Page 1 • November 2017

Also in this issue:

A Reputation for Excellence Julius & Creasy Right Investments. Right Results. Exceedra A Leader in Energy Efficiency

Theatre, ICT suite and offices by Paul Vick architects Photo: Martin Storey

A Leading Manufacturer of e-liquids

Prudent Group

Influential Architecture: Designed for Client Benefits We profile the firm and its founder, Paul Vick as we look to find out about the firm’s services and what makes it so attractive to clients.

Ferguson Snell & Associates


No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Editor’s Comment

Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment.

In recent news, Opus Bank announced on the 13th November that Nicole M. Carrillo, Opus’ Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, has resigned from her position with Opus effective of 9th November 2017, but will continue on as a consultant. Ms Carrillo concurrently resigned from her positions as a director of the Opus Community Foundation and Opus Financial Partners.

AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. How to get in touch AI welcomes news and views from its readers. Correspondence should be sent to; Address: Acquisition International, Second Floor Suite F, The Maltsters, 1-2 Wetmore Road, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1LS. Phone: +44 (0) 1283 712447 Email: Website: Find us on...

Welcome to this bumper November edition of Acquisition Intl. Magazine, bringing you the latest developments in the world of corporate finance.

Within this month’s edition, we learn how Exceedra has seen its reputation grow over the years, and now the company possesses a global reputation as the go-to software vendor. Taking time to provide us with an insight into the inner workings of the company, Jennifer Nicholas reveals to us what makes Exceedra so successful. Speaking of success, we discover how QuickStart helps organizations transform IT project performance and career through cognitive learning platform and multi-mode training. Recently, we spoke to Ed Sattar to learn more about the company and its remarkable success. Lastly, we profiled one of the oldest and largest civil law firms in Sri Lanka, Julius & Creasy to reveal the secrets behind its success, such as being featured in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards and as the Best in IP Law 2017 – Sri Lanka. Here at Acquisition Intl., we sincerely hope you enjoy reading this captivating edition, and look forward to hearing from you.

Jessie Daykin - Editor -

4 News 6 Influential Architecture: Designed for Client Benefits Paul Vick Architects 10 Best International Legal Service Institution RayYin& Partners 12 “For you to be yourself at your best, even in the toughest situations” Grant Pearson Brown Consulting Ltd 14 Immigration Specialists Ferguson Snell 16 Investing in Excellence Verdant Capital 18 Growth Through Innovation Partnering Strategic Allies Ltd 20 A Visionary in the Aircraft Industry F/LIST 21 Leading Adviser Awards 2017 & Leading Adviser in Foreign Investment Law - Greece Ikonomopoulos and Partners 22 Local Advice from a Global Source ACXIT Capital Partners 24 Growing Along With Knowledge NAZALI

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25 A Reputation for Excellence Julius & Creasy 26 Excellence With a Global Presence Capstan Capital Partners LLP 28 Prudent Group: A Team Approach 30 A Vision of Disruption Enterprise Lab 32 Connecting the World with Intelligent Insurance Solutions Concirrus 34 Learning for Life QuickStart 36 A Leading Manufacturer of e-liquids ELDA Ltd 38 Leading the Way Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP 39 Halldale: Personal Experience is Key 40 Nurture! Think Critically! Be Balanced! American International School 42 OTS Solicitors: Attention to Detail 44 Leading the Way Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP 46 Integrated Business Planning for Consumer Goods Companies Exceedra




Verdant Capital

ACXIT Capital Partners



Prudent Group

Grant Pearson Brown Consulting Ltd


Dr. MeyerDulheuer & Partners LLP

48 Delivering Maximum Value for Your Company KBS Corporate 50 Providing Global Excellence in Legal Services. SCWP Schindhelm


Ghazanfar Bank

51 Personalised Service to Bring Prosperity Prosperity IFA 52 Leapership Consultants Group: Leading the Pack 53 Leading the Way for Legal Excellence Estudio O’Farrell 54 Moving Ahead From Good to Great Ghazanfar Bank

OTS Solicitors


56 Industry Focus. Powerful Results. FMI Corporation 58 Providing Only the Best Christiana Petrou Milis 59 Right Investments. Right Results. Trois-Rivières Port Authority 60 Develop Your Business, Define Your Legacy. Legacy Consulting Limited

62 Winners’ Directory

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News: from around the world

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NEWS / From Around The World

Irish Financial Institution Improves Risk Assessment Process Using Online Methods A leading financial institution based in Ireland has received excellent feedback on its Display Screen Equipment (DSE) training and compliance procedures following an independent audit. An independent health and safety auditor to OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) standards described the organisation’s approach and procedures for managing DSE and ergonomics as “exemplary”. As part of its wider drive to embed a culture of safety and sustainability, the organisation switched to the ErgoWize system that has helped to streamline ergonomic training and risk assessments. The organisation employs over 1,500 people, yet, despite their size, had originally been training and ensuring DSE assessment compliance using paper-based procedures. Not only did this consume considerable resources to manage, the assessments left lots of room for ambiguity. The company found that employees were interpreting the questions in different ways, making issues difficult to prioritise and solve. The organisation has praised EssentialSkillz for its easy-to-use ergonomic training programme, ErgoWize deployed through its cloud-based O-LAS system. ErgoWize software helps companies achieve DSE compliance across an entire workforce, giving managers peace of mind that all staff are assessed and remain continually compliant. ErgoWize has been proven to significantly reduce time and costs spent administrating the process. The Health & Safety manager at the firm said: “We had been looking to introduce an online system for eLearning and assessments to provide an audit trail and verify compliance. We’ve been using ErgoWize since 2012, and it does everything we want it to. Our old paper trail methods were a huge drain on admin resources, so we wanted an eLearning approach that would enhance the quality of the training and assessment processes and would help to automate many of the time-consuming aspects, while providing an up-to-date dashboard of compliance across all departments and the organisation as a whole. “We had a very robust specification when we went to tender for the software, and ideally, we were looking for a system that offered both training and assessments in one. We didn’t expect to find one. Not only does ErgoWize achieve this, but it allows

us to tailor our course content to suit our employees and the type of hardware and software that we use – meeting our specification in every way and more.” The software has given them in-depth insight into the issues employees face. It also allows its partner ergonomists to review issues remotely and quickly, before addressing them when on site with the individuals. The efficiency of the process was praised by the external auditors. The manager continues: “It’s hugely beneficial to be able to extract and analyse data from ErgoWize. We’ve used it to identify and flag trends or issues and sort data by any category we want, such as by our 30 plus departments or by the issue employees are experiencing. We can control access levels, giving access to the local DSE Assessor for each department.” The organisation is not set to rest on its laurels. It has plans to expand and invest further in sitstand desks, complete with monitor arms, using quantitative data from the ErgoWize to support the investment. The Health & Safety manager concluded: “The comments we had from the auditors highlighted a major milestone for us as we continue to improve our working environments for the benefit of our employees’ health and wellbeing. The information has even helped us build cases for investing in further changes, demonstrating priority areas and trends across the organisation or by activity or department. We’ve now switched everyone’s workstations to 100% sit stand ergonomic desks in one of our facilities, partly based on the data collected by ErgoWize.” Shane McAllister, the Account Manager for EssentialSkillz, commented: “Organisations that are still using a paper-based system to record DSE (or any other) risk assessments are in danger not only of failing to stay on top of critical issues that are raised during the assessments themselves, but also missing out on wider reporting data. This trend data can help to inform health & safety strategy and justify spend across the organisation.”

Clearlake Capital-Backed NetDocuments Expands Executive Team to Drive Accelerated Growth On the 10th November 2017, the leading secure cloud-based document management, email management and collaboration software platform for law firms and corporate legal and compliance departments, backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”), NetDocuments announced that two seasoned software industry executives have joined the management team. Josh Baxter has been named President and Chief Operating Officer, and Michael Gibson has joined as Chief Revenue Officer, effective immediately. Baxter brings deep expertise in software operations, having previously served as Executive Vice President of Customer Success & Services at Ivanti. At NetDocuments, Baxter will oversee the services and engineering operations and lead M&A execution and integration. “The NetDocuments team has built a tremendous platform and I see many exciting opportunities to help drive growth. Our team’s ambitious product roadmap will serve as our foundation for organic growth, which we will complement with our buy and build platform strategy in partnership with Clearlake,” said Baxter. An experienced senior sales executive, Gibson joins NetDocuments from ECi Software Solutions, where he served as SVP Worldwide Sales and Marketing. At NetDocuments Gibson will oversee worldwide sales, marketing, and business development initiatives. “NetDocuments has brought together incredible products and talent into a leading secure technology platform, and I am eager to join the team and help accelerate the industry’s transition to the cloud for knowledge workers,” said Gibson. “We are thrilled to attract these high calibre executives with deep experience scaling software businesses at such a critical time of growth for NetDocuments,” said Matt Duncan, CEO of NetDocuments. “These additions better prepare the company to manage our next phase of growth as a cloud-based market leader. Law firms and corporations are embracing the NetDocuments platform more than ever to solve their current content management and security challenges and better position themselves for the future. We are excited for the next chapter of global growth as more firms and companies are making the switch to our secure and trusted cloud platform.” “When we initially partnered with the NetDocuments team our goal was to invest in the Company to accelerate growth and rapidly scale the product development and sales strategy,” said Behdad Eghbali and Prashant Mehrotra of Clearlake. “With the additions of Josh and Michael to the team, we feel the company is better positioned to execute on this long-term platform growth strategy and more aggressively capitalize on NetDocuments’ position as the leader in secure cloud-based content management.”

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Company: Paul Vick architects Ltd Email: Web: Address: 80-82 Chiswick High Road, London W4 1SY Phone: London 020 7993 6573

The architecture of value: reaching the parts of the investment appraisal numbers can’t reach Paul Vick Architects have won AI’s prestigious Global Excellence Award 2017 for Best Architecture Firm. A growing, agile practice based in West London, their unique blend of skills and experience is backed up with a client-savvy world-view that sets them apart in their profession. Here, their Cambridge-educated director Paul Vick puts value in capital construction projects under the microscope to reveal its hidden anatomy. It’s easy to see why clients are sometimes surprised by architects. For starters, they don’t just do what’s asked of them. They keep pushing you to try different things, consider aesthetic appeal, rethink your carefully informed and worked out brief, and suggest more capital expenditure, as though it were their business to engineer your investment plan. When you’re not used to this kind of thing, it can be uncomfortable.


Challenging expectations If all you want is planning permission and a viable building - foundations, floors, walls, doors, windows and roofs – delivered on time and to budget, you need to think again. If the only important factors for you are to keep the weather out, keep people safe, make them comfortable, with the space arranged so that they can do the things they need to do well, you’re missing a trick. Architects can seem to complicate matters because buildings are complex, a fact they understand better than any other professional in the construction game.

A culture clash? No doubt this picture exaggerates the mismatch in expectations. Many clients absolutely ‘get’ the need to test ideas, especially in a sector that, because of regulatory and geospatial constraints, resists the commoditised pattern-book approach. However, the stereotype has an air of familiarity to all of us who have ever been in the position of procuring commercial developments. There is a culture clash that can polarise opinions to the detriment of ultimate success. Figs. 1 & 2

Image: Paul Vick Architects

Image: The Depot

Fig. 1 Regeneration of £24m, 20 acre Royal Ordnance Depot, Northampton. The depot was located in the centre of the country to allow munitions to reach any coast quickly in the event of Napoleonic invasion. A spur of the Grand Canal was created down the middle of the site and is visible today.

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Fig. 2 Royal Ordnance Depot, Northampton. Sold by the previous owner because the planning obstacles were too great, Paul Vick architects’ 100% planning permission record and experience is being brought to bear. The proposed uses aim to appeal to both demographic need, make the most of the grade 2* listed asset and in a way that makes business sense. Uses include change of use and refurbishment for offices and retail for creative businesses of approx. 7000sqm already with superfast broadband, new 40 room boutique hotel, 80room care home and 17 independent ‘close care’ living, 16 low energy family homes and 12 apartments.

The architecture of value: reaching the parts of the investment appraisal numbers can’t reach

Risk and uncertainty Armed only with a commercial need, a strategic target, and an investment appraisal, risk and uncertainty loom large in the average construction client’s mind. Staring blindly through the fog of unknowns, they lean on past performance, current valuations, economic indicators – any crutch, in fact, to mitigate their risk. After all, huge sums of money are involved and whether they spend equity or take on debt, it all has critical implications for the wellbeing of their organisation. The flip side: opportunity and innovation All this can be anathema to architects. Their education and passion encourage them to embrace the unknown and trains them to solve problems creatively and iteratively. Since the sector is inevitably hostage to unknowable fortune – difficulties in planning, unforeseen ground conditions, volatile material or labour prices, and so on – responsiveness is spliced into the architects’ very core. They are so used to dealing with uncertainty that they forget how disconcerting the prospect is for the people who are bearing the lion’s share of the risk.

“If we speak our clients’ language, less is lost in the translation.” Speaking the same language At my practice we have vowed never to forget. Remembering means that we take the time to allay fears and are primed to pre-empt concerns right from the off. If we speak our clients’ language, less is lost in the translation. Similarly, we can spot a googly as it comes out of the hand, giving us the time to reassure our clients that, with some fancy footwork, the ball can still be hit for six. Human nature makes us naturally risk averse. It is our job to remind clients that for every risk safely avoided there are equal or, often, greater downside risks, especially in today’s fast-changing socioeconomic context. The black swans of construction Construction is interconnected with our world and does not happen in a vacuum – it is subject to a set of uncontrolled factors such as climate change, demographic shifts, urbanisation, digital tech, skills shortages, resource depletion, and so on. The web connecting your particular project to these global trends may seem comparatively tenuous now, although it won’t over time. The long gestation period of building projects means that what might work today may not work so well two years down the line when the building completes. When the only constant is change, designing only for today’s conditions is a sure way to guarantee a sub-optimal solution. The digital context of value Digital technology in particular has turned the value conversation away from short-term profit-making to long-term focus on the user experience and its profitability. Not only are your users, i.e. your

customers and stakeholders, better informed and have higher expectations, they also wield proven power to make and damage brands through social media. This trend is critical. Yesterday’s built-in conceptions of value – lucrative in the short-term but distanced from the user – are threatening to leave assets stranded because they failed to take account of the environment or communities they serve. That is why investors are looking to both avoid negative feedback loops and actively fund activities that promote the circular economy. Pension funds, for example, may already divest away from fossil fuels to renewables under pressure from their customers and by virtue of their long-term perspective. Experiencing the world through buildings Because we live, work and play in buildings, all these trends are mediated through built assets. Our job at Paul Vick Architects is to confront uncertainty and negotiate these trends intelligently in relation to the client’s brief. This is our chief tool for adding use, economic, social, environmental, identity, and cultural value for our clients. For an office owneroccupier, that might mean design that attracts the best staff, encourages them to stay longer, work more productively and, ultimately, to make a more profitable enterprise. For investor-developers, that might mean private rented housing designed with a marketing cachet that commands premium rents, long leases and zero voids. For a museum, it might mean spectacular staging in and outside galleries themselves to create a destination powerful enough to attract people away from their smart phablets.

“We confront uncertainty and negotiate global trends intelligently in relation to the client’s brief” At the start up hub the practice designed for Innovation Warehouse (IW) and the Corporation of London at Smithfield Market in London for example, both formal as well as informal spaces were designed to assist IW’s investment and growth programmes. This is quite contrarian to many current ideas that the informal space should be prevalent in a start-up hub for example. This approach has engaged directly with how one goes about developing new business ideas and getting them sold. This has worked and IW has created a number of unicorn businesses. We recently gained planning permission for a new office space and a glass bridge to enable the expansion of the global HQ of a telecommunications company in London. As well as centralising the reception (and its staff costs), the new construction sets out an identity that emphasises connectivity whether this is in the highly visible and lit glass bridge, the office desk layouts or the refectory and its ability for small or collective meeting.

Designing in four dimensions. Achieving value for a long time The central plank of our design agenda is to design not just for day one but for the whole life of the building. That requires four-dimensional design thinking. By considering the effects of time on a building, we avoid locking capital away irretrievably in stranded assets. In practice this means building in flexibility, adaptability, and ease of maintenance and longevity of use opportunity. This is most easily understood where the trend has been to rebuild every 30years, where if designed for 60yr or 100yr life may mean building the structure only once rather than three times over this period. Entrepreneurial basics - finding the seeds of value These are the output values. A more pertinent question is what the input values are. We think it all starts with having a thorough understanding of the users. We want to get under the skin of the people who will use the building by interrogating what their needs are now and how they will evolve in the future. Get that right, and your building will be successful. Let too much risk aversion, safety, short-termism, efficiency, and rigid corporate protocol get in the way and you lose sight of the customer. The project will be sub-optimal. For us, this process of discovery starts with an almost philosophical analysis of the human cultural context and, indeed, our genetically encoded motivations and behaviours. Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs is a useful model for organising our thinking. Maslow proposed that human needs must be satisfied in a more or less structured order. We build up from the things we need to survive, to be safe, to have shelter, to feel belonging and self-esteem. These are known as deficiency needs. If they are not met, we feel anxious, tense and unhappy. On the other hand, if they are adequately met then we can focus more on what we call ‘growth needs’: including the need for knowledge, self-fulfilment and transcendence. The latter might be understood to include the need to help others. In today’s fractured society, where the fluidity of information and peersharing can be as divisive and alienating as it can be a force for intellectual and spiritual nourishment, our objective is clear-cut. At grade 2* St Paul’s Knightsbridge, this thinking created a challenging dialogue and exploration on the relevance and function of the institution. Keying into a civic opportunity as well as supporting the church’s open programmes of counselling, music as well as office space and support facilities was identified. Phase 1 of the project includes creating a basement under the church, two new levels of unique offices under the tower looking down the rich C19th nave and an ambulatory around the outside of the church. This led to a commission for creating a vision for the Diocese of London, whose estate is very varied in terms of commercial, cultural, educational and public buildings. Their estate is large as well and runs from St Paul’s Cathedral (their largest regeneration project) to Westminster. One of the main tasks was to understand the open role of the church today and how its contribution may be relevant for tomorrow, particularly in terms of Acquisition International - November 2017 7

Image: Paul Vick Architects

Photo: Martin Storey

today’s real estate language. With more people in development than the government, an originator of educational establishments (Oxbridge and today numerous primary and secondary schools open to all creeds), a 1400yr old continuous legacy (longer than the monarchy), 80m Anglican adherents and a billion Christians worldwide, the group is not insignificant in any value terms.

Fig. 4 ‘Beeches’ 1st Age to 3rd Age, low energy house. It has both subtle and dramatic spaces. It is highly private, opens to the landscape on one side and uses a reflection pool to get light deep into the plan. The materials are tactile and relate to the area. They include a copper roof and solid basalt worktops which were once molten like the molten batholith of granite that forms Dartmoor, near where the house is located. It has some rooms for children and grandchildren visiting or a future carer. It meets the low energy Passivhaus based AECB standard.

