Case Study

WilliamsMarston Clears the Way for a Global Automotive OEM

Find out how WM supported a global automotive OEM launch a new R&D venture in Silicon Valley with limited infrastructure and ambitious goals.

The Challenge

A visionary startup lacked organizational infrastructure and finance oversight as they worked to launch an R&D venture quickly.

A major global automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) was launching a substantial venture in Silicon Valley with the mission of developing autonomous driving technology in the U.S. and Europe.

The organization was well-capitalized, but had zero organizational infrastructure and an immature overseas holding company which posed a challenge to their ability to achieve their ambitious, multi-year growth targets encompassing organic hiring and strategic M&A. The company encountered several gaps that required outside expertise—they needed tenured, local executive leadership, knowledgeable personnel in the design and operation of Transaction Service Agreements (TSA) and professionals with experience in integration planning and execution.

Beyond this, the company had an immediate, large-scale carve-out acquisition agreed upon within three months of incorporation, as well as two more M&A targets on the horizon that would require simultaneous negotiation and close support.

The Solution

WM was all-hands-on deck, with interim C-Suite leadership and additional tax and valuation services forging a path to success.

WM stepped in to serve as the company’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, as well as provide additional leadership and expertise for the controller, technical accounting and FP&A functions. As the manufacturer’s acting US-based leadership, WM oversaw all transformation and integration activities, including ERP selection and integration, financial technology roadmap, PEO selection, overseas payroll systems, as well as managing the long-term real estate portfolio strategy and optimization.

The WM team negotiated and executed a seven-month TSA with the sell-side entity of the large-scale carve-out acquisition to secure operational continuity and, in parallel, created an integration playbook to systematically incorporate future acquisitions. The team also set up standard monthly reporting and created a two-year financial budget which was approved by the manufacturer’s overseas parent company.

Finally, WM was retained for subsequent tax advisory and valuation services. The WM tax team built a corporate tax calendar and provided quarterly filing support and the WM valuation team was leveraged for services during the subsequent transactions.

The Result

WM cleared the way to establish the global OEM’s financial operations in US and Europe.

The WM team quickly established the manufacturer’s U.S. and European financial operations, critical to the launch of the venture while tackling the integration of the immediate and pending acquisitions. WM has become a trusted partner to the global automotive OEM, assisting with follow-on transactions and ongoing management support.


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