One thing that makes Accenture stand out from other consulting firms is our global reach, particularly in the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) domain—as my experience over the last four years demonstrates.
In fact, some 70 percent of my time has been spent on overseas or cross-border deals. Working across the pre- and post-deal, the M&A lifecycle has taken me far and wide. It’s been a fascinating journey to see the dynamics of how people conduct business across the world.
Broadening my horizons
In Singapore, a U.S. oil and gas company was purchasing a large chemical facility, and the Accenture team conducted all pre-merger integration planning activities. When safety was paramount and there could be no downtime in the chemical process, planning was everything. My role was focused on cutover—the time just before an M&A transaction closes. And we worked with clients across Southeast Asia to deliver the results.
Moving to Canada, I carried out due diligence for a private equity firm that wanted to delist a public telecom company. This was a cross-border transaction, which brings its own challenges. Most importantly, what is the cultural impact of a cross-border transaction? Employees, customers, all have a stake in what’s going on.
I also spent 18 months in Mexico, working with a major telecom company looking to acquire two smaller players. Not only did the work involve integrating the new assets post-merger, but we also helped to grow the company’s footprint in the country. Interesting work, but challenging. Addressing the language barrier was just one reason for the steep learning curve!
It’s all about adapting.
You’ve got to jump in with both feet, hit the ground running and help the client solve their business issues. Moving from industry to industry is easy; the Accenture model is flexible, and you’re continually refining your skills to adjust. The challenging (and fun) part is getting familiar with different business landscapes, cultures and norms. I take new countries and cultures in stride, and being a marathon runner, one of the first things I do is find a local gym where I can work out!
Get up close and personal.
There’s another side to my role that I can’t ignore: The people.
Previously, I’d worked in M&A in investment banking and enjoyed the quantitative nature of the work, but client interaction was lacking. Accenture changed that. Today, I immerse myself at the client site, working alongside client teams. Take the Mexico project, for example. I worked with the client’s CEO every day helping to plan the go-to-market strategy.
And the Accenture people truly make the difference. M&A is transformative; we’re changing the way a business will work in the future, which is pretty incredible. It’s not just that people are great at their jobs, but there’s a vast network and knowledge base you can tap at a moment’s notice. There’s a family-feel here. From celebratory birthday dinners to the time when I forgot to pack my toiletries for Mexico and was too busy to hit the shops, someone always has your back. Amazing!
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