Fig. 3 St Paul’s Knightsbridge, London. Our extension and remodelling of this Grade-II listed church in London includes a contemporary interpretation with the ambulatory wrapped around the outside of the building as opposed to being a cloister to one side. As well as directly useful, it doubles up as a calm, contemplative space offering the public refuge from the cacophony of the surrounding streets.

The notion of longevity is also particularly interesting when you consider that buildings can help you live longer. What is that worth to you? The question of value does not really get much bigger. This was the question we approached in designing the 1st Age to 3rd Age, low energy house ‘Beeches’ in the west country. We had been told by the care community that being able to stay in your home longer, in a known environment that you had control over, with support as required and a beautiful and appropriate design was conducive to better health and long life. Historically, good health is often seen as needing to be put right when it goes wrong. Health in buildings is often medicalized and clinical, or the psychological addressed as a ‘greenwash’ or ‘artwash’ e.g. in offices. When importantly it is about inherent design of these and being fundamentally human. The client very satisfyingly commented on completion of Beeches, ‘I didn’t know design could do this.’ 8 Acquisition International - November 2017

The future - resetting conceptions of built value Since all experience takes place through the places we inhabit, we should train our crosshairs not just on output values but on these nurturing input needs by setting the stage for self-actualisation. For some this is still a religious motivation, but also spiritual solace is likely to be found in our leisure activities at sports, a beautiful landscape, a gorgeous gallery, a spectacular museum, a buzzing theatre, a place we love to work… And we anticipate a growing demand for all these.

Fig. 5 Theatre, ICT suite and office, W London.

Photo: Martin Storey

The architecture of value: reaching the parts of the investment appraisal numbers can’t reach

The obverse is true. Get these places wrong and you will always be chasing the competition, unable to retain your users and unable to adapt to increasingly influential global trends. Any shortterm success is likely to be quickly engulfed by vanishing value.

“Get these places right and you sow the seeds for longterm premium value” Nudging architecture. Beyond the metrics Great buildings will always be about a great user experience. It is not a science. It can’t be. Like all investments, it is subject to volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and so involves educated guesswork and experience. It will be founded on the issues that are the true source of value and not be driven by satisfying metrics that, by virtue of being measurable, give false confidence but in fact miss the point. In short, value must be designed in at the start of the conversation – it cannot be retrofitted. Architecture influences us whether we like it or not. It appeals to our emotions, keying into our Maslowian needs. Some spaces are dingy, cramped, badly laid out, while others sing to our souls, effortlessly fulfilling our functional needs. The more we apply what we know about the mechanics of this nudging, the more we can exploit architecture for beneficial ends, where consumer, user, community member needs are aligned with owners’, investors’ and agents’. Deeper value Design that creates authentic experiences that tap naturally into fundamental human needs is powerful, particularly the need to leave the world a better place for our children and enable the next generation. Doing so fulfils all the commercial needs for footfall, loyalty, staff retention, productivity, thinking, good health, happiness and word of mouth marketing – all those output values that are so important to different types of building users. And that makes focusing on the user experience a good business decision for the client. When construction projects are so long in the making and with a life that goes on for years after completion, it really pays to invest in good design. Over time, that life can either grow or shrink in value, and reinforce or detract from a brand. It all depends on designing to meet our most fundamental human needs.

Fig. 6 Low energy, mixed use pin tower for a pension fund, London

Image: Paul Vick Architects

Get these places right and you sow the seeds for long-term premium value. For example, we don’t design low carbon buildings just for the sake of sustainability (laudable and important as that is). We do it because it resonates with our need to better ourselves, which sets up a positive psychological feedback loop that leads to other benefits. It need not cost more, but if it does, it is more than compensated by its valueenhancing virtues.

This is what the Global Excellence award judges meant when they said that Paul Vick Architects have a ‘refreshingly new’ approach to legacy: ‘Whether obtaining value for clients, interpreting clients’ architectural needs or always looking to make the cultural element relevant for today and tomorrow… the practice demonstrates a high level of flexibility and innovative thinking.’ Acquisition International - November 2017 9


Best International Legal Service Institution Company:Legalmall Tech. (法乐网络科技) Name: Yi Zhou Email: Web: Address: Room 805, Block 2, Kun Sha center, Chaoyang district, Beijing, P.R.China

As the first-class brand for worldwide legal protection, LEGALMALL has three business systems: overseas legal protection aid, global company investigation, online voice consulting platform(App). Taking time to profile LEGALMALL, is a spokesperson for the internet company who discusses what makes the firm the success it is today.

s the first-class brand for worldwide legal protection, LEGALMALL has three business systems: overseas legal protection aid, global company investigation, online voice consulting platform(App).


Overseas legal protection aid: Legalmall has cooperated with some insurance companies to provide oversea tourists and business insurances,

for example, the insured person’s money or personal property was stolen, robbed, grabbed or lost due to malicious damage by others during the trip; the insured person died, got burnt or was disabled cause by an accident during the trip; the insured person was hijacked, kidnapped or illegally detained during the trip; the insured person died caused by an acute illness during the trip; other person’s physical or property damage caused by an accident during the trip. When insured person met above problems, they can get legal aid from the local lawyer who have joined Legalmall’s network. As for the global company investigation: Legalmall has provided around 130 countries’ simple and comprehensive company search to global clients, including company registration date, registration number, legal representative, registered capital, operating period, shareholders, business scope, etc.; comprehensive company investigation: detailed background information, historical changes and annual financial statements. LEGALMALL online voice consultation platform: an application APP for online legal advice by billing in minute has integrated resources for lawyers and the parties, which is very similar to Uber, so that users are able to quickly find their satisfactory lawyer(s), and can complete the legal advice and legal fees online, making legal services more convenient, timely and experienced. Moving forward, at LEGALMALL, we are committed to providing the most professional and international legal services to enterprises and individuals around the world via new technology. We have cooperated with more than 500 global legal institutions via our platform, and signed with more than five thousand legal experts, which have greatly shortened the distance between our clients and lawyers. Clients are able to immediately access to legal services by just moving their fingers. We have already successfully served tens of thousands of people, providing clients with the most secure legal protection.

10 Acquisition International - November 2017

Best International Legal Service Institution

Acquisition International - November 2017 11


Company: Grant Pearson Brown Consulting Ltd Contact: Ewan Pearson Contact Email: Address: 4 Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2RP, UK Phone: 0207 831 1000 Web Address:

“For you to be yourself at your best, even in the toughest situations” Grant Pearson Brown Consulting Ltd (GPB.EU) is a respected specialist communications adviser. Ewan Pearson gives us a breakdown of the company’s services, as well as the future of the company.

PB.EU is a London-based management consultancy, specialising in advice, coaching and training in effective and persuasive communications. The firm covers the full range of presentations, pitches, business development, media interviews, negotiations, telephone skills and written documents, as well as providing voice-over services for adverts and events. Ewan talks about the firm’s philosophy, highlighting the client-oriented nature of the services that staff offer.


“At GPB.EU, our mission and focuses is very deliberately focused on our clients, not on ourselves. We truly do put clients first, and can evidence that by still having 8 ‘founder clients’ from our first year in business,1993. We would much rather look after our clients than for our clients, so we focus on retaining clients and not on selling to them, so our own BD activity, once a client has come on board and usually through a referral, is to serve them in the way they want, and to the best of our abilities.” Following on from outlining the company’s mission, Ewan discusses how it utilises the services the team offers to help the clients. With a lot of work coming in physical areas such as presentations and interviews to name a few, the team also deal in written communications, as Ewan alludes to. This versatility helps the company attract the best business and best clients. “Essentially, the team’s work ends up being mostly in spoken and persuasive communications, in a variety of areas, but also in written communications such as proposals and tenders, business development, pitching and information memoranda. We work ‘pan economy’ with many clients from some of the largest global banks, through a range of pharmaceutical companies to some of the smallest product suppliers, and we do that in most of the main economic areas of the world, based from our head office in London. If we have a sectoral bias, it is to Financial Services, as some one third of our clients come from that sector. “Additionally, we work on all the types of spoken and written communication events that exist, such 12 Acquisition International - November 2017

as on investor presentations for banks, fundraisings for PE and VC firms, annual results and investor presentations, pitches by individuals, law firms, banks, accountants and other service and product providers. We have also helped people to get jobs, promotions, and even places at university. We worked on the London 2012 Olympic bid (and one other successful one since), on the UK Govt enquiry into Private Equity, and are currently working on sporting and cultural hosting bids. “That work is important enough to occur often at C Suite and CEO level in some of the world’s largest enterprises, but we also work with line and departmental management, and go right through to new intakes and graduate recruits. If we get to work with the critical mass of people within a client we can even improve significantly the way an organisation communicates, whether externally or internally. Distinguishing itself from other similar firms within the industry, GPB.EU is unique in the way that it combines its science analysis and art to produce the best advice in its specialist areas. “In science, we are unique on offering the full set of three objective Scientific Analyses, on content, and on vocal and visual communication. They are offered in two forms, detailed analyses where budgets and requirements indicate, and short analyses where timings are tight and the results and subsequent coaching are needed asap. These analyses help us to focus the coaching where it is most needed, so getting better and more enduring results in less time and at less overall cost. “From the art side, we pull in the best ideas on rhetoric, argumentation, and even Aristotle’s and Socrates’ teachings on persuasion. The ideas of examples, analogy, metaphor, quotation and anecdote are all important to us. This brings an elegance, possibly even a beauty to the act of communication that we are advising and coaching on. “Together the effect is to create pieces of communication that are easy to understand, remember and retell. Where the goal is influence

“For you to be yourself at your best, even in the toughest situations”

or persuasion, that outcome have increased significantly, to 70% in pitches with.”

then we maximise too. Our clients their pitch win rate an impressive over that we help them

Ultimately, there looks to be a bright future going forward for GPB.EU, as Ewan talks about the innovative nature of the firm’s services, and how client satisfaction is at a high level. “Moving forward, we are constantly innovating, either by incorporating the latest scientific research, conducting it ourselves, or developing new coaching ideas through brainstorming sessions in our office. This has led to the development of, for example, GPB’s Buyers’ Rights Act, the FBI funnel, a methodology for handling all tough questions, and Decision Level Criteria Analysis.”

Acquisition International - November 2017 13


Company: Ferguson Snell & Associates Contact: Diane Claridge Contact Email: Address: Forum House, 1st Floor, 15-18 Lime Street, London, EC3M 7AN, UK Phone: 020 3668 2700 Website:

Immigration Specialists Ferguson Snell is one of the most established names in Immigration in the United Kingdom. We invited David José and Diane Claridge to tell us about the organisation and its recent successes, including being featured in 2017 Global Excellence Awards and Most Trusted for Immigration Services 2017 in the UK. ince being established in 1985, Ferguson Snell has been known for providing high quality and reliable immigration advice, case work and consulting services for its clients around the world, many of whom have trusted the firm with their Immigration work for over 20 years. As well as being recognised as a leading inbound UK Immigration business, over the last five years the company has extended its services and now offers a comprehensive global immigration which many of its clients inevitably require. David, who is the Managing Director of Ferguson Snell tells us how it feels to have been selected in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards, and what it means for the firm.


“This makes us feel very proud of our staff who work constantly on behalf of our clients to enable them to move countries whether for personal or business reasons. Individuals and businesses often have immigration challenges that need to be handled quickly and often under challenging circumstances, and it’s great to hear that we have been acknowledged for being the Trusted business who can assist them in doing so. Thank you! “For Ferguson Snell to say we are the best is one thing, however to be voted as the Most Trusted Immigration by clients is an external vote of confidence that says it all. Getting immigration right for individuals and companies can make an enormous positive difference and, on the flip side, when companies or people come to us when things have gone wrong, people lives and businesses can be seriously and negatively impacted. Clients are reliant upon their Immigration providers and really do have to trust them, so to hear that our clients really think Ferguson Snell gets this right validates what we are doing day in day out.” Despite its brilliant achievements and successes, the team at Ferguson Snell have not stopped and are still continuously looking for the next big development which will help the firm cement itself at the top of the industry. Diane alludes to the team’s overall mission and how staff are constantly working to reach targets. “Ferguson Snell’s overall mission has always been to provide high quality compliant immigration services for our clients, and to be recognised by our clients for doing so. We do this by employing highly experienced and trained Immigration consultants, 14 Acquisition International - November 2017

and having a continuous learning approach for all of our staff – this involves close mentoring, peer reviews as well attendance for any required regulatory Professional Development courses. David added, “we are constantly well prepared, Ferguson Snell does not operate ‘on the clock’, rather we seek to understand early on in the process what people are looking to achieve, and we spend time with them to ensure we have a complete picture of their circumstances, so we can advise them fully on the immigration application. “As cases progress, we emphasise to our employees the need to provide a fast response to clients’ enquiries through our ‘Sundown Rule’. This means we get back to people on the same day they have made an enquiry, which can often be reassuring during a process that can cause anxiety if you are not familiar with it and may head off a possible issue that could compromise their immigration case.” Key to the company’s success is how the team integrates innovation into every aspect of its work. Diane talks about providing an efficient service, a scenario in which technology can be a massive benefit. “Essentially, we strive to provide the best and most efficient service to our clients. We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve our service levels and exceed client expectations. Here at Ferguson Snell, our innovation comes in the form of services, we provide a specific diversity programme and are working with one of the UK’s largest organisations as a champion of the cause, we assist our clients with triage deployments and duty of care for their global workforce, especially in these uncertain political and economic times in some countries. Also, our client resolution initiatives are borne from creative yet practical solutions. Our global team are expanding and their knowledge in different markets increasing every day.” Unlike many other immigration firms, Ferguson Snell considers itself a brand. It has a wealth of experience and expertise to lean back on within the firm, and its client are constantly satisfied with the service they receive. Diane talks about the cost effective nature of the firm’s solutions and how maintaining relationships is one of the most important factors in its success.

Immigration Specialists

“As we stand today, Ferguson Snell is an established British brand. We have a longstanding history in the industry and we provide our clients with a high level of service which meets their requirements. Our solutions are practical, innovative, compliant yet cost effective. Our core belief is that we cannot succeed let alone operate without good client relationships and an understanding of what they want.” Working within a fast paced sector such as immigration law, Diane explains what techniques the firm employs to stay ahead of any emerging developments. Possessing a good management team is always beneficial to any company, and Diane is particularly complimentary about the team at Ferguson Snell. “One cannot say that we at Ferguson Snell are insular. We are progressive and in this competitive market and high demands from clients for global services, we look at growth and sustainability all the time. In continuing to provide our clients with best in class service at a global scale, and our merging of companies within the CIBT and Newland Chase group, we will now be able to compete with providers who have scaled footprints. More importantly, we can now boast a larger domestic presence, if and when any client feels that this is key to their immigration program. “Basically, we have a good management team who mix with and stay in communication peers and clients to keep up with the ever changing landscape. This is a people business, we keep our finger on the pulse.” Looking ahead, David is keen to talk about the future of Ferguson Snell. There are greater opportunities ahead for the firm, and avenues which will possibly open up thanks to its recent successes. Ferguson Snell will utilise its ongoing success in order to establish itself as a leader within the immigration sector. “Lastly, Ferguson Snell has recently been acquired by CIBT, one of the world’s largest visas and Immigration businesses, headquartered in Virginia, USA. This will enable Ferguson Snell to offer our clients both a much broader range of services and support in based in many more countries around the world, as well as offering greater opportunities for current and future employees.”

Acquisition International - November 2017 15


Company: Verdant Capital Contact: ed.higenbottam@ Contact Email: Edmund Higenbottam Address: Northview Building, 57 Sixth Road, Hyde Park, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa Phone: 0027101403700 Website:

Investing in Excellence Verdant Capital operates on a Pan-African basis from its offices in Johannesburg, Ebene, Accra and Kinshasa, and is currently working on transactions in 16 different African countries. We spoke to Edmund Higenbottam as we look to find out more about the firm, and what aspects contributed to it being featured as Best Specialist Corporate Finance Firm 2017 - South Africa & Best Financial Service Deal: Sale of afb Ghana to Letshego Holding Limited. round one-quarter of the work taken on by Verdant Capital is in South Africa, which is the largest market for investment banking in Africa; and about half its work is in the smaller markets in Southern Africa. In each area, the firm is the largest investment banking adviser, for example, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. Edmund goes into more detail about the types of client the company deals with, and lists some examples of recent transactions.


Increasingly, the balance of our work is in the rest of the Continent, including DR Congo, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. Recent examples of completed transactions since the award include, the sale of the Saint Gobain Pipelines business in South Africa for Saint Gobain, listed in Paris with a market cap of USD 30 billion; and again, in South Africa, a ZAR 50 million debt capital raise for leading fintech lender, Retail Capital. Outlining the firm’s overall mission, Edmund refers to the importance of satisfying clients. He talks about the steps that Verdant Capital will take in order to reach its targets, building upon each success individually, and undertaking each client individually. “Primarily, we provide our clients with the highest quality of work and often completed transactions lead to new business directly with parties we approach in our transactions. For example, we sold afb Ghana to Letshego, the leading panAfrican consumer lender with a balance sheet of approximately USD 900 million. We are currently arranging a USD 100 million debt financing for Letshego. We bring specific knowledge and detailed analysis to our projects, and this shows on both sides of the table.” Separating itself from its competitors is Verdant Capital’s global connectivity, according to Edmund. Working with well-renowned, high-profile clients contributes greatly to the firm being able to mark itself out as the best possible option for clients. “A critical factor is our global connectivity; the bulk of our transactions involve leading global companies or investors on one side of the transaction or the

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other. We have invested heavily in our network of relationships around the World. Our senior team brings experience earned in Europe and North America to Africa.” Providing us with a brief overview of the M&A markets at present, Edmund tells us what specific challenges and outside influences are affecting the market, and how Verdant Capital will adapt around this. “In terms of the overall investment environment, Africa continues to enjoy GDP growth at 1% or more above the levels prevailing in the G7. This fact, and high population growth has given credence to an Africa rising narrative. The reality is somewhat more nuanced, and these positives are offset by factors such as excessive resource / commodity dependence, significant fiscal and trade imbalances, weak institutions and inconsistent public policy. “Add to this, there has been an evolution of foreign direct investment into Africa by source. China has grown its share at the expense of the West, as part of its commodity aggregation story, but also as it seeks to develop a “soft power” strategy. However, how sustainable are these flows as China imposes ever tighter foreign exchange restrictions in response to its own debt issues? From Western Europe, there has been a re-energising of the development finance investor base, as a response to geo-political factors such as mass inward migration and to policy changes including a deemphasising of aid to the public sector.” “In short, the investment environment is volatile. Verdant Capital operates in the upper-middle market (transaction sizes of USD 25 – 200 million) and the lower-middle market (transaction sizes of USD 5 – 25 million). In the lower-middle market, typically buyers are regional companies, or international companies which already have a strong base in Africa, or regional or specialist private equity. In the upper-middle market transactions appeal to corporate buyers globally and the largest private equity firms, which are active in the Continent.” Looking to the future, Edmund is clearly excited about the times ahead for Verdant Capital. If

Investing in Excellence

everything goes to plan, 2018 will be a successful year for the company. Not content with this, Edmund signs off by detailing even more expansion plans for the company. “Ultimately, with respect to 2018, we expect a highly successful year based on our current pipeline. We have made significant hires in the course of 2017 to strengthen our team and build upon our capacity to service our clients. Furthermore, we expect to open our fifth office next year.�

Acquisition International - November 2017 17


Company: Strategic Allies Ltd Contact: John Allies Contact Email: Address: 90a High Street, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2BL, UK Phone: 01442 800565 Website:

Growth Through Innovation Partnering Strategic Allies Ltd (SAL) help manufacturing companies find their next breakthrough technologies, the best international partners to innovate and connect with, and possibly acquire. John Allies provides us with a breakdown of the company’s services and overall mission. AL is a Technology and Acquisition Scouting company with extensive experience in the global search for innovative technologies, solutions, acquisitions, strategic alliances and other new business generating opportunities. The firm work for a portfolio of international manufacturing clients who are actively seeking technological solutions and opportunities.


Embracing all aspects of Open Innovation and often looking in places its clients do not even know exist, the firm understand the issues of confidentiality and sensitivity required to bring the right opportunities in what can often be disguised or complex situations. Together, with its network of over 1,500 personally known facilitators, the team have developed an energetic and tenacious approach valued by many clients across a wide spectrum of industries. Discussing a variety of topics, John talks about the experience that the firm boasts, having been in the acquisition searching industry for a vast amount of time. This has given the company time to develop a strategy which satisfies clients, and places the firm comfortably as one of the leaders in the industry. “Over twenty years of acquisition searching activity, our company SAL has developed an acquisition search service which employs a simple and practical methodology to confidentially identify, and then connect with synergistic potential acquisitions/ partners at the outset of the M&A process. Our long complementary history in technology scouting means we enjoy the enviable position of understanding far more than just the financials. Therefore, we offer our clients that ability to identify and assess potential targets on numerous fronts, ensuring maximum potential fit or total appropriateness as we call it.” John outlines SAL’s focus on ‘off-market’ potential acquisitions, as this is often where significant value can be identified and subsequently acquired more economically. A SAL Acquisition Search is particularly suited for acquiring CEOs who are seeking value driven, ‘off market’ acquisitions, synergistic with their future plans and capabilities. It is a manageable, step-by-step methodology, ensuring geographic and industry coverage with experienced personal filtering to provide a shortlist of warm potential partners.” Using this tool, CEOs who do not have extensive teams at their fingertips, can be confident they are 18 Acquisition International - November 2017

scouring the world in an efficient manner, searching for appropriate targets and not engaging randomly with potentially time wasting distractions. John goes into further detail about the process, and how CEO’s can use Strategic Allies Ltd’s services to benefit themselves. “Using this process, we can be sure to confidentially identify and open negotiations with targeted strategic partners for clients. Understanding the subtleties of the right potential partner, we are able to connect CEOs, via a network of international associates, only to those that have excellent prospects for a successful completion. Through this rigorous process, we eliminate the considerable filtering of inappropriate candidates they will otherwise have had to undertake themselves.” “By approaching these specifically identified, synergistic companies that are not on anybody’s RADAR because they are not currently ‘for sale’, we are able to open up conversations that can be steered through collaboration and sharing, towards a more significant relationship, without the interference of other competitive acquirers.” Demonstrating why SAL’s acquisition search is so successful, John poses a rhetorical question which showcases the attitude of CEOs and what type of statements they would look for. “Do you know of any CEOs who would not look favourably upon a personal approach that opened with ‘our client is interested in your business and would like to discuss a positive collaboration?’” Remarking on some of the firm’s current projects, John is delighted to tell us how a recent search process saw a client very satisfied. A high accuracy rate highlights the successful nature of SAL’s acquisition search, something John refers to. “Some of the benefits to this process can be best illustrated in the numbers. In a recent search for a UK, HVAC Group keen on acquisitive growth, SAL presented 42 target acquisitions in the first six months of which 27 accurately met the client’s stringent requirements. Negotiations are now well progressed with three of those targets.” Maintaining a global presence, SAL is able to use this reach to enhance its search processes, from a variety of different perspectives, not just financially. John comments on why the firm adopts this approach and how it benefits SAL and its clients.

Growth Through Innovation Partnering

“Utilising our reputation, we use our robust international personal presence and technical expertise to search for partners from a technical and operational perspective, rather than from just a financial one. By adopting this approach, it is possible to identify and filter potential companies wherever they may be located worldwide and present a small number of high potential introductions to you that will meet all of your agreed current and future requirements.” Excitingly, John presents us with an example of SAL’s work and how it helped to benefit a client. He talks about how a well established family owned group planned to grow its business, wishing to complement its plan for strong organic growth with strategic acquisitions, in targeted, aligned and growing sectors. The CEO of this client was recommended to contact SAL by the CEO of an ex-client, highlighting the well founded reputation of SAL, and how word of mouth business provided a lot of business to the company.

“Working directly with the CEO, SAL established a plan for an international trawl of companies to meet the client’s requirements. The target companies had to meet stringent EBITDA targets, have nothing but growth on their horizons and be in a narrow range of sectors of particular interest to the group. Financials are always a priority but to ensure successful post acquisition integration so are other factors such as geography, customer base synergy and culture. Importantly the targets of interest were by definition off-market. They were of a specific size and successful and as such were not on the usual intermediaries public list of companies for sale. “SAL’s well-honed but novel approach is to seek companies with identified parameters that match a significant number of the client’s requirements. SAL personnel then initiate contact with the CEO’s / senior decision makers in those target businesses, starting relationships that will allow them to eventually open discussions regarding potential alliances/acquisitions.”

“Working around a number of international exhibitions as an initial focus, within the first six months SAL proposed 42 companies and, on the instructions from the client’s CEO to proceed, set up initial exploratory meetings with over 29 companies from Italy to America.” Ultimately, a fine example of SAL’s success, negotiations progressed well and the client acquired another company at the end of 2016. Since then, SAL has not stopped working and is constantly searching for new acquisition opportunities for the company. It will continue to do so for other firms within the industry, and will always look to help its clients, something which will bode well as SAL looks to cement itself as a leader within the industry.

To see details of the HVAC client’s acquisition parameters, see here. Acquisition International - November 2017 19


Company: F/LIST Contact: Thomas Wahl Contact Email: Address: F. LIST GMBH List-Strasse 1, A-2842 Thomasberg, Austria Phone: 00 43 0 2644 6001-349 Website:

A Visionary in the Aircraft Industry F/LIST works with clients to produce exclusive interiors on various types of jets. Thomas Wahl talks us through the products that the company provides, and its success of being featured 2017 Global Excellence Awards and Best for Private Aircraft Interiors – Austria. ll over the world, F/LIST fulfils their clients’ requests for exclusive interiors on business & private jets and luxury residences. The Austrian family company plans, produces and installs complete, sophisticated interiors, placing vision, quality and reliability firmly in the forefront. Staff all work together to produce the best designs and products, usually through high quality and applied innovation spirit. Thomas explains what sets the company apart from its competitors.

and the unsurpassed precision of manual craftsmanship. We are working with the latest engineering and intranet software, modern 5-axes CNC machines, veneer impregnation and drying plants and many more. But on the level of quality we stand for, there are some tasks for which nothing can replace the sure, experienced hand and keen eye of a master craftsperson, such as sanding of delicate edges, precise preparation of veneers and of course quality assurance of every single piece.”

“Here at F/LIST, we work there are three key aspects which help us differentiate ourselves from others. Firstly, there is our uncompromising dedication to only the highest standards of quality and corresponding unique manufacturing process, as well as a policy of constant improvement which guarantees only truly immaculate products to leave our premises.

Integral to F/LIST’s success is its staff, and Thomas cannot speak highly enough of the company’s employees. He talks about cherishing them and fostering a real family culture within the organisation, as a happy working environment tends to be a key factor in producing successful results and products.


L-R: Michael Groiss (CEO), Werner Kartner (Vice President Aircraft Interiors), Katharina ListNagl (CEO), Andreas Aigner (Vice President Operations) and Franz List (Chairman of the Supervisory Board).

“Secondly, the firm possesses a strong in-house R&D department, continuously developing outstanding innovations which drive the industry forward and give us an advantage over our competitors, and lastly we also have a large workforce and large production capacities with know-how developed and retained in-house.” In addition to the three factors which help mark F/LIST out as the best possible option for clients, Thomas points out what he believes are key aspects of their success, alluding to certifications which highlight that the company is going in the right places. “Our strong research and development department regularly brings forth ground breaking innovations which keep us ahead in the market, while our operations excellence department is always striving to constantly improve our existing processes and products. Our EN 9100 certification is proof of our dedication to constant improvement.” Building on its success, the company’s mission is to remain the market leader in business jet interiors and to enlarge market share all over the world. The staff are tirelessly researching new products and processes and identifying new chances and possibilities for international expansion. Therefore, innovation is thus the main driver of its continued success, and this is what helps further the company’s reputation, as Thomas alludes to. “F/LIST has made for itself a reputation of combining the best of both efficient state-of-the-art technology

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“Without our motivated employees, our success would not be possible. This is why we cherish every single one of them and foster a collaborative corporate culture with an open-door policy and provide our employees with many attractive benefits. Among those count language and specialist trainings, team building events, transportation allowances, workwear, sponsored lunch, a partner program with local and regional businesses for discounts and special offers, and “F/LIST belebt” (“F/LIST vitalizes”), an employee health program with numerous measures such as vaccinations, medical check-ups and many more.” Suggesting that there are exciting times ahead for the company, Thomas comments on the fact that F/LIST is going through a period of international expansion. He sings off by talking us through all the areas that the firm is opening up new locations and how this will continue in the near future. “At the moment, F/LIST is going through a period of international expansion. In 2017, we have taken over business operations of OHS Aviation Services and thus founded F. LIST GERMANY GMBH in Berlin Schönefeld, a new production facility is set to start production in Montréal in late 2017 and our subsidiary in the USA has been strengthened with an experienced sales representative and a seasoned key accounts manager, who will hopefully boost our market presence in the States. F. LIST MIDDLE EAST FZCO is another service location that has just opened in the Dubai International Airport Free Zone. For the coming years, more international presence and subsidiaries are planned.”


Company: Ikonomopoulos & Partners, LLP Contact: Harris Ikonomopoulos Contact Email: Address: 4, Koumbari St. Athens, GR 10674, Greece Phone: 0030 210 3613 615 Website:

Leading Adviser Awards 2017 & Leading Adviser in Foreign Investment Law - Greece Ikonomopoulos and Partners is a boutique firm engaged in Greek and International legal practice. We profile the practice to learn how it came to be awarded ‘Leading Adviser in Foreign Investment Law – Greece’ in our renowned Leading Adviser Awards 2017. ocusing on corporate law, Ikonomopoulos and Partners supports a wide range of clients in a myriad of practice areas including foreign direct investment, privatizations, M&A, banking, capital markets, real estate, property and tourism investment and development. As such, the firm is able to support a range of clients.


In the Tourism Investment sector, the firm acted, between 2007-2014, inter alia, as the Greek legal counsel to Dolphin Capital Investors a leading investor in the residential resort sector in south-east Europe and at some point, the largest real estate investment company listed on AIM. It has also been appointed and provided advice to the Inter Ministerial Committee of Privatizations on an ETA asset privatization project, to the Hellenic Republic Asset Fund, institutional investors a.o.

“...the guiding principle of Ikonomopoulos and Partners’ service to its clients is the exercise preventative law, and moving forward this will remain the practice’s core focus...” In terms of engagement with large infrastructure projects, the firm was, inter alia, appointed in 1996 by the Parliamentary opposition as the legal controller of the Concession agreement for the Design -Construction, Financing and Operation of the Rion-Antirion Bridge (budget: 460MECU) as well as for the Concession Agreement for the Design- Construction, Financing and Operation of Elefsina – Stavros -Spata Airport Motorway & Ymittos Western Peripheral Motorway (budget: 898MECU).

With regards to the firm’s engagement with the requirement for transparency in major cases of public interest against corrupt practices the firm initiated, funded and advised a mass citizens group requiring disclosure regarding the “SIEMENS” case and advised in 2009 SYRIZA’s Parliamentary Group during the Rogatory Committee on the “Siemens scandal”. In the Downstream Oil & Gas field the firm has granted, among others, advice to the London’s Headquarters of the British Petroleum Company Plc on issues pertaining to the merger of its lubricant and retail fuel business with Mobil Oil in Greece. Additionally, in the Upstream field, the firm advised Triton Energy Limited in 1996 and in the course of the First Licensing Round for the bidding, negotiations and award of two License Agreements for Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons in Western Greece and, in particular, in the offshore area of Gulf of Patraikos (West) and onshore Aitoloakarnania. Legal Services are provided on an hourly rate basis as a standard practice with minimum charges according to the Attorneys Code of Ethics or a special written agreement. Ultimately, the guiding principle of Ikonomopoulos and Partners’ service to its clients is the exercise preventative law, and moving forward this will remain the practice’s core focus as it looks to build upon its current success and grow even further.

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Company: ACXIT Capital Partners Contact: Johannes H. Lucas, Founder & Managing Partner Contact Email: Address: Bockenheimer Landstrasse 24, Frankfurt am Main, 60323, Germany Phone: +49 69 247 414 0 Website:

Local Advice from a Global Source ACXIT Capital Partners is a leading international corporate finance and investment advisory firm for mid-market clients and entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond. We invited Johannes H. Lucas, Founder & Managing Partner, to give us an insight into the workings behind the scenes at the company.

ince 1998, ACXIT has offered its clients comprehensive corporate finance advisory services, including M&A and capital markets advisory as well as restructuring, debt and strategic advisory. As an independent, privately owned firm, the company maintains offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Zurich and Hong Kong, as well as strong alliances in France, China, India and the USA. Mr. Lucas is keen to talk to us about the firm’s experience and why this helps to make the firm so successful.


“To date, we have completed more than 350 transactions with a total deal/financing volume of approx. EUR 17bn. Our clients are corporations, family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, financial sponsors and family offices. While our home market is in the German speaking region, most of our clients are international and transactions cross-border. We are long-term partners for our clients, assisting them from early on in investment decisions and corporate transactions (e.g. feasibility, de-risking, restructuring), throughout the whole process including post-merger integration and transition services.” Being a versatile firm, ACXIT’s sector teams cover all relevant industries, including the industrial and technology sectors as well as the real estate sector. The company has successfully advised clients in a variety of key sectors, notably in Internet & Media, Software & IT, Mobile & Telecom, Healthcare & 22 Acquisition International - November 2017

Pharma, Retail & Consumer Goods, Real Estate and General Industries. Mr. Lucas explains how ACXIT’s versatility has led to it being able to venture into new areas, building new relationships and upholding this trust. “Thanks to its well-founded and high-profile reputation, the firm and its partners have a broad network in the business and financial community both locally and in international financial centres. We combine relationships with corporates with access to specialist equity and debt investors, be it private or public markets capital. We draw on these networks to craft bespoke as well as innovative financing and investment solutions free of potential conflicts.” Outlining the firm’s overall mission, Mr. Lucas alludes to the team’s philosophy of earning the trust of its clients and preserving long-term relationships with them. He discusses what steps the firm plans to take, and how the team builds upon their success with every project the company undertakes. “At ACXIT, we believe in a clear focus to be the basis of a successful client-advisor relationship and project execution. We believe in long-term relationships, allowing for a clear understanding of our clients’ strategies and have a genuine interest in the businesses of our clients. We thus provide highly personal and consistent service to our clients. In accordance with this, we believe in few but key relationships in each sector, we do not ‘play

Local Advice from a Global Source

“Ultimately, what sets ACXIT apart from its competitors is its expertise, an understanding of the areas served by the company and the allround approach that ACXIT and its staff provide.” the field’, but follow a client partnership approach with repeat business.” “Moreover, as an independent advisor, we are truly free from conflicts of interest. We provide objective advice and are free from the conflicts that can arise

from a multi-product, integrated platform. Instead of selling products, we focus on delivering tailormade solutions. As we own our business, we are interested in long-term success, our approach is to work with one or two clients in each sector with compatibility, thus avoiding conflicts of interest.” Interestingly, recent highlight transactions advised by ACXIT Capital Partners comprise the acquisition of electric drive specialist Torqueedo by DEUTZ, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative drive systems; the trade sale of popular European dating app Lovoo to the Meet Group, Inc. and the sale of majority shareholdings in Vitanas Holding and PFLEGEN & WOHNEN HAMBURG to funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. Both companies are amongst the largest private nursing home operators in Germany, with collectively 8,300 care beds. Ultimately, what sets ACXIT apart from its competitors is its expertise, an understanding of the areas served by the company and the all-round approach that ACXIT and its staff provide.

of the key industries served by our company, and a continuous development of expertise throughout our key sectors. We provide a 360-degree approach, encompassing both the operational and capital markets impact, affecting long term ability to fund, grow and steer business. With an in-depth analysis of our clients’ situation and needs and corresponding assessment of potential acquisitions, we focus on value creation for our clients.” “Experience is vital, and with regard to our senior bankers, all of them are internationally experienced professionals with a proven track record, and are involved in transactions from initiation to completion, ensuring that our clients benefit from their experience and expertise at all stages. With our strong track record of more than 350 successfully executed transactions with a total transaction volume of approx. EUR 17bn, we have proven our industry expertise in recent 20 years, as well as our profound understanding of capital markets.”

“Crucial to the success of ACXIT, our advisory expertise is founded on an in-depth understanding Acquisition International - November 2017 23


Company: NAZALI Tax and Legal Services Contact: Ersin Nazalı (Founding and Managing Partner) Contact Email: Address: 19 Mayıs Cad. Dr. Ismet Öztürk Sok. Elit Residence 3/12 Kat: 4,10,29 Sisli, Istanbul, 34360, Turkey Phone: + 90 212 380 0640 Web Address:

Growing Along With Knowledge NAZALI are a full-service law firm providing a wide range of legal services to our national and international clients. Ersin Nazali tells us about the firm, describing what services the firm offers and what makes it attractive to its clients. AZALI has adopted a service understanding approach for continuous research and inquiry, and it is on its way to becoming a wanted brand in the sector, along with its increasing number of outstanding customers. Ersin outlines the areas of practice for the firm, explaining how its collaborations with other firms has helped it in quest of becoming one of the leading law firms in the industry.


“As of July 2017, our firm signed a collaboration agreement with Andersen Tax & Legal, which was restructured in 2014 with the aim of providing tax and legal services at the highest level all over the world. Our main practice areas are, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration, Corporate & Commercial Law, Company Restructurings, Tax Law, Capital Markets Law, Competition Law, Administration Law, Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Employment and Social Security Law, Enforcement & Bankruptcy Law and Criminal Law at the part of White Collar Crimes. “Typically, our client profile varies from medium and big sized companies both domestic and international. The company became a registered trademark of Turkey with a wide range of legal and fiscal services provided to both national and international clients with its expert and experienced team in tax, social security, customs and law. Embedded in the company culture, our principle “Grows along with knowledge”, adopts research and questioning oriented service manner as a principle, and becomes a well-known brand with its increasing esteemed clients.” Ersin mentions what attributes he thinks are vital to NAZALI’s success, commenting on the company’s approach to new clients and projects. He states how the company ensures right from the start of the process that the outcome of the company meets the needs of everyone involved. “Thanks to our lawyers and other professionals who had formerly worked in different departments of the government offices for many years and currently are a member of NAZALI team, our Firm guarantees the most convenient service to its clients in the most accurate and fastest way especially in Tax Law, Company Restructurings, White Collar Crimes, Social Security Law, Administration Law, Competition Law and Capital Markets Law since these areas of law are based on both commercial and tax law; and accordingly require vast knowledge of both financial and legal expertise. 24 Acquisition International - November 2017

“Here at NAZALI, we spend a significant part of our time getting to know our clients and ensuring that we fully understand their goals and needs. Staff strongly believe that clients are the main critical part of our team, and we seek their inputs throughout the representation. Each client comes to us with different needs and concerns and we work tirelessly to achieve the client’s individual goals and pursue their objectives vigorously. We limit the number and type of matters we undertake, so that we can always deliver the best possible service for the firm’s existing clients.” Achieving success in the Turkish legal market is all about establishing personal relationships with potential clients. Ersin discusses what else he believes to be essential to achieving success in the industry and sector. “Along with maintaining and building relationships, another key issue is that the firms shall examine the client potential in different service areas at various levels. Turkish business market is growing significantly and provides several opportunities for law firms. We are considering that corporate and M&A work will be the key elements in Turkish legal market. Turkey has received investments from the West for many years but in recent times Gulf country based companies are playing a major and increasing role in investments in Turkey. Therefore, it is essential for us to focus at different geographic locations in order to obtain new clients and projects.” Regarding the future of NAZALI, Ersin clarifies in his concluding comments where he sees the company going, and what upcoming projects the firm has. Teamwork will help NAZALI as it collaborates with other legal professionals, and there is definitely a positive outlook for the company. “Moving forward, we will become a full member firm of Andersen Global as of this November. We are considering this collaboration is a very significant indicator of the international confidence and interest in the Turkish economy for the forthcoming period. Turkey is a centre for tax and legal services provided to Middle Eastern, Gulf and Central Asian countries, so our services offered to our local and international clients and countries will be diversified and increased in this context. Excitedly, we expect to double our firm size over the next twelve months.”


Company: Julius & Creasy Contact: Anomi Wanigasekera Contact Email: Address: No. 41, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 01, Sri Lanka Phone: 0094 11 2422601 Website:

A Reputation for Excellence Julius & Creasy is one of the oldest and largest civil law firms in Sri Lanka. We profile the firm as we explore the secrets behind its success, such as being featured in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards and as the Best in IP Law 2017 – Sri Lanka. ounded in 1879, Julius & Creasy extends to every facet of civil law practice, allowing it to represent a variety of local and foreign organisations involved in every major industry sector in Sri Lanka. Significantly, Julius & Creasy’s wealth of expertise and experience in a wide range of specialised fields of law enables it to offer innovative legal and business solutions to a diverse, sophisticated and high-profile clientele. The firm comprises of over 60 lawyers with excellent academic and practice backgrounds, with some of them being members of the Bar of England and Wales and New York Bar.


Julius & Creasy’s outstanding reputation for professionalism and excellence has allowed it to build an extensive client base of multinational companies, banks, financial institutions, public and private sector enterprises and traditional private clientele. Major cross-border assignments for international institutions such as the World Bank, Asia Development Bank and IMF have added to the firm’s extensive experience and expanded its global reach. Highlighting its versatility, the firm’s areas of practice include Admiralty and maritime, administrative and constitutional, banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, infrastructure projects and project finance, Islamic finance, mergers and acquisitions, telecommunications, IT, insurance, intellectual property, labour and employment, litigation, property and construction, private clients, probate and trusts, and taxation. Embedded in the company culture are the company’s values, and the team ensure that all staff within the firm conform to these values. True to the principles adhered to by its founding partners, Julius & Creasy continues to assist the community in contributing towards its social and economic development by readily providing assistance and resources to deserving causes, which is another factor that differentiates the firm from other competitors. With each member of staff at the firm specialising in their own expert area, employees are grouped into specialist departments, enabling them to provide a full range of legal services. In this way, expertise in the relevant practice areas is consolidated and expanded. The specialization of technical and legal skills enables its experienced lawyers to innovate solutions for niche-within-niche, keeping them up to date with any developments upcoming within the

industry, establishing themselves as a leader in the legal sector. Crucial to its success, the team aim to provide creative, yet practical advice with a business oriented, problemsolving approach tailored to meet the specific needs and businesses of each client. Each client is made to feel special, and have the feeling that their case is being personally taken care of by the firm. Importantly, within the organisation, there is a determination and commitment to providing high quality legal services, built upon a foundation of the highest ethical standards and integrity laid by the founding partners, teamwork and a process of continuous learning and improvement constitute important facets of its work culture. Taking on a variety of staff with diverse experiences, the team nurtures the best talent and allows outstanding individuals to thrive, whilst encouraging teamwork. Deeply aware of its social responsibilities, Julius & Creasy has been fulfilling its obligations to the community it serves in several ways. Improving access to justice for those less privileged is one such way. It established a practice of offering its professional services gratis to several interest groups, societies and associations which are engaged in serving marginalized groups and/or dedicated to a specific cause. Adding to its pro-bono work, various charitable trusts and other charities, Julius & Creasy believes that by encouraging legal ethics and promoting education, it can harness its legal resources to help address social and thereby national issues. Ultimately, Julius & Creasy is not an ordinary law firm. It deals with an assortment of services, and the firm created trusts and other charitable entities for countless corporate bodies and banks, in order to facilitate their relief efforts in the aftermath of the tsunami. By providing its professional services free of charge, the firm played a pivotal role in establishing the requisite legal framework to aid those in need, in an efficient and timely manner. For example, in the past, the firm has, on a pro-bono basis, assisted various NGOs involved in humanitarian work to register and establish themselves in Sri Lanka. Many of the partners, associates and other staff members of the firm serve and assist in an advisory capacity on boards and committees of management administering charitable activities, in keeping with the firm’s philosophy of reaching out and contributing towards social welfare. Acquisition International - November 2017 25


Company: Capstan Capital (Schweiz) LLC Contact: Steffen Bassler Contact Email: sbassler@ Address: Tannenriedstrasse 10, Horgen, 8810, Switzerland Phone: 0041 79 200 7089 Website:

Specialists in Corporate Finance for the Mid-Market Capstan Capital Partners LLP is an independent, privately-owned financial services firm with offices in London, Zurich and Cologne. The two principal activities of the firm comprise bespoke corporate finance services and arranging capital for special situations. Managing Partner of the Swiss office of Capstan Capital, Steffen Bassler provides us with a breakdown of the services that the company offers. apstan Capital has an extensive network of relationships and has unique access to specialist investors across the entire capital structure. The team leverages these networks, in tandem with its intellectual capital, to craft innovative and conflict-free solutions to achieve the client’s strategic and financing objectives. Typically, clients are corporations, financial sponsors, family offices, family-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, and the company operates across Europe with core market activities in Germany, Switzerland, UK, and Italy. Steffen talks us through the general workings of the company, as well as the market that Capstan Capital operates in.


“Throughout the company, our capital raising services continue to be focused on middle market companies in Western Europe. Small to medium sized corporates in Europe often struggle to find access to institutional capital beyond their domestic or local relationships. Capstan’s international team has connected our corporate clients with capital providers in foreign jurisdictions, from North America to the Far East. Bringing together European corporates and sophisticated international investors, such as private debt investors, family offices and private equity funds is where we see our strength. “At Capstan, we have extensive and senior experience in managing capital raising assignments gained from large, and mid-cap transactions at leading investment banks. The major differences between arranging conventional debt funding from banks and procuring capital from alternative sources in the private debt market, are in the financial and legal structures. Our private debt transactions are bespoke structures to suit the very specific requirements of both, lenders and corporate borrowers. The key to our successful closings was to devise capital structures that fit in well with the business plan and financial model of the borrower, while satisfying the required risk return-profile of the financier.” Discussing how it feels to have been selected in the CEO of the Year Awards as the CEO of the Year – Switzerland, Steffen talks about being proud and delighted, and how it allows himself to strive to improve further in his role as CEO.

26 Acquisition International - November 2017

“Here at Capstan, we are very proud and delighted to receive this prestigious award, which is an important industry endorsement of our ability to consistently generate superior shareholder value and deal certainty for our clients across multiple industry sectors. In a highly contested and fragmented advisory landscape, the A.I. CEO Award allows us to demonstrably differentiate ourselves as advisors who can leverage our industry knowledge and negotiation skills to genuinely crystallise premium valuations for our clients.” There are many key aspects which have contributed to the success of Capstan, and Steffen lists just a few, starting with the understanding that the team needs to reach, match, and exceed client expectations on a regular basis. “Integral to the success of the company, the understand the need of our clients to deliver bespoke solutions. This helps to build long-term client relationships. Everyone must always listen to the client first, it is all people business. “Moreover, our philosophy for success focuses on creating long term relationships with our clients by providing the right advice, sometimes at a shortterm disadvantage to ourselves. We feel it is critical to craft a relationship based on integrity and trust, so that Capstan is perceived as the ‘go-to’ advisor whenever a client requires objective, impartial and unconflicted advice.” Examining the culture within the company, Steffen explains how staff are kept happy, as a happy and friendly working environment contributes to a successful company. He alludes the to the fact that all staff understand the culture, and work towards fostering a good internal culture. “Fundamentally, we have assembled a group of senior investment banking professionals with deep sector and exceptional product experience from leading global financial institutions. Plus, our partners share a common vision based on integrity, client focus, exceptional service and trust, which manifests itself into our principal objective of serving the best interests of our clients.” As Managing Partner of the Zurich office in Switzerland, Steffen’s responsibility ranges

Specialists in Corporate Finance for the Mid-Market

from coverage of the Swiss market, origination and management of transactions nationally in Switzerland as well as cross-border. Steffen is Managing Partner of the Swiss office of Capstan Capital. He advises on direct investment strategies from Private Equity, Mezzanine to Private Debt and Real Estate as well as Small and Midcap M&A transactions. He has over 15 years’ experience in Investment Banking as European Head at Credit Suisse, Strategy Consulting and Asset Management. Before this role, he had worked as a consultant in strategy and corporate finance mandates in Swiss industry and Finance companies for Arthur D. Little. He started his career with an international trainee program for the Daimler Financial Services AG with stations in Canada, Berlin, Puerto Rico and Madrid and implemented afterward the risk controlling for the fleet-management operations of Daimler. Furthermore, highlighting his passion, expertise and knowledge, he holds a MBA (Dipl.Kfm.) degree in entrepreneurship & finance at the European Business School (ebs) in Germany, is FCA-(UK) as well as Swiss Board School (HSG)-certified for advisory boards and actively serves as board member. Steffen is also engaged as business angel for Swiss start-up companies, regularly publishes articles in several Swiss business and economic publications and is university lecturer for Corporate Finance at the ebs in Germany. Steffen tells us what key attributes he believes he possesses make him an award-winning business leader, before explaining what advice he would give to someone looking to make a success similar to their own, “Vital to my success is my ability to be smart with a smile. Think outside the box and be trustworthy.” “Regarding what recommendation I would give to others - as we say in the Swiss Alps - to climb the top of a mountain, we all start at the bottom. What makes the difference is a positive spirit and mindset, endurance, teamwork and able to take a small detour in order to reach the top if needed. I believe in leadership by results. I strongly believe it is better to have a common goal than to micromanage.” In his concluding comments, Steffen predicts what the future holds for both himself and the firm. He signs off by explaining the firm’s versatility and adaptability will leave the firm well placed to build on its solid foundations, and catapult itself to the top of the industry in the near future. “Moving forward, corporate clients appreciate that we not only procure alternative sources for their capital needs but can also advise on the optimal capital structure of a transaction and help avoiding pitfalls in the documentation. Our comprehensive service in connection with our proven ability to find capital even in more difficult areas, such as project finance and higher risk loans, put us in a good position to continue our success in the coming months.”

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Company: The Prudent Group Name: Giovanni Cataldi Email: Fund investment related questions: dennis@ Address: 2, Boulevard de la Foire, L-1528 Luxembourg Web Address:

Prudent Group: A Team Approach In a recent interview with the Local Manager of the Prudent Investment Fund’s Brazilian operation, Giovanni Cataldi, we had a chance to discuss some of the key elements leading up to Prudent Group’s (Prudent) success. rudent focuses on short-term corporate lending in Brazil. Through financing a broad range of businesses, mainly in non-cyclical segments of the economy, the firm aim to create long-term mutually beneficial relationships with its borrowers and, furthermore, strive to protect the investments with credit insurance when possible.

Part of this continuing success is that Prudent has been able to differentiate itself from similar firms within the industry, guaranteeing its clients and borrowers that they are the best option in which to commit to some capital. Giovanni alludes to the long-term relationships that the firm has built with man of its borrowers, and this is a sure sign of its success.

Giovanni describes what services the firm offers specifically within the hedge fund space, and how he and the team tailor its services and solutions around the needs of each individual client.

“Prudent’s borrowers are very pleased with our offerings, execution, and appreciate the long-term approach we take in building our relationships. Many of the borrowers have formed business alliances with our staff members dating back some 10-20 years, which makes Prudent “their first call”. Additionally, as Prudent has grown, we have been lucky enough to acquire talented and seasoned veterans with a deep understanding of the market dynamics and the competition. Through leveraging the talent that has been brought aboard, Prudent will continue to improve our offerings with a goal of becoming a staple in the Brazilian short-term lending market.”


“Regarding some of the services that we provide, Prudent offers international investors the possibility of significant investment returns in our Brazilian short-term corporate credit business, we run regulated funds in both Luxembourg and Brazil to achieve this end. However, Prudent is not a hedge fund in the traditional sense as we solely invest in self-generated short-term corporate receivables through an operational business active in the Brazilian credit market.”

“...the goal for Prudent is to identify and effectuate highly scalable, repeatable, and defensible transactions while utilizing downside risk mitigation strategies, such as insurance, overcollateralization, and extensive client monitoring.” After talking about some of the services that Prudent provides, this leads us on to the resulting success of the company itself. Giovanni explains how it feels to have been selected as the Most Outstanding Hedge Fund Manager – 2017, and how it can benefit the company in the long term. “Here at Prudent, the Prudent Family humbly accepts this award as a token of recognition of all the hard work put into creating a ground-breaking vehicle for international investors to invest in the highly lucrative Brazilian Capital Markets. Personally, I hope that the award will be recognized by the AI community and attract potential investors considering committing some Prudent investment capital.” 28 Acquisition International - November 2017

Working within such a fast-paced industry, Giovanni and his team must ensure that Prudent remains on the cutting edge of any new developments, and he explains how the company are always in the best position to match and answer clients’ needs. “In order to stay ahead of other asset managers and exogenous economic and political variables, Prudent is constantly evaluating our current positions, investment processes, and assessing new strategies that fit our investor’s needs. For example, in less than six months Prudent has managed to enter the extremely profitable Brazilian credit card receivables business and created our own echo-system of card terminals, processing, and receivables discounting in which we are creating a possibility for the merchants to get rid of their banks. The business is run through a separately regulated FIDC, in which the Luxembourg SICAV SIF, the Prudent Investment Fund, is the sole investor. This is a good example of how Prudent strives to innovate and create diversified value for investors through multiple strategies. Throughout the company, the team believes that by expanding its geographic footprint in Brazil, both Prudent and its borrowers can benefit from a local presence and close culture. Currently, the firm has local Sales Teams in three main locations, two in Sao Paulo and one in Porto Alegre, as well as representatives in multiple other locations.

Prudent Group: A Team Approach

Within the local institutional market, Prudent offers services and solutions that are able to cater to a variety of different needs, and an assortment of clients. Giovanni is keen to highlight the experience of the firm’s customer service team, showcasing the team’s ability to service the market in a professional manner. “At Prudent, we have found that there is nothing more important than to receive the approval from the large local institutional investors for our efforts. Our local Sales Teams targeting Brazilian institutional investors is set up in coordination with CM Capital Markets, led by Fernando Barroso. Through this extremely well established and experienced client service team, we have the ability to service the local institutional market in the outmost professional manner.” As with any industry, there always challenges specific to the market which every company has to overcome in order to be successful. Giovanni

explains the specific challenges and outside influences which have affected Prudent and the investment fund industry within Luxembourg and Brazil.

defensible transactions while utilizing downside risk mitigation strategies, such as insurance, overcollateralization, and extensive client monitoring.

“Fundamentally, the bureaucratic red tape is increasingly stifling and costly. Furthermore, investor’s flight to the largest money managers is creating a highly concentrated competitive landscape. At Prudent, we are hoping that investment excellence soon again will be determining allocations, rather than the sheer size of the manager’s AUM.”

“Needless to say, our colleagues and partners are the key to our success. Lending is a tricky business, and we have had the good fortune of being able to utilize the Brazilian economic slump to lure over highly seasoned professionals when building out the Prudent team. Most of our Senior Associates have more than 30 years of industry experience and bring a wealth of knowledge, endless contact networks, and a good eye for sensible business transactions for us to pursue. Additionally, Prudent strive to build close and strong co-operations with many of its service providers such as CM Capital Markets, which has proven valuable in our efforts to streamline our administrative processes and ensure maximal efficiency.”

Overall, the company has a mission which every member of staff is working towards, and in his concluding comments, Giovanni comments on Prudent’s mission, and what steps the team have set in place in order to achieve this. “Moving forward, the goal for Prudent is to identify and effectuate highly scalable, repeatable, and

Acquisition International - November 2017 29


A Vision of Disruption Company: Enterprise Lab Contact: Ketan Makwana Contact Email: Website:

Enterprise Lab is an international agency which provides training, development and strategic consulting and mentoring to many organisations and individuals. Ketan Makwana goes into more detail about the firm which has been named in 2017 Global Excellence Awards and Most Innovative for Training & Coaching 2017. ffering a variety of services, the firm works with many clients, ranging from individuals to institutions, industries to associations, and the team develop and deliver programming related to Ideation (creativity), Innovation (transformational change), and Leadership (cultivating culture).


Ketan provides us with a brief overview of the development industry throughout all of the country’s that the organisation operates within. He details the specific challenges and outside influences affecting the Lab in particular. “Enterprise Lab operates in 11 countries around the world, through a licence framework with influential training organisations or creating a collaborative partnership of our Disruptor Academy. The academy focuses on personal and professional development (as an industry) and operates in multiple sectors, including education, banking, tech, business and entrepreneurship, digital, to name a few. There will always be challenges and influences that affect progressive and dynamic results; however, we are focussed on reverse engineering from the anticipated results to the individual and focus deeply on individual impact and contribution. From here we can foster growth, prosperity and results.”

