Paul J. Siegenthaler

Index of published articles and interviews
on the reality of M&A integration

"Conventional wisdom is certainly not wisdom, and only is conventional because foolishness is so common today." - Orrin Woodward

12 August 2012
Article published by ALIUM

Can we extend the working day to 18 hours ?

Most people on full time employment spend 7 to 9 hours a day actually working; individuals with senior responsibilities, those with irregular work schedules and busy entrepreneurs may find themselves working longer days (and nights!), and for them 12 hour days might not be uncommon in the rush to meet deadlines. So why not push the limit a little further and adopt the 18 hour working day? [read more]


6 June 2012
Article published by LIBA Consulting and Advisory Services (LIBACAS)

Pillars of Strength – supporting successful Business Integration

The vast majority of mergers and acquisitions do not deliver their expected benefits, and a good number fail completely. Yet repeatedly we see shareholders place implicit trust in company management teams to carry out a successful merger or acquisition, assuming all will run smoothly. In fact they should probably assume failure, unless something is done differently. But what might that “something” be? [read more]


10 February 2012
Article published by Hemming Robeson

Leadership style and Motivation : a key role for seasoned interims in driving radical change

Scores of books have been written about how to drive change in organisations; and probably the same volume of documentation exits that describes how so many big change programmes fail miserably. Driving successful change is a science and an art. The science requires strict adherence to the principles of good programme management, whereas the art calls upon the more intangible capability of true leadership: the ability to generate “traction” for change, rather than pushing for change against a wall of resistance. But what type of leadership are we looking for? [read more]


31 Oct 2011
Article published by BIE Interim, specialist provider of senior level interim executives

Integrating companies in M&A deals: 5 things to watch out for

This is the second of two interviews with Paul J Siegenthaler, a veteran of planning and executing international M&A integrations, and author of Perfect M&As: The Art of Business Integration.

In the first, Paul talked about why things go wrong, good and bad integration examples, and the role of interim executives. Here he offers his five, most-frequently encountered reasons why integrations go wrong. [read more]


25 Oct 2011
Article published by BIE Interim, specialist provider of senior level interim executives

M&A bounces back: a timely moment to look at effective integration

M&A activity rebounded strongly in the first half of 2011, with a remarkable 49% increase in EMEA region deal value compared to the same period last year, says analyst Mergermarket.*

Paul J Siegenthaler is a veteran of planning and executing M&A integrations on an international scale, and author of Perfect M&As: The Art of Business Integrations. In this first of two interviews he talks about why things go wrong, good and bad integration examples, and the role of interim executives [read more]


31 Jan 2011
Article published by Director of Finance On-Line

Caution urged over M&A action in 2011

Siegenthaler is concerned that many will embark on ambitious mergers or acquisitions during 2011 which seem too good to miss out on, but will fail to realise just how challenging and complex it can be to blend to businesses and cultures together until it’s too late. [read more]


28 Jan 2011
Article published by Enterprise Adviser

Approach 2011 M&A boom with caution, warns expert

2011 is shaping up to be a stronger year in terms of M&A activity, as market uncertainty subsides and companies get a clearer and more stable picture of the business case underlying their merger or acquisition projects. There is likely to be a rise in ‘mega deals’ this year and with this comes a greater level of risk, if the M&A business integration process is not handled appropriately [read more]


27 Jan 2011
Article published by Business Reports

Mergers and Acquisitions Set to Boom in 2011

Although global M&A may not be up to pre recession levels, it is evident that the volume of deals began to pick up throughout last year. There was a notable absence of so called “mega deals” due to a heightened perception of risk and the element of uncertainty, something which M&A expert Paul J. Siegenthaler predicts is likely to change this year [read more]


22 Dec 2010
Article published by New Business

Could an acquisition be on the cards for 2011?

