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for M&A 

Skilled and experienced leadership coaches know how to adapt their styles and approaches to each client. Coaching for M&A takes that concept to a whole different level. Going through a merger is like running a business within a business that places extraordinary demands on those involved. And coaching those at the helm of it is a unique skill that comes with lots of practice…and compassion!


Leaders going through an acquisition greatly benefit from a coaching relationship to help them transition in one of many ways.

Leaders at the target company:

  • Transitioning into a new or comparable role at the acquiring company
  • Establishing and then leading new teams to highest potential
  • Gaining influence and respect, and effectively establishing their “place,” in the acquiring company
  • Assisting current team members take on new responsibilities, or transition to other organizations

Leaders at the acquiring company:

  • Helping their current teams understand what the acquisition means for them and their jobs
  • Effectively managing the change process in their areas of influence
  • Navigating what the acquisition means for their short and long terms careers, and assessing the desire for a change
  • How to use the acquisition to positively position / promote themselves


How Coaching for M&A Is Unique

Engagement Length: The coaching engagement tends to last anywhere from 6 to 18 months, sometimes much longer.Engagement Length: Due to the typically fast nature of the acquisition cycle, depending at what point the coach is hired, the engagement can be as short as 4 months.
Focus: The focus tends to be on behaviors that affect the team and organization at-large, through the course of time.Focus: The focus tends to be on short to medium-term behavioral changes that directly address the challenges of the merger.
Frequency: Sessions take place once or twice a month with a defined inter-session support structure.Frequency: Sessions take place weekly with more flexible access to the coach in between sessions.
Measuring Success: A main factor in determining the success of the coaching engagement is the comparison of peer feedback collected during the initial 360 assessment phase with the feedback provided at the end of the engagement, as well as an ROI analysis.Measuring Success: In the cases where there is not enough time to conduct assessments before the coaching begins, other ways of determining the success of the coaching process are discussed and agreed upon with the client.
Baseline: Emphasis at the beginning of the coaching process is given to establishing a baseline of the coachee’s current behavior and personality by administering a number of relevant assessments, including 360’s.Baseline: The fast-paced merger environment sometimes precludes having the luxury of conducting a detailed assessment process. In these cases, other means of establishing the key coaching focal areas are agreed upon.

Session Sizes

Individual Coaching

Leaders seeking to improve one or two specific behaviors benefit greatly from the one-on-one coaching setting. Working in an entirely confidential space, the coach and client have the opportunity to focus on examining key triggers that derail the individual’s workplace performance in a positive, non-judgmental environment. In the highly demanding M&A world, individual coaching is the ideal way to make beneficial behavioral changes.

Team Coaching

While small group or team coaching isn’t necessarily conducive to the deep dives that are experienced in individual coaching, it has a number of other benefits that are equally as valuable. Increasing accountability, benefiting from multiple perspectives and collective wisdom, creating shared meaning, co-creating a shared culture, fostering trust and general team building are just a few of the benefits of team building. Group coaching is also more cost effective than individual coaching, making it an attractive alternative to organizations.

M&A Coaching Practice

How We Might Work Together

Below is the coaching process we typically engage in with M&A clients. Although flexible and customizable, this is a tried-and-true process that works well in most cases.

  1. Hold a complimentary get-to-know-you session to assess mutual right fit
  2. Sign the coaching engagement contract and agreements
  3. Hold the preliminary intake session
  4. Conduct assessments and collect stakeholder feedback, if possible (time permitting, depending on the stage of the acquisition process)
  5. Review the completed assessments and feedback, and establish coaching goals based on those results
  6. Conduct a pre-determined number of coaching sessions
  7. Conduct goal progress and overall coaching check-ins at pre-determined milestone dates
  8. End of engagement: Measure and communicate the impact of the coaching engagement, and discuss continued coaching depending on client needs

Tools & Methodologies

We place significant importance on formal training and ongoing education to ensure that we’re using the best coaching tools available, specifically targeting complex merger activities. We’re highly methodical and process-oriented people, and from the very beginning of the coaching relationship until the very end, we lead my clients through a clearly articulated development program. Quantifying the benefits of the coaching process is paramount to our practice.

