Dealmakers Get Greenfingers

The first few months of the year often bring icy downpours in Europe, but few were expecting the cold shower that hit M&A activity here in the first quarter of 2019, when the rate of mergers between European companies dived 52% compared to the last quarter of 2018. How to explain such a precipitous decline?

The first few months of the year often bring icy downpours in Europe, but few were expecting the cold shower that hit M&A activity here in the first quarter of 2019, when the rate of mergers between European companies dived 52% compared to the last quarter of 2018. How to explain such a precipitous decline?


First, there was the problem of ever more fierce competition from investment funds buying up companies like there was no tomorrow. But that’s only part of the picture; the dramatic decline can also be put down to the deteriorating global economic landscape, with the Sino-American trade war ratchetting up, a wave of protectionism sweeping the Old Continent, competition authorities and the EU throwing their weight around, not to mention national governments becoming less laissez faire when it comes to the age old practice of companies taking over other companies.
So, these must be testing times for M&A, right? Well if that’s the case, no one has told the dealmakers on this list, many of whom, such as Total’s Patrick Pouanné, (No. 1 on our list) continue to get the checkbook out.

And M&A often has the effect of raising standards. According to a study by the UK’s Cass Business School, the environmental standards of the acquiring company are on average two times better than those of the target company. Once a takeover is complete, the purchased company gains access to more environmentally sound practices.
Having a positive environmental impact has entered into the thinking of dealmakers everywhere, which is precisely the ambition of Sonepar boss Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette (No. 7 on our list), who has made multiple purchases recently, including, earlier this year, the acquisition of Italian electrical products wholesaler Sacchi.
Increasingly, CEOs are making greenbacks and backing green policies.      

 

Methodology

 

Outside of objective criteria (turnover, market value and growth rate) Leaders League used the following five criteria when compiling our Top Ten Dealmaking Executives list

 

Longevity: must have occupied current position for at least three years

 

Growth: their company’s annual turnover must exceed €250 million and growth must be above the average for their sector

 

Profitability: for listed companies, annual profits must exceed the previous year’s results 

 

Innovation: demonstrable impact on company’s sector of activity and potential future growth

 

Social responsibility: have an ESG program in operation

Read the full Special Report: Top Ten Dealmaking Executives in the World – 2019 Edition

Capable of seeing opportunities others miss, these ten dealmakers are also consummate closers.
Summary No. 10: Masayoshi Son (SoftBank) No. 9: Philippe Donnet (Generali) No. 8: Paul Hermelin (Capegemini) No. 7: Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette (Sonepar) No. 6: Julie Sweet (Accenture) No. 5: Chuck Robbins (Cisco Systems) No. 4: Bob Iger (The Walt Disney Company) No. 3: Virginia Rometty (IBM) No. 2: John Elkann FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) No. 1: Patrick Pouyanné (Total)

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Accenture's CEO and CFO interview by Leaders League Group

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