Page 1 • February 2018

In this issue:

Blue Revolution A Whole Host of Experience in Fund Management - Host Capital Limited Lawyers in Libya - Rajab Bashir Excellence in Economic Law - Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes Ensuring Everyone Benefits - Insurance Applications Group Schul International Company QA Mentor

Boyas Drafting & Design: Building a Bright Future in the Glazing Industry Studio Legale Ichino Brugnatelli e Associati (Ichino Brugnatelli) is a wide-ranging Italian law firm, holding an outstanding reputation. Manuela Grassi tells us more about the firm and herself, as she features in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards as Most Influential Woman in Banking Law 2017 within Italy.

Quality and Service Excellence Stands the Test of Time Creating Innovative Technologies in the Cardiovascular Space Overarching Excellence in Design - ARCHINA Design s.r.o. Unlocking the Secret of Vault Rooms - Vault Rooms Do It Once, Do It Right.

Where Caring for Life Means Caring for People All Around the World - Fresenius Kabi

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. 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. 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...

Editor’s Comment

Welcome to this bumper February edition of Acquisition Intl. Magazine, packed to the brim with stories, features and developments from across the world of corporate finance. In recent news, the network control company that provides Actionable Network Intelligence, Infoblox Inc. has announced on the 5th February that it has appointed Brad Bell as chief information officer (CIO) of Infoblox. Bell will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s global information technology strategy, services, and operations. In this month’s issue, we discover more about Boyas Drafting & Design (D&D). The firm specialises in shop drawings and fabrication drawings for a variety of building interior and exteriors, that are found in privately-funded commercial and government-contracted structures. We spoke with founder and President of Boyas Drafting & Design, Filomeno Boyas who reveals more about the innovative firm. Elsewhere in this edition, the leading regional firm, Central Law Costa Rica provide comprehensive and innovative legal advice in all areas of law to its valued clients. Recently, we profiled the frim to gain an insight into the fascinating company, exploring the secrets behind the incredible success it has achieved. On the theme of success, PLUTA helps companies in legally and economically difficult situations. PLUTA’s Director, Mr. Áticus Ocaña shares with us the secrets behind the company’s success, explaining in detail about what attracts clients to the firm. Lastly, on the 28th January, Tiens Group Chairman, Li Jinyuan kicked off a press conference at the Tiens Group headquarters in Tianjin, announcing the worldwide launch of its new branding strategy and upgrades. With over 6,000 in attendance, the conference was the first major event held by Tiens Group in the new year. The new strategy will integrate the themes of new beginnings, new methods, new business models, and a new future, while maintaining its steady international expansion. Here at Acquisition Intl. Magazine, we sincerely hope that you thoroughly enjoy reading this month’s edition. Jessie Daykin - Editor -

4 News 6 Boyas Drafting & Design: Building a Bright Future in the Glazing Industry 10 Business Growth Fuelled by Strategy, Marketing & Communications. 120 West Strategic Communications LLC 11 Creating Innovative Technologies in the Cardiovascular Space Beauty Contact 12 Creating Innovative Technologies in the Cardiovascular Space FineHeart 14 A Game Changer in Technology PharmaFluidics 16 Creating a Sustainable Level of Financial Self-Sufficiency Consultiva Internacional, Inc. 18 Ensuring Everyone Benefits Insurance Applications Group 20 Delivering Quality on a Global Basis Giambrone & Partners 22 Gates Hospitality: Hospitality Development with a Difference

2 Acquisition International - February 2018


23 More Than Just a Trademark Wiseberry Heritage Group 24 Innovative Apprentice Technology Solutions Smart Apprentices 26 Unlocking the Secret of Vault Rooms 28 Studio Legale GTA: A Leading Light in Italian Corporate Law 30 Protecting Your Intellectual Property Rosenbaum IP 32 Creating Success in Cross-Border Commercial Law Fred-Young & Evans LP 33 Helping Companies 2b Limitless 2b Limitless FZC 34 Excellence in Economic Law Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes 35 Multi-Skilled Associates Serving the Industry Nanavati Associates 36 Efficient and Effective Law Enforcement Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd 37 Gentile, Horoho & Avalli, P.C.: Proven. Focused. Innovative.



