This in-depth M&A course covers best practices in the deal process

  • Develop a clear M&A thesis to maximize the economic benefit of a transaction

  • Properly identify the 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

Curriculum | M&A Academy

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
  • Constructing indications of interest / letters of intent / setting the tone
  • Managing decision bias; setting walk away frameworks
  • Negotiation tactics and process / auction dynamics


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


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



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. 

M&A Academy - Justification Letter.docx

Upon completion, you will receive 10.25 CLE credit hours and/or 12.25 CPE credits (if applicable), a digital course completion certificate, and a tombstone for your desk.

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

Faculty | M&A Academy

Stephen G. Morrissette, Ph.D. is a Visiting Professor of Business Administration at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he teaches Merger & Acquisition Strategy. 

His 30 years of transaction expertise includes various Chief Financial Officer roles where he was responsible for M&A and post-merger integration.

His academic career includes 15-years of full-time teaching senior executives in Strategic Planning, M&A, and Capital Planning.

Professor Morrissette has been teaching for the Transaction Advisors Institute since 2015. He was appointed to serve as the Institute's Faculty Director in 2020.

Schedule & Location

M&A Academy at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | 8:30am - 5:00pm CST
Wednesday, June 26, 2024 | 8:30am - 12:00pm CST

Dinner will take place at the Columbia Yacht Club.
M&A Academy at the University of Chicago

Member Reviews | M&A Academy

"Enjoyed bringing my team together to learn about M&A in a more structured environment, with other professionals from other companies/industries (vs. mostly by just doing deals!). It helped to complement the existing deal experience the team had."
Corporate Development - Senior Deal Lead at Block

"As someone who has some experience in M&A, the M&A Academy was a great class for both beginners and experienced practitioners alike. The engaging and active style made it easy to forget you were in a classroom for a day and a half."
Senior Director, Corporate Strategy at Tyson Foods

"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 this M&A course into practice at my company.”
Corporate Development Director at Akamai Technologies

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

“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 Manager at Google

"Professor Morrissette's instruction and discussion leading were engaging and informed by a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge. Nearly as valuable were the perspectives and experiences shared by my fellow practitioners taking the class. It was very helpful to check our approach and process against established thinking and the real-life practice of Professor Morrissette and my classmates."
Vice President of Corporate Development and Corporate Counsel at ForwardAir


"Professor Morrissette gives you a valuable toolkit to create value within your M&A team. This course 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 at NielsenIQ

"10 out of 10. Had a great experience, learned from Professor Morrissette and from the other attendees. The topics were all relevant and I brought them back to my team. 100% would recommend." 
Strategy and Corporate Development Manager at HolcimUS

“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 M&A course!"
Integration Management Office Manager at Cargill

“The M&A Academy was simply fantastic!  Professor Morrissette was engaging and initiated thought provoking discussions.  I learned what my company is doing well, and what we can improve in our M&A processes and decision making” Sidney Barron: Vice President Corporate Development at Asbury Automotive Group

“Professor Morrissette was great. The energy level he brought to the class was amazing and his ability to quickly translate questions into real world examples was interesting and helpful”. 
Corporate Strategy Manager at USG Corporation

Also at the Gleacher Center

M&A Conference at the University of Chicago | June 26 & 27, 2024

Stay on campus for the annual M&A Conference at the University of Chicago - 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