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Merger Due Diligence, Integration & Post-Merger Clean-Up

growthcurv's MD, Pamela Young, has led two-way and three-way merger integration projects globally.

Her work extends across New Zealand, Australia, SE Asia, UK, continental Europe and USA. 

Two-Way Merger Integration 

Company: Winterthur UK's (Credit Suisse owned) acquisition of Colonial Pty Ltd (Australian-owned)

Client: CEO and Chairman, John Finan

Pamela was hired to design and lead the merger of two global businesses from two different cultures six months before the Exchange of Control. The project included:
- a strategic review of what each business provided the new entity
- stakeholder assessment
- confirming the strategy
- re-assessing and endorsing expected synergies
- establishing the Project Management Office
- selecting members from each company to work in in the PM Team
- redesigning the top 3 levels of management, then the organisation
- preparing Exchange of Control communication to stakeholders
- manage teams working on product and service alignment and roll-out
- managing the Exchange of Control events
- discovering the best-of-both cultures and combining values and behaviours to ensure goals and growth
- over-seeing execution of the 100 Day Plan
- managing the cultural integration for the first 12 months of the new entity
- coaching the Chairman, CEO and Director of Corporate Development throughout the process to support their effective leadership of the integration.
Feedback from the client after the completion of the work included:

Neil Cantle, Director of Corporate Development, Winterthur Life, United Kingdom 

"The project required the integration of two similar sized organisations, over a large geographical distance and at a very rapid pace. … Throughout the project, Pamela coached the team very effectively and interfaced well with senior management to bring key facts and issues to the table for discussion or resolution. Unlike 80% of acquisition exercises, this one succeeded in achieving all of its primary objectives. Pamela's pragmatic and insightful approach to the work, combining the tactical and the strategic, and ability to interact well with staff and management at all levels was a key factor in this."

Three-Way Merger Integration

Company: Zurich Financial Services merged three companies in the Group: Zurich Assurance, Allied Dunbar Assurance and Eagle Star Assurance

Client: ZFS UK, CEO, Ray Greenshields

Zurich Assurance was a subsidiary of Swiss group Zurich Financial services. The group also owned two UK-based assurance companies. Zurich Financial Services was a client of Towers Perrin Tillinghast (TTP). Evelyn Bourke (then partner at TTP) who hired Pamela Young to lead the Winterthur Integration (above), asked her again to lead this three-way merger for TTP. Each of the three-business were vastly different in global geographic coverage, product and service range, target client groups, organisational evolution and culture. While one had a strong-hold in European markets, another had deeper penetration in Asia-Pacific and America, and the third was different again. Each business was at a different stage of growth, and the leadership styles and organisations designs were variable. 

The three main challenges with this global three-way integration included: creating a single largely-centralised but locally-enabled entity; aligning Swiss, British and other national cultures to create one set of global business values that employees could and would adopt to fuel business growth; and integrating technology and serviced delivery processes globally to ensure greatest cost effectiveness while maintaining and improving service quality.

Feedback from the client after the completion of the work included

Evelyn Bourke, former Partner of Towers Perrin Tillinghast (now Group CEO, Bupa, UK)

"I was impressed by Pamela’s detailed attention to the strategic and commercial aspects of the business…. She demonstrated that she can motivate a team of people to work closely with her in delivering the strategy. I think one of Pamela’s greatest talents is a sustained focus on seeing a project through to its proper conclusions and providing active assistance in the design and implementation phase."

Post-Merger Clean-Up following 33 Acquisitions

Company: Coffey Group, an Australian-based, ASX-listed, global engineering company

Client: MD and CEO, Roger Olds 

Coffey had completed 33 acquisitions in 5 years across 9 businesses; it had offices in 12 nations delivering projects across 80 countries. After the period of high-growth from intensive acquisition activity, the Group started to notice a few stress fractures. Pamela was hired to investigate the issues and make recommendations for change. She worked with the CEO to identify the underlying causes of the fractures, examine the impact and formulate a three-year strategy and transformation process to realise the financial, commercial and IP synergies that shareholders had been promised would arise from these investments. Very little integration work had been completed due to the hast of the acquisitions; most of the businesses had been ‘bolted-on’ creating duplication across the nine companies that needed to be rationalised. In addition, the leadership and organisation structures were designed for a much smaller, less complex business and it was time for a rethink.

