Executive Conversations: Mergers That Get the "Best of Both"

Perhaps the most powerful form of M&A comes when two companies use the best each of them has to offer to create a “NewCo” more capable and more competitive than either of them. To forge such a deal requires a rarely achieved level of cultural fit and skilled, selfless leadership.

In this exclusive interview, John Arlotta and Curt Thorne, the CEOs behind one of the year’s most sophisticated and successful healthcare mergers—which brought together two leading specialty benefit management companies, CareCore National and MedSolutions—provide a frank, revealing look at how they managed the process from beginning to end.

No Politics Allowed

Virtually everyone close to the CareCore merger credits the success of the deal to the two CEOs involved, John Arlotta of CareCore (who will stay on as CEO of the merged company) and Curt Thorne of MedSolutions. Both are recognized for their people skills and a selfless, committed approach to management. Here's more on their leadership and experience:

Executive Conversations: Mergers That Get the "Best of Both"

Download the full interview

John Coyle, Partner, Oliver Wyman Answers 3 Questions
  • 1Why is the CareCore and MedSolutions merger worthy of note?

    First, it’s an excellent example of how consolidation can be good for healthcare. These two companies each did some things really well. Now they’re a single company that does all of those things extremely well. They can do a better job of ensuring that patients get the right care—and they will push their competitors to do a better job as well. And it offers a real lesson on the importance of leadership and the CEO in particular in making mergers work well.

  • 2What surprised you in talking with the CEOs?

    We know culture is a dominant factor in successful mergers. But taking action on culture doesn’t come naturally to most CEOs. John Arlotta and Curt Thorne did an exemplary job of managing the issue. They spent literally months getting to know each other, talking about their desires for their companies and their teams, and learning to trust each other before negotiations began. John in particular says that if a deal makes business sense but there’s no cultural fit, you should walk away.

  • 3What did you admire most about the way they executed the merger once the deal was put together?

    Their devotion to transparency and doing right by their employees in the spirit of building real trust. For example, whenever any decision was made to let an employee go, they were told immediately, even if their separation date was months (or further) away. That approach could have backfired, but it sent a clear message to how these two leaders operated. And it worked. People stayed focused on customers, running the business, and supporting the integration.