M&A Science

M&A Science is a podcast exploring the intricate world of mergers and acquisitions with industry leaders and practitioners. With an unlimited access to our deal network, these 100% uncut interviews examine M&A trends, culture, and best practices. This podcast is sponsored by DealRoom, a diligence management and virtual data room platform for complex financial transactions.
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M&A Science





All Episodes
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Jul 10, 2019

During this episode, Kison and Jai discuss the best strategies for identifying, extracting and protecting value drivers during the due diligence process and most importantly while conducting integration post-close.

Jun 26, 2019

Kison speaks with Dr. Mark Goulston on the benefits of practicing empathy for more successful M&A, specifically to improve value creation and productivity post-close.

Jun 12, 2019

On this episode, Kison speaks with Dawn White, an M&A Integration Manager at Corning. Dawn explains the importance of conducting cultural assessments during M&A transactions and explores how these assessments can lead to stronger deal outcomes, increased value creation and an overall happier and more productive workforce.

May 29, 2019

Harvard instructor, author and speaker,  Richard Kasperowski, discusses how to build and maintain high-performing teams in any industry.

May 16, 2019

The Founding Partners of the M&A advisory firm, Agile Gorilla, discuss their agile, modern approach to deal and integration management.

May 1, 2019

Nitin Kumar, a seasoned C-level operating executive and management consultant in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector, discusses how to create integration strategies better suited to modern business environments.

Apr 18, 2019

Al Ansari, a veteran divestiture and integration advisor currently assisting Cisco with the development of their divestiture methodology, discusses the strategies, decisions and planning behind divestitures.

Apr 3, 2019

In this podcast, Kison interviews James Harris, Principle of Corporate Development Integration at Google. They explore the ways in which deal practitioners can implement a more Agile approach to each step of M&A, from due diligence to integration.  

Jul 19, 2018

In this episode, Kison speaks with Joseph Feldman, a corporate development, acquisitions and growth strategies consultant. Joseph discusses acquisition strategies, diligence checklists, company inconsistencies, and post-close surprises.

Jul 12, 2018

In this episode, Kison interviews corporate and business development consultant Judah Karkowsky.

They discuss the best ways to approach cultural integration, handling ownership issues, the surprises you can find during preliminary due diligence, international entities’ approach on diligence, being transparent with employees during an integration, and confidential data protection.

Jun 25, 2018

In this episode, Kison asks Paul Weiskopf, a professional who has worked over 25 years with companies in the technology industry such as Hewlett Packard, Adobe Systems and smaller companies, about his professional experience on M&A.

Weiskopf shares his knowledge about strategy common errors that lead companies to failure and about the best ways to build integration plans for acquisition teams.

Jun 12, 2018

In this episode, Kison interviews mergers and acquisitions attorney Luke Fedlam, who shares his knowledge on working with and outside counsel, representing the seller, sending letters of intent, setting up a financial plan, and how to transaction showstoppers beforehand.

00.00 /  05.00 / help from the outside council

05.00 / due diligence and letters of intent, bankers

10.00 / 15.000 timeline and risks, showstoppers

15.00 / 20.00 renegotiating terms

20.00 / 25.00 renegotiation purchase price

25.00 / 30.00 financial leverage

30.00 / 35.00 integration process

35.00 / 40.00 cultural and transparency

40.00 / 47.00 outgoing owners and engagement, CEOS sabotaging transaction

20.25 tartamudea un toque we, we don't need, we don;t


Jun 5, 2018

In this episode, Kison interviews Armando Biondi, Co-founder and COO for AdEspresso. Biondi shares his personal experience on the AdEspresso and Hootsuite merger. They discuss selling, communication during the integration process, and negotiating.

May 31, 2018

In this episode, Kison interviews Ken Marlin, author of The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street. Marlin has a very diverse background going from corporate development to CEO of a company to running an investment bank. They discuss advising buyers, business strategies, and setting clear business objectives.

This episode was brought to you by

May 23, 2018

In this episode, Kison interviews International Strategy and Business Optimization Specialist Abhik Jain. Together they talk through the differences between M&A, PE and investment banking, proprietary and auction deals, and Jain’s personal advice on handling negotiations and transactions both from the sell side and the buy side.


This podcast was brought to you by

Feb 16, 2018

This special episode of M&A Science is an audiobook written by Nitin Kumar, a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, on the strategy of wargaming. In an era of disruption and uncertainty, developing and executing successful M&A transactions require new strategic approaches. Business wargaming is one such approach, significantly increasing overall M&A effectiveness by providing valuable foresight, stress-testing strategy and maximizing the potential for successful integration.


Authored by: Nitin Kumar

Narrated by: Conor Mahood

Produced by: Kison Patel

Dec 11, 2017

“Are you doing things that could be perceived negatively that would create a higher bar for that next acquisition? Those things can come back and haunt you”

Scott Hile is an M&A professional with two decades of experience. He also teaches Entrepreneurial Law and Global Business Transactions in Clemson University’s MBA Program.


