Ronke Ekwensi, Managing Director at Huron Legal, discussed information integration and its impact on an organization during a Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by Huron Legal at the 2014 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in New York on March 4. In her presentation, “Managing Information Integration as a Distinct Element of M&A Activity: How Law Departments Can Help Drive Value,” Ekwensi noted that information integration requires a comprehensive assessment of an organization’s business, operational, legal and compliance risks.
Ekwensi said that information integration is the process in which an organization achieves synergies by the selective reduction of information. To accomplish this goal, Ekwensi said, an organization should try to preserve information based on its legal and regulatory obligations. If an organization fails to accomplish this goal, Ekwensi added, it risks long-term damage to its brand and reputation. Meanwhile, Ekwensi acknowledged that an organization needs three things to successfully integrate information: “You need a clear articulation of the information integration value drivers. You need an information integration playbook. You need a detailed set of diligence questionnaires.”
In addition, Ekwensi noted that an organization should focus on value drivers, things that an organization needs to do by a specific point in time to achieve value within the transaction. Ekwensi recognized that value drivers are important for organizations to prepare themselves for any potential problems that could arise: “They say luck favors the prepared. How do you achieve successful information integration? … A clear understanding of integration value drivers, a well-articulated playbook, a detailed set of diligence questionnaires and, quite frankly, a willingness to look at things differently.”