Monday, April 9, 2007

Culture Clash of the Titans

A $3.3 billion transaction is now in jeopardy because of a "culture clash" between the two sides. "It's a happy marriage until you get to the altar," Conover said of mergers involving big banks. If we look at a merger as a marriage of two companies, what are companies (and their priests (attorneys, private equity, etc.)) doing wrong? When two people meet, they spend time together, get to know each other, and "test the waters". When two companies merge together, does the same thing happen? Meetings are set up, teams of people take a look at the financials, but do most companies today spend any time looking to see if the people in the two organizations are a good fit together? After all, what is a company but a group of people brought together under one umbrella, working together to achieve the same vision?

U.S. Trust CEO to step down amid culture clash with BofA

San Francisco Business Times - April 4, 2007

Bank of America's merger-integration style apparently isn't sitting well with U.S. Trust's CEO, who will step down this summer.

Peter Scaturro's imminent departure, first reported in a front-page story in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, doesn't bode well for U.S. Trust's outlook after it's sold by Charles Schwab (NASDAQ: SCHW) to the Charlotte, N.C., bank.

BofA is purchasing the company for $3.3 billion in a transaction that's expected to close later this year.