Yuko Ichikawa
Strategy Manager M&A, Tokyo, Japan
June 07, 2018

How Accenture Helped Me Find My Feet in M&A

Legs and Shoes upside down against wall

Starting a new job is exciting. It’s also intimidating—especially if you’re tackling a whole new field.

When I started my position in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), my managers were exceptionally supportive. I also participated in weekly M&A training sessions, which were quite intense. But they helped me develop skills that are vital for my day-to-day client work.

End-to-end client involvement
At Accenture, we are involved in all aspects of the deal lifecycle. And that’s a good thing. I gain an understanding of the whole deal—a vital learning opportunity at this early stage of my M&A career. Plus, it offers the client better support. Accenture is a lean, agile company with the technological understanding to lead in the New. Digital is firmly embedded in our M&A practice.

From the start, I was told, “Don’t just focus on M&A. Learn different things. Experience different types of projects and bring them back to M&A.” I’ve taken that to heart. I’ve also pulled from previous experiences throughout my years at Accenture.

Working with clients across a variety of industries, ranging from media to consumer products, is key to understanding how a client thinks. As buyer or seller, there’s always a deep emotional attachment with what’s going on. Clients trust us. Not just because we know about specific M&A approaches, but because we understand all aspects of their business.

Collaboration at all levels
For my first assignment, I’m working on a large post-merger integration project. It’s very complex, with each of the companies involved offering different products and services. My managers have gone out of their way to share everything I need to know so I can play my part in supporting the whole journey.

The project is all about collaboration. Collaboration between our Japan and ASEAN offices. Collaboration with other professional services firms involved. Collaboration with our Legal and Finance teams. And collaboration with our IT team to work with preferred vendors in different countries.

Our people are smart, friendly and open-minded. It’s really important to know your team members in every country, and know that you can get an answer when you ask for help. You also find that you’re not just an M&A specialist. You’re also a bridge between a range of stakeholders, providing a point of contact for different regions and countries.

It’s been a whirlwind year, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the world. I’m always planning my next trip. Singapore is the perfect base from which to explore. I also unwind by doing an hour of yoga each day, and I am studying interior design part-time. When you invest a lot in your work, it’s important to focus on yourself and your personal passions for a while.

Experience a different kind of M&A practice. Apply now, and join us.

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