Deal Failures, Cybersecurity and Due Diligence


Chairman's Message - February 2020
By Mark Herndon, Chairman of M&A Leadership Council 

Two recent data points powerfully drove home the importance of the upcoming Art of M&A® Due Diligence workshop, April 14-16, 2020, in San Diego. First, the Bain Corporate M&A Report 2020, which highlighted 2019 survey data indicating that most executives still attribute deal failure to critical issues not being identified in due diligence. Second, a Control Risks report that characterizes the state of cybersecurity due diligence as “still in its infancy.” We agree with them!

Most acquirers do a reasonably good job with financial and legal due diligence. Still, the reality is that companies are not yet as good at the broader, more holistic view of business and strategic diligence, not to mention diligence areas that are “still in infancy” such as cyber, data, and a comprehensive IT due diligence. As a result, the M&A Leadership Council and its Partner organizations have modified and expanded the Art of M&A Due Diligence workshop to reflect both the need for this broader view as well as the implications of operating in our new digital world. We hope you’ll be able to join us and the top M&A experts from diverse organizations, including BDO, M&A Partners, and Willis Towers Watson, to network, share their insights and essential lessons learned. You will also want to take advantage of a brief preview webinar, Spot Cyber & IT Challenges Through Improved Due Diligence, on Thursday, March 5, 2020. You can register HERE.

Let me also call your attention to a new monthly feature, the CMAS™ Career Corner, with author Alexandra Reed Lajoux. A growing number of M&A professionals are pursuing the Certified M&A Specialist or CMAS™ credential. In our effort to support CMAS™ candidates preparing for the exam, we are pleased to commence this monthly feature column. Each month’s edition will include directly relevant content derived from the capstone Fifth Edition of Ms. Lajoux’s industry-leading book series, The Art of M&A: A Merger, Acquisition, and Buyout Guide (McGraw Hill, 2019). Each month the column will cover one or more exam questions and help you accelerate completion of this vital career credential.

Very Best Regards,

Mark Herndon, Chairman