BIG LAW BUSINESS - May 25 - Most GCs can point to a mentor who shaped their career - and Jared Sine is no exception. Before he took on the role of general counsel and secretary of Match Group, Sine learned the art of M&A strategy from Mark Okerstrom, CEO of Expedia.
Q: How did leading Expedia's M&A efforts prepare you for your current role at Match?
A: During the four-year period, we did a massive amount of deals - ~$10B-worth. That allowed us to see a variety of issues, both commercial and legal.
Q: What common barriers do you see in M&A deals?
A: Deals are like math equations. To get to the right outcome, you need to think about the variables—and how you structure them - to make sure each party is getting what they need out of the deal. To break through barriers, you need to understand not only your business but the legal structure and issues that go along with the business you're acquiring. People often get emotionally attached to a certain way of thinking about a deal. You just have to be very logical and dispassionate.
Q: What else would you advise GCs to overcome some of these barriers?
A: Sometimes as lawyers, we think too much like lawyers as opposed to like business folks. That sometimes leads us to lose the ability to be creative. You have to think more outside the box and be more commercial.
Q: What internal collaborations help you strengthen business objectives?
A: The mantra my team works under is that we are just as responsible for the business outcomes as the business teams. It's essential we work closely with every team across the business. It's critical we understand what the forecasts look like, where the business is looking to go.
Q: Turning to auto-renewal laws - how does Match stay apprised of these laws and ensure customer preferences are heard, too?
A: We've built a team that is very involved on the legislative front. We also have clear disclosures on our sites. We do annual and biannual - and often tri-annual - reviews of the flows for auto-renewal, to make sure that as things evolve from a legislative standpoint, we're compliant and thoughtful about the way we disclose.
Q: How are you strengthening privacy in U.S. and overseas markets?
A: We take privacy very seriously. We invest heavily in it. We've expanded our privacy team. We have multiple privacy attorneys, and multiple privacy program managers.