What will Behn do differently if he gets a third chance at a merger? "I will take the time to talk confidentially with the employees of the firm, something I didn't do in this instance," he says. Behn now knows that, although two deals might be structured very similarly, the personalities involved can make their execution like night and day.

Our lesson: Ignore the human element in buy-sell transactions at your own peril-spend at least as much time analyzing personalities as you do the numbers.

David J. Drucker, MBA, CFP ([email protected]), a fee-only financial advisor since 1981, is co-author of the book Virtual Office Tools for the High-Margin Practice (Bloomberg Press, 2002) and editor of the Virtual Office News newsletter, both available at www.virtualofficetools.net.

First « 1 2 3 » Next