As we entered 2020, the global M&A market was in a resilient position, having had record transaction value and volume years globally in the preceding 2014-2018 period, tempered by certain global events including Brexit and various global trade flashpoints, particularly involving the US and China.
Nevertheless, Irish transaction and investment professionals had approached 2020 with cautious optimism, underpinned by strong market fundamentals, economic growth and in most cases committed sources of liquidity.
Suffice to say, cautious optimism has been replaced with the single biggest negative economic event of our times. Covid-19 has put transaction and investment processes on hold, indefinitely in many cases, and the reality is that we do not have any certainty as to when “normality” will return.
What does this mean for M&A and Investment Professionals?
This is undoubtedly a frustrating time – the fear of commitment from investors driven by an economic meltdown and genuine uncertainty has all but stalled value creating M&A activity.
As an M&A Professional, what should you do next?
- Roll with it: continue to work on anything in pipeline, business as usual is not “usual” but it has never been more important to be front and centre and to continue to serve clients and prospects. A job well done during this difficult time will not go unnoticed.
- Speak with peers/contacts: We are all in the same boat, reach out to people, be available, check in on past transactions and build market knowledge. While activity is and will be quieter, this is a great opportunity to reconnect with your peers and contact network.
- Review alternatives: “out of adversity comes opportunity” has through every economic cycle proven to be true. Draw up the pros and cons of this scenario and see how you can use to your advantage, both in your career and for your business. Is restructuring something that you would like experience in? Is debt advisory a career option?
- Consult: Take the time now to future proof yourself. Have a conversation with a trusted recruitment partner around the market, opportunities, CV layout, and about what you want. There continues to be pockets of activity in the market, especially in businesses who are largely unaffected by this crisis. Taking this time now will yield dividend for your career on the other side of this situation.
At FK International, we have over 20 years’ experience in assisting our clients and our candidates who are at the forefront of M&A and Investment in Ireland. During Covid-19, we would be delighted to have a confidential discussion at any stage as you consider your options. Our Director, Ger Buckley would be delighted to arrange a confidential discussion at any stage.
Please feel free to reach out to Ger by email @ email@example.com