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CONFERENCE KEYNOTES

23 Insights from the 2019 HR M&A Conference

“In any merger, the biggest challenge is always integration of human resources because the people who are coming in have a lot of apprehension.” 

Arundhati Bhattacharya, former chair of the Bank of India

People: The X Factor in Deal Value Capture and Creation

With businesses across every industry facing unprecedented disruption, HR leaders are now navigating the intersection of technology, politics, business, and people like never before. Those of us who are seasoned in mergers and acquisitions know too well that many are not matches made in heaven. In fact, studies put the failure rate of new business mergers at anywhere from 70 to 90 percent. And one of the biggest reasons for failure—lack of consideration for human capital.

Simply put, it’s the people factor that is hardest to define, manage, and predict, unlike financials and other quantifiable aspects of a merger. That’s why it’s up to savvy HR practitioners to educate the C-suite and lead with a vision of what a new combined culture should look like—going beyond simple retention to also account for employee engagement, build better connections, and collaborate while tracking leadership growth against growth and cost goals.

When 109 experts and practitioners met to talk about HR’s role in successful mergers, we took notes. Here are the highlights:

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