38 The Client Comes First ABV ADVOGADOS 39 Helping Companies Reach Their Potential PLUTA

Mantis & Athinodorou LLC

61 Intergrading Integrity into Insolvency Law Chamberlain & Co 62 International Family Law At Its Finest Kowalik Law Firm

Fiduciana Trust (Cyprus) Limited


84 Changing the Way You Natter Natterbox Ltd 87 A Helping Hand for Small Businesses CR Services Plc

40 Central Law: Excellence in Legal Services Throughout Central America

63 A World View on Global Strategies Averian Global

88 Fresenius Kabi: Where Caring for Life Means Caring for People All Around the World

42 Lawyers in Libya Bakhnug Law Firm - Rajab Bakhnug

64 Do It Once, Do It Right. Bydand PM

90 Fuelling the Financial Industry Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting

44 At the Forefront of Clinical Laboratory Medicine Labtech Diagnostics LLC

66 Overarching Excellence in Design ARCHINA Design s.r.o.

91 Leading the Way in Fiduciary Services Fiduciana Trust (Cyprus) Limited

68 A Commitment to the Rule of Law Law Office of Ramni Taneja

92 Perfecting the Art of Window Cleaning Manchester Window Cleaners

69 Lawyers Lead the Way in Litigation at V&V Vargas & Vargas Abogados

93 Achieving Excellence in Asset Management Portas Capital AG

70 Avondale: Experienced, Candid and Creative.

94 Changing the Face of the Recruitment Space Astute Recruitment

45 Mr Taxman: Talking You Through Taxation 46 Integrity, Innovation, Diligence and Excellence arvi Strachan Partners 47 Zaheda Skincare: A Complexion Above the Rest 48 Understanding Your Needs TopMark Claims Management Ltd 49 New Possibilities Every Day MakroCare 50 Supplying Support to Solve Insolvency Gilson Gray LLP 52 Real Excellence in Real Estate Law Mantis & Athinodorou LLC 54 A Whole Host of Experience in Fund Management Host Capital Limited 56 Changing the Game Augentius 58 Shifting Mindsets. As Mindsets Influence Behaviours. Behaviours Dictates Results. KTalk Coaching & Consulting 60 Intellectual Property Protection Singh & Singh Law Firm LLP

72 Raising the Bar QA Mentor, Inc. 74 Providing the Best to the Best Sylla & Partners 75 Trust That Enriches. ILIRIKA Fund Management 76 Deokyoung (Jay) Ko – “Experienced, Driven, Effective” Law Group Minju 77 A Trailblazer in the Energy Market ENGIE 78 Unique in Urology Urology Chambers Limited 79 Turning Belief into Reality Njeri Kariuki Advocate 80 Earning the Trust of Others Inter Vivos, PLLC 82 Learning, Done Your Way The Brainbox Group 83 Identifying With Excellence HOCHTIEF (India) Private Limited

96 Redefining the Space we Live in ARKITEKTURMINISTERIET / AMPD 97 F & H Porter Novelli: Perfecting PR 98 Quality and Service Excellence Stands the Test of Time The Checkers Safety Group 100 Achieving Excellence in Air Conditioning REDNUX GmbH 101 Protecting Your Intellectual Property! KETNER Ltd 102 Making Things Simple Viteos Fund Services LLC 103 Your Very Own Private Office The Organisers Ltd 104 Support Services Bureau van Dijk 106 Winners’ Listings

Acquisition International - February 2018 3

News: from around the world

New Beginnings and a New Future Tiens Group launches new global branding strategy targeting young generation.

