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Article | Executive Pay Matters

New survey open: M&A Acquirers Incentive Study

Mergers and Acquisitions|Executive Compensation

By Scott Oberstaedt | September 16, 2019

Take the opportunity to participate in our survey—open until October 11—with participants receiving the executive summary by year-end 2019.

Willis Towers Watson’s past research has shown that many acquiring companies provide retention incentives to critical target company employees to keep them employed with the buyer post-close. However, M&A transactions can also place great stress on the acquiring organization’s employees as they work to meet deal-related milestones under tight deadlines and significant pressure. Acquirers often recognize their employees’ additional workload by awarding special incentives. Frequently, we’re asked what incentives should be awarded to employees and teams that put in the extra work to make the transaction successful.

In response, Willis Towers Watson is now inviting companies to participate in our new 2019 Global M&A Acquirers Incentive Study. This study will provide market insight into how acquiring companies recognize the contributions of both core transaction team members and other employees who contribute to the successful completion of acquisitions.

This complimentary survey offers a streamlined questionnaire that covers the most critical and common design issues related to deal incentives given to acquiring company staff. It is intended to provide acquirers with a reliable source of information on structuring incentives for the acquisition deal team such as:

  • Rationale behind special M&A-related incentives
  • Form of incentives (cash vs. equity vs. other)
  • Participation (including differences between the regular deal team and one-off project team members)
  • Value and timing of awards

How to participate: Interested companies can participate in the online survey here. For those who are familiar with their M&A incentive plans, the survey should take no more than 30 minutes to complete, and all participating companies will receive a free executive summary of the results.

Submission deadline: Participation in the survey is open until Friday, October 11. The executive summary will be provided to participants before the end of 2019.

For any questions, please email

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