Paul J Siegenthaler is a serial business integrator whose expertise in mergers and acquisitions is highly sought after. His top ten tips for the 2011 include how to ensure a smooth integration, how to create a sense of common purpose within blended organizations, and crucially how to instigate acceptance of change whilst avoiding common pitfalls.. [read more]


7 Dec 2010
Article published by AccoutingWEB

Effective M&A in the age of austerity (part 2)

For many people, the main impact a period of austerity has on business is the need for particular scrutiny on costs. I don’t subscribe to that view, because seeking cost efficiencies should be part of normal everyday discipline. [read more]


6 Dec 2010
Article published by Finance Week

Effective M&A in the age of austerity (part 1)

Businesses are like the human body: you can choose to grow fat and subsequently endure the pain of a crash diet, or take regular exercise and remain fit. The latter is almost certainly the way shareholders would like companies to behave. In that sense, cost control and measurement of the benefits case realisation must be conducted rigorously during an M&A integration, regardless of the state of the economy. [read more]


25 Nov 2011
Article published by Business Sales Report

Speed is crucial when arranging a merger, says expert

A business integration expert has highlighted the importance of speed when companies are being merged. Paul J Siegenthaler, founding partner at Focus On Change, said that the reason 50 per cent of mergers were successful was due to the companies moving 'very fast' on the day the merger was announced.By moving quickly, companies can reassure staff as well as keeping competitors at bay, he added.
[view excerpt of broadcast]


22 Nov 2010
Article published by Recruiter

Move fast when merging, warns M&A Expert

Speed is of the essence when companies are being merged, according to a business integration expert. Paul J Siegenthaler, founding partner at Focus On Change, told a breakfast seminar organised by senior level IT and finance search firm Axiom Executive that lack of speed was an important reason why between 50% and 80% of all mergers failed. [read more]


3 Nov 2010
Article published by New Business

The difficulty of initiating and driving change

Biologically, the human being has not evolved that much in the past 3,000 years and yet the accepted wisdom of our century is that routine is dull, that is makes life boring and is not ‘cool'. Quite to the contrary, if you think of it, routine is in fact what prevents us from collapsing with mental overload before the morning is over. [read more]


27 Oct 2010
Article published by Director of Finance On-Line

Perfect M&As: Values vs Egos

In economic terms size matters, being ‘big enough’ is important, but this does not mean that bigger is automatically better because size is also a factor of complexity and can potentially lead to lack of focus. But regardless of the cogency of the merger proposition, the team at the top of the organisation will have their moment of glory in the media and be the talk of the town. [read more]


15 Oct 2010
Article published by The Telegraph

Thomas Cook and Co-op merge to create UK’s largest high street travel chain – Comment

Whereas so many merger projects attract criticism from either the financial media, regulatory authorities, politicians or competition, the case for a merger of Thomas Cook and Co-op’s travel businesses is so plain to see and makes such obvious sense that the only voice of dissent appears to be a rather timid statement by the Usdaw trade union.[read more]


8 Oct 2010
Article published by Finance Director Europe

Business Integration: Starting off on the right foot

The very first mistake many companies make takes place at the onset of the voyage they have decided to embark upon together, by failing to paint a clear and coherent picture of their shared vision and aims. As a result, the mental energy of most of the individuals in both organisations will be wasted on hypothesising whether theirs is a merger of equals, or a take-over, a convergence towards "best of both", the overthrow of one company's culture by the other's, or a common journey towards totally new ways of working. [read more]


15 Sept 2010
Article published by EN Magazine

Merger Madness

Most mergers go disastrously wrong. Paul J Siegenthaler, author of Perfect M&As, sets out his recipe for a successful one. [read more]


15 Sept 2010
Article published by EN Magazine

Learning from the successes and failures of M&A integrations; there is a key role for Law firms

The success of an integration rests on a few imperative pillars that prepare the two organisations and accompany them on their voyage of integration. Omit one of these pillars and your integration project is likely to topple over: [read more]


18 Aug 2010
Article published by M&A Deals

The intricate alliances and code-share arrangements that exist between airilnes will require a number of potentially messy divorces before TAM-LAN marriage can take place.

After the many mergers and alliances of airlines in Europe and North America, it should come as no surprise that the airlines of emerging markets should want to challenge the worldwide supremacy of the northern hemisphere’s long established leading brands. [read more]


16 Aug 2010
Article published by M&A Deals

Why acquisitions fail

The vast majority acquisitions fail and yet we see repeatedly that shareholders trust their company to carry out a successful merger or acquisition, assuming all will run smoothly. In fact they should assume failure, unless ‘something’ is done differently. [read more]


10 Aug 2010
Article published by Finance Director Europe

Excerpt from "Perfect M&As - The Art of Business Integration"

Good cooks will tell you that making a perfect mayonnaise is an art, and that if you place two egg yolks in a bowl, add oil, let them rest for a while and observe, you shouldn't be surprised if nothing happens.
Likewise when bringing two companies together and expecting them to blend into a single seamless entity. [read more]


03 Aug 2010
Article published by Telegraph

The 10 most common causes for companies failing to integrate and profit from M&A activity.