4 Acquisition International - February 2018

NEWS / From Around The World

January 28th, 2018, Tiens Group Chairman, Li Jinyuan kicked off a press conference at the Tiens Group headquarters in Tianjin to announce the worldwide launch of its new branding strategy and upgrades. With over 6,000 in attendance, the conference was the first major event held by Tiens Group in the new year. To accelerate Tiens Group’s international expansion and new branding strategy, which focuses on the younger generation in their 30s, Tiens Group’s new strategy will integrate the themes of new beginnings, new methods, new business models, and a new future, while maintaining its steady international expansion. Tiens Group was founded in 1995 and during its 23year history, the company grew from a small private enterprise into the international conglomerate that it is today. Currently, Tiens Group has locations in 110 countries and regions that cover markets in over 190 countries around the world in fields such as biotechnology, health management, hotel and tourism, education and training, e-commerce, international trade, and finance. It has also formed strategic alliances with top enterprises in many countries and has become a top Chinese global brand. Tiens Group’s Global Branding Strategy Conference was launched by Carol Huang, Senior Director of Group Brands and International Public Relations. Huang explained that Tiens Group’s market research has led the company to shift its branding focus to young women around the age of 30 and Tiens Group will step up its efforts to promote its new branding strategy. At the conference, Tiens Group also revealed its new brand Logo / VI / CI, new and upgraded product packaging, and new official website. The company’s new digital marketing strategy has been applied to every sector, providing global users interested in Tiens Group’s development and collaboration opportunities with clear implementation ideas, a friendly community to interact with, and marketing. Also emphasized at the conference were the core values of the Tiens Group brand, which includes focusing on global markets, driving execution, and Tiens Groups brand mission of love, health, and serving the community. The overall upgrade of Tiens Group’s branding strategy and the upgrade of its corporate CI and VI systems will enable the company’s new image to become a positive force in the world and establish global alliances. Tiens Group’s new CELLES TIANE M&Y HYDRA series, which recently won the 2017 BEST TASTE AWARD - Annual Energy Skin Care Product Award (awarded by SINA Corporation, a leading online media company serving China and the global Chinese communities) was publicly revealed for the first time at the event, much to the audience’s delight. In a media interview prior to the conference, Chairman Li Jinyuan spoke regarding opportunities for Tiens Group’s global expansion in 2018, saying, “In 2018, global economic integration and information will become the trend. Tiens Group uses big data and cloud computing technologies to integrate its networks and achieve business synergy, laying out 21 regions covering 224

countries and regions and penetrating the five continents of the world, fulfilling China’s Belt and Road strategy. Not only is Tiens Group ‘going out’, but it is also ‘bring in’, landing diverse projects to ensure business, protect employment, promote health and safety, and ensure development.” Richard Shaw, an American Chinese who previously served as Vice President of Strategic Planning /Vice President of Portfolio Brand Management for a world’s largest direct sales group, recently joined Tiens Group’s global direct sales business as general manager and also made an appearance at the conference. Shaw said that Chairman Li Jinyuan’s business diversification, network integration, and business synergy ecosystem model forms a commercial mechanism for international interconnection. It is definitely an innovative strategy that has the potential to become a leading business model and brand development trend. With regard to Tiens Group’s development in Dubai, which was mentioned by Dubai’s CATV, Chairman Li said that Tiens Group has been surveying the Dubai market since the beginning of 2000. While paying full respect and understanding towards the local customs and culture, Tiens Group has accurately positioned the consumer groups of Dubai, primarily targeting the youth market and providing consumers with experiencebased marketing to truly convince consumers the value of Tiens Group products. This will be the entry point for Tiens Group in spreading its brand influence and ultimately achieving value recognition in Dubai. In the future, Tiens Group will leverage Dubai’s well-established OEM and ODM industries to deploy Tiens OEMs, ODMs, and even logistics, warehousing, and distribution systems in the region to supply Tiens products to neighbouring regions, including Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. With respect to the future of Tiens Group’s global development, Chairman Li emphasized that Tiens Group will adopt an international brand image with culturally unique characteristics and leverage advantageous policies to help implement the network integration and business synergy development strategy. It will also seek to deepen development along the Belt and Road regions to build platforms like Maya E-commerce, Tai Ji Sun Health, the All-Legend International Tourism Union, the International Hotel Alliance, SynaCo Education and Training, International Yiwu, points, e-wallets, and other experience-based large-scale health care platforms. Cross-platform marketing and service integration will also be employed to help promote Tiens Group’s philosophy of wealth creation for families throughout the world, achieving a diversified global alliance of businesses, and creating a world-renowned Chinese brand. After months of careful planning and high-level preparation, Tiens Group will push its global brand strategy to the next level in 2018, with this press conference as the starting point. To announce the new internationalization strategy of Tiens Group, Chairman Li Jinyuan arranged for Tiens Group executives and business representatives from all over the world to the event and he personally led the newly appointed executive, who hails from a Fortune 500 enterprise, to join him on stage.

