Mergers: Assessing Compatibility

Overhead view of people solving a large jigsaw puzzleBONUS CHECKLISTS: 8 questions to answer and 23 issues to negotiate.

By Marc Rosenberg

These questions can be explored via interviews or group sessions. But they are all great questions that will give insight into each firm’s culture and personality.

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  1. Why do the firms really want to merge? After the merger, will the firms have the commitment and wherewithal to realize their expectations? Acid test: If some of the main reasons for doing the merger are clearly not realized 12 months later, which issues and failures would make you the most upset and frustrated?
  2. How would the new firm be better than the sum of the two individual firms?
  3. Do both firms share a similar vision for what the firm should look like in five years? Growth, services offered, specialties desired, industries served, number of offices, etc.?
  4. Do you share similar values? Values include things like how billable a partner should be, how important it is for a partner to follow the rules, the importance of being a business-getter, how staff are treated, work ethic, etc.
  5. Each firm should tell the other the following: