It's been more than a year since my old firm, the Monitor Group, based in McLean, Va., combined with Savant Capital Management in Rockford, Ill. I'm frequently asked, of course, how well the merger is faring. As with any major change, there have been some surprises.

For many of you, the possibility of merging with or acquiring another firm or practice is very real. The more you know going into a deal, the more likely there will be a good outcome for all, so I'll share some unexpected issues that our combined company has dealt with in the past year.

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