People in Deals

M&A planning and execution across human capital

Delivering deal value through people

After a historically long economic expansion that encouraged transformational deals, M&A is seeing a significant shift in an environment upended by the global COVID-19 pandemic. This shift demands an approach to M&A integration that leverages both established practices and new tactics and technologies. Leaner HR structures within organizations create the need for flexible HR professionals that can step in to support you throughout the deal process and that are knowledgeable on emerging technologies that can bring innovation. This foundation can help to ensure you’re achieving your corporate objectives.

"Mergers and acquisitions are key strategic tools that enable organizations to stay ahead in today's complex and highly competitive global market."

Steve Rimmer, Global People in Deals Leader

Evolving with agility:

PwC’s 2020 M&A integration survey

Deals are shifting to the types of transactions that can deliver value in a slower economy, and engaging and retaining talent in an acquisition is critical to capturing this value. In many cases before or following a deal, key talent can decide to leave before the buyer has time to identify them.

PwC’s 2020 M&A integration survey found a large decrease in respondents reporting “significant success” around employee retention, dropping from 56% in 2010 to just 10% in 2019. Here's how companies can balance what has always been essential in M&A integration with an agility that's critical in a more uncertain global landscape.

How we can help

PwC’s People in Deals specialists work with clients on a full range of transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, business restructuring and capital events such as an IPO. We drive value for our clients across the entire transaction cycle:

HR due diligence services

We help you identify HR issues that affect price. We work to establish and understand critical HR and workforce issues early in the transaction, identify their relevance and ensure appropriate protections are built into documentation. We focus on the quality of earnings (income statement) and quality of assets (balance sheet) adjustments that impact the financial proposition underlying the transaction and ensure appropriate protections are built into transaction documentation. We can also provide early insight into culture and other challenges that may pose a threat to realizing value.

Areas of focus include:

  • Executives and equity
  • HR Regulatory issues
  • Employee relations
  • HR Function and processes
  • Deal support
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Workforce
  • Carve-out and synergies

HR pre-close services

We make sure you’ve got the right people and they’re focused on the right things. We work to identify key strategic HR decisions required based on the nature of the transaction, including leveraging HR due diligence to create a comprehensive project plan that we will manage and execute for each HR functional areas and for cross-functional HR activities. We help you to define your leadership team and organization structure and assess culture and change impact. And we tie financial implications back to the investment model developed in due diligence and manage the budget.

Areas of focus include:

  • Determine synergies
  • Hidden cost of people
  • Transfer of employees
  • Benefits, incentive and payroll
  • Organizational design and restructuring
  • Leadership, key employees, and skills
  • Pension
  • Communication
  • Culture
  • Day one planning

HR post-close services

We focus on organizational values to reflect your purpose, mission, and vision. We work to deliver a targeted HR solution to ensure a smooth Day One and achieve deal goals. We support you across the harmonized HR strategy and organizational structure, HR technology, processes and infrastructure, policy, design/harmonization, workforce onboarding, culture-led transformation, stakeholder engagement, and communications workstreams.

Revising organizational values to reflect values, mission and vision:

  • Culture-led change
  • Reward and performance optimization
  • Stakeholder engagement and communications
  • Organization workforce and talent
  • HR transformation, technology, data and analytics
  • Industrial and employee relations


Contact us

Steve Rimmer

Steve Rimmer

People in Deals, Global Capability Leader, PwC US

Carrie  Duarte Steele

Carrie Duarte Steele

Partner, Deals Transformation, PwC US

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