Inside M&A: From Origination to Execution [Survey]

How strategic do corporations approach their M&A deal flow? And is M&A crucial for the successful execution of their corporate strategy? We surveyed M&A leaders to learn more.
Being strategic about M&A - From Origination to Execution
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In part 1 of our M&A survey, we focused on the collaboration of M&A leaders within their organization.

Today, we’ll be evaluating how strategic corporations approach M&A, and what the main source of deal origination is. For that, we surveyed our network of 200+ professionals with buy-side Corporate Development and M&A experience.

Deal origination: It’s a mixed bag of nuts

In last week’s survey, we already concluded that M&A leaders are deeply integrated with their business units, senior leadership, and departments like Sales and Finance.

That also shows in the sources for deal origination. 31% of Corporate M&A professionals mention their network as main sources for deals, which, by extension, also includes the 6% that leverage their own investor network.

Almost 1 out of 3 Corporate Development professionals sources deals through the know-how of the internal organization and internal departments. Another third mainly sources through Investment Banks and M&A sell-side advisors.

Overall, one of the core competencies for deal origination seems to lie within the ability to leverage internal and external stakeholders.

Is Corporate Development responsible for M&A deal origination?
What’s your main source for deal origination?

The role of Corporate Development: Execution or strategic spotting of opportunities?

Many M&A leaders are degraded to only executing deals that leadership or business lines originate. Or are they?

The Corporate Development professionals that we surveyed show a different picture: A whooping 82% are actively involved in identifying acquisition opportunities. Only 18% are mainly executing deals.

Should Corporate Development only focus on execution?
Should Corporate Development only focus on execution?

Is M&A a core competency?

The mere existence of a Head of Corporate Development or M&A might imply that M&A is perceived as core competency of an organization. But despite the last question, our data paints a different picture: Only half of M&A leaders agree that M&A is a core competency for their organization. The other half still perceives their M&A activities as being rather reactive.

Is M&A a core competency of your organization?
Is M&A a core competency of your organization?

Is your corporate strategy dependent on effective M&A?

In line with M&A not being a core competency for half of organizations, 2 out of 3 M&A leaders in our survey emphasize that the corporate strategy is not dependent on effective execution of acquisitions.

It’s still very much a vital part of the overall growth strategy, but as one surveyed professional puts it, rather an accelerator than a key driver.

Effective M&A is not the main driver of the strategy, but effective M&A is essential to reach certain goals faster.

Is M&A necessary to realize corporate strategy?
Is M&A necessary to realize corporate strategy?

Are you focused on acquisitions, joint ventures, or others?

When it comes to the main activities for the M&A leaders in our survey, the data shows very clearly that 90% of them are focused on acquisitions first.

A large chunk (40%) also executes on joint ventures and partnerships, but the focus still lies within acquisitions.

Last part of the survey: Skills and career steps

Follow us to see the results of our conclusive questions on the key skills and next career steps for Corporate M&A leaders.

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