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M&A Direct:

Partnerships, Alliances, Mergers & Acquisitions Masterclass 2018

Join us for an interactive Masterclass covering the entire M&A process and alternative strategies you can use to achieve growth and sustainability. 


Register for the Masterclass View Program

The First Session Begins in...









Can your Directors and Executive Team answer all of these five questions?

  1. What would our nonprofit Board do if we were approached next week about a merger possibility?
  2. What are the different structural options from collaboration and alliances, right through to mergers?
  3. How do we test a merger possibility against our vision?
  4. How do we safeguard the interests of the people and communities we serve?
  5. What are the three biggest areas of financial risk when assessing a nonprofit merger partner?''

 Considering an M&A deal is often the biggest and riskiest decision in the lifetime of an organisation. The entire process can appear unclear and fraught with difficulty.

If you are a smaller organisation, the thought of being ‘swallowed whole’ can be enough to ignore this strategy all together. But if used correctly, these strategies can be powerful, forward-thinking tools to leverage. 



Introducing M&A Direct: Partnerships, Alliances, Mergers & Acquisitions Masterclass for Directors and Executives

There is far more potential in nonprofit M&A, partnerships or alliances than many realise. In this full-day Masterclass, we will show you what a successful deal is really like on the inside and how both parties can benefit immensely.

We will also explore the many reasons a merger, acquisition, partnership or alliance can fail, including these common mistakes:

  • A lack of knowledge and guidance on how to evaluate a potential deal and structure it so that it is well integrated
  • The respective Boards are not properly aligned or distrustful of one another
  • The compatibility of the two organisations is overlooked in favour of short term gain
  • Using M&A as a tool to climb out of financial distress or plug a leadership vacuum
  • Ignoring the different cultures of the two parties or failing to address brand stewardship

Like all major business decisions, Directors and Executives should have the best level of preparation and the best information available to them before considering alternative strategies in this space.

This Masterclass will demonstrate the entire ‘courtship’ process, from first engagement to final integration, using case studies, real life current examples, practical insights from those who have been through the process, and specific guidelines that can be crafted to meet your unique needs.

This Masterclass will show you:

  • How to think about mergers, partnerships and alliances as growth strategies, even if your organisation has a small ‘footprint’
  • What areas to focus on when conducting due diligence on a potential merger partner to capture the most possible value and ensure there are no nasty ‘surprises’
  • How to protect the interests of the people and communities you serve during the process
  • The right way to successfully unify two or more organisations after M&A has taken place




Brendan Walsh

For more than three decades, Brendan has been a passionate and inspired contributor to nonprofits in Australia. His substantial experience includes roles as Senior Executive, CEO, Director and Board Chair of a number of highly successful and strategically focussed organizations.

He has worked in community and social enterprises, as well State and Local Governments. He has also spent close to a decade in private sector consulting roles in nonprofit and healthcare strategy, and including ICT. Brendan has a passion for transforming organizations to better support the people and communities they serve.

He also has interest and experience in helping organisations to identify and seize opportunities for alliances, partnerships and when appropriate, mergers. He has direct experience in mergers that led to creation of a national alliance of disability support providers. The alliance and members now deliver supports of close to $1b AUD, Australia wide.


Where will you meet us?



Monday, 19 March 2018

9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (AEST)


Common Ground, 15 Hope St South Brisbane Queensland 4101



Hosted by Russell Kennedy

Friday, 23 March 2018

9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (AEDT)


Russell Kennedy Lawyers, 469 La Trobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000


Hosted by Holman Webb

Monday, 26 March 2018

9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (AEDT)


Holman Webb, Level 17, Angel Place 123 Pitt Street Sydney 2000

A few organisations who have attended the Masterclass...


All tickets include morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and a take home resource book

General Admission


(incl. GST)

A single ticket for one attendee.

Group pass

$550.00 ea.

(incl. GST)

Available for two or more attendees from the same organisation.

(Ticket price = $550 each)



Event Program


Arrival — 9:15am
Drilling down into partnering, alliances, mergers, acquisitions — 9:30am

What do we mean by these terms and where most people go wrong when thinking about M&As.

Introducing the six step framework for mergers and acquisitions (M&A)

1. The right strategy

2. The right information

3. The right timing

4. The right price

5. The right conditions

6. The right integration

—Assessing your strategic direction while identifying partners who could complement your mission, strategy and culture

—The twenty (or more) essential questions for a Board to agree upon before looking for M&A options

—Considering & assessing multiple options at once

—Initiating a term sheet for the 'due diligence' process, and subsequent negotiations

—Deciding whether external advisors or experts should be involved in the process

—Defining a potential integration plan, in advance of signing the deal

—Determining when to initiate contact, or when to wait to be approached

—Determining your sense of urgency and judging their opposite party's sense of urgency

—Understanding the risks of not acting soon enough (short case example)

—Determining when to consult stakeholders like staff, volunteers, supporters, funders and communities

—Assessing the value of each opportunity to your organisation, even if there is no purchase price involved

—Assessing the purchase price if this is relevant 

—Ensuring the deal reflects the best interests of the people and communities you serve

—Defining what is not negotiable for your organisation, as custodians of a nonprofit

—Can/should the deal survive stringent conditions to safeguard the interests of key stakeholders?

—Planning strategies for integration as soon as you identify a potential partner (especially before signing the deal)

—The role for leadership from Board and executives, as well as others

—Twelve common pitfalls for nonprofits after merger deal has occurred

—Setting up an integration team and the integration plan

Consider your organisation

Next, we bring the Masterclass to life for your organisation with a discussion on the next likely steps you should take and what to do now to be better prepared for partnerships, alliances and M&A possibilities.

Session Close —5:00pm

The session comes to an end with more opportunities for networking. We will also allow 30 mins for one-on-one and confidential discussions with facilitators.


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‘Do I need prior experience to attend this Masterclass?’

You do not need any prior experience or skill in M&A to attend, or to get value from this Masterclass. Our presenters, Brendan Walsh and Steven Bowman, have designed the program to be comprehensive, yet entirely accessible.

‘Will this Masterclass be repeated?’

At this stage, Conscious Governance does not have plans to run this event again. If you are at all interested, we advise you to attend this round of Masterclasses in your city of choice.

‘I have confidential questions I would like to ask the facilitators, can I do so?’

Chatham House Rules apply to this Masterclass: anything you choose to discuss remains in confidence. If you have a sensitive question you would like to raise in private, you will have the opportunity to approach the facilitators after the Masterclass has concluded.

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