Russ Kohl, Treasurer of Fiserv, spoke at the most recent Nicholas Center Speaker Series this past Friday about Fiserv’s 2019 $22 billion acquisition of FirstData. Hearing an insider’s perspective of a major M&A deal was fascinating, but this discussion was particularly of note because this deal has been used as the case study in the 1st Year MBA/Analyst Financial Modeling class this fall. Prior to Russ’s presentation, we used this deal to build operating, DCF, LBO, and M&A models to analyze the quantitative aspects of the deal for both parties in the transaction. Russ was able to add additional color to many of the quantitative aspects of the deal that we’ve studied, particularly the synergies relating to the transaction and the pre- and post-deal capital structure. In addition to the quantitative aspects, Russ provided great insight into the qualitative aspects of the deal, particularly how Fiserv and FirstData’s respective CEOs who came together and provided the vision and leadership for the joint company following the acquisition. The presentation was very informative, and a great supplement to the lessons we have learned in class this Fall.