Infoblox Appoints Brad Bell as Chief Information Officer The network control company that provides Actionable Network Intelligence, Infoblox Inc. has announced that it has appointed Brad Bell as chief information officer (CIO) of Infoblox. On the 5th February, Infoblox Inc., the network control company that provides Actionable Network Intelligence, announced that it has appointed Brad Bell as chief information officer (CIO) of Infoblox. Bell will report to Infoblox president and chief executive officer, Jesper Andersen. Bell will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s global information technology strategy, services, and operations. A key initiative will be leading Infoblox’s IT business transformation strategy and adopting a SaaS based business model. As well as, moving internal and external functions and applications to the cloud, in order to create operational efficiencies and accelerate the ability to bring new offerings to market. “Brad is an innovator and chief architect with excellent business instincts,” said Andersen. “He is a strategic technologist with a collaborative and transparent management style. As we transform our business for the future, it’s important that we have an IT leader positioned to protect our information technology and accelerate our growth around the world. I am confident he will lead Infoblox to the next level in becoming a SaaS focused organization.” Bell is a veteran technology executive with over 25 years leading global organisations in the high-tech industry. His most recent experience was with Microsoft where he led the Global Infrastructure and Service Management/ Support function at Microsoft. As a whole, his span of responsibility has included overseeing WW Network, Azure cloud migrations, Service Management and Help Desk, Tools development, Large Data Visualization, Applications Support and Acquisition integration. Prior to Microsoft, Brad was the CIO for Sonos Inc. Also, he spent 17 years at Cisco leading various global infrastructure teams with progressively broader leadership responsibility, including driving Consulting Services and WebEx Customer Success. “I feel privileged to join the Infoblox team,” said Bell. “It’s not often one gets the opportunity to drive next generation cloud capabilities at such a pivotal point in time as the industry and our customers embrace SaaS. I.T. as a business partner at Infoblox will lean into innovation, simplification and automation creating value for our customers, employees and partner experience.” Brad completed his BS degree in Finance at California State University, Sacramento. Additionally, Brad completed the Technology Leader Program from Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education.

Acquisition International - February 2018 5


Company: Boyas Drafting & Design Email: fboyas@ Website: Address: 1016 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

Boyas Drafting & Design: Building a Bright Future in the Glazing Industry Chicago-based Boyas Drafting & Design (D&D) is a full-service drafting and design services provider to subcontractors and general contractors in the glazing (glass and framing structures) industry. oyas Drafting & Design (D&D) specializes in developing shop drawings and fabrication drawings for a variety of building interior and exteriors, that are found in privately-funded commercial and government-contracted structures. These drawings serve as the on-site guides that are used by construction crews to build these structures.


“Architects paint the picture. But our documents depict the actual (working) drawings without which, construction itself would never happen,” says Filomeno Boyas, the founder and President of Boyas Drafting & Design. “Just like air conditioning, plumbing, and construction of the building itself, shop drawings translate the abstract of architecture into the building itself. We’ve become a trusted creator of quality shop drawings in a few short years. By proactively assisting our clients and partners – often under the pressure of deadlines to complete drawings on time – we help assure timely delivery of accurate documents precisely at the time they are needed.”

