Live from Prac Tech: Planning a Merger? Spare a Thought for Your Clients
As per Joel Sinkin, expert of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), during mergers one considers the emotional impact of it on partners and staff of firms but what is normally forgotten is that this process is emotional for the clients as well.
In a recent tech conference and symposium of American Institute of CPA’s, Joel Sinkin explained the fact that the most important task in mergers is retaining the clients therefore it is very important to look after their issues regarding the merger at the planning stage.
Based on his experience, Sinkin highlights four main concerns that clients raise when they get to know that their firm is going to merge with another firm:
· Will the merger result in expensive services?
· Entrusted persons still working for the merged firm?
· Location of the new firm – is it far compared with the previous firm?
· Whether the staff I am familiar with still working with the merged firm?
Resolving the aforementioned four concerns of the clients even before they are brought up to you is the best thing as per Sinkin. This can be done via a phone call, a letter or a personal visit.
Sinkin further elaborated on the topic that once the deal has been finalised then you need to get ready to inform every one about it. This means that deciding over which clients need a personal visit, which need a phone call and for whom a letter would be sufficient.
Sinkin added that addressing the four basic concerns is not enough; you also need to explain the advantages the clients will get from the merger for example the merged firm will become capable of providing international taxation services.
Another important point that was made by Sinkin was that the intimation of the merger via a letter should be sent in envelops of old firm and not the new merged firm’s envelope as clients might throw the new envelopes assuming a solicitation.
Sinkin concluded the presentation by emphasizing on the fact that clients are partner-loyal and not firm-loyal therefore more time needs to be spent with the clients in order to reduce the time of transition.