Mergers and acquisitions boom | NZBusiness Magazine

Take advantage of the boom in mergers and acquisitions with successful integration.

Despite the widespread economic uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently in the midst of a global merger and acquisition boom (M&A).

According to a study by Refinitiv, a global provider of financial market and infrastructure data, the total value of pending and completed M&A deals announced in 2021 has already exceeded $ 3.6 trillion, bringing the total annual value of $ 3.59 trillion in 2020 exceeded this year 35,128 deals were announced, an increase of 24% over the previous year.

This is a global phenomenon, with the United States responsible for $ 2.14 trillion worth of M&A deals this year, while Europe and the Asia-Pacific region are responsible for $ 657 billion and $ 620 billion, respectively turn off.

There have already been some high profile M&A announcements in Australia this year. Especially with the US financial services company Square, which is now taking over the Australian purchase, the giant Afterpay later pays for 39 billion US dollars. That was a new record and is now the largest deal in Australian corporate history.

Minimizing the headache of M&A integration

This brisk M&A activity presents a tremendous opportunity for companies in the Asia-Pacific region. However, mergers and acquisitions are incredibly complex and organizations face the daunting task of integrating large amounts of legacy infrastructure.

Mergers and acquisitions present the obvious challenges that arise when different entities come together – operational habits are already ingrained in any company and preferred ways of doing the job are ingrained. In addition, entire digital systems can and usually do differ.

The separation, migration, and integration of processes and data from one organization to another is extremely complicated, and while mergers and acquisitions often come with the promise of growth and financial stability, smooth integration is critical to the success of mergers and acquisitions.

In order for companies to work together and continue providing services to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders, a seamless transition plan needs to be in place long before a merger actually takes place.

Once a deal is agreed, integrating newly merged companies effectively and quickly should be paramount to keeping critical functions up and running.

Typically, when large companies merge, dozens or even hundreds of systems need to be integrated, and without a seamless integration process, M&As can go terribly wrong. If a company also relies on manual processes and manual data management, the success of an M&A is at risk.

By using low-code to drive automation, organizations can eliminate the frustrating manual processing and disjointed systems that often come with M&As. Instead, the speed of low-code means that mergers and acquisitions will complete much faster, so the return on investment will be achieved much sooner.

With low-code for M&A projects, companies can bring everything and everyone together on a single platform. With this single source of truth for the entire company, the M&A team is able to ensure the success of the project and create a template for future M&A that will save even more time, money, and frustration.

This means that mergers and acquisitions can be easily managed and the data is available to anyone who needs it anytime, on any device.

M&A success: Cigna NZ’s only participation system

Cigna NZ, a leading insurance provider, uses low-code technology to successfully navigate the complexities of multiple M&As.

In 2018, Cigna NZ acquired the OnePath insurance line of ANZ Bank New Zealand. The sale included a 20-year strategic alliance for Cigna to provide insurance solutions for ANZ customers. As a result of the transaction, the two companies merged to form the third largest life insurance company in New Zealand.

At the recent Appian APJ event, Brandon Beukes, Business Solutions Lead at Cigna NZ, explained how having a solid foundation on the Appian low-code platform reduces complexity during the M&A process.

“We had the task of integrating a whole bunch of additional systems, including multiple admin systems, CRMs, and underwriting engines – it was a very complex situation for us to navigate,” explains Brandon.

Despite the complexity, Cigna NZ managed to integrate the OnePath workflow processes, task management and customer documentation processes into its existing low-code platform in less than 12 months.

“We were able to leverage our existing framework and integrate all new users and processes into our existing workflow,” said Brandon.

One of the main advantages of low-code technology for Cigna NZ is its simplicity. “One of the things that really helped us was being able to take things gradually. When we bring processes to the single platform for the first time, we choose a skeleton and then expand it. Appian allows us to start with the basics and get things working, then we can make changes very quickly to improve and develop them without having to dig through lines of code, ”said Brandon.

According to Brandon, Cigna NZ uses the Appian platform to create a single interaction system for multiple departments and organizations. “Everything is consistent and intuitive, and users across the company can switch between teams. None of our users need to understand the backend, as the Appian user interface is displayed exactly the same across the company. ”

The low-code approach to M&A

According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Outlook Survey of Insurance Managers, 26% of Asia Pacific respondents plan to pursue mergers and acquisitions to support financial stability over the next six to twelve months. But all too often, companies struggle to find the most efficient systems or IT strategies to support M&A transactions.

As businesses grow through mergers and acquisitions, streamlining processes and ensuring consistent workflows can be challenging. Systems with business-critical data are often not well integrated, making it difficult and inefficient for users to navigate their workflows.

By using a low-code business platform, organizations can quickly remove the barriers to mergers and acquisitions to successfully integrate new and old business processes and data into a single source of truth.

To view the full Appian APJ virtual event discussion with Cigna NZ, visit:

Contributor: Luke Thomas, Appian Regional Vice President APAC

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