Mergers and Acquisitions Specialist FAQ

There are many different job positions in the world of finance. One of these careers is in mergers and acquisitions. Read on to learn some frequently asked questions about a career as an M&A specialist.

1. What is "Mergers and Acquisitions"?

Mergers and Acquisitions, also known as M&A, is a type of strategic finance planning that involves the buying and merging of various companies in order to increase the new company's value. Mergers refer to the combining of two relatively equal-sized companies joining together, while an acquisition is the procuring of a company by a larger one.

2. What are the duties of an M&A specialist?

An M&A specialist or manager has the unique task of assisting companies in their mergers and acquisitions process. This includes the strategic planning before a company is acquired or consolidated as well as seeing the merger through to its finalization. An M&A specialist will spend time researching potential mergers and acquisitions that would benefit their company, negotiating terms of the mergers/acquisitions, and also acts as a communication liaison between the companies during the consolidation. An M&A specialist must be a flexible individual who can work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment.

3. What is the earning potential?

The compensation for an M&A specialist may vary widely depending on the scale of companies the specialist is working for. Nevertheless, this position has the potential for a very profitable payout. People occupying the lowest 10 percent have an average pay out of $94,500 plus bonuses, while the highest 10 percent averages an annual salary of $176,500.

4. How much education do you need?

An M&A specialist will usually have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as business, accounting, or finance. Your earning potential may be more if you also possess an advanced degree such as an MBA or a law degree. Professional certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is also relevant to this job. After employment, you may also be asked to become licensed through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by passing an exam. Like most financial careers, there is no one path to take.

5. What is the career outlook for this position?

Unfortunately, because this is a unique, specialized position, it is hard to know what the occupational outlook is like for a majority of individuals seeking this career path. Similar careers, however, have shown positive growth potential for the future. Employment growth for financial managers, for example, is projected to grow 9% by 2022. For more information, talk to a professional like RLS Associates.