end of the acquisition process – the deal making. But I find the more intriguing aspect of the topic is what comes after the deal is made. Let me give you a bit of backdrop.

I’m on the Acquisition Integration team here at Thomson Reuters, and our role is to ensure that when we acquire a business, the organization gets fully integrated into our enterprise.  So I was pleased to connect with LEI and look at how we could take a new approach to their M&A programming. What makes this event so unique is that we will offer a fresh look at the M&A process and offer CLE credit for attendees.

LC: I understand you have a great line-up for the event. What can attendees expect?

MT: The faculty at our event is impressive. Dr. Georg-Michael Siedlaczek, vice president of Global Post Merger Integration at Bayer will deliver the keynote, “Integration and Carve-out – Identifying the Vital Success Factors and Pitfalls to Avoid.”

We also have sessions with Lara Cumberland, head of M&A Integration at Facebook – which has made some eye-popping acquisitions recently – and leaders from several other global organizations, including Google, Siemens, and UBS, that will share their wisdom.

After all, if a successful integration is all about talent, I’m pleased to say that our faculty embodies this notion.

LC: What do you want attendees to take away from this event?

MT: That there are best practices for integration. But more important, there’s a process behind all this and there are tools that can make integration a successful part of the M&A process.


For more on the 3rd Annual New York M&A Integration Forum click here.

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