Aon Forms EMEA M&A and Transaction Solutions Advisory Board for M&A Practice Growth

Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, today announces the formation of its EMEA M&A and Transaction Solutions Advisory Board. The new advisory board will support the growth and development of Aon’s M&A practice across the UK and EMEA, as it continues to expand its client offerings to include solutions for intellectual property, cyber security and digital performance, retirement, benefits, talent and compensation, structured credit, tax and litigation risks, ESG and more.

Source: Aon | Published on May 10, 2021

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In a highly volatile, competitive and constantly evolving landscape, corporate clients considering M&A transactions, and financial sponsors such as private equity funds, face a multitude of challenges as they assess and articulate the enterprise value of deals and address transaction risks in the most capital efficient and economic manner. Aon’s M&A and Transaction Solutions team is ideally positioned to draw on the capabilities of the wider Aon organisation to deliver clients a broader-based and differentiated value proposition across these areas. Aon’s recent whitepaper, Helping Clients Navigate an Increasingly Complex World, sets out how the firm is using innovation to respond to key client needs, including rethinking access to capital.

The advisory board will provide counsel to Aon’s clients and its internal team as it continues to expand beyond its current areas of expertise, which include transaction solutions such as Warranty and Indemnity insurance (W&I), tax insurance and risk and insurance due diligence, into areas such as cyber and intellectual property (IP). Over the past two years, Aon’s global cyber M&A solutions team has developed innovative platforms and frameworks that have supported more than 250 due diligence and portfolio assessments for several leading investment firms, and now comprises a team of nearly 40 industry experts. In 2020, Aon launched its IP Capital Market Solution, a proprietary IP valuation tool that enables high-growth businesses to raise capital via secure IP-backed debt structures and avoid the need for equity dilution. Aon's IP solutions, part of Aon's New Ventures Group (NVG), is a global leader in assessing and valuing IP assets, leveraging a proprietary, industry-defining IP analytics platform.

John Cullen, Chief Executive Officer of Aon’s Commercial Risk, Heath and Affinity business in EMEA, will serve as Chair of the advisory board. All members of the board are senior executives with over 20 years’ experience in M&A and have held senior leadership positions at professional services firms. Appointees include:

Andrew Ballheimer, former global Managing Partner at Allen & Overy who brings more than three decades of legal expertise and experience. Ballheimer previously served in various senior leadership positions at Allen & Overy, including Global Co-Head of Corporate and UK Managing Partner of Corporate. His clients have included major UK and international corporations and global banks. Ballheimer brings expertise in public and private M&A and Equity Capital Markets transactions with broad experience in complex, multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the U.S., Latin America and Asia.

Claudio Feser, Senior Partner Emeritus and Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Company. Between 1999 and 2004, he led McKinsey & Company Greece, then McKinsey & Company Switzerland between 2005 and 2010, and the firm's executive development practice from 2011 to 2018. From 2015 to 2018, he was a member of the Shareholder Council, McKinsey's Board of Directors, and between 2017 and 2019, the Chairman of Aberkyn, a McKinsey subsidiary that focuses on executive coaching and facilitation. Feser is also the chairman of Greenreb Holding, a sports entertainment company. In addition, he is a member of the Executive Education Board of the University of St. Gallen. He is the author of three books (Serial Innovators, When Execution is not Enough and Leadership at Scale), which have been translated into several languages.

Robin Lawther, an experienced non-executive director currently serving on the boards of Nordea, Ashurst LLP and UK Government Investments, the corporate finance and corporate governance arm of the UK Government under Her Majesty’s Treasury. She previously worked at J.P. Morgan in London, Scandinavia, Turkey and New York for 20 years as Managing Director in a number of senior positions in investment banking, including Head of the European Financial Institution Merger and Acquisitions Execution Team, and as a member of the European Management Committee. Lawther specialises in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and client coverage.

Alistair Lester, CEO of M&A and Transaction Solutions in EMEA, said: “The formation of the M&A and Transaction Solutions Advisory Board marks an important step in accelerating the execution of our strategy, as we continue our evolution to become a trusted and broad-based adviser in the M&A and Private Equity ecosystems. Our clients are facing more challenges—and a more volatile, evolving marketplace—than ever before. While Aon remains committed to continuing to serve clients in the areas in which we have established a market-leading practice, we are also leading the development of new service offerings to meet all our clients’ needs, as evidenced by our successful work in the cyber and IP space.”

John Cullen, Chairman of the Aon EMEA M&A and Transaction Solutions Advisory Board, said: “I am excited to chair a board comprised of such a talented, diverse and accomplished group of individuals, whose decades of leadership and deep expertise will prove invaluable for progressing and executing Aon’s growth and innovation agenda on behalf of our clients.”