This in-depth course provides guidance on M&A strategy, material negotiation issues, and managing the deal process

  • Develop a more refined deal thesis to maximize the economic benefit of a transaction

  • Improve your ability to identify risks associated with a transaction and manage exposure to liabilities

  • Reduce the amount of time absorbed by the M&A process and improve certainty of execution


I. M&A Strategy & Process Management

  • Strategy development with the business
  • Developing a clear and testable growth thesis
  • Identifying and cultivating appropriate acquisition targets
  • Defining roles and key milestones in the M&A process
  • Drafting indications of interest / letters of intent / setting the tone
  • Managing decision bias; setting walk away frameworks
  • Negotiation tactics and process / auction dynamics

II. M&A Valuation & Diligence

  • Valuation models and stress testing the business case
  • Tactics to increase accuracy and validity of synergy estimates
  • Earn-out formulations and contingent consideration mechanisms
  • Linking the deal thesis and value drivers to the diligence process
  • Allocating diligence responsibility to advisors and internal teams
  • Conducting commercial, financial, operational, and organizational diligence
  • Diligence reports and risks of confirmation bias

III. M&A Governance and Closing

  • Finalizing the deal theses with diligence results and integration frameworks
  • Identifying common mistakes and pitfalls in synergy realization plans
  • Determining deal performance metrics; plans for post-closing reviews
  • Managing the final 'go forward' or 'abandon' decision process
  • Accounting principles and net working capital adjustments
  • Escrows and contingent consideration payments
  • Post-closing purchase price adjustments


Stephen G. Morrissette is a Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he teaches Merger & Acquisition Strategy. 

His 30 years of practitioner expertise include various CFO roles where he was responsible for M&A and post-merger integration.

His academic career includes 15 years of full-time teaching where his expertise includes Strategic Planning, M&A, and Capital Planning. 

Who Should Attend

The M&A Academy is designed for corporate development professionals, strategy leaders, in-house M&A counsel, integration specialists, senior financial analysts, and business executives that are involved in devising and/or executing mergers and acquisitions.

This M&A Academy is not designed for advisors or service providers.


M&A Academy at Wharton San FranciscoThe M&A Academy will be held at Wharton San Francisco:

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - 8:30am - 5:00pm PST 

A wine reception & dinner will take place immediately following class 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 - 8:30am - 12:00pm PST

Awarded Upon Completion

M&A Tombstone

You will receive a tombstone for your desk, 10.25 CLE and/or 12.25 CPE credits (if applicable), and course certification for LinkedIn.

You will also be invited to join a confidential discussion space for exchanging ideas, best practices, recommendations, and information with other M&A Academy alumni.


"The M&A Academy really taught me how to best translate my company's broader objectives into a cohesive M&A strategy. I've already put material from the course into practice at my company.”
Corporate Development Director

“This is an excellent course - Professor Morrissette shares best practices and provides great ideas to help you improve your M&A process to add value at your organization. The class discussions and events after class provide great opportunities to learn from the experiences of other M&A practitioners.”
Senior Manager, Corporate Development

“The M&A Academy is a great way to get up to speed with how corporate development professionals outside your firm think and to learn about industry practices.”
M&A Integration ManagerM&A Academy at Wharton San Francisco

“Prof. Morrissette has deep knowledge and real-world experience of M&A and presents this complex topic in a logical and effective manner. I would highly recommend this class to any individual or team looking to improve planning and execution of the corporate development process.”
Chief Executive Officer

“Engaging context with practical, real life experiences to help the M&A 'boots on the ground' practitioner.”
Director, Corporate M&A

“An excellent time spent away from the office, to come together to learn, share, and expand knowledge surrounding the M&A process. The attendee's were diverse - multiple different backgrounds, industries, etc - that it enabled great discussion, learnings and new found LinkedIn connections. Overall, I would definitely recommend this course!”
Integration Management Office Manager

"The M&A Academy is a crash course in how to improve your M&A practice and skillset. Steve gives you a valuable toolkit to create value within your M&A team. It skips the mundane text-book definitions and dives right in to the key points in sourcing a deal, running a process, and how to link these to a successful integration plan."
Senior Manager, M&A

"As a corporate development professional establishing a new function within a private company, the M&A Academy was very helpful for me and provided tools and invaluable experience that I can take back to my company to share, implement and meaningfully improve the corporate development function to maximize our value-add to the corporate strategy goals."
M&A Manager 

Also at Wharton San Francisco

M&A Conference | March 15-16

Stay on campus for the annual M&A Conference at Wharton San Francisco - a cross-disciplinary program that draws on experienced M&A professionals from various industries and regions who share first-hand experiences, best practices, and recommendations for navigating deals through both internal and external challenges.
Transaction Advisors Institute M&A Conference