By Suzy Bibko, EMEA Content Marketing Manager, Merrill Corporation
Due diligence compliance has always been an issue in M&A, but do corporates and private equity firms have different concerns than lawyers and bankers? The answer is yes…except when it comes the role of technology in the future.
The Differences are Clear
We polled 500+ professionals involved in M&A transactions across EMEA to find out, and the results were interesting. While client and adviser thinking was aligned in many areas, there were differences:
The Future is Technology
Of course, these results can be interpreted in different ways. And the one thing that really stood out is the role of technology in the future for clients and advisers. Both groups of practitioners believe that AI, machine learning and data analytics could solve some of their biggest challenges in due diligence.
Moreover, according to results from our Merrill Insight webinar, The Future of Due Diligence, continued preparedness and more advanced technology were both the second-most cited reason for driving change in due diligence.
This all sounds like a positive step forward, but are M&A practitioners actually preparing for these changes and embracing technology for good in due diligence? It certainly seems so.
Our case studies found that firms are indeed ‘walking the walk’. Baker McKenzie says they are on a technological journey in terms of due diligence, using virtual data rooms to be more efficient and AI software for contract review, with the plan to more heavily rely on AI and other technologies for the more commoditised aspects of due diligence.
And Janis Dzenis of Luminor, the third-largest bank and financial services provides in the Baltic region, agrees new technologies such as AI and data analytics can further enhance the due diligence process, potentially automating specific areas. “I see no reason why we couldn’t do partial automation of due diligence development via data analytics and visualisation. AI has the potential to provide scenario analysis such that professionals would ‘just’ have to make the final decision.”