CM&AA Certification
Updated on Dec 1, 2018 - 3:30 p.m. IST by Shraya Singh
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CM&AA Certification - The Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors, or AM&AA, offers one of the best merger and acquisition certification programs in the world for individuals who want to advance their career in the M&A domain. The program offered is the certified merger and acquisition advisor or CM&AA certification and is a standard of professional excellence for professionals working in corporate finance, transaction and advisory services. The CM&AA certification is awarded at the culmination of the 5-day mergers and acquisitions training course offered by AM&AA which is a residential short-term intensive program. For candidates who participate in the merger and acquisition certification program for CM&AA certification, the final exam is optional and the certificate is awarded regardless to candidates who successfully complete the program. 

Mergers and Acquisitions Training Course Eligibility

In order to participate in the CM&AA certification program offered by AM&AA, candidates are required to be members of the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors. Candidates therefore must either be AM&AA members or must acquire one-year CM&AA certification membership to the AM&AA in order to be eligible for the program. 

Apart from the membership requirement, there is no other specific Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisor certification eligibility criteria. It is generally considered that members of AM&AA have completed their undergraduate education and are professionals in the mergers and acquisitions advisory domain. 

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Mergers and Acquisitions Training Course Locations and Dates

As the mergers and acquisitions training course for CM&AA certification is a 5-day residential program, therefore it is not available internationally and instead, there are certain fixed locations where candidates need to partake the training and subsequent Certified merger and acquisition advisor exam. All the merger and acquisition certification program centers are located in the United States which is also the country of issuance for the Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor Certification. The dates for the 2019 CM&AA certification program have been listed with the centers in the table given below.


Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor Certification Dates

CM&AA Certification Center

Program Dates

Pepperdine University Graduate School, West Los Angeles Campus, Los Angeles, CA

January 28 - February 1, 2019

University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, Washington, D.C.

April 29 - May 3, 2019

DePaul University Loop Campus, Chicago, IL

June 10 - 14, 2019

DePaul University Loop Campus, Chicago, IL

September 16 - 20, 2019

Pepperdine University, Villa Graziadio Executive Center, Malibu, CA

October 28 - November 1, 2019

Mergers and Acquisitions Training Course Topics

The CM&AA certification offered by AM&AA covers a number of topics associated with the mergers and acquisitions advisory domain. These topics are covered in detail across the duration of the program, provided participating candidates with the knowledge to excel in the field. The course topics to be covered according to the Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor certification are:

  • MidMarket Overview

  • M&A Process 

  • Corporate M&A

  • Financing: growth and acquisition

  • Traditional business valuation/ cash-debt free balance sheet/ transaction valuation

  • Value growth and market readiness

  • M&A tax issues

  • M&A legal topics

  • Sell side M&A/ buy side M&A

The detailed topics within the broad subject areas mentioned above have also been specified by AM&AA. These constitute the syllabus for the mergers and acquisitions training course for CM&AA certification. 

CM&AA Certification Syllabus

Subject Area

Topics

MidMarket Overview

  • Private capital market overview and current trends

  • Unique facts and circumstances that drive private company transfers

  • Interrelationship of ‘transfer channels’, ‘sources of capital’ and ‘private company valuation’

  • How the motives of the private company owner impact transfer value

M&A Process and Best Practices

  • Best practices and methods for private capital transactions

  • Identify deal opportunities with middle market companies

  • 10-steps to transaction completion

  • M&A practice management considerations

Strategic Buyer Process

  • Reasons buyers deploy ‘growth by acquisition’ strategy

  • Logical process and considerations used in strategic buying decisions

  • Weaving growth strategy into the acquisition process and even into integration

Investment Banking Structuring Techniques

  • Transaction considerations/ current state of the market/ process timeline

  • Accretion/ dilution defined and illustrated

  • Adjustments to the income statement

  • Stock-for-stock acquisition/ cash-for-stock/ synergies

  • Exchange ratios/ collars/ caps/ walk-a-ways

Financing: Growth and Acquisition

  • High level overview of the capital markets

  • Key aspects of financing growth and acquisitions

  • Capital structure and funding alternatives available in the middle market

Traditional vs. Transactional Value

  • Traditional business valuation approaches and methods

  • Transactional valuation theory, compared to traditional BV

Capital Structures and Relationship to Valuation

  • Optimal capital structure for value maximization

  • Terminal value with changing capital structure

  • Reducing hypersensitivity to cost of capital and growth assumptions

  • M&A standards: enterprise value and operating balance sheet

M&A Tax Issues

  • Stock vs. asset sale impacts for buyer and seller

  • Transaction details: asset allocation/ installment sales/ buyer issues

  • Partnership M&A rules/ corporate M&A rules

  • Deal structuring exercises

M&A Legal Topics

  • Attorney’s role

  • Confidentiality agreement

  • Letter or intent

  • Structure of the deal

  • Due diligence

  • Acquisition agreements/ reps and warranties/ earn outs

  • Regulatory laws/ securities laws

Maximizing Value and Transaction Readiness

  • New thinking and approaches to old but growing challenges

  • Creating efficiency in an inefficient middle market

  • Maximizing value and transaction success for clients

  • Elevating your practice to be state-of-the-art successful

  • Collaboration among multiple professional disciplines

CM&AA Certification Membership

In order to participate in the mergers and acquisitions training course for Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor certification, candidates must have AM&AA membership. The membership options vary with duration and can be renewed as per the candidate’s requirement. However, recertification for the CM&AA certification does not require candidates to renew their AM&AA membership status.


Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor Certification Cost

Type of membership

Membership details

Membership price

Individual membership

One year AM&AA membership

USD $495

CM&AA 5-day program and membership

One year AM&AA membership

CM&AA certification program fee

USD $4,995

CM&AA membership renewal

One year renewal of CM&AA membership

USD $595

Mergers and Acquisitions Training Course Study Resources

Prospective candidates for the Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor certification program will be provided with study material for the duration of the merger and acquisition certification program. Apart from this study material, the AM&AA has also mentioned a number of study resources and reference books that the candidate may need to obtain in order to succeed in the CM&AA certification program. There are four textbooks which will not be provided by AM&AA and therefore need to be obtained by the candidate. The approximate value of these books has been listed around USD $350.


CM&AA Certification Textbooks

Title

Author

Middle Market M&A Handbook 

Robert Slee, Christian Blees, Kenneth H. Marks, Michael Nall

Private Capital Markets, 2nd Edition

Rob Slee

The Handbook of Financing Growth, 2nd Edition

Kenneth H. Marks

Valuation for M&A: Building Value in Private Companies, 2nd or 3rd Edition

Chris M. Mellen and Frank C. Evans

CM&AA Certification Exam

The CM&AA certification exam occurs on the last day of the 5-day merger and acquisition certification program offered by AM&AA. This is a 4-hour online test which is optional in nature. This means that the exam is not a requisite in order to obtain Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor status. The exam is only to test the candidate’s retention of the subject matter taught throughout the mergers and acquisitions training course and the result is solely for personal use as it is not required by any prospective employer or recruiter.


CM&AA Certification Maintenance

Earning the Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor credential requires candidates to be AM&AA members and participate in continuing professional education or CPE activities which are necessary in order to maintain the alliance of merger and acquisition advisors certification status. The steps that candidates need to follow in order to maintain their CM&AA certification are:

  • Candidates must maintain their AM&AA membership and complete the required recertification and compliance report. 

  • Candidates must pay the annual CM&AA certification continuation fee of USD $50. This will be billed along with the annual membership charges.

  • Candidates must earn at least 12 CPE credits annual through approved educational experiences and activities.

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