Member News: Business Developments, Articles, More

Jean-Francois Orsini, Club Chair, has article in M&A News
Other members urged to report on professional and personal
developments of potential interest to other members
Get your 15 minutes of fame, and maybe more!

Jean-Francois Orsini, MBA ‘72, Ph.D. ‘84, Wharton Club of DC Chairman and Treasurer has just had an article published in the September 2006 issue of the prestigious Mergers & Acquisitions magazine.

In the article, "Why is Cultural Harmony So Elusive?,” Orsini takes stock of the difficulty in reconciling differences in organizational cultures in mergers and acquisitions. Such reconciliation is a prerequisite for successful post M&A integrations, where the two sides need to do a professional job at designing together the structure of the integrated resulting company. Each side brings its values to the integration table.

Jean-Francois distinguishes between strategic values, which are non-negotiable and should be examined at the due diligence stage, and tactical values, which are negotiable and are precisely the elements of the give-and-take that will lead to the final organizational structure of the ensuing entity. Post M&A integration is the phase during which most M&As are said to flounder. This makes Orsini’s contribution to the debate all the more valuable.

The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) – of whose National Capital Chapter Jean-Francois is a member - is the premier association for and about professionals involved in middle-market corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. It promotes the professional interests of its members, by offering a forum for quality programs, education and networking, and provides the strongest available network for executives involved in middle-market business growth and development. It ranks first among international associations of its kind.

Orsini is president of Pin-Stripe, LLC, which teaches a web-based business simulation course online where virtual companies compete. In particular, it is offered as a tool for members of the two sides of an M&A to get to know and appreciate each other and places them in the best disposition before they can “negotiate” their values so as to maximize the likelihood that their merger will succeed. Proper planning and use of this process may dramatically increase the odds of M&A success.

Interested readers may request a copy of the article from Jean-Francois at

Optimal Networks opened its doors to nearly 100 clients, partners, and friends this past Thursday to celebrate its 15th year providing IT support services to businesses and associations in the DC Metro area.  The company was founded in 1991 by current CEO Heinan Landa, who developed the business plan during his MBA at Wharton.  Today, Optimal Networks offers the latest in Managed IT Services and continues to thrive and succeed in a very competitive market.

The Open House celebration had some real surprises, including music and line-dancing led by Optimal's own DJ (aka Support Center Specialist) Art Lavigne.  Technology partners, such as Microsoft, Interwoven, Sonicwall, Mailwise, and Zenith were on hand to demonstrate their products and answer questions.  And there was even a sneak preview of the upcoming Microsoft Vista operating system.

To see a video slideshow of the Open House celebration, click on http://

Questions?  Please email Heinan directly at