According to EY’s 16th Global Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB16), over half of British companies (51%) are expected to pursue mergers and acquisitions in the next 12 months making the UK the third most attractive destination for deals globally – but what does this M&A boom mean for the career prospects of accounting professionals experienced in this area?
Underlying reasons for the rise of the ‘deal economy’, according to the report, include; digital disruption, sector blurring, and changing consumer and customer behaviour. Furthermore, economic confidence amongst respondents has also enjoyed a boost, with over half of the UK companies featured expecting the domestic economy to improve over the next 12 months, a figure which has risen dramatically from 4% last year.
Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that we are experiencing an increase in demand for accounting professionals with a strong background in due diligence. And as an increasing number of companies look to inorganic growth strategies to remain relevant amidst almost constant geopolitical uncertainty and rapid technological change, this trend only looks set to continue. As Steve Ivermee, EY’s transaction advisory services managing partner, points out, "UK companies are adjusting their strategies to maximise growth opportunities and protect margins amid changing market dynamics at home and abroad”. It is no wonder then that firms are looking to experienced accounting professionals to help them pin down and assess the viability of the options available.
EY's report also reveals the largest perceived economic risks for UK companies in the next six-to-twelve months include; currency instability (15%), movement of labour (13%) and trade flows (13%). For this reason, the most sought after professionals can not only process financial risks, historic data, and undisclosed liabilities, but also possess 360 degree understanding of external threats – and future opportunities. There is particular demand for accountants with a solid grip on technology, who can harness data to provide insights into future trends and revenue streams and implement operating models to succeed in tomorrow’s market. Clients are also seeking talent to ensure that M&A transactions are managed not only to the highest standard, but also as efficiently as possible. What’s more, candidates who possess an in-depth understanding around M&A within a specific sector – or have the benefit of strong expertise in two different areas if the client is using the transaction to springboard into another sector – are particularly sought after.
If you are an accountant with M&A experience perhaps we should be talking.
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