The Strategy team at Gemini: The strategy team at Gemini is a small team. There's seven of us; have this huge breadth of work. Everyone kind of has a vertical.
How M&A is a part of Strategy at Gemini:
M&A is one of the pillars that we focus into, that we focus on in our strategy team…Many companies see M&A as a strategy, and are like ‘let's be strategic and acquire a company.’
M&A is essentially a tool that helps us facilitate and accomplish the strategy that we've set at the high level, it is not a strategy in itself…. M&A is not a magic bullet.
We see M&A as two different categories: strategic purpose, or for economic purpose.
M&A doesn't solve your problems, it could theoretically solve specific strategy problems
The reasons a company may use M&A as a way to grow:
-product or infrastructure capabilities
M&A lessons learned:
Marshall: we've been quite successful with our M&A. And I think a lot of that is luck - we acquired good companies.
[When acquiring companies] really dial in and get very honest and transparent with the principal of the target on what their role is going to be. Make sure that they are aligned. Make sure that internally you're aligned.
Why anyone at a company can help with an M&A deal:
Marshall: Even if you haven't done a deal, you can do a deal. If it's smaller company, it's easier. It's very much more an art than a science. As long as you have conviction on the target [company], build that relationship, get the conversation going, imply your intentions and see if it makes sense.
The importance of maintaining company values through M&A
Cynthia: there is kind of an underlying theme throughout all of this, which is the importance of values. And especially when you're going through acqui-hires, the culture that you're seeing in the company that you're acquiring actually has a lot more weight than a lot of these more academic focused concepts that we talked about [today]…. We definitely think like that's not something that we should ever overlook, and that we should definitely focus on the relationship culture that we're bringing into into business for sure.