Advisers Challenged to Rethink M&A Plans


Advisers are being challenged to rethink their M&A plans and to objectively assess their ability and capacity to do a deal, and recognise the important role of organic growth in any successful business.

Build or buy: A guide to merger & acquisition fundamentals, is the second paper in a series on mergers and acquisitions by AZ Next Generation Advisory and it examines the three fundamental reasons why businesses and investors participate in M&A.

Paul Barrett, AZ NGA Chief Executive Officer and author of Build or buy, says in a statement that competition for quality assets is heating up and will only intensify in the lead up to 1 January 2026, “…however, M&A is not the right strategy for everyone and ill-considered deals usually result in disruption, increased cost and complexity, and value destruction”.

…in the next three years many advisers will be tempted to do a deal but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…

Paul Barrett…M&A is not the right strategy for everyone…

“M&A is an important tool for business growth and in the next three years many advisers will be tempted to do a deal but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” he says.

The statement notes that the accounting and financial advice industry is awash with buying opportunities and “cashed-up buyers are in poll position to snag quality assets with the institutions out of the running”.

The paper is based on AZ NGA’s experience completing almost 80 accounting and financial planning transactions in six years and it aims to help SMEs understand the types of transactions currently taking place, determine if M&A is the right strategy for them and, if so, position their businesses to extract maximum value from a deal.

“For those who are determined to go down the M&A path, it also provides insights and practical tips for bedding down an acquisition.”

Build or buy follows AZ NGA’s 2019 paper: Deal or No Deal – A guide to merger and acquisition success, which focused on the task of buying and selling businesses including how to identify and value a good opportunity, conduct due diligence and negotiate price and terms.

While Deal or No Deal touched on the importance of buyers and sellers having the right motives, it assumed that doing a deal was a fait accompli, Barrett says.

“Upon reflection, Build or buy should have come first because the majority of accounting and advisory SMEs are not set up to do a deal and a pure organic growth strategy is likely to deliver better results,” he says.

The statement says that since 2015, AZ NGA has completed 79 transactions including the recent acquisitions of Queensland-based businesses, Blue Harbour Financial Partners (formerly Bridges Brisbane Bayside) and Henderson Matusch.

Click here for a copy of Build or buy: A guide to merger & acquisition fundamentals.