M&A: Integration planning and execution

To deliver deal value, buyers and sellers need workforce expertise combined with real-world, practical and tactical execution experience on a global scale.
Our research shows that 67% of deals experience delayed synergy realization due to unaddressed people risks. Understanding people risk is crucial and requires the same strategic approach as commercial, tax, operational and IT integration.

Navigating the complexity

Increasing deal complexity and cross-border deal dynamics make it difficult to realize value. Early preparation and thorough understanding of human capital risks ensures Day One readiness and creates sustainable value. Driving long-term deal success requires thoughtful and well-executed integration.

In today’s complex and dynamic environment, you need real-world integration experience in quickly and effectively bringing organizations together — or carving out and standing up an entity — to protect business continuity and create the framework for the future. We’re experienced in all types of transactions, from small acquisitions to mega, multibillion-dollar global mergers. And all sizes and types of deals require the knowledge, know-how and foresight to deliver deal value.

Managing the chaos

We work with buyers and sellers as well as corporate acquirers and financial investors. The diversity of our clients — in size, maturity, industry sector and geographic location — means we assist organizations with a broad range of issues. Simply put, we know what needs to be done — when, how, why and by whom. We manage the deal chaos and complexity, bringing you the processes, approaches, tools and resources to create order and clarity. Our fundamental approach is time- and battle-tested, repeatable, reliable and scalable.

Building on the findings of due diligence, our approach to integration planning includes:

  • Developing a comprehensive integration strategy and roadmap to deliver on the end-state vision for Day One and beyond
  • Establishing project governance principles, including decision-making, issue escalation and communications
  • Understanding the cultures of both organizations, identifying critical components and developing an integration approach to maintain them
  • Outlining a communication and change management strategy to support the new operating environment

The Mercer difference

We are deal experts who understand how to mitigate risks, maximize value and moderate costs to create sustainable value. We understand the business strategy and deal thesis and provide distinctive human capital insights to lay the groundwork for realizing the full value of your deal. Our goal is simple: your success. We exist to achieve your goals and commitments while building sustainable capability within your organization.

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.
Why use Mercer? Ineffective management of integration leads to unclear decision-making, changes in timelines that derail synergies, and mismanagement of risk — all costing time and money.
 Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Fortune 100 client

Our expertise

  • Workforce strategy

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

    Develop the future strategy and operating model of the combined entity, including organization design and governance.
  • Project management office

    Ensure a rigorous project management approach, including strategic advice at every step of the process.
  • Global benefits

    Harmonize and integrate benefits programs, benchmark programs against the market, and define the go-forward global benefits and financing strategy.
  • Retirement and investments

    Harmonize and integrate the retirement programs, and create an integrated plan design that aligns with total rewards objectives to prepare for implementation.
  • 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 current programs, and develop a market-competitive, go-forward executive compensation program.
  • Workforce rewards

    Understand current programs, and develop a market-competitive, go-forward, broad-based compensation program.
  • Salesforce effectiveness

    Determine whether sales incentives align with achievement of synergies.
  • Change management and communications

    Conduct change management planning and integration focused on moving key stakeholders from both entities.
  • Culture

    Identify the “critical few” culture risks in the deal, and build a comprehensive integration strategy.
  • Talent selection and onboarding

    Maximize deal success by assessing talent, identifying and selecting leaders, and onboarding all employees.
  • Talent management

    Identify the criteria and process for selecting talent specific to the acquisition.
  • HR technologies

    Create the right HR delivery platform and transition plan to support the strategic objectives.
  • Global mobility

    Develop a renewed mobility program and roadmap, and provide implementation guidance.
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