By Suzy Bibko, EMEA Content Marketing Manager, Merrill Corporation
When we caught up with M&A practitioners at our M&A Innovation Breakfast in Warsaw in late February, we learned that they are very much on board with how technology can help them. They are ready to embrace it and keep up with the trends to stay relevant and competitive.
Positives for Poland
The European Commission has estimated that Poland’s real GDP growth rate is expected to be the best among emerging European countries, forecast at 3.3% for both 2020 and 2021— well above the 2.7% average there. And the latest edition of Deal Drivers EMEA FY2019 predicts the CEE to have three ‘hot’ sectors going forward: TMT, industrials & chemicals, and consumer. So, it’s no surprise that M&A practitioners in Poland are optimistic about the outlook for M&A in the region: a whopping 61% felt the outlook was positive going forward.
Success Via Deal Sourcing
M&A practitioners feel that sourcing deals is by far the most important success factor for M&A in the region. So, even though Poland is the largest market in the emerging Europe region, it does not mean that deals there are guaranteed, and practitioners perhaps feel they must work hard to bring the deals in.
Technology Can Be Transformative
So, how can technology help them best for deal success? Polish M&A practitioners believe that due diligence in the area where it could best help them, and that data analytics, AI and machine learning could offer the most transformative impact.
Maciej Olszewski, Counsel, Wolf Theiss, says: “The legal industry stands on the verge of a profound technological transformation. Within the next 5-10 years machine learning and data analytics tools will not only help to reduce the burden of M&A due diligence but together with blockchain technology may also facilitate the way we prepare, negotiate and execute contracts.”
Piotr Dalak, Associate Partner, JP Weber agrees: “We support the decision makers in a very comprehensive way and already are using tools like virtual data rooms that allow us to work in a more time efficient and effective way, processing big sets of data much quicker than few years ago. So, definitely, thanks to new disruptive technologies the data crunching process will be shortened, thus speeding up the M&A process, freeing up resources and lowering the costs. And, in my opinion the change will be mainly about making the advisors’ life easier.”
Keeping Up With Digital Trends
As Polish M&A pracitioners rate themselves are having a low level of digital sophistication, accepting and adapting to these new technologies will take on even more importance going forward. “M&A lawyers will need to keep up with these trends and with changing client expectations to stay relevant and competitive in the market,” says Olszewski.
“It’s fantastic to hear that Polish M&A practitioners value how technology is transforming their practices,” says Markus Schiller, Head of DACH, CEE & CIS, Merrill Corporation. “Our DatasiteOne Diligence and Marketing tools make the process much more efficient, secure and error-free, providing material advantages to M&A professionals and their clients. We’re thrilled that Poland is embracing our innovative approach and is keen for more.”