Pamela led a 6-month strategy and organisation review process followed by a global restructure to rationalise the cost centres. Next, she designed and led a global transformation-culture-change program to align values, people and processes to deliver promised performance enhancements. One of the significant by-products of this exercise was the establishment of a group-wide Client Account Strategy & Management Process which equipped joined-up sales and marketing teams to be more effective in their dealings with global clients like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, which were previously serviced by nine separate business units. 

Feedback from the manager after the completion of the work:

Mark Nicholas, GM Coffey Geotechnics and Transformation Leader at Coffey Group (a direct report in the Transformation Leader role)

"I had the privilege of working with Pamela at Coffey as we set about the task of shifting the structure, focus and culture of a highly diverse, geographically dispersed organisation…Pamela provided a level of energy, intellectual rigor and drive that I’ve never seen before or since. She questions and challenges, cajoles and encourages in equal measure. She brings experience across a wide variety of sectors and uses it to inform new conversations, new insights and real-world strategies to generate results. She offers frank and fearless advice where it is needed most – to those who, typically receive it least in a corporate environment. No organisation could be the same after having her as part of its team and few would fail to gain enormously from her input."

Post-merger Performance Improvement in Preparation for Sale

Company: GAB Robins New Zealand's multiple integrations, then sale to SGS Group, Switzerland

Client: Managing Director (NZ), Brett Fawcett

Pamela was hired at the end of a period of acquisitions by GAB Robins’ Directors; their aim was to establish a truly national business by purchasing 8 privately-owned practices to add to the company’s existing 12 branches giving it  spread of 20 offices in 20 cities around New Zealand. Pamela's role was to assist the MD to complete the integration, establish a single culture and assist the top team to lead, manage and grow a national business in preparation for sale to a global entity. After making the necessary adjustments and strengthening the business's annual revenue and profit performance it was sold to Swiss-based SGS Group.
Feedback from the client after the completion of the work included:

Brett Fawcett, Managing Director (NZ); President, International Markets, GAB Robins Group, Switzerland

"Pamela awakened in us, an appreciation of strategic management skills that we needed for the profitable future development and coached us in many aspects of leadership…. Pamela’s involvement is one of the reasons (our) unit is the best in the GAB Robins Group from the perspective of its quality of management, its relationships and stature within the insurance industry, and the stability of its senior management and top professionals."

400-year-old bank integrates younger nimble private partnership

Company: Barclays Banking Group acquires Gerrard Wealth Management UK

Client: Barclays Wealth Management CEO, Ray Greenshields

Gerrard’s Wealth Management was a private partnership comprising a wide network of small operations throughout the United Kingdom. They sold to institutionalised Barclays Bank which employed over 70,000 people and the culture clash became immediately apparent. As a specialist in merger integrations and corporate cultures, Pamela was called in to examine the differences in culture, leadership and operations and make recommendations to Bank leaders about how to ensure the successful integration. An early assumption that the Bank’s culture and operational procedures might be superior to that of the smaller business was challenged and altered with sharing and the adoption of best-practices from both sides when Pamela was able to demonstrate that Gerrard had much to offer the Bank.

Due Diligence, Pitch Preparation and Negotiation

Company: PKF Australia negotiates with Deloitte Australia

Client: PKF Australia Managing Partner, David Ratcliffe

Deloitte Australia approached PKF Australia to enter merger negotiations while Pamela young was in the middle of a strategic review exercise with the partners of PKF. During the review the partners had been exploring alternative growth strategies and merger possibilities, so the call from one of the top-4 global firms was timely and welcomed.  Pamela assisted the Managing Partner and Chairman to evaluate the proposed merger, prepare it credentials and conduct due diligence on Deloitte Australia which included an assessment of the cultures, leadership styles and ambitions of the two firms. She supported merger talks with Deloitte Australia and the parties agreed the culture gap and differences in financial expectations at that time was too wide to close.

See more Client Testimonials 

Contact Pamela Young to discuss your merger due diligence, merger integration planning or how to realise post-merger synergies on:


- +64 274 500 565