What is an acquisitions manager?
An acquisitions manager oversees a company’s purchasing activities, especially as they relate to the acquisition process or the buying of the assets of other companies in mergers and acquisitions (M&As). An acquisitions manager must take steps to ensure the profitability of each deal as well as the successful merger between the two entities.
Acquisitions managers face many challenges when it comes to brokering successful M&A deals. This includes keeping the timeline moving, merging not just the finances of both companies but the cultures and personnel, and guiding the deal to fruition. Especially in today’s tight labor market, giving your acquisitions manager and M&A management tools they need to do their job can help you attract or retain one with experience, a proven track record, strong leadership skills, organizational skills, and the financial savvy necessary to ensure success and company growth during the acquisition process.
Job Duties of an Acquisitions Manager
What is an acquisitions manager’s job description? An acquisitions manager will develop a long-term growth strategy for a company and then execute that strategy by analyzing the market and sussing out companies that would make solid potential acquisition targets. Accounting and analyzing financial reports are often a large part of the job, as the acquisitions manager will develop financial models to create cash-flow estimates and predict the profitability of various deals.
When there is an M&A on the table, the acquisitions manager leads the processes required to close the deal. These steps include:
- Due diligence
- Financial planning
A mergers and acquisitions manager will manage the integration communication team and others involved in the M&A deal. The M&A manager will coordinate with other stakeholders on both sides of the deal to encourage a successful merger or acquisition.
Traits and Skills of a Successful Acquisitions Manager
Acquisitions managers typically hold degrees in business or finance and are well versed in the various software platforms required to move through the phases of mergers and acquisitions. They will manage cloud-based documents as well as spreadsheets through the due diligence process and other steps in an M&A deal.
A good acquisitions manager is analytical, detail-oriented, has impeccable organizational skills, and is good with both math and technology. Equally important are the soft skills required for the job, which include negotiation skills, strong leadership talent, decision-making abilities, and excellent communication skills.
Even with these skills, the job of an acquisitions manager is not easy. These key employees face many challenges throughout the M&A process.
Challenges Mergers and Acquisitions Managers Face
The Harvard Business Review spotlights some of the pitfalls M&A managers may encounter at any stage of the process. These include:
- Failure to integrate multiple viewpoints and disparate goals early in the process
- Rushed timelines causing important issues and considerations to fall through the cracks
- Ambiguity in agreements that leads to friction immediately after the deal closes
- Fragmented perspectives during negotiations creating confusion and poor communications
One CEO told HBR, “During the negotiations, there were so many different people involved, it was hard to tell who was doing what, let alone how all their efforts would tie together.”
In addition, M&A managers must ensure the security of all financial materials and legal documents to prevent leaks that can damage company morale or public perception. There is a danger that the M&A manager may become too bogged down in administrative work and lose track of the big picture.
Is the M&A Deal a Good Fit?
In addition to all the moving parts that an acquisitions manager must steer, they must keep the end goal in mind — a profitable, seamless merger with potential acquisition targets. Above all else, they must consider the question “Is this deal a good culture fit?” Can the two companies, in fact, merge seamlessly so that the whole becomes greater than the parts?
Only through clear communications and an effective due diligence process can an M&A manager move forward on a deal with confidence. And with so many personalities, statistics, documents and figures involved, it’s not always easy to gauge how well the companies will work together. Fortunately, the right technology and resources can help your M&A manager keep sight of the company’s best interests during negotiations and, when the deal is complete, guide the change-management process to set the organization up for future success.
How the Right Resources Can Help Your M&A Manager
Keeping track of personnel who need access to documents, leading teams and ensuring the security of M&A due diligence documents requires attention to detail and technology skills. A virtual data room that enables digital rights management, easy collaboration and an audit trail to help the acquisitions manager track every set of eyes or hands that has been on a file can streamline processes, from due diligence to Day 1.
If errors appear on documents — which can often happen — an activity tracker enables the M&A manager to go back and revert to an earlier version of the file. The ability to create detailed reports using custom filters ensures that everyone on an M&A team can view the data they need, so no one feels like they are out of the loop or uninformed. This level of communication can help build trust so that negotiations will go more smoothly, leading to a stronger connection between key personnel once the M&A deal is finalized.
CapLinked Can Help Your Acquisitions Manager Thrive
Every executive wants to do the best they can for their company. But it’s not always easy if you don’t have the right tools.
The features of CapLinked virtual data rooms give your acquisitions manager the power to guide your company toward increased growth and profitability. Because they’re easy to use and integrate with popular productivity software suites such as Microsoft Office, they let M&A teams collaborate seamlessly, making it easier for an M&A manager to focus on their specific duties in the knowledge that each team member understands their role in the process.
Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing expert specializing in technology, business and finance.
Salary.com — How to Become a Mergers and Acquisitions Manager
Learn.org — What Does An Acquisitions Manager Do?