Merger and acquisition activity is sure to hit a record in 1995, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee successful transactions.

History indicates that many of these combinations will fail to achieve their full potential unless more attention is paid to the importance of cultural fit, and that is especially true for financial institutions. As a senior employee-relations executive of an M&A-oriented financial institution, I found that fallout occurs when combinations are based solely on a complementary fit among geographic sales regions, or anticipated synergies between products or client service lines.

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