Human Capital DealMakers

HR M&A professionals connect and collaborate on human capital deal strategies

Posted by Danielle Feinblum, Matt Usdin, and Vivian Breaux on December 20, 2017.

As the role of HR in M&A transactions takes on greater importance, many HR M&A professionals find themselves challenged to increase their impact on deal value realization. A recent Deloitte M&A Institute event aimed to change that.

Deloitte’s inaugural Human Capital DealMakers program presented by the Delotite M&A Institute brought 32 M&A professionals together from two dozen Fortune 500 companies across all industries to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing HR in a merger, acquisition, or divestiture environment. With a charter to build a global community of HR professionals dedicated to advancing the role of HR in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and separation transactions, the Human Capital DealMakers program was developed to enhance knowledge sharing among HR M&A professionals through a series of in-person workshops and virtual networking.

This event provided sessions on a broad range of topics, including:

  • The implications for Global Human Capital Trends in an M&A environment
  • Culture, the employee experience, and retention during an M&A transaction
  • The role of HR in due diligence
  • HR considerations for Transition Service Agreements (TSAs)
  • Leading practices for HR in managing a global deal

The event included a first-of-its-kind Greenhouse Lab designed to encourage “business not as usual” thinking about the strategic role of HR in divestitures and acquisitions. The Monopoly-themed session brought all participants together to brainstorm and share leading practices on managing interactions with key stakeholders during a transaction in order to drive accretive and strategic value in a deal and work effectively cross-functionally.

Participants attend a Greenhouse Lab on HR stakeholder management in an M&A transaction.

Culture and engagement are critical
One key theme that emerged across all sessions was the importance of culture and employee engagement in transactions. As one participant wryly noted “Culture is not yoga at the office and bring your dog to work…those are perks,” but the question of how to truly define and communicate a corporate culture in the midst of monumental change remained a hot topic for discussion. Participants shared their personal experiences with fostering and maintaining a desired employee experience to drive culture and engagement before, during, and after a deal.

Breakout team considers role of HR leader in divesture during Greenhouse Lab session.

In concluding the event, participants cited the value and opportunity this event created by providing a forum to connect with fellow HR M&A practitioners and learn leading practices from each other and Deloitte. One participant commented, “The entire session was enlightening—but knowing there is a network to tap into is great.”

To that end, the Human Capital DealMakers program will continue its mission of connecting HR M&A professionals through a series of virtual learning sessions, networking events in various cities, and future Human Capital DealMakers workshops at Deloitte University.

If you are interested in learning more about Deloitte’s Human Capital DealMakers network, please email us at And please note that the group is not limited solely to HR M&A practitioners. Attendees at our first event included members from Corporate Development teams, and as one participant expressed, “There is value in bringing other M&A stakeholders into this environment. CRE (Corporate Real Estate), Technology-IT, Finance…would all find value in this.”

Danielle Feinblum is a principal in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, where she leads clients in the design and delivery of their people strategy during enterprise-wide changes.

Matt Usdin is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s M&A Practice and leads our US and Global Human Capital M&A practice. Matt has 20 years of experience advising corporate and private equity clients on achieving M&A value in integration and divestiture transactions.

Vivian Breaux is an M&A professional in Deloitte’s Human Capital practice with a focus on organization and operating model design, change management, and communications across all deal environments.

Contributors: Laura Bow, Evan Schlossman, and Lisa Simon


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