M&A: Joint ventures & alliances

Accelerating growth through joint ventures may seem like a faster alternative to deals. Yet achieving strategic objectives requires rigorous upfront planning to drive outperformance.

Joint ventures and strategic alliances are important tools for achieving growth. They can be quicker than building an entirely new business and appear to present less complex logistics than acquisitions.

Yet misaligned strategic goals, unclear governance, skewed operating models, indistinct workforce strategies and cultural mismatches can ultimately lead to underperformance.

Prioritizing people

These deals are increasingly dependent on prioritizing people risk. The most successful approaches address these risks from the beginning — at strategy identification and partner searches — and require the same focus as operational risks.

The Mercer difference

We are deal experts who understand how to mitigate risks, maximize value and moderate human capital costs to achieve sustainable value. Hundreds of clients have benefited from our holistic and practical approach to translating people risks into measurable outcomes.

Mercer advises clients in:

  • Strategy and readiness

    Understand the strategic rationale and workforce capabilities needed to maximize success.
  • Launch planning

    Execute rigorous governance and talent planning to ensure short- and long-term success.
  • Ongoing management

    Conduct regular assessments to uncover any conflicting interests, and realign objectives, governance, workforce and culture to meet performance goals.
  • Exit preparation and execution

    Decide on an exit strategy, create mutually agreeable terms and execute exit.
Joint ventures may be ignited by the prospects of financial gain, but they’re fueled by the act of people coming together and teaming up.

Jeff Black

Global M&A Advisory Services Leader, Mercer

Our expertise

  • Workforce strategy

    Determine critical roles and the talent needed to drive success. Formulate workforce strategies to address any gaps and risks.


  • Operating model

    Align the new entity’s operating model, governance parameters and decision rights with desired outcomes.
  • Talent assessment, retention and onboarding

    Maximize deal success by assessing talent, identifying and selecting leaders, and retaining critical employees.
  • Change management and communications

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

    Identify culture risks to meeting the desired objectives, and build a comprehensive mitigation strategy to drive results.
  • HR technologies

    Create the needed HR delivery platform to support strategic objectives.
  • Global benefits and policies

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

    Design executive, sales and broad-based incentives aligned with objectives.
  • Retirement

    Understand, align and optimize pension plans and associated risk globally.
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