As part of its advocacy role in facilitating public discourse on topical business and management issues, Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) hosted a Public Forum at the School on October 30 under the theme; “Winning with Mergers and Acquisitions: Practical Insights from Caribbean Leaders”.
In light of the Jamaican Government’s current monetary policy that focuses on lowering interest rates and increasing liquidity to promote economic expansion, more companies are now viewing mergers and acquisitions as an efficient and cost-effective way of gaining market access and securing growth.
The team of high level speakers which included Mr Robert Almeida, Managing Partner, Portland Private Equity, Mr Damian Duncan, Assistant General Manager , Corporate Banking , National Commercial Bank and recent MSBM DBA graduate, Stanley Beckford, Business Consultant and Project Manager provided the audience, which consisted of scores of students and representatives of private and public sector organizations, with real-life examples of their experience over many years of managing various mergers and acquisition projects in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
The use of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) as a strategic driver is viewed as a time-efficient and cost-effective way of gaining market access and securing growth, however, M&A can be an extremely risky growth strategy to pursue. This was the consensus from all the presenters as they led the audience through the various stages and prerequisites of successful M&As.
In setting the stage, Mr. Stanley Beckford, who has researched the domain as part of his doctoral studies at MSBM, outlined the key determinants of performance as (i)Absorptive capacity, (ii) R&D Intensity (iii) Internal Knowledge (iv) Coordination Capabilities and (v) Complementarity
In support of this, Robert Almeida stated, “Understanding, alignment, and commitment to a shared purpose, as well as a vision, aspirations, and goals, are crucial to overcoming any obstacle. Addressing inherent trust deficit is also important, as well as getting the right people on the team”.
From his experience with the global standards for M&A, Duncan was able to differentiate between international and Caribbean procedures. He then emphasized the need for Caribbean entities to come together to have a greater impact on economic growth within the region, and share their wealth of knowledge.
Following the presentations, the audience, which was in rapt attention, engaged in robust discussions with the presenters. Several graduate students who are pursuing programmes in Corporate Finance and Business Administration expressed the view that they gleaned many useful insights from all the presentations.
Janice Henlin, Director of Marketing, MSBM stated “The Forum forms part of a series arranged each semester based on the School’s ongoing efforts to provide the opportunity for our faculty members to use their research to guide robust discussion on issues that affect business and industry. Consistent with our mantra of “Forward Thinking” we engage in research that is relevant and timely and are always willing to share this with members of both private and public sectors to provide insights for their businesses."