What makes a good M&A strategist? “Strong commercial understanding,” says Allan Gasson. “The ability to look at a business, make a rapid assessment of its competitive position and its ability to achieve its plans – and to know what it requires to reach its full potential.”
It is skills such as these that Allan has in abundance following a career spanning some 20 years in M&A Strategy prior to his arrival at Deloitte in 2005. Before joining the firm, he established and successfully developed his own business, Burlington Consultants. Over a 13-year period, the strategy house grew to become a market leader in its specialist fields, commercial due diligence and M&A strategy, counting Schroder Ventures (Permira) and Microsoft among its clients.
Allan’s background also includes three years at Bain & Company specialising in M&A strategy, while one of his first M&A-focused roles was as business development director of global conglomerate BET.
Now leading the M&A Strategy team within the Strategy practice, Allan specialises in helping corporate and private equity clients across a wide range of sectors to develop MA strategy, assess the fit and synergies achievable through acquisition, develop the case for divestment and undertake commercial due diligence. He relishes the opportunity he now has to work on the larger and more complex projects that clients bring to Deloitte, recognising the comprehensive resources and expertise available only through a major practice here at Deloitte.
One of the skills Allan values most among his team members is the ability to focus in rapidly on the core issues at the heart of a project. The skill required to take multiple pieces of data and to identify three of four key messages is, he says, crucial to the strategist’s work.