By Jay W. Lorsch Thomas J. Tierney
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Extra resources for Aligning the Stars
The buyer’s reward is greater satisfaction and better results, while the seller enhances his capabilities and reputation. The enduring customer loyalty that can ensue epitomizes the kind of customer relationship to which many corporations aspire. The PSF Business Model: From One Professional to Many The PSF business model becomes much more complex when you move from a single provider and his client to a firm composed of dozens (or hundreds) of partners, supported by hundreds (or thousands) of more junior professionals and staff.
WPP acquired Young & Rubicam (one of seventy-three acquisitions in 1999–2000). The big deals make headlines while smaller transactions go unnoticed, yet the totals are staggering. Between 1985 and 1990 there were 1,140 professional service firm M&A deals in the United States alone. Between 1995 and 2000 that number climbed to a record 7,638. 8 Few sectors Impact and Influence ★ 29 Number of Completed M&A Deals 10,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 a $471Ba 8,000 $27Ba 1985–1990 1995–2000 Total value of all M&A deals within specified period.
9 The best people, it turns out, are expensive. For professional firms, the “war for talent” is actually a war for stars. This war never stops among the leading professional firms and is particularly fierce today because so many other businesses (technology companies, for example) are competing for the same skills and brains. Historically, PSF growth was funded exclusively by partner capital, augmented by occasional lines of credit. The roaring stock markets of the 1990s prompted new sources of financing.