Big Four Accounting Firm Facilitates Smooth Transition for $5B Water Treatment Acquisition

The Client

Capturing Future Value Today

This Big Four accounting firm delivers long-term, sustainable strategies that enable companies to adapt and thrive as marketplace challenges evolve. With a worldwide presence, the firm leverages its access to diverse perspectives to drive transformative growth that improves business outcomes and performance.

The Situation

Attaining M&A Value with Human Capital Integration

About 40% of all M&A deals fail because they lack a workforce integration plan. That’s why this firm has integrated its human capital practice as part of its M&A services to ensure transaction success.

Such was the case when a private equity firm engaged them to ensure a smooth post-merger transition of a recent $5 billion acquisition of a water treatment company within its portfolio.

To guarantee the successful integration of the two water treatment companies, the firm was tasked with defining the process, tools, and templates for talent selection across the enterprise.

More specifically, they needed to design all top organizational levels — defining five layers from the top — and the Day 1 critical roles. These are the roles that are crucial to ensuring the business’s continuity once the deal has officially closed or the official day when the change in ownership happens.

By defining the organization’s structure early on, the consulting team can help the two merging water treatment companies identify the best organizational structure to ensure strategic growth while maintaining business performance.

But to develop and execute the project scope, the consulting team needed to engage an experienced organizational design and change management consultant to support the initiative.

Specifically, someone with five to 10 years of experience working as a human capital consultant with Big Four experience in executing strategic change management, organizational design, and talent assessment.

The Solution

A Human Capital Consulting Expert

Having set up a bench program with Graphite to facilitate and simplify the onboarding process of independent experts to upcoming initiatives on-demand, the firm reached out to their Graphite account executive (AE) to source the right expert for the role.

With the AE’s extensive knowledge of the platform, a former Big Four consultant with over 10 years of experience working as a human capital consultant for global companies was selected for the project.

More importantly, it would mean that the consulting team would spend less time onboarding the expert due to his prior experience — attaining faster speed to value than they would have with a full-time employee.


Creating the Organizational Structure for Long-Term Success

Since the operating model was already completed, the expert’s focus as the M&A Organization Design Lead was to assist the Managing Director on the talent selection process.

Together, they had to create the internal processes for talent selection and the templates leadership would use to develop the organization’s future state structure. From there, the expert and the Managing Director engaged in an interactive and iterative process with senior leadership in which they classified:

• Potential talent that could fill in the Day 1 critical roles

• New positions that would need to be created and filled

• Roles that would be terminated

Over eight weeks, the expert worked with the Managing Director and senior leadership to refine the organization’s structure until the final structure was achieved.

As the project’s scope evolved, the project was extended to ensure the execution of the new organizational structure.

Satisfied with the expert’s work, the Big Four accounting firm has since worked with them on two additional projects — keeping the expert on the bench for any future human capital initiatives.