About the book / weblog

2010 in review: Surviving Mergers Blog

Posted on 3 January 2011. Filed under: About the book / weblog |

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and they provided me with this high level summary of its overall blog health (this is their data and words, not mine, but I thought it might be interesting to the regular readers of this blog):

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2010. That’s about 11 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 11 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 23 posts. There were 6 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 460kb.

The busiest day of the year was March 10th with 57 views. The most popular post that day was What to do first if your company’s being acquired?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were intelligentmergers.com, facebook.com, bunhill.city.ac.uk, en.wordpress.com, and google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for my company is being acquired, what to do when your company is acquired, what to do if your company is acquired, when your company is acquired, and surviving m&a.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


What to do first if your company’s being acquired? September 2009
1 comment


How to tell if your company is being acquired? March 2010
1 comment


Surviving M&A Book February 2009


Writing a CV / Resume to get a job in M&A July 2010


What happens if you ARE fired or made redundant after a merger? November 2009
1 comment

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YouTube Video on Surviving an Acquisition

Posted on 1 December 2009. Filed under: About the book / weblog, Tips & Suggestions |

Cass Business School, where I teach a course on Mergers and Acquisitions, has recorded a video interview on the Surviving M&A: Make the most of your company being acquired book and also the recent research on this topic.  The YouTube video also includes some suggestions for reducing the chance of being made redundant if your company is acquired and compares the likelihood of being made redundant between managers and staff.

You can see the video here:  Cass Talks Episode 8 – Scott Moeller on how to survive if your company is going through an M&A deal

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Book Review: ‘Surviving Mergers’ from The Times, 2 September 2009

Posted on 3 September 2009. Filed under: About the book / weblog, Articles on surviving an acquisition |

There was an excellent summary and review by Emily Ford of the Surviving Mergers:  Make the most of your company being acquired book in the 2 September 2009 issue of The Times and also available on-line here.  She entitled her review ‘In a merger, survival can depend on you’, which is certainly true, yet often not understood by most employees.  Clearly, as the M&A markets are showing strong signs of revival, this is even more important even than when the book was published less than two months ago.

Emily wrote in the article that ‘The spectre of a merger is enough to send a chill down the spines of most employees — with good reason. Mergers always carry a risk of redundancies: on average, 10 to 15 per cent of employees across both organisations lose their jobs in a merger, sometimes as many as a third. Even those who keep their jobs are likely to be fearful of the change to the status quo.’

She goes on to write:

‘In a book just published, Surviving M&A: Make the Most of Your Company Being Acquired by Scott Moeller, director of the M&A Research Centre at Cass Business School in London, explains how to improve your chances of keeping your job, based on 350 interviews with employees who have been through M&A deals. “The first question you need to ask yourself is: ‘Do you want to stay?’ ” Professor Moeller said. “A merger might be the best time to leave.”’

The article includes 10 of the key pieces of advice to reduce your ‘risk of being made redundant in a merger’ if you do decide that you want to fight for your job.  It also notes that ‘Workers in Britain, America and the Netherlands are more at risk of being made redundant than those in Germany, France and Japan, thanks to employment legislation differences.’    But, as she adds at the end,

‘Despite your best intentions, things might not work out. If you plan to stay at your company, go to a few interviews anyway to test the market and work out your value. “Mergers are unpredictable. Remaining flexible will give you more options,” Professor Moeller said.’

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‘When it comes to mergers, just look after No 1’ (Times)

Posted on 19 August 2009. Filed under: About the book / weblog, Articles on surviving an acquisition |

An article in the Times this morning (19 August 2009) noted from the Surviving Mergers book the importance of making sure that you don’t depend too much on your boss to take care of you when your company is acquired or even if your firm is the larger one taking over another company. Dominic Walsh wrote ‘A new book by Scott Moeller, a former banker at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, advises employees on the best way to hang on to their jobs in the event of a merger or takeover by a rival,’ and then continued with:

In assessing the economics of a deal, the shareholders and other analysts will look to see that the gains from the merger will exceed the costs. But perhaps the most telling piece of advice in his book — Surviving M&A: Make the Most of Your Company Being Acquired — is: “Don’t rely on your boss — in a merger everyone looks out for themselves.”

Given that the book is based on 350 interviews with people who have been through M&A deals, we can assume that a number felt that they had been stabbed in the back by their bosses.

But what about bosses nursing similar wounds? “It is fair to say we interviewed bosses who felt that after the deal, it was all about looking out for No 1,” Moeller admits.

This is certainly an important area that was highlighted frequently in our interviews. It’s not that your boss doesn’t have your best interests in mind or that (s)he doesn’t care, but often middle managers and even very senior ones do not really know what is going to happen, they may have been told they are secure themselves but then the situation changes unexpectedly (mergers ARE very uncertain even after closing), they are themselves going through the emotional roller-coaster caused by the deal, and, of course, will be most concerned about whether they have a job first.

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‘How to survive the maelstrom of a company merger’ (Financial Times)

Posted on 30 June 2009. Filed under: About the book / weblog, Articles on surviving an acquisition, Stories about surviving M&A deals, Tips & Suggestions |

In the Financial Times of 30 June 2009, columnist Stefan Stern wrote an article about how to survive a merger, having in hand an advance copy of my new bookSurving M&A: Making the Most of Your Company Being Acquired.

Gratifying to see Stefan Stern’s suggestion that ”…we should be grateful that Scott Moeller…has picked this moment to publish a useful new book.’

He goes on to agree that everyone in two merging companies needs to be thinking about their future as possibly uncertain, that talent doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a personal winner and nor does seniority (in fact, in the latter case, it works against you), and that there are ‘strange, disingenuous things’ said during the deal.

As Stefan Stern said in the article:  ‘M&A can be fraught and filled with potential hazards’.  Exactly!  Which is why a proper defensive — or even offensive — plan is needed by each and every employee.

Anyone with any examples of the above?  Please comment below!

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Welcome to ‘Surviving M&A’

Posted on 28 February 2009. Filed under: About the book / weblog |

This blog is a companion to a forthcoming book to be published by John Wiley & Sons in July 2009:  ‘Surviving M&A: Make the most of your company being acquired’.  You can see it on the Wiley website here.  It’s already available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk in the UK and can be seen on Amazon.com in the US (but not yet available to be purchased from the US site).   

This blog will hopefully provide readers and potential readers of this book with the opportunity to share their own stories about how they survived when their company was acquired.  Or perhaps with some suggestions on what they wish they had done differently if they weren’t a survivor.  If you would like to provide some tips or suggestions, please do so HERE on this page of this weblog.

The book was produced following hundreds of interviews on this topic with individuals who had lived through deals.  But with tens of thousands upon tens of  thousands of people being laid off each year because of mergers or acquisitions, there must be some suggestions we’ve missed.  Please do share your stories with us.  Thank you.

Additionally, in this blog we will update stories that are contained in that book and will provide readers with a forum to provide commentary (please click HERE if you would like to add a story).  It has been exciting to produce the book and to see where it might help many people facing possibile redundancy;  help us make it even better.

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