Aalto M&A Forum

Aalto M&A Forum was a top speaking event in Finland in 2023 on the Mergers and Acquisitions theme, with esteemed international speakers who covered current trends and insights as well as recent research on the phases of the M&A process. Our speakers represented both top-tier financial and strategy firms and academia.
Aalto University School of Business building at night
Photo: Aalto University / Mika Huisman

Aalto’s news on the keynote and visiting international speakers of Aalto M&A Forum 2023

Esteemed mergers and acquisitions expert visited Aalto

Ted Rouse was a speaker at the first Aalto M&A Forum in October 2023. Rouse is an advisory partner working at Bain & Company in London, with extensive experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Silmälasipäinen, harmaatukkainen ja tummaan pukuun pukeutunut Ted Rouse hymyilee kuvassa iloisesti ja on ojentanut oikean kätensä rennosti ilmaan. Taustalla on viherkasveja ja ikkunasta tulevaa valoa.

Beware of Las Vegas marriages, advises a mergers and acquisitions professor

Mergers and acquisitions are a powerful strategic tool to take a company in a new direction, says Professor Thomas Keil.

Thomas Keil ja Markus Mäkelä

When: Wednesday 11 October 2023, 18:00 - ca. 20:15 + cocktails
Event language: English
Where: Tapahtumatalo Bank, Unioninkatu 20, Helsinki

M&A is a perennially central business topic for a variety of financial and corporate acquirors. This event answers to the interest by several presentations on current trends, informed by both practical experience and results of recent academic research.

These insights will be offered by Aalto University’s high-profile M&A event in October, which presents a roster of high-visibility companies and academics.

The event is targeted for executives and experts with M&A responsibilities from both financial and corporate acquirors, and for businesspeople interested in such roles.

Agenda in 2023

  • Prof. Kristiina Mäkelä: Opening by Aalto University
  • Prof. Thomas Keil: Driving M&A from strategy: From opportunistic target selection to a strategic identification and development of M&A targets
  • Ted Rouse and Pyry Vauramo: The investment-thesis driven approach to M&A: From due diligence to integration and value creation
  • Lauri Vaittinen: Implications of financial conditions for M&A activity
Thomas Keill


Keynote address by:

Dr. Thomas Keil

Chair in International Management, University of Zürich

Thomas Keil is tenured full professor at the Department of Business Administration at the University of Zürich, and has previously taught at Aalto University and York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto. His other research interests than M&A include strategic management and the senior leader’s agenda (board design, CEO succession, top management teams, transformation, and corporate entrepreneurship and innovation).

Thomas is experienced in working with corporations involved in M&A and has taught various Executive Education, Ph.D. and other audiences, based partly on his long-term research on M&A. In the 2000s, Thomas was Academic and Managing Director of the TKK Executive School of Business, a leading MBA educator in Finland, and has been an active advisor to companies across various industries.

Thomas actively publishes research on today’s theme – M&A – and other business topics in global top-quality journals, having published in Strategic Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Administrative Science Quarterly and has earned several international research awards.

Thomas’ latest books are The Next Leadership Team (Routledge, 2023) and The Next CEO (Routledge, 2021), and he frequently writes for practitioner business magazines.

Website at the University of Zürich

Ted Rouse

Senior international guest:

Ted Rouse 

Advisory Partner, Bain & Company, London

Ted Rouse has a long and distinguished career as management consultant, specializing in M&A strategy and merger integration over several decades. He joined Bain & Company in 1982 and served as a Partner since 1988 in the firm’s London, Chicago, San Francisco, and Sydney offices. He co-led Bain’s global M&A practice during 2005-2014 and continues to serve Bain’s clients as Advisory Partner in all facets of M&A activities, advising executives on topics such as cross-border deals with complex global integrations and cultural dynamics, mergers of equals, and integrations of unrelated businesses. 

Ted has led or supported dozens of merger integration efforts in a wide variety of sectors with particular expertise in the automotive industry across the entire value chain. He also led Bain’s global Industrial practice for several years.

Ted was a member of Bain & Company’s board of directors for more than 15 years and, amongst other leadership roles in the firm, the founding leader of Bain’s Chicago office.

Alongside his client work, Ted has published numerous articles on M&A topics in leading industry publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and MIT Sloan Management Review. He is an MBA graduate of the Harvard Business School.

Aalto University's provost Kristiina Mäkelä
Photo: Aalto University / Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Opening by:

Dr. Kristiina Mäkelä

Provost, Aalto University

Kristiina Mäkelä, Professor of International Business, is Aalto University’s provost, leading the university’s activities related to teaching, research, and societal impact as deputy to the president. Kristiina has previously worked at several foreign universities, had departmental and Aalto School of Business leadership responsibilities, and worked for a decade in business. Her research interests include various aspects of international management, including human resource management, the future of work, talent, and knowledge. 

Lauri Vaittinen, CEO of Mandatum Asset Management

Lauri Vaittinen 

CEO, Mandatum Asset Management

Lauri Vaittinen is the CEO of Mandatum Asset Management, a leading provider of solutions across asset classes for institutions, and is in charge of 16 billion euros of assets under management. He was previously Senior Vice President at Mandatum Life and the Chief Securities Officer of the pension insurance company Etera, among others. Lauri is an active Aalto alumnus, via both his Aalto Finance Alumni collaboration and co-publishing in the world-leading Journal of Financial Economics and Review of Financial Studies.

Pyry Vauramo

Pyry Vauramo 

Partner, Bain & Company, Helsinki

Pyry Vauramo is Partner at Bain & Company, based in the firm’s Helsinki office. Pyry specializes in M&A and investing advisory across the deal lifecycle and has experience in more than 100 transactions, with particular focus on the technology sector. Pyry advises both financial investors across asset classes as well as executives of leading companies on topics such as M&A and growth strategy, due diligence, post-acquisition value creation and merger integration.

Vesa Puttonen
Photo: Aalto University / Evelin Kask

Chaired by:

Dr. Vesa Puttonen

Professor of Finance, Aalto School of Business

Vesa Puttonen is Professor of Finance at Aalto University’s business school. His research has dealt with a number of financial topics, and he is an experienced speaker for corporate and Executive Education audiences. Vesa is also author of a number of business and finance books, and is sought after for media commentary. He has previously worked as an executive at the Helsinki Stock Exchange and Conventum, and been a board member or chairman of several quoted and other companies.

Registration and arriving

Registration and instructions for arrival to be announced later.


Aalto University collaborates with Aalto Finance Alumni in organising this event. We jointly thank the presenting companies for their role in making the event possible. This Aalto M&A Forum is co-located with the Aalto Finance Alumni Conference 2023.

Contacts at the board of Aalto Finance Alumni

Jesse Hirvelä
040 095 0880
[email protected]

Kadir Kumral
044 093 0166
[email protected]

Aalto Finance Alumni logo

Aalto Finance Alumni (external link)

AFA develops and maintains the highly talented and vibrant community of Aalto University’s (former Helsinki School of Economics) finance alumni and friends world over

More information

Markus Mäkelä
Chair of the Event Committee, Aalto University
+358 50 520 7770
[email protected]

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