IMAA Faculty Spotlight: Adrian Waters


Adrian Waters is highly regarded for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of mergers and acquisitions. His role as a respected faculty member and resident M&A synergies expert at the Institute for Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances (IMAA), an accomplished entrepreneur, and an influential keynote speaker, highlights his knack for integrating theory and practice across multiple domains. 

Adrian Waters: Leading in M&A Education  

With a tenure stretching over 18 years at IMAA, Adrian has been instrumental in shaping the institute’s approach to M&A education.  He has gone beyond merely teaching M&A practitioners-in-training, to leading executive M&A training workshops globally, thereby equipping businesses to fortify their internal strategic teams. His profound understanding of cross-border transactions and mergers and acquisitions has made him an invaluable asset to the institute and the global business community.  

Beyond his role as an instructor, Adrian has established himself as a thought leader in M&A synergies, traveling worldwide as a keynote speaker to share his expertise with executives on how to successfully undertake and manage M&A.  In his recent webinar with IMAA and the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) on Post Deal Synergies, his dedication to enhancing the understanding of M&A complexities can be seen when he emphasized:  

“Mergers and Acquisitions can be a powerful tool for companies to grow, providing fantastic opportunities to gain market share and get access to new technology and markets. However, a realistic approach is essential as it can lead to disastrous outcomes when it’s not done right.” 

His philosophy on M&A synergies was also reflected in the webinar when he accentuated the importance of a people-centric focus in the M&A process, stating: 

“[In mergers and acquisitions,] people get very into the numbers, but you don’t buy four walls, a ceiling, and a logo outside. We all know that the business of business is people. You’ve got to ensure that yes, you do get the numbers and the valuation right but you also need to come up with your operating model and ensure business as usual.”  

He adds: 

“Successful integration has three pillars: clarity of purpose, control, and managing people….. so you need to ensure that when it comes to people, [you are managing] not just individuals within the acquiring business [but] also within the target. It’s also the suppliers, [the] communities that will be impacted and obviously you’ve got investors as well so it’s about ensuring that you’re managing [all] stakeholder groups.”  

For those interested in delving deeper into his ideas on post deal synergies, the full webinar can be accessed here. 

Adrian Waters: Practicing M&A in the World of Business 

When not training M&A professionals, Adrian channels his knowledge into entrepreneurship, serving as the CEO of Equalsten. At Equalsten, he aids CEOs in making strategic M&A decisions that drive benefits and deliver synergies. His commitment to leadership, organizational culture, and M&A strategy has cemented Equalsten’s position in the industry. 

His second venture, Rocket Fitness reflects Adrian’s dedication to promoting employee wellness and building healthy, high-performing teams. This passion is echoed in his recent Forbes Business Council article, where he emphasizes the importance of mental health in the workplace. In his article, he stresses that:  

“Having a healthy, high performing team is not just a benefit to businesses. It can create happier people who go into the world in a better state of mind with more resilience and confidence. The ripple effect can go far beyond the office and impact society positively at every encounter.”  

The full article can be read here. 

Final Thoughts

Adrian Waters’ contributions to the field of M&A, particularly in post-merger synergies, both in theory and in practice, are a testament to his versatility and commitment to excellence. As he continues to shape the M&A landscape and inspire entrepreneurs and executives worldwide, his work and insights   also provide valuable guidance for those navigating the complex waters of mergers and acquisitions. 

To learn more about Adrian Waters and his work, you can follow his professional journey through his LinkedIn profile or join him in one of our onsite or virtual live courses for firsthand learning about M&A synergies. 

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