M&A: Due diligence

Buyers and sellers in this dynamic marketplace require both practical and tactical execution experience on a global scale to uncover material risks to deal success and prepare for integration.
Our comprehensive approach to human capital due diligence applies our deep knowledge of workforce issues to identify risks, estimate costs with expert precision, articulate long-term implications and inform purchase price. Through due diligence, we uncover potential financial, legal and compliance issues and stress-test costs related to workforce expenses and liabilities.

Anticipating the risks

Early understanding of and planning related to human capital risks leads to better-informed negotiations and long-term deal success. Our research shows that 60% of deals fail due to unaddressed people-related issues. Understanding people risk is crucial in due diligence and requires the same analytical rigor as commercial, tax, operational and IT diligence.

Our due diligence team works seamlessly with your tax, legal and finance teams. Mercer’s local knowledge and actuarial expertise allow us to identify risks and costs across a broad spectrum, including:

  • Management teams and key employees
  • Headcount synergies and workforce planning
  • Executive, broad-based and sales compensation
  • Benefits and pensions
  • HRIS service delivery (including systems)
  • Culture risk in areas that are critical to deal success
  • Sources of employee turnover
  • Workforce demographics
  • Labor relations and local regulations
We work with buyers and sellers as well as corporate acquirers and financial investors. On the sell side, our due diligence approach is about uncovering and presenting workforce risks based on the pool of potential buyers.

The Mercer difference

We are deal experts who understand how to mitigate risks, maximize value and moderate costs to create sustainable value. We use robust financial models that analyze a range of costs and proprietary benchmarking data to track your success. Our understanding of the business strategy and deal thesis allows us to provide distinctive human capital insights that lay the groundwork for long-term integration.

Why our clients choose us:

Global footprint, local expertise

Mercer’s global footprint means we can have experts available in as little as 24 hours — resources who speak the language and know the local laws. Our insights aren’t limited to certain markets. We are where you need us to be.

Experienced deal advisors

We have a demonstrated track record across all deal types and throughout all phases. We know how to translate the deal thesis into reality with practical, proven approaches.

Deep expertise

We have a deep bench of experts and access to specialists, from actuarial to compliance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


Our expertise allows us to offer new and cutting-edge solutions to evolving human capital risks.
From negotiations to post-closing, Mercer’s M&A advisory services team offers clients vital insights on human capital risks — and a distinct competitive advantage.
COO, life sciences industry

Our expertise

  • Workforce planning

    Understand critical roles based on the deal thesis. Identify synergies, and formulate workforce strategies to address any risks.
  • Operating model

    Understand the current-state model and identification of potential structural changes.
  • Talent retention

    Determine critical talent to deal success and create retention strategy.
  • Global benefits

    Understand, align and optimize benefits programs in more than 150 countries and organizations of all sizes.
  • Retirement

    Understand, align and optimize pension plans and associated risk globally.
  • Policies and policy insight

    Understand, benchmark and compare current policies. Stay up to date on recent developments and know what’s coming.
  • Executive compensation

    Understand the implications of current programs and benchmark competitive levels.
  • Rewards

    Determine whether executive, sales and broad-based incentives align with achievement of synergies.
  • Culture

    Conduct culture assessment and identify red flags to the deal objectives.
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