M&A Working Group brings new opportunities
In the latest in our series on Praxity working groups, we focus on how the new M&A group and its online portal can help accounting professionals add value.
Andy Ryder, Chairman of the M&A Working Group, and Corporate Finance Partner at Shorts, UK
Global M&A activity reached an all-time high in 2021. While growth slowed at the start of 2022 the market remains strong, especially in the U.S., according to latest analysis by McKinsey.
Member firms looking to gain a stronger foothold in the market and add value to their services can now benefit from two important M&A developments at Praxity:
- An active M&A Working Group to provide support, direction and opportunities for professionals across the Alliance
- An innovative new M&A Hub to help member firms’ clients buy and sell businesses with ease
Together, these evolutions will help accounting professionals in member firms collaborate on M&A activities and serve their clients more effectively.
Andy Ryder, Chairman of the M&A Working Group, and Corporate Finance Partner at Shorts in the UK, hatched the idea of providing extra support for M&A professionals within the Alliance after attending his first Praxity Global Conference in Sydney in 2018.
“I discovered member firms worldwide have a lot of clients involved in M&A activity but there wasn’t really a lot of collaboration between accounting professionals on M&A business at that time,” he explains.
Andy teamed up with other leading M&A professionals within Praxity at the following Global Conference in Athens. They formed an M&A Committee to discuss how best to work together and develop new opportunities for colleagues, including the creation of the M&A Hub on the Praxity website. After surveying member firms and receiving excellent feedback, the Committee worked throughout the pandemic to develop and test the hub before launching it earlier this year.
Where the value lies
The focus of the M&A Committee and wider Working Group is to develop the hub and promote its benefits, report on global and regional M&A trends, share best practice on deals and transactions, and help forge new collaborations.
Having spent many hours during the pandemic to get the hub up and running, Andy is keen for member firms to get on board. He says: “This is a product that can be used every day. It provides a real, tangible benefit for member firms and their clients. It gives professionals an opportunity to post acquisition criteria or businesses for sale and the hub does the matching for you.”
Professionals within the Alliance have exclusive access to the M&A Hub via the Praxity website. The innovative online portal provides a wide range of features designed to simplify the M&A process, including buying and selling criteria listed by sector, turnover and location. Users can also access FAQs and tutorial videos to learn how to maximise the benefits.
Developing M&A business
This year’s Praxity Global Conference in New Orleans marked the first official meeting of the full M&A Working Group. Open to all professionals within the Alliance, it provided an opportunity to discuss how to build on the valuable work of the Committee to develop M&A business within the Alliance.
In New Orleans, it was agreed that the M&A group would look to meet virtually between conferences to share knowledge and experience as well as ensuring momentum is maintained with driving forward M&A collaboration and the M&A Hub.
M&A activity was also a feature of the North American International Tax Conference in New Orleans, where Dave Robinson, a Tax Partner at Shorts, shared insights on how tax professionals can benefit from Praxity’s M&A support platform.
Looking forward, the M&A Working Group is looking at how best to respond to market trends and share expertise. While global M&A business remains buoyant and market signs are positive, there are still challenges such as inflationary pressures in various parts of the world, including the UK, which has seen an increase in U.S. buyers following the recent devaluation of the pound against the dollar.
Another area of focus is the valuation multiples paid. In the UK, for example, valuations in M&A increased only to fall back slightly to previous levels due to the economic headwinds causing a knock to the confidence among some investors.
Want to join the M&A Working Group?
Praxity’s M&A Working Group is open to anyone with an interest in M&A and is always looking for new members. Membership is open to individuals from any firm and joining is easy. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.