5 steps to surviving an acquisition for finance directors


As a finance director, you will have played a fundamental part in the company that you’ve helped to build. Your responsibilities and contributions will have been numerous, and the likelihood is that you will have managed and led your team through many difficult periods before reaching this point.

It is in this time of change and growth that your role will become more fundamental than ever. You are a critical cog in the business, and the responsibility for coordinating corporate finance and managing company policies during this imminent acquisition will fall on your shoulders.

If you need some tips and tricks to help you get through, here are five you might find useful…

1. Be visible

Acquisitions herald a period of flux and change within a company, and many do eventually lead to job losses. This doesn’t mean that it will happen to you, but either way, it’s useful to take steps to avoid such an outcome. The simplest way to do this is by impressing the ones pulling the strings. Make it very clear to those coming into the business that your presence is essential to its future success by always being available and visible. This may mean putting in some extra hours for the foreseeable future, but it will all pay off in the long run.

2. Engage with your colleagues and senior management

As well as being visible, make the effort to be sociable. Part of your job involves managing people, so you’ll already have the skills necessary to network and forge relationships with those you need to work with. Aim to don your best game face, engage with your colleagues and senior management, and focus on crafting partnerships that will paint you in a positive light and get the attention of the right people.

3. Bring in help

Acquisitions can feel impossibly daunting, so you may also benefit from bringing in some expert assistance in the interim. Enterprises such as our own can help you with this by providing specialist services during periods of change. We can send in accountants to share your burden, ensuring that the process takes place without a hitch.

4. Acquire company history

One factor that often frightens people when an acquisition is taking place is the uncertainty. Many are afraid of losing their job or of not knowing the direction that the company is going to take and where they will fit into the equation. Forewarned is forearmed, so we recommend doing a bit of digging and finding the history of the acquiring company. Look at what has happened to their other acquisitions to help you prepare for the days ahead – you may well be pleasantly surprised.

5. Get involved

Tied in with the point we made above about making yourself visible is our advice to get involved. Do the job that you’re there to do, playing your essential part in the multidisciplinary team overseeing the transition. Work to make the acquisition a success and you’ll be able to prove your worth during a period that is stressful and unsettling for all involved.

Follow our five top tips to survive the acquisition period and ensure a positive future within the company you’re committed to.
Cathal Scanlon specialises in interim accountancy recruitment at BTG Recruitment, he is an expert in assisting finance teams through periods of change. To contact Cathal please call 0115 960 7000.

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