Why Acquisitions of Professional Partnerships by Public Corporations Often Fail

By Ashish Nanda

In advertising, investment banking, and asset management, and especially in strategy and technology consulting, the acquisition of successful partnerships by public corporations has led to enormous value destruction. Demotivated professionals quit the acquired entity in droves, and the acquirer finds that most of the value it paid for has walked out the door.

Recent years have seen a string of acquisitions of private partnerships by public firms — A.T. Kearney by EDS in 1995, several technology consulting boutiques by roll-up companies during the dot-com boom and bust, Ernst and Young Consulting by Cap Gemini in February 2000, PricewaterhouseCoopers by IBM in October 2002 — that have proved challenging.

To continue reading,
become a free ALM digital reader

Benefits include:

  • Complimentary access to Consulting Magazine Online and digital edition
  • Bi-monthly digital newsletter delivered to your inbox
  • 1 free article* every 30 days to Consulting Magazine's sister publications
  • Exclusive discounts on events and publications produced by ALM

*May exclude premium content