WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Don't skimp on corporate development during the pandemic

So many normal business operations are either grinding to halt or changing drastically as contractors and customers adjust to life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve reported on how merger and acquisition activities have slowed greatly, as well as new contracts and awards being delayed.

But there is still plenty to do, and our friends at Wolf Den Associates are advocating that companies take time now to take a fresh look at corporate development activities. They even have a handy top 10 list in their most recent Practitioner Perspectives issue.

  1. Use the M&A to double down on strategy and organic growth.
  2. Reassess and adjust current strategic plans for COVID-19 impacts.
  3. Complete post-merger integration to realize promised revenue synergies.
  4. Invest in building and marketing differentiated capabilities.
  5. Revisit strategic hires to support organic growth.
  6. Identify and cultivate your M&A pipeline now that the window has closed for many sellers.
  7. Capitalize on lessons learned from shelter-in-place to drive future cost savings.
  8. Scrutinize performance of past deals and adjust criteria and due diligence approaches accordingly.
  9. Curtail share repurchases to position for over-equitized deals going forward.
  10. Revisit creative deal structure to help cross the valuation expectation chasm.

Several items on this list stand out to me as strong, forward leaning advice. There is an emphasis on organic growth and I particularly like the advice about strategic hires. Marketing your differentiation also seems like very sound advice that folks might not think about during pandemic.

Looking toward the future is the overall theme of Wolf Den's advice. That can be tough when you are faced with the daily grind of getting today’s work done when you can’t go to the office or meet people or go to a customer site.

But this is when leaders step up. You have to keep looking ahead even when today is full of craziness.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 20, 2020 at 9:41 AM


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