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ALM Intelligence names PwC a Pacesetter in M&A Services

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April 07, 2021

PwC is recognized as a Pacesetter in the inaugural ‘M&A Services 2021-2022’ research by ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research, a new market research initiative that provides a broader perspective of the professional services landscape for M&A. 

‘The expectation in March and April 2020 was that M&A markets would grind to a halt. Professional services providers, staring into a demand abyss, immediately began slashing their transaction advisory and corporate development practice teams or shifting them into adjacent service areas like restructuring. Earn-outs became more common as deal parties desperately sought to close deals in progress. Some found consolation in the likelihood that the pandemic would serve as a structural correction, bringing sky-high valuations back to Earth. But that is not what happened. M&A markets came back to life in Q3 and have been gaining momentum ever since.’

‘We are delighted to be named a Pacesetter in ALM's inaugural report,’ said Colin Wittmer, US Deals leader at PwC. ‘An acceleration of digital transformation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has increased demand for M&A. While the fundamental tenets of dealmaking have not changed, there are many macroeconomic forces at play in today’s environment. We work with our clients to understand the impacts to value and bring insights to help them make confident decisions during the deal.’

According to the report, ‘PwC provides what they call the “complete deal” -- a full, end-to-end hypothesis-led, data and insights-informed solution that addresses client M&A needs -- whether the client need relates to acquisitions, divestitures, capital markets, or turnaround and restructuring-- from deal strategy through implementation, and beyond, and includes both interim and managed services. The deal process is informed and in part managed through PwC’s Junction cloud-based data platform which provides detailed, customized insights and analysis and a single source of truth for deal parties. Regardless of deal size, PwC focuses on value creation, helping clients identify value levers across strategic positioning, operational excellence and capital efficiency. PwC has built a sizeable ecosystem of provider partners, and has been active in its own portfolio strategy, acquiring cloud-native transformation company EagleDream Technologies in late 2020.’

Commenting on how PwC is ‘moving the needle’, the report highlights that ‘PwC’s Business Model puts M&A in a larger value-creation context, focusing on identifying hidden, unrealized value in client portfolios and strategy with a model able to telescope from over-arching corporate development and strategy down to any element of transaction detail, delivering one of the most comprehensive approaches to M&A.’

Malcom Lloyd, Global Deals leader at PwC said: ‘For PwC Deals, value creation isn’t a service, it’s our foundational mindset and how we work with our clients to help them to achieve faster growth, stronger capabilities, a competitive edge or dramatic transformation, depending on what stage of the deal life cycle they are at. Value creation is a part of everything we do in M&A.’

It also states that, ‘Going back to 2018, PwC aggressively began to upskill its own workforce in digital technologies, working to facilitate a “digital native” workforce that is not only comfortable using digital tools but is able to leverage its digital fluency as it builds processes from the bottom-up with the voice of the customer in mind, for instance automatically lending itself to a digital delivery model with a remote workforce. To that end, PwC created digital academies in 2018, and Digital Lab and Digital Hub as innovation incubators. Already anticipating in 2019 a recession (though not due to a global pandemic), the firm was then pivoting and adapting this design thinking-based approach via its BXT (Business-eXperience-Technology) methodology to reimagine the post-recession client organization of the future, and reconfigure its approach to M&A in anticipation of those needs.’

Commenting on PwC’s Client Enablement, the author, Tomek Jankowski, states: ‘More so than most of its peers, PwC has utilized the living laboratory model by internally implementing the systems and programs it prescribes for clients, e.g., ecosystem development and management or digital fluency upskilling, and including its design thinking based on the BXT methodology.’

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Rob Donnelly

Global Lead, Analyst Relations, New York, PwC United States

+1 (917) 471 3355

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