“If our world is to survive and thrive, we need to build better connectivity and access to all development should be for all not just the privileged.” Operating within an industry encompassing a variety of similar firms, Ketan and his team must stand out amongst its competitors, in order to ensure it marks itself out as the best possible option for clients. He talks about the ethos of the company and how it is like no other. “Essentially, we are not an ordinary agency, our ethos is in disruption, with the aim of disrupting to evoke change for prosperity. We focus on people development as we reverse engineer the results that our clients want to achieve; when you look at everything in that context you realise that by 30 Acquisition International - November 2017

developing people you can influence the changes and results that you want to achieve. “Being disruptive requires three things, firstly we must always be challenging convention. Secondly, the company is always looking at creating imbalance. Finally, everyone must keep taking action, no matter if you are an individual or corporate giant if you do not understand your impact and contribution then you risk being left behind.” Following on from what makes the firm unique, Ketan goes on to describe what techniques the company employs in order to stay ahead of emerging developments, which is vital to success, particularly within fast-paced markets. “First of all, as a business, I have engaged discipline in agility and open innovation; we are constantly evolving in our practices, approach and market penetration. I truly believe that we should neither focus on keeping up or trying to stay ahead as both agendas narrow your perception. Open innovation on our business and model has kept us lean and mean, and this for me is how you respond to fast paced markets.” Regarding the internal culture within the company, Ketan is keen to highlight that him and his team are partners, not staff or contactors, he believes they should be treated as he would expect to be treated. “All my team firstly are partners not employees or contractors, it is a mindset thing. The next thing is that we work as a team by understanding our own individual impact and contribution to our clients, to ensure that the best possible result or output can be achieved. All roles are dynamic this way we get the best from each person at the right time, from CEO to cleaner, and everyone can make a gamechanging contribution.” In summary, Ketan explains the overall mission of the Enterprise Lab, and notes what plans are in place in order to help the company reach the targets it sets itself. Additionally, he and his team integrate innovation into every aspect of their work, and this will be vital for the future of the company. “Fundamentally, our mission at Enterprise Lab is 1%, quite simply we aim to change your perception by 1%; by doing so we can start a chain reaction in change dynamics of behaviour, attitude and result;

A Vision of Disruption

Innovation by our definition is all about transformational change. This dynamic is built into every aspect of what we do from designing our programmes to serving our clients, we are committed to building open innovation into our approach and results.� Ultimately, all of this makes it look exciting times ahead for Enterprise Lab, and Ketan signs off by outlining what the future holds for Enterprise Lab. “Moving forward, we are currently developing more online and digital models/channels for our work. Disruptor University is soon to be launched (it is our contribution to agile and mobile learning) think Netflix meets; we are also working on a number of social impact programmes to get learning and development to those that have the least access to it. If our world is to survive and thrive, we need to build better connectivity and access to all development should be for all not just the privileged.�

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Company: Concirrus Contact: Martin Smith Contact Email: Address: The Leathermarket, 17 Leathermarket Street, London, UK, SE1 3HN, Phone: +44 (0) 2037500851 Website:

Connecting the World with Intelligent Insurance Solutions Concirrus is a Marine Analytics Solutions Provider based in London. CEO and Co-founder Andy Yeoman talks us through the success of the company, as well as discussing the inner workings of the business, and being named in 2017 Global Excellence Awards and Most Outstanding Intelligent Insurance Solutions – 2017. stablished in 2012 and based in London, Concirrus believes that they can change the whole insurance industry because of one small thing – behaviour is a better indicator of risk than demographics. Until now however it’s not been possible to see the behaviour of the assets we insure, until the Internet of Things started generating data that made this a reality. Today, using Concirrus’ software, marine insurers can actively manage their risk using live data from connected assets, discover previously unseen ‘pools’ of risk and rate/price those risks more intelligently.


Currently, Concirrus has a team of 33 across London and Delhi and were founded in 2012. In 2017, the firm launched Quest, its new AI marine insurance platform. The team are currently working with several large global marine insurers, as well as marine industry and systems integration players. Amongst other roles, the team comprises of data scientists, software developers, insurance experts, designers and business strategists.

“...we are working with our customers to develop connected policies which will integrate with their internal systems to achieve new business models.” Andy outlines the overall mission of Concirrus, looking to be a revolutionary company and transform the way the marine industry works. “Innovation and creativity are key aspects of the success of the company. By providing access to new industry datasets, and by combining these datasets with our customers’ proprietary data, we make it possible for our customers to discover new behavioural insights. This behaviour is crucial as it allows insurers to understand what constitutes risk (and therefore losses). By understanding the behaviour of their assets (e.g. vessels) more fully, clients can begin to see which specific behaviours typically result in expensive claims 32 Acquisition International - November 2017

being made. Important data may include movement data, weather patterns, maintenance or engine diagnostics, crew behaviour, port inspection records or other sources available. By bringing these data sources into one place, Quest, and by developing proprietary machine learning algorithms, we can start to help insurers make more intelligent, efficient decisions about their insured portfolio.” Discussing some current projects in relation the firm’s mission, Andy alludes to how working collaboratively with clients and customers means that the team can understand their business requirements and demands far more easily. He refers to the fact that the company is a small business and can therefore bring a unique and tailored approach to fit the market’s needs. “At present, we are working with our customers to develop connected policies which will integrate with their internal systems to achieve new business models. Quest is an autonomous platform that allows marine insurers to measure, monitor and anticipate risk in real time. It provides end to end management of policies between insured and insurer in a way that has not been seen before within the marine industry. “Additionally, at the heart of our business model is a desire to deliver core benefits to our customer organisations. This means that we are always seeking to build technologies that answer our customers’ business needs. As a small business, we are able to be dynamic in the way that we work with customers, quickly developing new functionalities and offering these into the market. A cross-section of different in-house specialisms

Connecting the World with Intelligent Insurance Solutions

and areas of expertise also helps to generate an atmosphere of creativity and a wealth of new ideas.” Following on from the dynamic approach that Concirrus takes with its clients, Andy discusses the internal culture within the company, and explains how he and the team ensure that all members of staff are equipped to provide the best possible service to clients. “Being relatively small, we have a flat structure at Concirrus with a very open culture; staff are able to voice their opinion and suggest new and better ways of doing things. We encourage our customers to work with us collaboratively, sending actuaries and underwriters to spend time with us and understand our work with them. This makes it a very hands-on approach and everyone, from data scientists to developers, is involved in creating our products and making them better than anything that is currently available within the market. It is an inspiring place to be.” Providing us with a brief overview of the industry within London, Andy is enthusiastic about the opportunities presented to growing companies, citing the emergence of a number of ideas and new businesses within the area. “London is a great place for growing tech companies – especially fintech and insurtech (with access to the Lloyd’s insurance market and The City). Whether clients are seeking to disrupt an industry with a new offering or change the way an industry works by partnering with incumbents, there are lots of great ideas and businesses emerging at the moment. “In terms of our customers’ industry (and the world of commercial insurance in general), we expect there to be huge changes within the next five years. The London and Lloyds markets in particular are under pressure to innovate. With relatively high operating costs, increasing competition globally, and excess global shipping capacity putting pressure on profit margins, insurers are looking for new ways of working. They have to address efficiency costs and the way in which they select and price risk. New, connected, products and data analytics offer big opportunities for them and many organisations are looking to smaller, more dynamic, providers like Concirrus for new ideas.” Having commented on what the industry is like within London, Andy talks about the technology industry as a whole, describing what techniques the company employs in order to stay ahead of emerging developments within the fast-paced market. “Vital to our success is ensuring we are on top of developments and can anticipate potential advances within the industry. We constantly monitor what other companies in our space are up to, and we are very well connected within our customer’s industry. Recently, we held one of our regular dinners where we brought 40+ senior insurance personnel into one room to talk about insurtech and how this was affecting their organisations. What was fascinating, was the way in which everyone in the room was looking to everyone else to find out how to start! Ultimately, we find insurers look to

organisations like us to help them start the process of innovation. As a smaller, dynamic business, we have crafted some very effective engagement models that allow us to help our customers take those first steps towards a connected future. “It is our prediction that in five years’ time there will be two types of insurers; insurers that have adopted connected technologies and the Internet of Things into their business models, and; insurers that used to exist. Connected technologies have made huge volumes of real time data available, and insurers need to learn how to use it, before the rest of the market does.” Furthermore, it is what differentiates Concirrus from similar firms within the technology industry which makes their approach so successful. Andy tells us exactly what it is that marks the company out as the best possible option for clients. “Firstly, our ability to manipulate and exploit real time data, using AI to bring it to life and incorporate it into the decision processes of our customer organisations. This is not something that is currently being offered within the marine industry. Secondly, our steadfast commitment to developing simple, clean, easy to use software that allows insurers easy access to vast, complex datasets is not something that is currently available. “Moreover, our understanding of our customers’ business needs. We have broad range of insurance expertise in-house, and we utilise this to develop our products. Lastly, our network of partnerships (with data source providers, marine industry players and systems integrators) gives us the unique ability to offer truly transformational products that revolutionise the way our customer organisations function.” In his concluding comments, Andy predicts what the future holds for Concirrus. He mentions projects

that are currently under way and what upcoming projects will benefit the firm. He signs off by excitedly informing of us of how the developments within the industry will benefit the company, after explaining how the team at Concirrus will adapt to these changes. “Moving forward, we are focusing our attention on Marine at the moment, but ultimately you can apply our technology to all areas of insurance and risk management. Ultimately, it’s about gaining behavioural insight from data produced by connected devices and assets and using that insight in a way that is beneficial for the business – that’s something that is applicable across the board. As a business, we have a lot of experience within motor telematics (we have a telematics platform and have been working with Granite Underwriting for the past three years), and we also have experience within the Home Insurance space so we’re well placed to expand our operations into multiple lines of business. Our analytics environment is fit for purpose for any line of insurance (not just Marine), and this will become very relevant in the future as concepts such as live exposure management are applied by insurers across multiple lines. When the next Hurricane breaks across the Caribbean, insurers will need accurate, live information on what assets they have within the storm path, and these may be both on-shore and off-shore, mobile or static. Vessels, off-shore energy installations, cargo, warehouses, property & homes, transport infrastructure etc. Insurers need to be more efficient and intelligent in the way that they act (and the relationships they form with their customers), and this applies to all lines, not just marine. “The future looks very positive for us – we believe that if we help our customers win and their business flourish then so will we. Today, only 10% of the world’s risk is insured and the future is data-driven underwriting which places our technology and our company at the centre of this opportunity” Acquisition International - November 2017 33


Company: QuickStart Contact: Ed Sattar Contact Email: Address: 6801 N Capital of Texas, Hwy Suite 150, Austin, 78731, USA Phone: 001 512 633 6130 Website:

Learning for Life QuickStart helps organizations transform IT project performance and career growth through cognitive learning platform and multi-mode training. We spoke to Ed Sattar in order to find out more about the company and its recent success. uickStart is an IT Skills Learning Marketplace that optimizes project performance and career growth by personalizing learning experiences through online course subscriptions, instructor led training, and high impact mentoring. Furthermore, the firm works on hands-on lab experience in the areas of Application Development, Data Science, Cloud Computing, Dev Ops, IT Operations and Info Sec. Its customers range from Fortune 500 (B2B) to individual (B2C) customers. Ed tells us more about the firm and its specialist area of financial services.


“Here at QuickStart, Financial Services is one of our core industries that we specialize in. Our customers in this area face the challenges of project performance and talent transformation in order to keep up with the pace of introduction of new technologies. We address that challenge by providing IT technical training to employees in the latest technologies. IT professionals who want to do highly specialized certifications, and non-IT professionals who either want to switch to IT through learning new skills, or want to gain the skills needed to use the software systems most relevant to their job descriptions. In short, we work with people who need IT training.”

“...we are looking forward to the use of artificial intelligence and transforming the way IT Training is personalized, delivered, consumed and retained which will help us securing a great chunk of the market share within the IT Training space in US and other parts of the world.” Significantly, customer relationships and trust between the client and the team at QuickStart are all important factors in the company’s recent achievements. Ed explains how he ensures right from the start that the outcome of the project will meet the needs of both the client and the business. “Interestingly, the IT industry has one of the lowest employment rates across all the functions within the Financial Services Industry, and this is just one of the challenges that financial services firm 34 Acquisition International - November 2017

face. Another challenge most firms face is the introduction and adoption of new technologies and employee retention. Our objective is to increase employee retention, increase their ROI and reduce their recruitment cost through hiring and turn over. “Basically, we solve this by offering them the depth and breadth of IT technical and workforce productivity training courses in the disciplines of Data Science, Dev Ops, InfoSec and Cloud Computing through a subscription format which includes online and virtual instructor led courses, along with a cognitive learning format which creates a high impact personalized learning experience through social learning, mentoring and cognitive learning.” There are a variety of attributes which are essential to possess in order to succeed in the IT and financial services industry. Ed tells us what he believes are the key characteristics which makes firms and people successful, besides general competency. “Besides being competent, one has to be persistent and have their finger on the pulse to do well in this industry. You have to be able to make educated predications about where the IT sector is headed, so that you can make the right calls at the right time, and meet the needs of the market.” Ed is particularly keen to provide his thoughts on the state of the industry currently, alluding to many challenges which both QuickStart and the industry are facing, whilst also explaining how some of the other industries are going strong. “Presently, there are four challenges in the IT Department of financial services, and of them has already been mentioned in regard to employment rates. Throughout the industry, we are fighting the lowest employment rate compared to any other department, and it is well below the national average. Alongside this, we are also working on new ways of keeping hold of our talent and examining and minimizing the costs of recruiting new people. “Moreover, there is a distinct flight risk of people which increases project risks, and the introduction of new technologies is forcing companies to train their employees to learn new skills, as well as hire some of those who are already well-versed in the market. “On the other hand, the eLearning industry is going strong and will keep growing in the coming years.

Learning for Life

There are a bunch of new technologies being introduced in distance learning, and I am proud to say that we are playing our part in leading the pack and introducing new technologies in the field. The target market is growing in size as more and more people are looking to switch to IT, and there is healthy competition in the market. As more and more people gain access to high speed internet across the globe, the industry will see exponential growth in the next few years.� In his concluding comments, Ed informs us of his future aspirations for QuickStart and goes into more detail about potential expansion in new markets, as well some new initiatives throughout the U.S.A, which can only be of benefit to the company. There appears to be exciting times ahead for QuickStart under the stewardship of Ed. “Ultimately, we are looking forward to the use of artificial intelligence and transforming the way IT Training is personalized, delivered, consumed and retained which will help us securing a great chunk of the market share within the IT Training space in US and other parts of the world.�

Acquisition International - November 2017 35


Company: Elda Ltd Contact: Dario Marenic Contact Email: Address: Zrinskih 62, 35400 Nova Gradiska, Croatia Phone: +385 35 361 361 Website:

A Leading Manufacturer of e-liquids ELDA Ltd is a company that has been successfully operating for more than 30 years, and we have been active in selling electronic cigarettes and manufacturing e-liquids since 2008. We spoke to ELDA Ltd’s President, Dario Marenic in order to find out more about the company. s a company, ELDA has been developing rapidly, keeping pace with the fast rise of the e-cigarette industry, and has grown in a short amount of time from a small family company into one of the leaders in the world market. The firm works with wholesalers and retailers, and offers great services to clients, meaning the team can ensure them liquids according to their recipes, brand names and design of packaging. Dario outlines the firm’s overall mission, listing what steps are necessary in order for the firm to reach the targets that it has set itself.


“Here at ELDA, the mission of our company is always the same. It is to be the best in the whole market and to offer only the highest quality of products and services.

“Our goal is to predict the way that the market will be developing and every moment be at least one step ahead of our competitors in order to offer our business partners and end customers the most innovative products of the highest quality.” “With regard to which steps we will take in order to achieve our mission, I will introduce you to the selection process of our e-liquids. Market demands can become so complex, and sometimes we need to make more than 50 formulas to hit just the right one. Our team of experts need to do extensive testing every day. After the establishment of the new recipes, our chemical engineers need to make the samples that occasionally, must ripe for 30 days. After the ripening process, these samples are carried out in multiple testing processes, and only the best of them will be chosen. Just like in the selection process, detailed procedures are undertaken in all other areas of our business. Nothing goes out from the company until it is completely planned and researched.” 36 Acquisition International - November 2017

Giving us a brief overview of the industry throughout Croatia, Dario talks about the main challenge which the company is having to overcome and how it is affecting not just the region, but the whole European Union. “Currently, the main challenge on the market is the new TPD2 regulation which affected the whole European Union. According to this regulation all liquids and cigarettes need to be laboratory tested and registered for each EU country. This regulation was a turning point for many companies which could not fulfil all requirements and they simply had to quit this industry, however all of these requirements were translated into our advantage, and we decided to accredit our laboratory in order to offer our customers and ourselves a better and complete e-liquid and e-cigarette analyses. Technology and innovations are my passion, and of course it was a challenge for me to invest in the laboratory with the latest technology that will again provide a leading market position for Elda.” Working within such a fast-paced environment and rapidly developing market, the company must employ techniques in order to stay ahead of any emerging developments. Dario notes that innovation is key, as the competition is very strong, and firm’s must work hard to be the first in developments and maintain strong relationships. “At this moment, the market competition is very strong but the key of success are innovations. Business partners and customers are always

A Leading Manufacturer of e-liquids

searching for better and more quality products and services and they will choose the company which can offer all of it. Our strategy is to always offer innovative products of the highest quality. Another thing is that I always try to do my best and be at least one step ahead of others. When we lunch new innovative product or service, the same moment I start thinking ahead and find out which improvement we can offer next.” Awards can go a long way in improving the reputation of the firm, and morale within the team. Dario explains how it feels to have been selected in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards as the Best Niche Manufacturer of 2017 – Europe. “Receiving this award has the great significance for me and my company. It is one more proof of how dedicated work and effort of all members of the company brings high business results. Also, this award gives an extra motivation for all of us to be even better and more dedicated to our work. Just like the saying says if you love what you do, the good results are guaranteed.” Marking itself out as the best possible option to businesses and client is an integral part of the company’s success. Dario believes that ELDA is able to do this as it is always prepared to invent in new models and technology, and is not afraid to try new things. “Essentially, I think that the main thing which differentiates us from others is that we are always ready to invest in new models of doing the business, like new technology. Most of other companies maybe do not have enough time, money or willing for making the market researches and to investing in new models of business. However, for us it is of the crucial importance because we know that each good investment will return at least double to us.” Regarding the internal culture within ELDA, Dario explains how he ensures that all of his staff are in the best position to provide the best service possible to all clients. He refers to the stringent recruitment structure which enables the company to hire the best staff. “Fundamentally, we are always trying to find highly professional and ambitious young people who will be motivated to always do their best. Also, it is very important to keep your staff satisfied because only this kind of employers will give new and innovative ideas and will find the best solutions for any kind of working problems.” Regarding what the future holds for ELDA, Dario believes that key to its upcoming success is its ability to interpret the market and predict how it will behave. This will enable the company to be at the forefront of the industry and be the most innovative firm in the sector. “Excitingly, our future plans are to invest in new technology and new production facilities. This is the plan that we always fulfil and after that we set the scale on the higher level. Our goal is to predict the way that the market will be developing and every moment be at least one step ahead of our competitors in order to offer our business partners and end customers the most innovative products of the highest quality.” Acquisition International - November 2017 37


Leading the Way Company: Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP

Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP is a multi-award-winning patent and law firm based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Taking time to profile the firm, is patent attorney and partner of the law firm Meyer-Dulheuer LLP, Dr. Tim Meyer-Dulheuer who goes into details about the success firm.

r. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP is a multi-award-winning patent and law firm based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. We advise our clients in all areas of intellectual property (IP). We represent clients throughout Germany and Europe as well as internationally in the areas of patent law, trade mark law, employee invention, copyright law, protection strategies, patent applications, searches, nondisclosure agreements, patent infringement, trade mark infringements and injunctive relief and litigation.