0:00 - 5:05 Prioritizing investment and legal concerns during due diligence

5:00 - 8:40 Focusing on value drivers

8:40 - 10:50 Presenting risks to sellers

11:55 - 15:35 Legal team battles

15:35 - 17:00 Planning for integration during due diligence

17:00 - 19:05 Accounting for integration costs

19:05 - 25:25 International transaction challenges

25:25 - 32:41 Validating for cultural fit

32:41 - 38:30 Score-carding synergies

38:40-end The importance of patience



Sep 15, 2017

“This is the first time I’ve been acquired by a company that felt like it had a soul.” That’s what John Derusso was told after leading an integration. John is the Director of Corporate Development Integration with Cisco Systems and has been for the past four years.


0:00-0:10 John’s background with Cisco and supply chain

0:13-2:12 Successful acquisitions

2:12-6:42 Retaining people

6:42-9:36 Big picture view of integration

9:36-13:30 Excitement and adrenaline in integration (step-by-step process)

13:30-20:21 Planning considerations, diligence, and key indicators of success


24:22-30:20 Taking care of customers


30:20-42:19 Complexity, decision-making, and communication


42:19-46:37 Degree of integration (depth and speed)


46:37-52:25 Difficult aspects of integration


52:25-End Lifetime lessons learned and key traits


M&A Science by Kison Patel (

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Sep 15, 2017

Sean Peace has a captivating story to tell about selling and exiting an unprofitable business in a unique niche: a fintech startup dealing with entertainment in the Southeast. In 2013, he founded Royalty Exchange, an auction marketplace selling music royalty streams as memorabilia to the highest bidding fans. After two years and $100K in revenue, the company landed $2 million in venture capital financing to accelerate their growth – or so they thought.


0:20 – 2:22 Background on SongVest leading up to Royalty Exchange business idea

2:23 – 3:49 Formation of Royalty Exchange and running it for the first 2 years

3:50 – 6:41 Attracting first $2M venture capital injection and how funds were invested

6:42 – 11:10 Pivot point to switch marketing strategy when proven ineffective

12:06 – 16:50 Deciding to exit and splitting sale of company to two buyers

16:51 – 19:13 Finding buyers without hiring an advisor & paying down debts

19:14 – 25:17 Discussing deal surprises and lessons learned

25:18 – 27:01 Sean answering would he start another company and raise from VCs again


M&A Science by Kison Patel (

DealRoom: Data Science and AI for M&A (

Sep 15, 2017

As former VP at Huron Capital, Mark Miller is very familiar with the start-to-finish private equity process. He’s responsible for transaction teams involved in all aspects of deal sourcing, execution, and portfolio management. Mark has a wealth of experience executing deals on the buy side – managing due diligence, negotiating legal documents, setting the ultimate capital structure, and lining up financial documentation.


0:00 – 2:18 Summary of Mark’s background

2:19 – 5:18 Worse thing that could happen during a deal

5:19 – 7:24 Steps to first start planning for an exit

7:25 – 11:14 Setting up strategic initiatives from Day 1

11:15 – 18:49 Selecting advisors for the deal

18:50 – 25:24 Sanity checking valuations

25:25 – 28:02 Where advisors differentiate themselves / customizing their process & outreach

28:03 – 32:45 The important of valuations and certainty to close

32:46 – 35:33 Buyer engagement and deal rooms

35:34 – 37:07 Post-closing transactual obligations

37:08 – 39:43 Biggest challenges of process

39:44 – 42:25 Unburdening management team

42:26 - 46:50 Most important lessons learned

46:51 - 51:43 Tackling deal hiccups, touch decisions, and sell vs. hold scenarios

51:44 – 52:56 Considerations for future process improvements



M&A Science by Kison Patel (

DealRoom: Data Science and AI for M&A (

Sep 15, 2017

As a professional with 29 years’ experience in M&A corporate development, financial operations, and management, Paul Tennola, CFO of Paynet, is an expert when it comes to M&A. In addition to his experience with Paynet, Paul has worked with TransUnion, Wolters Kluwer, and SunGard. He has looked at over 1000 companies, successfully leading and closing more than 50 transactions. He believes M&A is a great way to augment growth.

