On Oct. 19, Legal Executive Institute will host the West Coast Corporate M&A and Integration Forum in at the San Francisco. And like its companion event in New York earlier this year, the event will welcome experts from across the business landscape to discuss best-practices in mergers and acquisitions and managing post-merger integration.

We sat down with Mike Tierney, director of Acquisition Integration at Thomson Reuters – and the event chair – to talk about the Forum and what attendees can expect at the event.

Legal Current: Earlier this year, you served as co-chair of the 3rd Annual New York M&A Integration Forum. Later this month, you will chair the inaugural West Coast Corporate M&A and Integration Forum in San Francisco. What led you to create this second event out west? 

Mike Tierney: Our Forum is different from other M&A conferences in that we recognize that successful deals require successful integration. Deal making and merger integration go hand-in-hand, and at our Forum, you will hear how those two work together.

There are two main reasons why we’re excited to host the M&A and Integration Forum in San Francisco.  First, the city itself is a hub of M&A activity across all markets and a leader in many sectors, simply put. Second, our East Coast conference attendees told us we need to take the show on the road; that M&A industry colleagues across the country need to gain from these stories. We’re very pleased to provide a medium for industry members on the West Coast to hear best practices, innovations and experiences from experts in their profession.

LC: The West Coast – and the Bay Area, specifically – is seen as a global technology center. How does the integration process for a tech firm differ from other organizations? 

MT: Deals in the Tech industry, and the TMT (Tech, Media, and Telecom) space in general have very unique M&A considerations, and across all industries it’s important to get the technology integration right so as not to disrupt the business or culture. That’s one of the reasons why we have a session dedicated to IT and cultural alignment. The audience will hear an engaging and lively discussion from this group.

LC: As I look at the schedule for the event, I see you have a discussion planned on the 2017 “deal activity” in the tech sector. What are some trends we may see next year? 

MT: Great question – a few things of note. The technology sector has led M&A activity thru Q2 2016 with almost $250 billion in announced deal value, which is an increase from 2015. We expect that trend to continue, even though 2017 M&A value might fall as a percentage of GDP. Cross border deal volume and value continues to grow as a percentage of all deals, with China outbound investments YTD setting a new all-time high, almost doubling last year. That tells you something about where Chinese investors feel their future value will come from. And given the very high $5 trillion of M&A activity in 2015, we’re seeing an all-time high in deal pull-back value, lead by the collapse of the Pfizer/Allergan, Halliburton/Baker Hughes and Canadian Pacific/Norfolk Southern deals. However the number of deals crumpling is about average over the last 20 years. You’ll hear more at the Forum!

LC: What are some other takeaways attendees can look forward to? 

MT: The Forum is a place for the M&A industry participants, large or small, serial or exceptional and deal-making or post-merger participant industry’s top talent to share recent developments and key trends. If you’re looking to understand today’s M&A issues and best practices, the Thomson Reuters M&A and Integration Forum is the place to be on October 19.

For more on the West Coast Corporate M&A and Integration Forum, click here.

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