In line with our increasingly international orientation, we focus on the European, U. S. based and Asian market. In Europe, the Brexit offers many uncertainties, especially in patent and trademark law, and thus also many opportunities for our law firm. We want to help as an experienced partner for German and European patents. On our website itself, we intensify our IP information in a high quality. Our IP-Blog is filled with up to five articles a week about newest lawsuits and decisions around patent- and trade mark law. We invite to our IP information, easy access if you register for our weekly newsletter. Moreover, we are one of the few Law Firms that have their focus on “Employee’s Inventions”. An 38 Acquisition International - November 2017

employee who makes an invention during his working time, has made a so-called employee invention or service invention. A drop of bitterness: An invention that is created during working hours in the company belongs to the employer for the time being. However, the employee is entitled to compensation for the fact that the employer can use the invention for himself/herself. We want to help both: the employer as well as the companies. Working in international property law can be difficult, but through our ability and expertise, we have developed a reputation for our IP know-how. All who work for Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP are recognized experts and experienced IP law attorneys, who go the extra mile to ensure the best for our client’s cases about patent, and trademark infringements. Here at Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP, we are delighted to announce that Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP was announced as winner at the 2017 Corporate LiveWire – Global Awards in the category: IP Law Firm of the Year in Germany. Being featured as leading IP Law firm is a great honor to our attorneys, and it provides evidence of our expertise in Employees’ Inventions, Trademark Law, Design Law and Trademark & Product Piracy.


Company: Halldale Media Inc Contact: Andy Smith Contact Email: Address: Sentinel House, Harvest Crescent, Ancells Business Park, Fleet, GU51 2UZ Phone: 01252 532000 Website:

Halldale: Personal Experience is Key Halldale is a modelling, simulation and training company in the B2B media space. We profile the firm and its CEO, Andy Smith, as we look to examine the secrets behind the company’s success.

perating within the B2B media space, Halldale is a unique company, possessing a global team of expert writers who are also simulation and training experts. The company’s editorial team comprises of ex-forces training personnel, ex-airline personnel, as well as practicing medical training experts and ex-simulation industry people. Around the world, Halldale has a dedicated publishing and event team working around the clock to produce the best content and advice.

WATS, the World Aviation Training Conference & Tradeshow; APATS, the Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium; and EATS, the European Airline Training Symposium.

Significantly, the simulation and training information arena is dominated by Halldale with a compelling combination of acclaimed simulation and training publications, aviation training conferences and tradeshows, electronic news and online information sources.

The most widespread use of Simulation is therefore in Training (S&T) in the use of complex equipment typically in complex and/or dangerous situations. It is also widely used in the design and development of complex products, high tech equipment, buildings, to name a few examples. Plus, S&T can be used as a sales tool allowing potential users to walk through a finished product or view it, for example, in a different colour or layout.


In its own unique style, Halldale Group is the world’s only media company focused on techniques of modelling, simulation and training for aviation, defence and medical markets. The company helps communities to develop and share the best practices in simulation technologies and training techniques, whilst helping people use them to improve safety and productivity. Functioning within the media industry, and issuing a variety of global magazines, Halldale publishes CAT Magazine, Civil Aviation Training Magazine; Medical Training Magazine, a Journal for Healthcare Education, Simulation and Training and MS&T Magazine, Military Simulation & Training.

Regarding simulation, it is typically used as a tool in cases where the cost is too high, or the situation unacceptably dangerous, for the operator to use the original equipment. If damage to the equipment, operator or the operator’s clients could happen from training then simulation is the answer.

Originally developed for flight training in the earliest years of flight, simulation is now used throughout the military, the airline industry, most forms of land transport, mining, power generation and medicine from nursing to surgery. Constantly providing content for its clients and readers, Halldale’s website is a haven for information on simulation and training, including a Simulation Training Directory, and detailed listings of flight simulators around the world updated as a monthly census.

Furthermore, Halldale also organises the world’s three biggest conferences in civil aviation training: Acquisition International - November 2017 39


Company: American International School

Nurture! Think Critically! Be Balanced! American International School (AIS) is a thriving school, providing a studentfocused learning environment and an organization that is known to be mission-driven and highly engaged in the wider Kuwait community. Taking time to profile American International School (AIS), is Superintendent, David Botbyl who goes into detail about the prosperous school. merican International School (AIS) is a thriving school, providing a studentfocused learning environment, as well as an organization that is known to be mission-driven and highly engaged in the wider Kuwait community. Our Mission certainly guides are work with students, aged 3-18:


AIS Kuwait inspires students to become critical thinkers and contributing world citizens through rigor and balance in a nurturing educational environment. Her at AIS, we are proud to have been selected for the 2017 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Innovative International School 2017 – Kuwait. We are constantly evolving to offer to most progressive international education of quality to students in Kuwait, and have come to be known as the school of choice to many. What sets us apart is that in 1992, when Dr. Kamil Al Rayyes opened AIS within the Kuwait community, his hope was to offer both Kuwaiti and international students alike an education that would lead to either local or international post-high school learning. His hope has been achieved year after year, and being acknowledged as the most innovative school is an honor and one that we accept with deep gratitude. Dr. Al Rayyes would be very proud today! Having been noted for innovation in the Kuwait community, it will certainly lead AIS to an even greater commitment to being a leader in education in Kuwait. We accept the challenge to the benefit of our students! At AIS, we represent a diverse learning community and are continuously focused on engaging students to graduate college-ready. From Kindergarten to grade 12, learning engagements require students to think deeply about the world around, to inquire and debate, and asking them to take action to impact their local and global communities. Students use both traditional and progressive means to demonstrate their learning. We are committed to future-readiness and have invested heavily in our information technology infrastructure, to create opportunities for both staff and students to engage and collaborate intensively inside of our school, but 40 Acquisition International - November 2017

thoroughly taking advantage of networking outside of the AIS campus. Also, we ensure that students leverage technology daily and are growing into becoming the digital citizens we aspire for them to be. Here at AIS, we are an International Baccalaureate World School and thus, part of a global network of premier schools offering a rigorous and balanced program of study. We offer three of the four IB Programmes: Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme, and the Diploma Programme. Each of the programmes provides our leadership and teaching staff a framework to offer an innovative educational program. Within this framework, we connect our students to the local Kuwait context, ensuring that they develop an appreciate for their local customs and traditions while expanding their knowledge from an international perspective. Indeed, internationalism is a driver of our educational philosophy, and a reason why our parents choose our school from a vast and growing number of options in Kuwait. Our reputation as a school, is that it nurtures and achieves balance through opportunities for students within, and as an extension of, the school day through athletics and activities. This is a reason why we stand out in the educational community in Kuwait. At AIS, we offer a wide array of athletic activities and are upstanding members of both local and international athletic associations. Some of our activities include academic games and Model United Nations, a globally-recognized activity that brings students together in large conferences across the globe. As for our school’s arts programs, they are known throughout the country with our Band program, having grown significantly in both number and quality in the past five years. Our Visual Arts program is annually recognized through a culminating art show, designed and led by several of our grade 12 students. Annually, we celebrate our commitment to the Fine Arts Night by bringing together students across the school to celebrate the arts with our families and the community. Kuwait offers us a rich opportunity to provide our students with a stellar education mindful of culture and tradition. We embrace the development of

Nurture! Think Critically! Be Balanced!

multiple languages and provide our students with a program in support of both the mother tongue (usually Arabic) and English. Students have the opportunity to develop proficiency in the French language. The Kuwait culture is one we highlight throughout the school year. This is done through programming that celebrates the Arabic language and Kuwait holidays and commemorations. Our annual International Day festival highlights the learning we embrace at AIS, one that is rooted in mutual understanding and learning from another’s perspective. Islamic traditions and the appreciation of one’s faith is also a significant part of the student and adult experience. Overall, we over 350 members of staff, with over 200 of those coming to Kuwait from other countries. At AIS, we take pride in offering our international staff a lens to better understand our local Kuwait and Arab culture, as well as being positively impacted from their international experience as a result. This broad intercultural experience that we offer at AIS, opens doors and has certainly led us to see ourselves as the best international school in Kuwait. Finally, we are extremely proud of our school and the learning experiences we offer students each and every day. Here at AIS, we value learning and understand that to become knowledgeable, and in turn must accept the challenges that we have in our journey to become educated. This innovative approach to development and planning fulfils the hopes and dreams of Dr. Al Rayyes, and we take both our Mission and commitment to the larger Kuwait educational community seriously. ‘Nurture! Think Critically! Be Balanced!’ That is what drives our work, ensuring that our students excel and are prepared to make a difference. Thank you for honoring us as part of the 2017 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Innovative International School 2017!

Acquisition International - November 2017 41


Company: OTS Solicitors Contact: Oshin Shahiean Contact Email: Address: 107 – 111 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2AB, UK Phone: 0207 9369 960 Website: www.otssolicitors.

OTS Solicitors: Attention to Detail OTS Solicitors is a niche practice specialising in immigration, commercial, civil litigation, employment and family law. Oshin Shahiean gives us an overview of the law firm, and talks about some of the clients involved. TS Solicitors has a strong international focus. Multiple languages are spoken within the practice, and the head of departments and partners make regular visits to overseas jurisdictions to advise and support businesses. Oshin starts by telling us about the rapid rise of the law firm, as well as going into further detail about the multinational companies that the practice works with.


Teni Shahiean, CEO

“Since our inception in 2014, we have become one of the most respected law firms in the UK. We have been highly ranked in the Legal 500 for immigration and human rights law, an unprecedented achievement for such a young firm. Our solicitors are also regularly called on by the BBC and national and international publications for comment on legal issues. “Globally, we have a wide-range of clients, from high-net-worth investors and entrepreneurs, through to SMEs and multi-national corporations. However, we also represent private clients who are held in immigration detention and/or have suffered an abuse of their human rights.” What differentiates the law practice from its competitors is its attention to detail and understanding of the law surrounding immigration. Oshin points us towards client satisfaction, and how the legal team continue to look after the company even after the matter has been concluded.

COO/Managing Partner Oshin Shahiean

“Crucial to our success, we have an incredibly indepth understanding of immigration, business and family law. Almost all of the reviews left by clients point to two things; our encyclopaedic knowledge of our legal areas and the continued, ongoing support we provide to all our clients, even after their legal matter has concluded.” Essentially, a good working environment can lead to constant success for the company, and Oshin mentions that the internal culture within the practice is one of overwhelming support for each other. It really is a team effort within the company, something Oshin is particularly keen to point out.

Senior Consultant Paul Gulbenkian

42 Acquisition International - November 2017

“Throughout the practice, we have an incredibly supportive culture within our firm, and this ethos spills over into the service we provide to our clients. The partners’ regularly run training sessions for the team and try to maintain an open-door policy so people can come in and ask questions, as and when they need. Junior members of staff are completely comfortable with seeking out senior team members to ask questions.

“Everyone on our team is integral to the success we have achieved over the years, and we make every effort to ensure they feel recognised and appreciated.” Regarding OTS Solicitors’ overall mission, Oshin explains, as co-founder of the company, how the leadership team are focused on delivering legal expertise in a variety of niche areas, including immigration, civil litigation, commercial, employment and family law. The team work hard in ensuring clients are satisfied with the business. “Proudly, the firm is highly recommended by clients, other solicitors and barristers because of the emphasis on quality and excellence. We have concentrated on recruiting incredibly talented and creative staff, who are passionate about providing exemplary service. Our partners fully support them by providing the technology and research-based tools to help them achieve this. In addition, we encourage and initiate Continued Professional Development opportunities for all our team and operate a robust practice management system. “Additionally, we have partnered with elite legal minds such as former immigration judge Paul Gulbenkian, and widely published international lawyer, Dr Harry Hagopian who both act as consultants for the firm.” Looking towards the future, there is a lot of positivity surrounding the company, both in the present and moving forwards. Oshin signs off by commenting on the importance of the work that OTS Solicitors does, and how the practice is working to shape the immigration laws and advise UK businesses. “Ultimately, the corporate world is facing challenges from many quarters, not least the move towards nationalism and a distrust of globalisation by the general public. However, with the upturn in emerging markets and the increasing opportunities presented by AI, businesses around the world have the chance to embrace an optimistic future. “Lastly, our role is to support UK businesses and talented individuals from around the globe achieve their commercial ambitions by providing expert, responsive immigration advice. In a digital economy, where knowledge is key, no nation can afford to look inward if it wants its businesses to reach the growth required to sustain, not only our present standard of living but to meet challenges presented by global warming and the AI revolution. We are working to shape UK immigration laws and advise UK businesses, so they can recruit the talent they need to keep moving forward.”



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Acquisition International - November 2017 43


Company: BUCK Lighting Contact: Jelena Karalejic Contact Email: jelena. Address: Milorada Jovanovica 9, Belgrade, 11147, Serbia Phone: 00 381 11 20 52 400 Website:

A Leader in Energy Efficiency BUCK is lighting producer, with several fields of expertise: architectural, medical, industrial and street lighting. We profile the firm to find out more about the success of the company, including being named as Leading Medical & Industrial Lighting Provider 2017 in Europe in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards. UCK is a lighting specialist with 25 years of experience. With R&D in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Serbia, and a production plant in Serbia, its products are a combination of quality, good performance and great innovation incorporated. Its illumination business is a branch developing at a fast pace, and is focusing on integrating with modern technology. The staff offer services which provides many benefits for users, such as the Internet of Things, Smart City solutions, intelligent housing, thus enabling further features and significant energy savings.


A crucial aspect of the company is its philosophy, which is to carefully listen to its clients’ needs, placing them at the forefront of the solutions and products that staff provide. The firm offer them an innovative product, look to gather feedback and take it on board in order to gain further improvement. Additionally, the staff remain available to the client until the end of the product’s life cycle, always looking to help.

“What separates the company apart from others and helps it to stand out is its unique service and extreme care in looking after clients.” Offering a unique service, BUCK is proud of its unrivalled value chain which is integrated into each factor of its work. Starting from clients’ needs and their well-being throughout original and sustainable design, staff also apply energy saving principles to their work, are innovative and there is little to no maintenance, recyclability and a vital factor in ergonomic design. Working within the ever changing lighting industry, it is vital that the firm are ahead of potential developments which could affect the company and the wide industry. For every successful business, it is essential to have a close relationship with both the final users and the supplier for the lighting industry. When starting out, and even now, BUCK

44 Acquisition International - November 2017

has to be brave to take a risk and promote the design that was revolutionary, extravagant and unconventional. Subsequently, this approach has led to BUCK and some Serbian designers featuring on the international design award scene, whilst the holistic approach to design has provided various awards in all aspects of design; including industrial design, architecture, graphic design, and its overall business model. Regarding its qualifications, BUCK has several certified standards, such as ISO 9001 (since 1997), ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 (since 2013), ISO 27001 and 50001 (since 2016), and Kai Zen 5S integrated in every aspect of work, promoting improvement in each segment of the company. What separates the company apart from others and helps it to stand out is its unique service and extreme care in looking after clients. The products produced by the firm possess a combination of original and innovative design, energy efficiency, high quality, reliability, longevity and optic efficiency. Furthermore, looking ahead to what is happening within the lighting industry, particularly in the SEE region and Serbia, the cluster of lighting producers is in development, and there is still further promotion of the branch yet to come. Significantly, BUCK employs many techniques which enable it to stay ahead of developments, with staff monitoring new technologies and trends with suppliers and competitors. Moreover, staff predict the trends of innovative products, enabling to make calculated and successful investments, plus offering top notch design, approach and service to the client. Its client focused approach comprises mainly of placing an emphasis on ease of mounting, maintenance and longevity. Every action within the company originates from client’s actual or future needs. The organization is structured in such a way as to offer to the client the product and service which is in their best interest. Possessing a wealth of experience, with it being over 25 years since the company was founded, the team at the top of the company have been nurturing its employees, monitoring their interests and affinities, adjusting their job descriptions and duties

A Leader in Energy Efficiency

accordingly. By moving the people through different sectors of the company, the firm’s employees are able to see the big picture, which makes their work more valued and relatable. Likewise, their sense of belonging makes them valued team players, loyal to the company. Moving forward, there are plans in process for projects to be undertaken in POE technology and medicine, which will essentially further the success and outreach of Buck. With the global corporate landscape changing dramatically, all industries, including the lighting one, are being and will be affected by the digitalization processes. BUCK plans to embrace them and continue on its ongoing path towards the top.

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Company: Exceedra Contact: Jennifer Roberts Contact Email: Jennifer. Roberts@exceedra,.com Address: Southbank House, Black Prince Road, London, SE1 7SJ, UK Phone: 0844 556 1242 Website:

Integrated Business Planning for Consumer Goods Companies “Right Investments. Right Results.”

Over previous years, Exceedra has seen its reputation grow, and now the company possesses a global reputation as the go-to Integrated Business Planning software vendor. Andrew Banks provides us with an insight into the inner workings of the company, as we find out what makes it so successful. iming to drive trade promotional effectiveness, sales and profitability for consumer goods manufacturers, Exceedra has built a sterling reputation that has resulted in its success in achieving Best for Integrated Business Planning & Revenue Management in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards. Andrew tells us how the company feels after winning this award.