Paul’s experience with Paynet, TransUnion, Wolters Kluwer, and SunGard

1:10-7:00 Bolt-on transactions versus platform transactions

7:00-10:30 Synergies: Financial/revenue and operational

10:30-14:05 Cultural fit and workarounds

14:05-18:00 Negotiation and strategies

18:00-21:40 Top factors during diligence

21:40-28:10 Deals that fall apart and surprises during diligence

28:10-33:14 Post-closing surprises and PMI

33:14-37:33 International transactions

37:33-40:05 Biggest lessons learned


M&A Science by Kison Patel (

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Sep 15, 2017

In 2005, Vamsi started his own company focused on data compliance for the pharmaceutical industry. His company provided technology to support clinical trials to the FDA. “I like to build companies, but I also like change. [After five years], I thought about selling the company and rolling it up into a publicly listed company.” He sold it in 2010 and moved to India to pursue new opportunities. While the sale was smooth, there were numerous post-sale challenges. “They basically ran down the company within 18 months.”


0:00 – 4:03 Vamsi’s background at Deloitte, Pfizer, Merrill Lynch

4:04 – 6:27 Acquiring Clinovo (how found and why chose over others)

6:28 – 9:24 Due diligence process as a buyer

9:25 – 11:24 Issues that came up during diligence process

11:25 13:39 Working with the investment banker

13:40 – 14:19 Interaction with seller prior to closing

14:20 – 19:19 Challenges with integration

19:20 – 21:55 Lessons learned and post-closing challenges

21:56 – 23:05 Lessons from the sell side

23:06 – 23:38 What’s on the horizon


M&A Science by Kison Patel (

DealRoom: Data Science and AI for M&A (

Sep 15, 2017

Greg DellaFranco is currently a Senior Manager of Corporate Development at Deloitte Consulting. Prior to joining Deloitte, he served as Director of Corporate Development at KPMG. When combined with 16 years in corporate development, corporate strategy, new venture creation, and alliance roles at Accenture, Greg has valuable M&A insight to share.


0:48 – 1:43 Greg’s background in corporate development

1:44 – 4:08 Differences in perspective between corp dev and private equity

3:21 – 6:13 Value proposition of selling to a strategic buyer

5:26 – 7:17 Transacting with businesses looking to exit

6:30 – 8:58 Key preparation for due diligence process

8:11 – 11:01 Top issues that frequently arise

10:14 – 16:42 Effectively managing the process

15:55 –  19:23 Deal breakers that pop up during due diligence

18:36 – 24:13 Greg’s strategies for the integration process

23:26 – 28:04 Most challenging aspects of integration

27:17 – 34:15 Challenges and integrations gone wrong

33:28 – 37:37 Biggest lessons learned and the future of M&A


M&A Science by Kison Patel (

DealRoom: Data Science and AI for M&A (

Mar 23, 2017

Jeremie originally started his career at Goldman Sachs and spent time in investment banking focused on equities, equity sales, and trading. He has experience on both sides of M&A, as an acquirer and “acquiree,” and says the deals he has seen in the past 10 years – some successful, others not – have changed his perspective on M&A.


0:00 – 2:12 Jeremie’s background in SaaS and investment banking

2:13 – 5:52 The value of focusing on giving in M&A transactions

5:53 – 11:40 Importance of pre-diligence diligence

11:41 - 14:12 Example of a deal not closed

14:13 – 15:50 Allocating resources and labor pool decisions

15:51 – 19:14 Advantages of quick integration

19:15 – 25:29 Painful lessons

25:30 – 30:57 How to use advisors

30:58 – 36: 11 How to pick a banker

36:12 – 41:33 Differences and clashes in culture

41:34 – 46:27 Setting up a deal framework

46:28 – 51:05 Facilitating good communication

51:06 – 52:22 Importance of prioritization

52:23 – 54:54 Lessons learned


M&A Science by Kison Patel (

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Mar 14, 2017

Matt Gambs is very familiar with the community banking realm – he’s been in it for more than 23 years and has worked every angle of the business, starting as a teller and working his way up to President and CEO of two different community banks in the Chicago metro area: BB&T Bancorp and Diamond Bank. He led both banks through successful acquisitions before landing at his current role with Wintrust Financial.

0:00 – 0:53
Summary of Matt Gambs 23+ year career progression in community banking

0:54 – 3:44 Discussing growth of BB&T between company inception and becoming CEO in 2004

3:45 – 6:47 The process of deciding to sell BB&T and selecting an advisor

6:48 – 8:24 How buyers’ proposals were evaluated against goals for stockholders

8:25 – 11:24 The selection process for comparing valuations and choosing the final buyer

11:25 – 13:24 Discussing challenges and realizations as Matt’s first deal of this size

13:25 – 18:02 Dissecting why everyone seems to want to buy a bank and regulatory implications

18:03 – 22:16 Events leading to Matt joining Diamond Bank and its subsequent sale

22:17 – 25:53 The long start-to-finish process of selling Diamond Bank

25:54 – 28:54 Highlights of working with Wintrust on the Diamond Bank deal

28:55 – 33:26 Biggest challenges and lessons learned going through both bank exits

33:27 – 36:25 Comparing shareholder relationships of different sizes

36:26 – 39:34 Craziest thing Matt has seen in all his banking experience


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