Both sides of a merger and acquisition must understand each other's goals.
The amount of merger and acquisition activity going on in the independent advisory industry is more than I can ever remember. The reason behind it seems to be several major industry changes occurring at the same time.
The driving forces behind this “perfect storm” seem to be the tail end of the baby boom generation of firm owners reaching retirement (or scaling back) age, combined with the industry-wide trend toward growing larger businesses.
Each of these forces can contain various motivations by buyers and sellers that can undermine the success of M&As. This is why I strongly recommend that before you enter into a merger or acquisition, you get very clear picture about why you want to do the deal — and why the other party wants to do it, too.