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The Year of the M&A


This year has been a huge one for mergers and acquisitions, featuring several eye-catching deals. The second biggest merger in history took place, as pharma giant Pfizer came together with botox maker Allergan in a massive $160bn deal. Twenty fifteen also saw AB InBev purchase SAB Miller for $117bn, Charter announce its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Shell receive regulatory approval of its purchase of BG group.

This isn’t just good news for large banks and deal makers however – who will be relishing an impressive bonus season no doubt. Organisations that merge or acquire other companies often receive a significant financial boost, which gives finance teams extra room for manoeuvre.  Deloitte reported that 2015’s boom in M&A activity could lead to companies adding between $1.5 and $1.9 trillion to their value, and they often also benefit from reduced costs.  Those taking part in mergers need to be careful however – there are some obvious risks that come from bringing two distinctive bodies together, and business history is littered with examples of failed mergers such as AOL and Time Warner
The rise of M&A activity has impacted the jobs market, leading to high demand for strong finance directors who are not only technically brilliant but also able to drive support for the business with both internal and external stakeholders. Top level CFOs are in short supply, and there are even fewer with the nerve to lead huge companies through tumultuous transactions, meaning they are well remunerated.   According to the most recent Marks Sattin salary survey & market report a group chief financial officer can earn between £180,000-£250,000 a year – with more in bonuses and stock options.  

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