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Risk in Context Podcast: Addressing people risks critical for M&A success

Importance of focusing on people risks during an M&A transaction, allowing for effective integration at deal close.

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Despite a recent decline in M&A activity, deal volume remains higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. And as buyers and sellers work through various deal stages, they need to retain focus on their employees, who will be instrumental in keeping the new organization operational.

In this episode of Risk in Context, Alex Ackermann, Marsh’s North America Private Equity and M&A Services Practice leader, and Jeff Chernosky, Mercer’s US Private Equity Transaction Services leader for North America, discuss the importance of focusing on people risks during an M&A transaction, allowing for effective integration at deal close.

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Key takeaways

Increased focus on employees in M&A deals

While historically companies going through an M&A transaction were mostly focused on liabilities impacting the purchase price, there is increased focus on employee experience, including robust communication.

Lack of people focus affects business objectives

Employees affected by an M&A transaction will have multiple questions, including about their future benefits and career progression. Not answering those questions effectively can hinder productivity.

People risks should be part of pre-deal due diligence

Not thinking through the human capital aspects of a transaction can force quick decisions at closing. The most progressive buyers are strategically considering their people risks.

About our speakers

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Alexander Ackermann

North America Private Equity and M&A Services Practice Leader

  • United States

Alex Ackermann is the leader of Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services Group, based in the New York office. In this role, his responsibilities include the oversight of development and coordination of private equity relationships, due diligence support, structuring portfolio programs, and providing transitional oversight between pre and post close insurance issues. He has more than 15 years of experience in the risk and insurance brokerage industry advising on a wide range of topics specific to private equity and alternative asset investors. His experience spans the transaction lifecycle from pre-acquisition diligence to transactional liability solutions, as well as structuring and managing portfolio programs globally. 

Jeffrey Chernosky

Jeff Chernosky

Private Equity Transaction Services Leader for North America, Mercer

Jeff Chernosky is a partner in Mercer’s Global Private Equity M&A group. Based in New York, he leads the North American Private Equity M&A Transaction Services team. He focuses on providing human capital and employee benefits due diligence and post-closing implementation services to private equity clients. He has more than 20 years of experience consulting for multinational clients on a wide variety of M&A topics. During his time at Mercer, he has worked on more than 4,000 transactions, including over 2,600 involving non-US operations.

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