Reducing the M&A Risks

Frank Vielba and Carol Vielba

Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 978-1-4039-4678-2
RRP £55
Reviewed by Alan Pollard FBCS CITP
Score 9.5 out of 10

reducingmaandarisks It quickly becomes apparent on opening this book that Frank and Carol Vielba know what they are talking about. It is a goldmine for anyone involved or interested in the part that IT plays in any merger or acquisition project.

Libraries, bookshops and websites are stocked full with texts on merger and acquisitions (M&A) from the business perspective but this book addresses the far less well documented but extremely critical role that IT and the CIO play in business-led change. Liberally populated with real-life case studies and quoted experiences the book charts the various stages of an M&A project in a logical, authoritative manner.

After a short but informative background, the authors set out the characteristics of today’s M&A scene and offer a model for improving the chances of success by paying far more attention to IT issues. Ideally (though sadly seldom evidenced) IT should be prominent on the CEO’s radar and should be monitored from the earliest possible stage in the venture.

The authors offer a blueprint for doing so based on a practical and comprehensive model that they call the business, technology and management (BTM) model.

These three aspects of an M&A call for totally different sets of skills that are variously exhibited in three different and often conflicting roles in an enterprise. Readers will quickly recognise the different scenarios.

All CIOs (and as many of their CEOs as they can persuade) should read this book.

If reading time is constrained, the book is highly valuable just to dip into and its structure allows this. Its many real-life examples, check lists and top tips, clearly set out in boxes throughout the book, simplify the learning process and enhance its readability.

If one must find fault with this book it is probably in the omission of a separate, pull-out supplement containing the check lists and tips in a take-away format. Even without this one can see many readers copying them for easy reference onto their PDA.

For those not directly involved in an M&A but with a more general interest, the book offers a superb insight into the topic and whets the appetite to find out more. Altogether this is an excellent first book from the authors. Hopefully they will feel encouraged to produce more.

More information: Palgrave website