“Exceedra are delighted to receive this award. It shows that people recognise the focus and investment that Exceedra have made. The Exceedra Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or on-premise solution, is totally scalable and can be used by consumer goods companies, both large or small, to optimise trade spend, improve forecast accuracy, drive profitability and ultimately deliver growth to their business. Exceedra has an excellent and growing customer base in the UK and the USA including: ACH Foods, Bayer Consumer Health, Birds Eye, Dairy Crest, McKee, Nichols plc, Organix, Perrigo, Pladis, Taylors of Harrogate, Tyrrells Crisps and Weetabix. All of them have seen significant benefit through using Exceedra Promotional Planning and Insight Solutions, and can therefore have more meaningful, factual discussions with their retailers supported by means of live analytics. The Exceedra solution becomes the backbone to our clients’ commercial planning agenda.” Having been new to the market in 2010, Exceedra entered the industry already possessing a wealth of experience and knowledge. Andrew notes how this previous experience enables the business to stand out amongst its competitors. Achieving great customer satisfaction on its solutions, the company was able to catapult itself further up the industry ladder. “In 2010, Exceedra was new to the market, but born out of a wealth of experience of the consumer goods marketplace. We believe this enabled us to differentiate from our peers and we knew there was the opportunity for a new entrant to provide a solution that integrates the demand and commercial plans which, in many organizations, are functions ran in silos. The consistent feedback we receive is that our solution looks fresh, is easy to use and importantly provides full coverage around consumer goods commercial planning.” 46 Acquisition International - November 2017

Detailing the services that the company offers, Andrew talks about the company’s speciality, commercial planning. “Our focus is supporting consumer goods companies to be able to create, optimize and manage their demand and account plans to fully understand the impact that volume, price, promotions and new products have on the profitability both for the manufacturer and also the retailer. Many of our competitors are more business intelligence generalists and miss key aspects and nuances that are the real planning challenges facing the consumer goods industry. Exceedra invests in running thought leadership events in both Integrated Business Planning and Revenue Management and are building a community of industry experts who attend in order to share their experience. In addition, we work with analysts, professional bodies and importantly our clients to ensure that, having gained a leadership position, we stay abreast of market trends and requirements. We want to be the standard that everyone looks towards for how software can be implemented to support the commercial aspects of integrated business planning for many years to come.” Another aspect of the firm’s ability to mark itself out as the best possible option for clients, is its robust and comprehensive solution that it is able to offer. Andrew alludes to the high-profile clients that the company has worked with as a sign of its success. “Compared to our competitors, Exceedra offers a more comprehensive and robust solution in a single and easy to use package that includes the vital components for winning the hearts and minds of sales teams. The company regularly joins a short list including SAP, Oracle and Accenture, fine testimony to the fact that we are disrupting the market and were acknowledged earlier this year, as a real challenger by a global drinks company.” Putting into practice its stringent recruitment policies, the company is able to attract the best talent to support the core areas of competence needed to develop and implement the solutions. Andrew goes on to discuss the employees in further detail, citing their experience and approaches a major factor in Exceedra’s success. “Exceedra pride our success in attracting first class developers and highly knowledgably consultants

Integrated Business Planning for Consumer Goods Companies

who buy into our vision. We have built a team with the appropriate balance of relevant industry experience and technical skill.” “Essentially, the company wants to be the best solution provider in our space and to achieve that goal we need a great team. Exceedra provides individuals with the opportunity to develop a broad experience base, lead from an early stage and progress their career. At Exceedra, we offer a full mentoring/coaching programme for all employees. Also, we have a work hard, play hard mentality and encourage social activity as part of overall team building. Exceedra believes that we are a very open company and genuinely encourage employees to share their views with both peers and management alike.” Andrew signs off by outlining Exceedra’s eventual goal, and how there is now a solution and workplace ethos which enables the firm to succeed.

“We have now delivered the appropriate level of disruption in the market, to demonstrate that our solution should be considered by companies when selecting a partner in our space. We are now included in the RFI/RFP process for most S&OP projects and our many customer references endorse the position that are able to deliver ROI. The company’s goal now is to extend our presence and to become a truly global player. Ultimately, the last word goes to co-founder, Richard Nicholas, SVP Sales & Marketing, who is keen to highlight that the company operates on a customer first basis, and will continue to do so as it build on its ongoing success. “We have always put the customer at the heart of the business – this is crucial to our success as we believe that enterprise solutions should be simplified for the end user, while still delivering differentiating business capabilities that drive real business benefits.”

Acquisition International - November 2017 47


Company: KBS Corporate Contact Email: Address: KBS House, 5 Springfield Court, Summerfield Road, Bolton, BL3 2NT, UK Telephone: 01204555081 Web Address:

Delivering Maximum Value for Your Company KBS Corporate is an industry leading company sales specialist operating across a multitude of sectors. We profile the firm as we look to examine the secrets behind its success of being featured as Best Corporate Finance Firm – North of England. stablished for 20 years, the KBS Corporate Group has a proven history of completing hundreds of company sale transactions by integrating specialist marketing techniques with award-winning technical Corporate Finance expertise.


Excitingly, the past year has been extremely busy for KBS. In April 2017, its holding company, K3 Capital Group plc, became an AIM-listed company on the London Stock Exchange. The recognition of KBS Corporate as Best Corporate Finance Firm in the North of England was more than welcomed as a celebration of a milestone year in the Group’s history. During the qualifying period, transaction fee income for the Corporate Finance Division increased by 78%, average fee income increased by 29%, and deal completions increased by 38% on the volumes seen during the same period of the previous year. Throughout this period, KBS has expanded physically, and its employee count has increased by 51% between the years of 2016 and 2017. The success of the company can be attributed to a number of factors, including the recent floatation mentioned above, and its “All of Market” style approach, as well as number of mandates, plus the number of completed transactions the firm has overseen.

“Able to distinguish itself from similar firms, the future for the Group looks extremely bright and there is a lot of positivity buzzing around the employees.” Relating to the success of the company, industry awards can be of great benefit to companies and enable them to thrive and prosper. There are many advantages to winning industry awards both from an internal and external perspective. Internally, industry awards are a big boost to company morale and incentivise company employees to further excel going forward. Recognition from established publications and 48 Acquisition International - November 2017

companies acknowledges the hard work that the Group display all year round. That, coupled with client satisfaction, make the process worthwhile and rewarding. From an external point-of-view, prospective clients can rest assured knowing that independent third parties within the financial industry have recognised the Group for its merits. This can be incredibly beneficial when dealing with clients who are perhaps dubious about the process from previous, unsatisfactory experiences with other advisors. Talking us through the company, the team at KBS describe some of the services that the firm offers to clients, as well as the organisation’s employees, and the inner workings of the business overall. “Currently, we have over 100 staff operating across three distinct brands, Knightsbridge, KBS Corporate and KBS Corporate Finance. Each brand provides sector agnostic expertise to clients with varied service offerings and turnovers. “Knightsbridge provides a business transfer service which utilises business for sale portals and its own proprietary buyer database in order to match buyers and sellers. Typically, these clients’ businesses have an enterprise value of up to c.£1 million, are often leasehold, and are engaged in a wide variety of sectors including retail, catering, care, commercial, licenced and leisure markets.” Furthermore, the team at KBS Corporate allude to the fact that the company is a leading sell side advisor to SME owners who are considering an exit strategy. They refer to the different divisions of the Group and talk about the success of the company. “KBS Corporate source an array of buyer types including trade, individual and institutional buyers both in the UK and overseas. Typically, these businesses have an enterprise value up to c.£100 million. KBS Corporate covers a broad range of sectors including engineering, manufacturing, construction, technology, retail, wholesale, distribution and business services. “The KBS Corporate Finance division is dedicated to larger clients, specialising in lead advisory and

Delivering Maximum Value for Your Company

transaction support, handling company sales typically falling into the £5m – £50m value range. KBS Corporate Finance has a strong track record of delivering deals to mid-market private equity and trade (both privately owned and listed) buyers in the UK and overseas and each Director has a significant background in corporate finance with sound technical knowledge, which ensures expert transactional practice and deal execution. “Additionally, a large component of our continual success is our targeted buyer reach. We ensure that a variety of buyers are targeted ensuring the best possible acquirer for our clients. We target UK and international buyers, as well as MBO/MBI teams, private equity firms and venture capitalists.” Ultimately, in their concluding comments, the team sign off by stating what sets the firm apart from its competitors and helps to mark itself out as the best possible option for its clients. Able to distinguish itself from similar firms, the future for the Group looks extremely bright and there is a lot of positivity buzzing around the employees. “Perhaps the greatest differentiation from our competitors is our holding company’s listing on the London Stock Exchange. K3 is the first and only AIM-listed company sales specialist and corporate finance advisor in the UK.”

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Company: SCWP Schindhelm Contact: Jacqueline Lehner Address: Wächtergasse 1, 1010 Wien, Austria Phone: 0043 1 9050100 Email:

Providing Global Excellence in Legal Services SCWP Schindhelm is a German-language alliance of European commercial law firms with offices in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Asia Pacific region. We profile the firm to learn more and find out how it came to win the title of ‘Leading Estate Adviser of the Year – Austria’ in our Leading Adviser Awards 2017.

axinger Chalupsky & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm) is one of the leading law firms in Austria. The firm is a member of the German-speaking Schindhelm alliance of European commercial law firms with offices in Central / Eastern Europe and Asia / Pacific. In its legal advice, the firm rely on proven excellent quality, supporting clients both at home and abroad.


With strong roots in the local markets, Schindhelm is able to be on site wherever its valued clients need them. The firm’s dedicated team are able to speak a variety of languages, with proven excellent quality in legal consulting, ensuring truly exceptional quality service for everyone they support. Due to the globalization of markets, cross-border investments are becoming increasingly important. Therefore, the group advise not only domestic companies that want to operate in the Eastern 50 Acquisition International - November 2017

European and Asian markets, but also Eastern European and Asian companies, which are interested in a local market entry. Operating collaboratively, the firm works as part of the Schindhelm Alliance, which currently operates with more than 200 lawyers in 24 locations in 12 countries. This allows the company to offer a truly global approach to legal service and ensure that it has both local knowledge and presence wherever its clients need them to be. Recently, thanks to the expansion of the firm’s Spanish partner law firm Lozano Schindhelm, SCWP Schindhelm is now represented at locations in Bilbao and Madrid. This global growth will continue moving forward as the firm seeks to build upon its current success and offer clients the same internationally renowned legal services that they have become accustomed to.


Company: Prosperity IFA Contact: Simon Munday (Independent Financial Advisor) Address: Tubwell Farm, Tubwell Lane, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 3RQ, UK Telephone: 01892 300303 Contact Email: simon. Web Address:

Personalised Service to Bring Prosperity Prosperity IFA is a firm of independent financial advisors and mortgage brokers offering holistic advice to clients from all walks of life. We spoke to Independent Financial Advisor Simon Munday to explore how the firm came to win ‘Leading Independent Financial Adviser of the Year – UK’ in our Leading Adviser Awards 2017. ounded in 2012, Prosperity IFA is an independent financial advice company based in East Sussex providing insurance, investments, mortgages, pensions and Inheritance Tax Planning. Simon discusses how the firm has flourished since it was established to offer a vast array of services.


“Since inception Prosperity IFA has grown from a one advisor firm with myself at the helm, to a firm with 14 advisors covering Kent, Sussex and Surrey. We have several office locations and some of the advisors work from home. The head office is based in Crowborough, East Sussex and there are other offices in East Grinstead and Polegate. From these bases, we advise clients on a wide variety of objectives starting with those who are just starting out on their investment journey through to individuals who are looking for inheritance tax planning and wealth management. Additionally, we assist clients who are looking for mortgages and life assurance products and ensure that clients are always on track for meeting their long-term goals and aspirations.” Central to the firm’s success is its client focused approach, which helps Prosperity IFA to provide bespoke solutions tailored to the client’s individual needs, as Simon is eager to emphasise. “Our business is 100% focused around our clients and their goals, our whole investment strategy is a goals based approach. It is important to us that we understand what our clients are trying to achieve and also when. From gaining a real understanding of their goals and objectives it allows us to provide solutions that are tailor-made to the individual rather than pigeonholing clients to suit products. “To ensure excellence at all times, we have a robust and repeatable process which means that all of our advisors work in exactly the same way and therefore every client has a similar experience. Our in-house investment committee coupled with outsourcing to a couple of discretionary fund managers allows us to build investment propositions for clients looking to achieve a huge variety of outcomes.” Staff are key factor in the firm’s success, and as such Simon is proud to be able to thank them as he

highlights how important this award is to him and the Prosperity IFA team. “It is an honour to be a part of the Leading Advisor Awards 2017 and it is always nice to be recognised for the hard work that we put in. In an industry where we are so heavily regulated and we have so much to consider, to be acknowledged as a leader in your field is something to be extremely proud of. “This success can be attributed to everyone in the firm, from the Directors right through to the admin and support staff, because everyone plays their part and contributes to the overall experience for the client, and as such I am proud of everything that we have all achieved together.” Looking ahead, Simon’s ongoing focus for Prosperity IFA is on supporting clients regardless of their wealth, as he explains in his concluding comments. “Following the RDR a few years ago we were really keen to come up with a proposition that helps to bridge the advice gap that has been created so that we can continue to work with a wide variety of clients. As such, we have an automated advice service for clients with a lower net worth, typically up to £50,000 of investable assets, that has proved very popular. The expertise behind the solution is not dissimilar to our larger clients but we are able to cut out the costs involved with a face to face service. “Alongside this, we also have a variety of investment solutions available to clients with higher levels of investable assets and expertise in looking at all aspects of a portfolio, including construction and tax efficiency. For our higher net worth individuals, typically with investable assets of over £1,000,000 we can also offer a bespoke investment solution. This flexible approach will remain our core aim as we seek to build upon our current success. “Fundamentally, we are always looking at ways that we can drive the business forwards, our service and proposition is second to none and through this we will continue to grow the firm and reputation over the coming years. We are due to open a second office in Crowborough shortly which will provide us with many great opportunities for further success.” Acquisition International - November 2017 51


Company: Leapership Consultants Group Contact: Dr Antoine Eid Address: 12th Flr, Sarkis Group Bldg, Dbayeh, Lebanon Phone: 001 961 45 45 3 45 Contact Email: Website:

Leapership Consultants Group: Leading the Pack Leapership Consultants Group is a team of Leadership and Performance consultants bringing a scientific approach to Leadership Development based on Neuroscience, Genetics and Psychology. We invited Dr Antoine Eid to tell us more about the firm and the techniques it employs which have earned it ‘Leading Leadership and Management Consultant of the Year - Middle East’ in our prestigious Leading Adviser Awards 2017. stablished in 2013, Leapership Consultants is a leading team of consultants from different industries working together to address various development needs in different parts of the world. Antoine discusses the group’s service offering and how it works collaboratively to ensure success for everyone it works with.


“Here at Leapership Consultants, we have worked in over 23 countries with different types of organizations and industries giving us a wide international experience, which we put to good use through our offices in Dubai, Cambridge and Beirut. As part of our role within the industry, we work closely with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, at the University of Cambridge to promote Leadership Capacity building for a Sustainable future, economy, people and environment. “Our innovative solutions include validated DNAbased Leadership Testing, as well as psychometric tools. We work together with organizations to identify Talents, Strengths and Brain Preferences and build development plans and capacity building accordingly.” Since inception, Leapership Consultants have utilised an innovative and unique approach to leadership, which Antoine is happy to discuss with us. “When we started this group, we made a strategic decision based on our observation of market needs to specialize in Leadership Assessment and Development and move away from soft skills training commonly available in the market. To ensure we become the market reference in this area, we partnered with world-class providers including the University of Cambridge, Emergenetics International, AAI, Central Test and Karmagenes. “Our partners help us provide a wider spectrum of measurement tools able to cover all areas from genetic identification of potential to neuroscientific discovery of brain preferences all the way to 52 Acquisition International - November 2017

behavioural, cognitive and skills analysis. Then comes our experiential approach to facilitating the learning. Our delivery is very personalized and always customized to every client while avoiding typical PowerPoint style lectures. Leadership to us is a practise not a theory and we make sure every concept is explained through a designed group activity.” “Moving forward, Leapership Consultants have a number of exciting developments ahead which Antoine is keen to share with us. “Looking to the future, we are on an ongoing mission to keep up with the latest neuroscience and genetic research and integrate new findings in our leadership development solutions. This is proving to be very challenging, but exciting at the same time given how fast the science is growing currently. “Recently, we have been working with an amazing team at the University of Cambridge CISL, to provide a Strategic Leadership Tour in the Middle East which will start in February 2018 in Dubai, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait. We will be bringing through this tour the greatest minds known to advise international organizations to share their knowledge with local leaders. Additionally, we also have a great partnership with a wonderful team of brilliant genetic scientists based in Switzerland to help us provide and administer Leadership DNA testing. We believe this is going to be the future of Leadership Development and we’re proud to be the first to introduce it to the Middle East market.”


Company: Estudio O’Farrell Contact: Ricardo Hernan Castañeda Address: Av. de Mayo 651 - 3° Piso, C1084AAB, Buenos Aires, Argentina Phone: (5411) 4341-8494 Email:

Leading the Way for Legal Excellence Drawing on over 134 years’ experience, Estudio O’Farrell is a multidisciplinary law firm based in Buenos Aires. We profile the firm to find out how it came to win ‘Best M&A Law Firm 2017 – Argentina’ in our prestigious International Finance Awards.


stablished in 1883, Estudio O’Farrell provides comprehensive legal service, focusing on Business Law.

Throughout a century and a quarter of practicing law in Argentina, Estudio O’Farrell have been able to provide active cooperation for the settlement of many industries and the materialization of productive investments, and to support the development of agriculture and cattle breeding. The personality of the firm’s founder, Santiago Gregorio O’Farrell, left an indelible mark on our history, which remains strong to this date. An Irish descendant, Mr. O’Farrell had a distinguished community service record, having held office as political leader and legislator. In his professional career he was a renowned legal scholar, orator,

educator, man of letters, and humanist, although more important still was his renown as a man of wise and prudent advice. He created a law firm that offers a humane, realistic, and comprehensive approach to the problems and needs of its clients, which remains Estudio O’Farrell’s mark of distinction to this day. The team that makes up the Estudio O’Farrell today comprises of over 100 professionals, with a shared view and a mission which clearly focused on quality. This ensures excellence for every client that the firm works with. Overall, Estudio O’Farrell are proud to have been relevant protagonists in the progress of Argentina nation, and moving forward the team will continue to support the growth and prosperity of the country. Acquisition International - November 2017 53


Company: Ghazanfar Bank Contact: Khisrow Fazli Contact Email: Address: 866 Sher Pur Main Road, Kabul, Afghanistan Phone: 0093 0797 86 00 66 Website:

Moving Ahead From Good to Great Ghazanfar Bank is a medium range Bank possessing an extensive network across the country. Khisrow Fazli explains more about the success of the Bank, as it is a Recognised Leader in Finance and Banking in Afghanistan as it features as Best of the Best in Finance 2017. hazanfar Bank as an Independent Financial Institution is planning to strive for excellence with a structured path of growth by enhancing of Business by 75% and to establish Top of the Mind recall. Proposing substitution of brick and wall, independent branches with an innovative service provider by implementing hub and spoke concept. Khisrow starts off by giving his views on the state of the finance industry within Afghanistan presently, and what major challenges and outside influence it currently faces.


“Firstly, the Afghanistan finance industry is at the nascent stage due to lot of known factors. However, the industry comprises of 16 fully licensed commercial banks and 4 branches of foreign banks with 390 branches throughout the country. The Banking Industry has an asset of $4.17 billion, with deposits of $3.7 billion and an average loanto-deposit ratio of 19%. It comprises almost 25% of entire GDP, making it the biggest industry of all others.

