Survey: Acquisitions and Risk Management Are Key to Growth Strategy

In a recent survey by Deloitte and The Deal, more than a quarter of the executives polled (26 percent) believe having the ability to analyze value and risk is the most important skill in their arsenal. 50 percent rated it as the first or second most important skill.

Yet, when these same executives were asked what represents the greatest opportunity for improving corporate development effectiveness, analytics ranked below organization, process and talent.

Unfortunately, that's the same confounding inconsistency we saw when we polled financial, procurement and risk executives during Aravo's supply chain risk webinar series earlier this year. In both cases, it appears that even though risk management is recognized as a key business cornerstone, companies seem unwilling (or unable?) to update their risk management strategies.

"It's fascinating that value and risk continue to be of paramount importance, and yet there's this apparent disconnect," agrees Chris Ruggeri, principal, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP (Deloitte FAS). "For companies to gain greater insight and to be able to more dynamically manage and protect value, they should consider refining their approach, explore new ways of thinking and consider, for example, probabilistic modeling, decision analysis and perhaps real options all tools of the Corporate Development office."

Deloitte's new study, titled "Corporate Development 2010: Refining the M&A Playbook," focused on how companies are planning their growth strategies as the economy rebounds. Interestingly, the survey also found that:

More than half (52 percent) of the 158 executives polled expect mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to add 5 percent or more to revenue growth on a compound annual basis over the next two to five years. According to the study, this is significant when compared to the average annual revenue growth of the Standard & Poors 500 of approximately 4 percent over the past 10 years.

Most companies are acknowledging that corporate development has become critical to their overall success and fully expect corporate development teams to play a leading role in this next phase of growth.

Most respondents (66 percent) said they have no plans to expand the size of their Corporate Development Teams, even though many (60 percent) expect to be much busier pursuing deals over the next two to five years.

You can download a copy of the survey at

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