September 29, 2020

Large Corporate Development Teams Are Open to Leveraging Technology to Manage Work Beyond M&A

Yet Many Still Use Older, Less Efficient Tools to Track, Manage and Share Documents

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Sept. 29, 2020 – Corporate development teams, particularly in larger companies, are increasingly embracing technology platforms and applications, including virtual data rooms (VDRs), to manage their mounting workload, according to a survey conducted by Datasite®, a leading cloud-based technology provider for the M&A industry.

Corporate development teams are open to adopting project management software and VDRs to manage workflows, particularly as their company gets bigger, according to responses from more than 600 corporate professionals surveyed across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific (APAC), who work on M&A transactions from global corporate development, finance, legal, and post-merger integration. Respondents at companies valued at over $1 billion were 11% more likely to describe their use of VDRs as continuous compared to smaller companies.

“Today’s corporate development teams act as financial-transaction-management hubs within an organization, working with multiple internal and external stakeholders to shepherd and complete projects, which can include activities beyond M&A, such as financing, fundraising, communications and licensing,” said Rusty Wiley, CEO of Datasite. “This means they need tools to help them communicate and collaborate easily and effectively with key stakeholders.”

In fact, results show that more than 70% of corporate development teams struggle with routine, day-to-day transaction-related tasks. Process oversight was cited as the most difficult challenge by 43%, ahead of redaction, accessing files from different devices, and distillation of key due diligence findings. These sentiments were even more pronounced among larger companies, organizations valued at over $1 billion, where distillation of key due diligence findings and transaction oversight were cited by more than 50% as exceptionally difficult. Additionally, while corporate development teams are often hired for M&A sourcing and execution, they work on a much broader array of projects. The results show that 34% of their total time is spent on M&A processes, followed by refinancing/recapitalization (12%), communication with regulatory bodies (11%) and post-merger integration (11%).

Still, many corporate development teams use older tools, including spreadsheets, to track and manage their transactions. Just 37% use VDRs, while 26% use advisor reports, and 24% use spreadsheets to do this task. Additionally, despite increasing regulations on data and privacy, the survey shows that 26% of corporate development departments still use unsecured methods of communication like email as their primary way to share documents, followed by hard copies (19%) and internal shared drives (18%).

“Technology platforms like VDRs can streamline and automate tasks in one centralized, secure environment” said Wiley. “Additionally, Datasite’s VDR has built-in redaction tools which can easily hide strategic, commercial or privacy-related content, ensuring optimal security and privacy compliance.”

To learn more about the survey findings, check out the report: The Future of Transaction Management - Corporate Challenges & Solutions.

About Datasite

Datasite is a leading SaaS provider for the M&A industry, empowering dealmakers around the world with the tools they need to succeed across the entire deal lifecycle. For more information, visit


Laura Powers
[email protected]

Nicholas Koulermos
5W Public Relations
[email protected]

  • The Future of Transaction Management

    In this report, we sought to better understand what corporate dealmakers’ roles look like from the inside out, including the projects they work on, challenges they face, and tools they employ. The results may surprise you.


Media Relations
Marta Carraro

Vice President, Communications


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Investor Relations
Jennifer Percy

Senior Vice President, Finance & Treasury


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