Outlining the bank’s philosophy, Khisrow explains what differentiates the firm from its competitors, marking it out as the best possible for clients and customers who want to ensure their money will be safe. “Secondly, there are many challenges facing the banking industry currently, and the biggest challenge to the industry is deemed to be the unbanked population in the country. The most of Afghan population remains unbanked, with only 10% of Afghans currently holding bank deposits. Many continue to rely on money service providers (hawala) to access finance and transfer money, due to the unfamiliarity with a functioning banking system and limited access to banks in rural areas. One of the main reason of being unbanked is considered to be the lack of awareness of the majority of population.” “Additionally, there is another challenge within the industry, which is considered to be the human resource capacity, which has been under process of development. Throughout Afghanistan there 54 Acquisition International - November 2017

has been unrest, and the current generation has been lacking the adequate skills and knowledge to further the industry. The want of quality educational opportunities and appropriate training facilities are additional factors in inadequate professional capacity of manpower.” Outlining the bank’s philosophy, Khisrow explains what differentiates the firm from its competitors, marking it out as the best possible for clients and customers who want to ensure their money will be safe. “Significantly, the business produced in terms of balance sheet size and profitability of the Bank by the branches network is comparatively healthy. Ghazanfar Bank as an Independent Financial Institution is planning to strive for excellence with a structured path of growth by enhancing of Business by 75% and to establish Top of the Mind recall. Proposing substitution of brick and wall, independent branches with an innovative service provider. The reputation of Ghazanfar Bank has been a pivotal area of differentiation among all the Banks. The conventional Banking system in general and Islamic Banking window in particular have been considered as a trade mark of trust and satisfaction in the Market. The Bank is entirely customer centric and initiating measures to fulfil the financial needs of the community with perfection and satisfaction.” Throughout the banking industry, everything is done at a fast paced nature and there are always developments and trends on the horizon which the bank must work exceptionally hard to stay at the forefront of these advances, as Khisrow explains. “First and foremost, Ghazanfar Bank offers a wide range of financial products and services to the community. Since the Bank is operating with conventional banking system and an Islamic Banking window, therefore; the Bank is offering products under both systems including funded and non-funded facilities, remittances, Internet and SMS banking, Western Union services and many more as per the needs of the customers. “With young, dynamic and talented Afghan Nationals contributing to over 98% of the workforce, GHAZANFAR BANK has received Global recognition for its capabilities. The need

Moving Ahead From Good to Great

to constantly improve skills in a business driven essentially by the quality of its Human Resources is a key focus area. Operating level capabilities are regularly enhanced by constant training and re-skilling. This is strengthened by professional and qualified management at the Board level and supported by the state-of-the-art technology.” Regarding the future, Khisrow explains Ghazanfar Bank’s future plans, including an exciting looking strategy which will lead to future milestones being reached, and the bank further cementing itself as a leader in the banking industry within Afghanistan. “Moving forward, the Bank has recently designed a strategic plan, known as ‘VISION 2020’ which is unique in terms of activities of the Bank in coming three years. The strategic plan is a road map towards a milestone to be achieved in order to become the top of the line Bank in the country and ensures to be the differentiation factor among all other Banks in the industry. It inculcates further structural, technological, financial and procedural improvements in the Bank along with other advanced and innovative approaches which would add value to all the stakeholders at large and play a pivotal role in making the Bank as the top line Bank in the country.”

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Contact: Gregg Schoppman Contact Email: Company: FMI Corporation, 308 South Blvd. Tampa, Florida, 33606, USA Telephone: 001 813 382 6074 Web Address:

Industry Focus. Powerful Results. FMI Corporation (Fails Management Institute) is the leading management consultancy serving the construction industry. Recently, we invited FMI Corporation’s Principal, Gregg Schoppman to tell us more about the company and their remarkable success throughout the years. or over 65 years, FMI Corporation (Fails Management Institute) has been providing consulting services like strategic planning, productivity/lean implementation, training, leadership development and merger/acquisition consultation. With offices in Tampa, FL; Raleigh, NC; Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Phoenix, AZ; and Calgary, AB, Canada, it comes as no surprise that FMI is one of the leading management consultancy serving the construction industry.


The company’s vision is to become one of the most influential advisor to engineering and construction, infrastructure and the built environment. As for FMI Corporation’s purpose, the company have set out to create a better future for engineering and construction, infrastructure and the built environment and the industry’s leading organizations. Beginning this interview, Gregg talks us through FMI Corporation’s ongoing strategy, their clients, as well as noting on the techniques the company employs to ensure that they are able to achieve their goals.

“There are so many disruptors to our industry and the consulting world right now. One of our main challenges, is always staying relevant and keeping three steps ahead of the industry to drive strategy, talent development and productivity.” “At FMI Corporation, our guiding principle is to catalyse our clients’ performance and be their trusted advisor. As such, we have an unparalleled passion for customer service, and we also pride ourselves on our fact-based industry knowledge that drives every discipline within our business. Remaining innovative is critical and we lead with our strong depth of services and constantly train and develop our associates.

56 Acquisition International - November 2017

“The majority of our clients that we serve work within both the construction and engineering firms worldwide. There are many consulting firms, however our depth of knowledge and our industry focus allows us to be a major force in the marketplace for construction firms that want to achieve superior results.” Recently, FMI Corporation found success in Acquisition Intl’s Leading Adviser Awards 2017 as the Leading Project Management Consultant of the Year – Florida. Speaking of the success, Gregg reveals how delighted the company were to receive the recognition, as well as highlighting the role staff play in the success of the firm. “To have been selected is an amazing honor, and I am deeply humbled. More importantly, it is a testament to our entire firm’s hard work and dedication. To me, this is a team award and represents the culmination of everything we do to support the construction industry, and all of its amazing talent. I am just one part of the organization, and this award represents all of our talented associates in every aspect of the firm. Here at FMI Corporation, we are nothing without our talented team, from our administrators to staff consultants to our field leaders. It takes a team to do what we do.” Bringing the interview to a close, Gregg reflects on some of the challenges that the company has to face that are unique to the company’s jurisdiction. The main challenge for FMI Corporation, is to stay relevant and ahead of the times. “There are so many disruptors to our industry and the consulting world right now. One of our main challenges, is always staying relevant and keeping three steps ahead of the industry to drive strategy, talent development and productivity.” Looking ahead to what the future holds for FMI Corporation, Gregg reveals to us some of the projects that the company already have lined up for the business. “Moving forward, we continue to push our business in every aspect. That includes growing our business, but also providing new offering that will drive value to every one of our clients.”

Industry Focus. Powerful Results.

Acquisition International - November 2017 57


Company: Christiana Petrou Milis LLC Contact: Christiana Petrou Contact Email: christiana. Address: 72 Kennedy Avenue FLORIS COURT, Office 32, Nicosia, 1076, Cyprus Phone: 00357 22100123 Website:

Providing Only the Best Christiana Petrou Milis is a boutique legal firm which specialises in the offering of a wide range of corporate service to clients. We profile the firm and Christiana Milis to try and find out about the firm’s experience and future ambitions, on the back of being named in Most Exceptional Business Awards last year. hristiana Petrou Milis is a small but rapidly expanding law firm, which provides a broad range of business and litigation services from the complex issues facing large organisations, companies and entrepreneurs to every private individual or investor.


Crucial to its success, the firm is totally focused on building trusting relationships with each other, providing staff with honest, achievable and profitable advice. The team at the firm consists of young and energetic teams of lawyers and company administration specialists. Staff aim to provide tailor made solutions in a speedy and confidential manner. The long-term relationships that the firm has built have borne fruit, as the firm is continuing to offer quality legal support, profitable business solutions and maintain ongoing contact and communication, as they understand the needs of the client. The firm’s clients mainly come from the financial and technology sectors mainly from Germany, Russia, Greece, Cyprus, whom the company provide with legal support and assistance to meet their needs. Examining the services that the practice offers, the firm has lawyers who specialise in information technology (IT) and intellectual property (IP) law, as well as corporate finance law. Essentially, the firm provide litigation services (mainly corporate litigation), as well as family law, criminal law and civil litigation issues.

Christiana Petrou Milis aim to provide the best, but also prompt, legal support, and looking ahead, the firm plans to expand and always be available when the client needs the firm’s expertise. Christiana studied law at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Afterwards, she obtained an LLM on Corporate Law and an LLM on IT & Telecommunications Law from the Glasgow School 58 Acquisition International - November 2017

of Law. Furthermore, Christiana is a holder of an MBA from CIIM institution. Regarding her areas of expertise, she maintains a special interest in IT & IP law, as well as extensive experience in corporate litigation representations of large corporate organizations and banking institutions before the Cyprus and Greek Courts. Overall, the services of Christiana Petrou Milis LLC are available on a 24-hour basis, which means that staff can easily work with international clients, and aim to provide them with tailor made solutions in a speedy and confidential manner. Ultimately, Christiana Petrou Milis aim to provide the best, but also prompt, legal support, and looking ahead, the firm plans to expand and always be available when the client needs the firm’s expertise.


Destination to Success Company: Trois-Rivières Port Authority Contact: Virginie Deschambeault Contact Email: virginie. Address: 1545, rue du Fleuve, bureau 300, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, G9A 6K4, Canada Phone: 819 244-8888 Website:

The Trois-Rivières Port Authority (TRPA) handles a variety of products ranging from alumina to grain through containers, wind turbines, forest products and more. We profile the Port to examine the secrets behind being Best in Cargo Movement & Port Facilities in Canada in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards. ith an annual traffic volume of 3.3 million metric tonnes, and handling approximately 250 vessels annually, the team at TRPA work hard to provide the best service possible that they can. In addition, since 2010, the port of Trois-Rivières has undergone a profound transformation in order to increase its capacity and productivity and to better integrate its facilities in its urban environment.


In October 2018, TRPA were pleased to announce that it had entered into a long-term agreement with Logistex Stevedoring Inc. for the leasing and operation of its general cargo terminal, further strengthening a long-standing business relationship between the Port of Trois Rivières and one of the leading port terminal operators in North America. Paving the way for this agreement were some shrewd investments. At the end of 2017, TRPA will have completed its Pier 10 extension project, with the total cost being $14.8 million, and this investment has complemented the work which began in 2010 at the general cargo terminal. Part of this project was the redesign of outdoor storage areas 10 and 11, as well as the construction of warehouse 9, which complemented warehouse 10 and 11. This project was part of the implementation of the On Course for 2020 modernization plan, which required investments of $131.6 million, of which $49 million was funded by the TRPA, $22.2 million by the Government of Canada, $8.2 million by the Government of Quebec and $52.2 million by the private sector. In what has proved to be a very successful venture, the proposal will be completed by the end of 2017, as mentioned earlier, which is three years ahead of schedule.

Recently, the Port has been carrying out major plans which have seen its infrastructure modernised, as well as the construction of the new Terminal 13 and extension to Terminal 10. There has also been a clear vision and completion of the establishment of a secure perimeter and the development of the main and secondary gates. The Hector-LouisLangevin Park and many green spaces were also added. Over the last decade, $ 131.6 million have been invested. These investments were divided between the TRPA: $ 49 million, the Government of Canada: $ 22.2 million, the Government of Quebec: $ 8.2 million and the private sector: $ 52.2 million. Profiling the mission of the TRPA, the team aim to ensure that the objectives of the Canada Marine Act are achieved through sound management of the public infrastructure under tis responsibility, as a result of promotional activity, both commercially and regionally, whilst also looking at national development.

Exciting times lie ahead for TRPA, and it is enthusiastic about building and maintaining a business relationship which can be dated back to 50 years ago. The other side of the relationship, Logistex boasts a sterling reputation and its professionalism is unrivalled.

In order to reach its mission, TRPA and the team must adapt and overcome any challenges which may come its way. The authority is constantly looking to restore, maintain and develop marine infrastructure that will promote and maintain Canada’s competitiveness and business objectives.

Furthermore, in other news, activities have been sanctioned at Terminal 13 of the Port of TroisRivières. Operated by Somavrac, who’s activities commenced on the docks of the port over 50 years ago, there are exciting times ahead, as the company is now one of the most important handlers in Eastern Canada.

Additionally, the authority is looking to organize an intermodal transport service, which will meet the needs of users at a reasonable cost and provide a high level of safety and environmental protection to its products and solutions. Furthermore, there needs to be an effective support tool for achieving local, regional and national socio-economic objectives by supporting commercial activity. Acquisition International - November 2017 59


Company: Legacy Consulting Limited Contact: Emma Lejeune (Partner/Legal adviser) Contact Email: emmalejeune@ Address: 6.23 World Trade Center. 6 Bayside Road, Gibraltar Phone: 00350 200 51300 Website:

Develop Your Business, Define Your Legacy. Legacy Consulting is a boutique practice primarily servicing the needs of private clients, ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices. Emma Lejeune tells us more about the company and the services that it offers, as it is featured as one of our 2017 Ones to Watch for Exclusive for Private Client Law from Gibraltar. egacy Consulting assists its clients with their personal requirements in relation to succession planning, asset protection, relocation, residency and personal tax. This includes the establishment of family offices; a family governance framework or other asset protection vehicles as may be appropriate.


Alongside clients’ personal requirements, the firm also assists with arrangements related to relocation (including handling property purchases), residency applications and providing advice on personal taxation in Gibraltar. In addition, the team can assist with all aspects relating to a new or existing business, whether it is the establishment of a new venture in Gibraltar or the redomiciliation of an existing one. This includes but is not limited to, assisting with the setup, providing corporate, commercial and employment advice and considering any licensing or regulatory requirements. Having been up and running for just over a year, Emma and the team have overseen the company’s rapid rise from the World Trade Centre in Gibraltar. Following its feature as One to Watch, Emma tells us what the company’s hopes and plans for 2017 and beyond, before describing how it feels to stand out and be noticed within Gibraltar. “As we continue to grow, there are exciting times ahead, we hope to be able to continue to expand, develop and grow our expertise. It is flattering to be considered as a rising leader in this field. I have been developing my practice and profile for over 12 years and it is therefore rewarding to gain some recognition for my efforts. This award is encouraging and positive for the firm. It will incentivise us to keep working hard at excelling in our field. Informing us about the team that she works with, Emma explains what role they play in the success of the business. She is keen to point out that Legacy Consulting would not be where it is if it was not for her employees. “Essentially, the success of the firm is primarily down to the efforts of the team. The firm’s employees are in my view, the business, and without their respective contributions, the business would not thrive in the way it has and continues to do. Legacy, as a company, inspires a collegiate environment and aims to encourage individuals to work together and help each other grow and develop in their respective career paths. It applies a unified approach which helps ensure that clients receive the best service.” 60 Acquisition International - November 2017

Setting itself apart from other companies within the industry, Emma talks about how the whole ethos of the company is emphasised on putting the client first. She acknowledges that this award is a recognition of the company’s success. “Throughout the company, the whole team strives to deliver the best for our clients and take pride in offering a personal and trusted service so that they know they are in good hands. We hope that this award is testimony to our success in achieving our objectives.” Dealing with private clients can open up a wealth of new opportunities and avenues to explore, as Emma explains. With the uncertainty over Brexit, Emma talks about what challenges the company will have to overcome, but as she states, she sees these challenges as a chance for the company to improve. “The ever evolving financial services industry coupled with the uncertainties surrounding Brexit will present both challenges and opportunities for both the firm and the wider industry over the next few years. However, I see these more as opportunities than hurdles to the continued success of the industry and Gibraltar as a jurisdiction. Gibraltar’s very stable political climate and the fact that the financial services industry is heavily involved and engaged by Government to assist with the implementation of regulatory changes and promotions of new sectors, makes it a jurisdiction that is well equipped to handle change.” Lastly, Emma signs off by explaining why being based in Gibraltar is so beneficial to the firm. She talks about the quality of life, as well as the fact that the financial services are extremely sophisticated, and are an advantage for not only the clients, but also the family itself. “Gibraltar is a favourable jurisdiction for individuals wishing to relocate to and/ or establish their businesses or family offices in Gibraltar. The quality of life offered by Gibraltar provides additional value, offering principals the opportunity to reside in the jurisdiction whilst enjoying a Mediterranean lifestyle within a community of British culture, British education and a common law legal system. Further, its sophisticated financial services framework, provides a high level of regulation allowing individuals, families and corporates to ensure that their business is being handled in accordance with international standards.”

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B&B of the year 2017 - Loughborough Company: Charnwood Lodge Guest House Email: Web Address: Address: 136-138 Leicester Road, Loughborough, LE11 2AQ, UK Telephone: 01509 211120 Most Trusted Migration Services Firm 2017 - Australia Company: McGovern Migration Email: Web Address: Address: McGovern Migration, 2c May Court, Nollamara, Western Australia, 6061, Australia Telephone: 006145 7580402 Best Sales Software System 2017 - UK Company: NewVoiceMedia Email: Web Address: Address: NewVoiceMedia House, Jays Close, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 4BS, UK Telephone: 0207 785 8888 Most Innovative Broadcasting Team 2017 - Ireland Company: Pi Communications Email: Web Address: Address: Pi Communications, Merrion Square Merrion Square N, Dublin 2, D02 H798, Ireland Telephone: 003531 6316023 Best IT Consulting Services Company 2017 – Tennessee Company: Synergy Solutions, Inc Email: Web Address: Address: Synergy Solutions, Inc, 101 Donner Drive, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 37830, USA Telephone: 001 865 813 4141 2017’s Most Innovative Law Firm- UK Company: Ashfords LLP Email: Web Address: Address: Ashfords LLP, Ashford House, Grenadier Road, Exeter, EX1 3LH, UK Telephone: 01392 333800 2017 Most Outstanding Law Firm of the Year - Hong Kong Company: Twiggy MH Liu Law Office Email: Web Address: Address: Twiggy MH Liu Law Office, 4104 Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong Telephone: 00852 2155 0288

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Winners’ Directory

2017 Most Outstanding Law Firm of the Year- UK Company: Tyler Law Limited Email: Web Address: Address: Tyler Law Limited, 91 Furtherwick Road, Canvey Island, SS8 7AY, UK Telephone: 01268 630850 Best Sales Adviser - UK Company: Thomas Property Group Email: Web Address: Address: Thomas Property Group, 13 Grosvenor St, Chester, CH1 2DD, UK 20 Eggbridge Lane, Waverton, Chester, CH3 7PE Telephone: 01244 330033 Leading Real Estate Adviser of the Year - UK Company: Standen’s Email: Web Address: Address: Standen’s, 1222 - 58 Avenue SE, P.O. Box 67, Station T, Calgary, Alberta, T2H 2G7, Canada Telephone: 00403 258 7800 Business Elite top 100 2017- Canada Company: Cassidy & Tate Email: Web Address: Address: Cassidy & Tate, 10 High Street, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4EL, UK Telephone: 01727 228 428 2017 Global Excellence Awards - Best for Competition & Antitrust Law & 2017 Leading Adviser Awards - Leading Real Estate Adviser of the Year - India Company: Gagrats Email: Web Address: Address: Gagrats, Nirmal, 12th Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai, 400 021, India Telephone: 0091 22 6752 9037 Leading Boutique Investment Bank of the Year – Cyprus Company: AXIA Ventures Group Ltd Email: Web Address: Address: AXIA Ventures Group Ltd, 10 G. Kranidioti Str., Nice Day House, Suite 102, 1065 Nicosia, Cyprus Telephone: 00357 22 74 2000

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AI Magazine November 2017  
AI Magazine November 2017