Marina is proud to be certified through the best training programs available today. The certifications she received through world renowned organizations allow you to partner with me knowing that you are in the most capable hands. She is an Advanced Certified Executive Coach through the College of Executive Coaching, an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coach Federation, a certified Prosci Change Management professional, and am qualified to administer the EQ-i 2.0 and 360 assessments. In addition, She is a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered certified coach, which is one of the most prestigious leadership program certifications available today.

Common Behaviors Addressed

Challenges associated with leading M&A transactions challenges appear in many different ways in fast-paced leadership environments, some obvious and some not. Here is a sample list of behaviors we might work on during the coaching relationship.

  1. Interpersonal conflicts
  2. Challenges navigating change initiatives
  3. Interacting with colleagues from other generations
  4. Active listening skills
  5. Respect / authority issues
  6. Building virtual teams
  7. Being too assertive, or not assertive enough
  8. Delegation challenges
  9. Collaborating with colleagues from different cultures
  10. Greater self-awareness
  11. Building collegial relationships
  12. And more…

Prices & Fees

I offer a range of consulting and coaching program options. Please contact us to discuss your organization’s needs so that I can send you my pricing sheet, or tailor a custom quote if appropriate.

Please note that all services are provided in a program format. Hourly services are not provided.


With solid M&A consulting background and experience in world-class firms including the Big Four, we have the targeted knowledge and poise you expect from high-performing experts. Our consulting services focus is on guiding organizations through the people and change-related areas of M&A transactions – on time and on budget

The statistics are grim when it comes to merger success rate. Depending who you ask and the factors you measure, failure rates have been cited as high as 83% – many times (if not most) people-related issues being a significant contributor to that number. Increasing the merger’s chances of success rise significantly when organizations spend the time and resources necessary to ask the 3 burning questions that employees have when word of an acquisition first gets around:

“Will I Get Fired?”

“What’s In It For Me?”

“Are the Rumors True?”

People Management

Burning Question #1: "Will I Get Fired?"

In many cases, the simple answer to that question is yes. What’s harder to explain, and for the most part isn’t, is the tremendous work that goes behind that tough decision. Consulting services in this area include:

  • Integration project management
  • Due diligence documentation management & analysis
  • Organizational design & staffing
  • Vendor RFP & selection (including HRIS)
  • Position leveling
  • Contingent workforce
  • Benefits harmonization
  • Severance package

Change Management

Prosci is the pioneer and gold standard in change management. Their methodology is based on decades of research, and Prosci certification is often required by organizations hiring change management consultants. Our Prosci credentials will give you peace of mind that you’ll be in the best hands when it comes to managing the inevitable upheaval that your merger will produce in your organization.

Burning Question #2: "What's In It for Me?"

Implementing a structured change management initiative for a merger is singlehandedly the best investment an organization can make to increase its chances of meeting the acquisition objectives.

The change management office is most effective when it becomes an integral part of the IMO and partners with the PMO during the integration process. Consulting services in this area include:

  • Setting up the Change Management Office (CMO) for your own team to hand over to your team to lead, including tools, templates, and implementation timeline.  
  • Partnering with the IMO to lead the complete change management initiative from A to Z.



Burning Question #3: "Are the Rumors True?"

Once the spark of rumors and gossip is ignited, it spreads like wildfire and becomes very difficult to contain. Managing the communication process needs to begin long before the deal is even signed. Services in this area include:

  • Creating an integrated strategic communications plan targeting all internal and external stakeholders
  • Working with the leadership team to define the appropriate communication messaging and tone
  • Creating communication messaging, ranging from town hall talking points to video scrips to FAQ’s to email copy and more
  • Complete Day 1 planning and execution, including a wide variety of activities across many global regions

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