“We embrace the smaller companies because we’re a small company ourselves; and believe small and medium sized businesses (SMB’s) deserve the same opportunities of larger companies.” Boyas D&D provides a full roster of drafting services which include: full shop drawing packages, design assist details; and product selection and calculations. Established in January 2011 by Filomeno Boyas, the company has since delivered finished construction site drawings to managers and builders of small and large construction projects in and around the Chicago area, throughout Illinois, and across the U.S.

6 Acquisition International - February 2018

Boyas D&D’s responsive boutique of construction drafting & design services consist of: • • • • • •

Aluminium Shop Drawings Interior shower enclosures Skylight systems Interior glass railings Custom glazing systems Fabrication drawings

Boyas Drafting & Design has produced thousands of finished shop drawings for glazing subcontractors and device fabricators all over the country. “Our work primarily guides construction craftsmen who build storefronts and other non-load bearing interior and exterior walls, aluminum windows and door frames; as well as custom design services for the abovetype systems,” says founder/President, Boyas. His company also produces shop and fabrication drawings for sunshades, louvers, translucent panel systems, decorative grills, slab edge covers, column covers, trellis systems and other “decorative” building features. Boyas Drafting & Design uses the latest version of AutoCAD along with earlier AutoCAD- capable versions. Though most clients prefer electronic files, Boyas D&D can deliver full size plotted documents – as many copies as needed – along with half size (11” x 17”) renderings. All work can be electronically transmitted directly to the construction site, the building management client’s offices, or their designated reproduction providers. Boyas D & D project managers have deep experience with the following software: AutoCAD, AutoDesk Revit, Navisworks, MS Word, Excel, Power Point, Quattro Pro, Adobe, PartnerPak Studio, and GDS. Boyas Drafting & Design professionals help solve – and in fact many times prevent – “potential detailing errors,” according to Mr. Boyas. “We have carefully crafted a reputation in our industry for impeccable shop and fabrication drawing excellence,” he adds. “When many different people – beginning with the architect – work on a drawing, ambiguities can

Boyas Drafting & Design: Building a Bright Future in the Glazing Industry

Children Hospital of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois Scope of Work: Custom steel curtain wall, BIM modes General Contractor: Mortenson-Power Glazing Contractor: Trainor Glass 2009

Acquisition International - February 2018 7

inadvertently creep into them. When they reach us, our job is to eliminate them. Our clients know that when our drawings reach them, they perfectly translate – visually – what the contractors are building. “Also, we take tremendous pride in delivering to our clients precise, coordinated, effectual shop drawing and engineering packages. They reward us for making their project run smoothly with their repeat business: often many times over.” Upgrade in Government-Based Projects for More Complete Boyas Service Offerings Not long ago, Filomeno Boyas decided it was time to segregate his service offerings into two specific divisions: Private, and Public (or government) Sectors. “One reason surrounds the upcoming rejuvenation of our country’s infrastructure,” says Boyas. “Both sides of the political aisle are calling for this reinvestment; it seems wise that we prepare for a noticeable uptick in this activity in the coming years.” He also has learned that during good economic times, activity in private sector construction generates profits; while in down times, government activity keeps many construction companies afloat. “Fortifying our government division’s capabilities, is a wise hedge against those economic times,” Boyas concludes. One element that went into this decision, was the nature of the construction contracting and subcontracting business itself. “Many are small companies, and the processes associated with bidding for government construction contracts can be tedious,” Mr. Boyas says. This can place a great deal of emphasis on redundant documentation requirements in order for a small shop to get the contract, and then complete the work. “By their very nature,” he adds, “government contracts and the accompanying paperwork can require specific information from the architect, general contractor, and often, every subcontractor, that may not necessarily be required in private sector building projects. “Large general contractors,” Mr. Boyas continues, “can afford multiple in-house divisions to submit complicated – paper-heavy – proposals to government RFP’s.” However, he says that smaller firms don’t have that luxury when developing their government contract bids. Hence why they need a documentation partner. “That’s where we come in. They deserve a level playing field; especially if they might not have all the in-house assets necessary to deliver construction services to state and local governments. And besides, we enjoy working with them.” Mr. Boyas doesn’t go out of his way to focus on these smaller contractors at the expense of the larger ones though. “We embrace the smaller companies because we’re a small company ourselves; and believe small and medium sized businesses (SMB’s) deserve the same opportunities of larger companies.”

