Many U.S. CEOs plan to undertake mergers and acquisitions (M&A) over the next three years that will significantly impact their organizations, while also transforming their businesses to gain digital and environmental, social and governance (ESG) advantages to supply chain resiliency, according to a new study released by KPMG LLP.
“CEOs are striking the delicate balance of driving a growth strategy inclusive of M&A that is aligned with their ESG and digital strategies, while still leading their organizations through uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. chair and CEO. “These intersecting risks and opportunities provide CEOs the chance to uniquely lead and build trust with their key stakeholders in an environment where nearly all expect to grow.”
- Nearly half (49%) of U.S. CEOs indicated they will likely undertake acquisitions that have a significant impact to their overall organization, while 37% said they will make acquisitions that have a moderate impact to their overall organization.
- 77% said they have an aggressive digital investment strategy intended to secure first-mover or fast-follower status.
- The Top 5 risks identified as posing the greatest threats to growth included tax, supply chain, reputational, climate and cybersecurity.
- Only 11% said their organizations are very well-prepared for a cyberattack. Overall, CEOs were split in terms of their organizations’ ability to handle one.
- While 65% said they have a plan to address a ransomware attack if faced with one, 70% said an industry-wide approach is necessary to properly address ransomware demands.
- 79% said the accelerated pace of digital transformation through the pandemic will not be sustainable without first addressing burnout among their workforce.
- 52% said they are seeing significant demand for increased reporting and transparency on ESG issues from stakeholders.
- 82% said that the pandemic has caused their focus to shift toward the social component of their ESG program.
- When asked to identify key success factors to ensuring employees are engaged, motivated and productive in a world where hybrid work is increasingly common, the top responses were focusing on employees’ mental health and well-being (42%); having a strong voice on the big issues that matter such as climate change and racism (38%); investing in digital training, development and upskilling to ensure employees’ skills remain future-focused (37%); and embedding diversity, equity and inclusion (36%).