How Do You Become an Expert in Mergers and Acquisitions

A lot of people don’t realize this, but some of the most successful enterprises in the world owe a lot of their success to the mergers and acquisition experts working for them. These experts are responsible for combining two companies together – including all of their assets – which means that they must have specific knowledge and skills that ensure that everything is done properly.

So, if you’re thinking about becoming a mergers and acquisition expert, you should know that it won’t be an easy task, especially since there are some important steps that you’ll need to take before venturing into the industry. Before we reveal the tips that’ll help make the entire process easier, let’s first take a look at what these experts do:

M&A Experts: Explained


As an M&A expert, an individual is responsible for advising their clients on mergers (the process of joining two organizations into one) and acquisitions (the process of one organization taking over an entire or part of another company). This basically means that they advise their clients on how to properly combine two companies in a cost-efficient way, while at the same time, they can ensure capital growth and expansion.

Although it seems like anyone can do it, being an M&A expert can be daunting, since even the slightest mistake can lead to financial ruin for a company. Because of this, any person working in this particular field has to have a specific set of skills, they must know how the industry works, and they also must be licensed! The steps you’ll need to take in order to start working in this field are the following:

1. You Must Earn a Degree


The very first thing that you’ll need is a degree. Luckily, there are several programs that can prepare you for the industry including economics, business, accounting, and of course, finances. Most people do opt for getting a degree in finance since it includes a wide array of subjects and topics, however, choosing either of the aforementioned options can get you one step closer to becoming a merger and acquisition professional.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that no matter which degree program you opt for, it’s important that you get training, which in most cases means that you’ll have to secure an internship. Most organizations will look to hire individuals with experience, thus, if you want to make sure that you get a starting job as soon as possible, gaining some work experience is crucial. There are various companies that offer such programs, so, consider them.

2. You’ll Need a License For Working


Once you obtain your bachelor’s degree, your next step is getting licensed, which is something that you’ll need if you want to start working in the industry. The entire process will require you to pass several exams, and there are also various classifications that you can choose from – all of which will require you to take exams. When talking about M&A experts, they’re categorized as limited representatives of a corporation, thus, they’ll have to pass the Series 79 exams.

Keep in mind, that all applicants have to be sponsored by an individual registered with the M&A association, which is also one of the reasons you might want to opt for an internship program. The exams will take 5 hours to finish and they’ll require you to answer 175 multiple-choice questions. The questions will be diverse and could include topics such as data collection, commission rules, underwriting, and so on.

3. You Must Be Certified


It’s worth mentioning that this is an entirely optional step, however, if you want to get promoted to a higher position, obtaining certification through an institute for mergers acquisitions and alliances is crucial. Again, there is a wide range of options that you can choose from, hence, before making a decision, it’s important that you research the topic and get informed about the options that you have. There are also various online organizations such as Imaa-Institute that provide these certificates, hence, check them out as well.

4. Your License + Certificate Must Be Maintained


Did you know that you’ll need to maintain your certifications and license through FINRA? Yup, just because you obtained it once, it doesn’t mean that it’ll last forever. Instead, you’ll need to go through an education program every three years, and by doing so, you’ll gain new knowledge and insights into the field of M&A. Keep in mind, if you obtain your license recently, you’ll have to take an exam two years after.

Additionally, if you obtained a certificate through various institutes, you’ll have to get recertified, meaning that you’ll need to take the exams from time to time to ensure that you don’t lose your certification. Though this might seem daunting, it’s quite necessary and important, especially if you’re someone who strives to move up the ladder and get a better and higher-paying position at the company you’re working for.

5. Never Stop Learning


Last on our list of advice, but definitely important is the fact that you should never stop learning. What does this mean? Well, it’s simple to understand – you must always stay updated on all the changes and trends happening in the mergers and acquisition industry. This is something that is important for every single career out there, but since M&A is hard, you must never stop learning about the things happening in the industry.


Although you might have thought that it’s easy to become a mergers and acquisition expert, it isn’t, mostly because there are various things that you’ll need to do before venturing into the industry.

However, by following the steps and tips we’ve mentioned above, you can make the entire process simpler and easier for yourself!

Since you’re now well aware of the things you’ll need to do in order to become an M&A expert, you shouldn’t lose time reading articles similar to this one. Instead, if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in one of the fields we’ve mentioned, start thinking about which major might be best and most suitable for you!