8 Acquisition International - February 2018

The Opportunity of a Down Economy Created Boyas Drafting & Design Mr. Boyas finds humour in the fact that even though the business term “outsourcing” didn’t exist a generation ago, the construction industry has always relied on the practice. “In a world of increasing specialization, outsourcing is a blessing to many businesses. Those who build must have different specialists at given times during the life of a construction project. The constant is having reliable design and shop drawings that on-site building professionals can rely on to do the job right.” He points to his specific ‘link in the construction chain’ to underscore his point. “When we finish creating these working documents, an engineer has to approve them before he can put his seal on them. They can’t go out to the jobsite until that happens. Every document revision must have engineering approval. Not long ago, we found it more cost efficient to outsource to an engineering firm we knew and trusted; rather than assume the cost of having someone on-staff that was only needed at a few specific points of our service chain.” It was this same dynamic that inspired Mr. Boyas to found his company. Prior to establishing Boyas Drafting & Design, Mr. Boyas worked for several firms, most notably Trainor Glass Company and Harmon Inc., both companies being key players in the glass and aluminum design industry. In late 2010, as a department head with a large drafting and design corporation with offices in 20 cities across the U.S., the company was going through the dramatic downturn of the construction industry from the 2009 Recession. His employer had laid-off most of the employees. Boyas and his few remaining associates lived in daily fear that the axe could fall on them any day. Then his turn came. During the days leading up, Boyas was seriously entertaining the idea it was time to establish his own company. As he was hearing the “bad news,” from his employer, he knew it was time for a bold move. Boyas offered to perform the same drafting and design work as an outsourcing provider. Almost immediately, his boss said “yes – perfect. I think this will work out fine.” Thus, began Boyas Drafting & Design. “This happened on a Friday afternoon. The following Monday, my company (of one – but not for long) was doing the very same work.” Today, Boyas’ instructions and drawings are meticulously created before the approving engineer ever sees them. “Our construction documents don’t get sent back with any problems that we must correct. This means we end up saving the engineer time, and our construction blueprints or electronic renderings are in building contractor’s – and their

subcontractors – on-time, as-specified, and fullyapproved; because of the meticulous quality that goes into our drafting and design services.” Design technology has grown in latitude and scope over the past few years. Ten years ago, we were relegated to creating paper shop drawings that could not be modified in the field, Boyas notes. “Today though, with the advent of mobile workstations and software that utilizes laptops tablets and even iPads, renderings of shop drawings can be viewed multidimensionally. This plays to our reputation of being detail oriented. Our drawings have the polish displayed by larger firms because we ignore no minute detail when creating these specialized documents.” Delivering Reliable Drafting and Design Services Since 2011, Boyas Drafting & Design is honoured to work with a variety of partners in the building industry; delivering to them best-in-class drawing services which are used for glazing construction of building interiors and exteriors. These partners erect privately funded office, retail and other commercial structures; as well as government buildings. Several representatives of these clients share their thoughts of what it’s like to partner with Boyas Drafting & Design. Douglas Pyka, a Project Manager with Ventana Design-Build Systems comments of Boyas D&D’s services. “I give them a five-star rating. Filomeno and his team provide phenomenal service for custom design work. They also take the time to understand exactly how an idea needs to be portrayed via drawings. Boyas remains a part of our project team and we will continue to work with Filomeno every time the situation presents itself.” Michael Kelly, Tom Rink, and Gary Stachula with C.A.D. Contract Glazing note that their company has worked with Boyas D&D on projects ranging from five figures to millions of dollars, and note their pleasure at “interacting with engineering people like Filo. He and his associates understand the glazing industry and always draw what we ask for.” And Edward Rowan, another Project Executive with Ventana has worked with Boyas D&D on, “more than 30 projects over the past eight years. The true value Boyas D&D brings. Is the experience to come up with new solutions to the, at times, vague architectural instructions we might get.” As the Construction Industry moves further into the new millennium, Boyas Drafting & Design continues to create and leverage its valued partnerships with construction development firms. These dynamic affiliations produce attractive, well-designed and profitable real estate developments that stand the test of time.

