Survival Mode

Companies are constantly identifying options that will ensure survival. “Mergers and acquisitions could be the answer for struggling businesses,” says Michael S. Harper, principal and director of business development at Platinum Financial Group L.L.C. Harper explains that the quick-growth strategy most often reserved for corporate titans is being adopted by enterprises at all levels seeking to gain market share, create cost efficiencies, and eliminate competition.

To lead his team’s efforts in this area, Harper, enrolled in Loyola University’s Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor Credentialing Program last June. The five-day course–provided by an exclusive partnership between Loyola and the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors–supplied an in-depth overview of valuation methods and approaches, financing alternatives, and legal structuring. In addition, participants who successfully complete the certification test are awarded the professional Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor designation.

Harper shares from his class notes these tips for buying and selling success:

  • Stick to a strategy. Make certain your motives for merging or acquiring a business align with the firm’s overall strategic plan.
  • Find the right fit. Look for buyers, sellers, and partners that complement the goals and strategic objectives of each business.
  • Reach a fair market price. Assess a value for all tangible and intangible aspects of the business.

For more information about Loyola University’s Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor Credentialing Program, log on to

Performance Pays
A whopping 80% of companies surveyed reported that they are offering performance-based bonuses, according to Hewitt Associates, a global human resources services company. “Simply going to work does not warrant a pay increase in today’s business world,” states Lisa Jones, former director of human resources for the American Bar Association. “Employees hoping to grow their compensation will have to continually demonstrate their value to the company’s bottom line.”

Unlike merit increases routinely paid for years of service, performance bonuses are awarded to employees for their contributions to the company.

Jones expects that more companies will rely on performance bonuses as a way to provide incentives and increase employee retention efforts without adding to fixed-salary costs.

Here are her suggestions for boosting your performance pay:

  • Get the specifics. Know your company’s performance bonus. criteria: what will be measured, how the bonuses will be calculated, and limits on earnings.
  • Align your efforts. Understand how your performance impacts the company. Prioritize your contributions and create performance metrics to help you set improvement goals..
  • Measure regularly. Evaluate your performance at frequent intervals. Schedule quarterly meetings with your supervisor to review your progress.
  • Prove your worth. Keep track of your results. Appraise the value of your accomplishments and show how they contribute to the company’s success.