Welcome to the first edition of our 60 second interviews, an opportunity to get to know one of our speakers and their experiences in deal making. This week we introduce Sebastian Sheppard, Senior Manager, Business Transformation M&A Integration of Altran, a global engineering and R&D services company.
What is the story of your career?
I grew up in Chile as an Expat. Worked organizing expeditions in Patagonia before moving back to UK to join the Royal Navy flying Anti-Submarine helicopters which I did for 8 years. After an MBA from Edinburgh University I worked with Lockheed Martin on the Royal Navy’s Merlin Helicopter Training System.
In 2001 my wife and I moved to Seville, Spain to work in Aerospace. We ended up living there for almost 10 years in which time we bought and developed an Organic Olive farm and continued working in Aerospace, including the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.
We moved back to UK in 2011 with Altran and worked for almost 3 years in Lotus F1 Team (now Renault F1) and then a variety of roles which revolved around Transformation and M&A (Post Merger Integration) which has taken me through many exciting sectors and industries.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety of the challenges, industries, people and environments I encounter, all within the Technology sector. Each acquisition is different and you generally get to work with superb people who have energy and enthusiasm to get the right result out of an integration.
Being able to bridge different cultures, people and businesses presents challenges that need more than just a process to integrate. You must always think of the effect a decision could have on any aspect of the business and its people.
I invariably encounter amazing business cultures which in my industry is something you have to protect as it is here where work and thrive thus creating value.
What was the most recent merger/ acquisition you worked on?
Tessella.com (Data Analytics). Data science used to solve big problems in businesses to improve profitability, reduce costs, streamline operations, avoid errors and out-innovate the competition.
There are more exciting acquisitions in the pipeline. Watch this space!
What are the challenges/ opportunities ahead for your sector?
Brexit will influence businesses in ways we do not yet fully appreciate. Adapting to the new environment will be the challenge.
The digital revolution is proving the be a big disruptor and an opportunity that every company should be aware of and working on. Adapting to the speed of technological evolution will dictate success in the future.
What are you most looking forward to at the Corporate M&A Exchange conference?
Seeing and hearing other points of view as well as exchanging ideas with participants. The variety of people, sectors, countries and opinions covering all aspects of M&A will be very interesting to learn from.
Thank you Sebastian, and make sure you hear his thoughts on the challenges of post-merger integration at the Corporate M&A Exchange.