1. Ignorance. While the parties to a merger or acquisition cannot exchange commercially sensitive information prior to being under common ownership, there is enough crucially important and legally permissible preparation work to keep an integration team busy for several months before day one. Most chief executives don’t know this and they waste the time that could be put to good use while they await clearance from the regulatory authorities. [read more]


30 Jul 2010
Interview published in Pilot's Log

What can companies do to integrate successfully when all the odds seem to be against them ?

With various studies estimating the failure rate of M&As to be between 50% and 80%, what can companies do to integrate successfully when all the odds seem to be against them ?

You are right – this is a rather discouraging statistic, and yet we see repeatedly that shareholders trust their company to carry out a successful merger or acquisition, assuming all will run smoothly when in fact they should assume failure – unless “something” is done differently. And that “something” is not just down to good luck. [read more]


28 Jul 2010

Can UK Sport and Sport England demonstrate some team spirit, or will their public lack of acceptance of the merger kill it before it even begins? What does this bode for the London 2012 Olympics?

UK Sport chair Baroness Sue Campbell has warned of the effects of merging the organisation with Sport England could have on Great Britain's Olympic success. UK Sport and Sport England are to be merged as part of the coalition Government's money-saving programme, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announced yesterday. [read more]



14 Jul 2010
Head of PriceWaterhouseCooper's Post Deal services in Singapore sees
Need for integration specialists in the client's team to achieve a successful merger or acquisition

BEN DE HALDEVANG, Director of PWC's Post Deal services, sent me an email shortly after the publication of Perfect M&As, the Art of Business Integration saying "I very much enjoyed your book; there were some really great ideas in it". Why would a competitor offer a compliment, you might wonder? Put in another way: does my work with companies that are in the process of merging, or integrating a major acquisition, complement the input of the likes of PWC, Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton who advise their clients on mergers and acquisitions, or are these and many other large reputed accounting firms in fact my competitors? [read more]


12 Jul 2010
Financial pressure prompts constabularies consider what was previously thought of as inconceivable :
a merger! But is their objective clear, and can they afford the short term costs ?

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police yesterday published a paper stating that a “full and voluntary merger is the preferred option”. They have forecast a combined budget gap of £40.6m over the next four years. At 6,200 strong, the new force would be the 10th largest in England and Wales and would deliver savings of £20.4m, the report, seen by Police Review magazine, says. [read more]


8 Jul 2010
Channel 4
Common sense and realism in the world of British media : Channel Four boss David Abraham say he will not consider acquiring RTL's "Five"
'Merger with Five is not on the agenda',

says C4 chief executive David Abraham. The 46-year-old former adman, who took the reins at Channel 4 in May, has ruled out any immediate tie-up between the two broadcasters. Abraham said: "A merger with Five, or anyone else, is certainly not on my immediate agenda for the future of Channel 4. [read more]


16 Jun 2010
Executive MBA students at Paris HEC Business School
complete their one week cycle dedicated to M&A strategy and execution with a "reality check" from someone who has experience M&A integrations first-hand.

Paul Siegenthaler was invited by the reputed H.E.C. Business School, located in the outskirts of Paris, to deliver the closing session of a one-week cycle dedicated to Mergers and Acquisitions as part of H.E.C’s Executive MBA programme. The week long cycle included courses on M&A strategy and diligence, as well as a number of case studies and workshops, at the end of which Paul’s session focused on why so many well thought through mergers or acquisitions end up in failure due to poor integration. [read more]


20 Apr 2010
Interview by The Book Channel at the London Book Fair, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, 20th April 2010.

Tina Bettison of Book Channel TV asks Paul Siegenthaler what prompted him to write his book on post M&A Integration, and how he thinks that book will help senior executives as well as middle managers to successfully deliver the business case of the merger or acquisition they are about to implement. [read more]

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