Is cultural fit essential in mergers and acquisitions?

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  • Released 9th May 2022
  • Anne Harnetty
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Every firm believes they have an inclusive collegiate culture, but that belief is seldom accurate. Is it vital to have the same culture and if not is that a barrier to success in M&A integration? We explore why it presents obstacles in merger integration, why it is hard to measure and how everything from the physical environment to language can be telling in terms of cultural styles.

There is an assumption made that because people have similar interests and backgrounds it would automatically ensure parity in terms of cultural style and that the cultural fit would be there, however, most firms have several cultural styles in play and they often only emerge when merger integration is underway.

Most firms have no cultural measures in place, it is more superficial because it is hard to measure but everything from leadership style to how decisions are made reflects culture.

Culture needs to be embedded in firms and it comes from the top because workplace culture defines the working environment and is built by everyone that works there. It’s established by behaviours, attitudes and values of leaders and employees and is supported by systems, controls and procedures.

Staff from the Managing Partner to the most junior member should know what the firm’s culture is and how they contribute to it.

What values, beliefs and behaviours do you want as part of your culture?

Have a question? If you have any comments or feedback on this content, please get in touch.

Learning objectives:

  • How do you recognise cultural styles?
  • Do not be assumptive and superficial when trying to recognise culture.
  • How cultural styles impact merger integration.



Your CPD Certificate can be found in your Account.

Anne Harnetty

Managing Director • Jonson Beaumont

Anne Harnetty is the founder and Director of Jonson Beaumont Core, which is a merger integration service providing project management and planning for every step of integration, and Jonson Beaumont specialises in search and selection in professional services for the C-Suite. Anne has over thirty-five years’ experience working in the legal sector and is a director of several CEO, COO and CFO forums. She has a wealth of experience providing constructive advice to Managing Partners and Boards on a range of issues within the legal sector and exchanging ideas and insights.

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