“...we take tremendous pride in delivering to our clients precise, coordinated, effectual shop drawing and engineering packages.”

Boyas Drafting & Design: Building a Bright Future in the Glazing Industry

Chicago Bulls Training Facility: Chicago Scope of Work: Exterior Curtain wall, interior heavy glass partitions & shower enclosures General Contractor: McHugh Construction 2014

Acquisition International - February 2018 9


Company: 120 West Strategic Communications LLC Contact: Ira M. Gostin, MBA Address: 316 California Ave #96, Reno, Nevada, 89509-1650, USA Phone: 001 775 525 9371 Website:

Business Growth Fuelled by Strategy, Marketing & Communications. 120 West Strategic Communications LLC is a strategic communications and marketing agency helping companies, start-ups and enterprises achieve their goals through growth. We invited Ira M. Gostin, MBA to tell us more about the firm and its achievements. 20 West is a unique provider of comprehensive communications campaigns aligned directly to its clients’ business goals. Working with both public and private entities, the team employs strategic engagement to drive momentum and deliver measurable results.


Chief Marketing Officer and President Ira is an entrepreneur, marketer, influencer and communications strategist who specialises in creating business growth with measurable results. 120 West combines Ira’s marketing passions and entrepreneurial spirit into creating growth and engagement strategies for clients. Ira is 120 West’s chief rainmaker and visionary, leading innovation, strategy, marketing and sales alignment. Last year, Ira was named the top Chief Marketing Officer in the Western U.S. for 2017 by Corporate Vision Magazine, and he also earned his Accreditation in Public Relations designation. A unique agency, 120 West is not like any oldschool PR agency. The firm has developed a unique method of combining the best of investor relations techniques, marketing and creative thinking to help drive business methods forward. Ira tells us what else he believes differentiates the agency from its competitors, including being selected in the 2018 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Innovative Strategic Marketing Agency in Nevada last year. “Crucial to our success, our agency was forged in financial communications so for us, it is not about just putting out press releases, but aligning communications and marketing with a company’s financial goals. To be selected for this award is very exciting. It is a great honour, and as a new agency, the whole team is excited about receiving the recognition in business.” Furthermore, the marketing sector is seeing businesses use a lot more of social media to improve their business dealings, but Ira is keen

10 Acquisition International - February 2018

to point out that 120 West goes in the opposite direction to this, believing social media is a benefit but not a necessity. “There are many agencies that rely on social to drive their business. For us, we use strategy to drive the objectives towards goals, so social media is just a tactic which is pretty far down on the list. Likes, clicks and shares do not move the needle on their own!” With the marketing sector constantly evolving, 120 West must employ certain techniques in order to guarantee that it stays ahead of emerging developments. Ira explains his own strategies, citing his experience and drive to always improve both himself and his company as a way of benefitting the agency. “As an entrepreneur, I am constantly reading, learning and attending continuing education. Additionally, being a mentor, I learn quite a bit working with young people in the business. Reading a variety of publications, along with listening to podcasts and watching financial news also helps me in every aspect of running the business.” Internally, 120 West is a great place to work, with Ira emphasising that his team get whatever they want if they need it. He provides the team with the freedom to use the best solution to provide the best outcome and surpass client expectations. “In respect of our employees, our team gets what they need. Everyone is empowered to obtain the tools they need to do their job and deliver great work for our clients, as we look to match and usually exceed their requirements.” Overall, there looks to be an exciting future ahead for 120 West. Looking to build and capitalise on its recent and ongoing success, the firm will continue to grow alongside its clients, whilst having fun at the same time.


Contact: Alwyn Stephen Address: Beauty Contact, Dubai, UAE Website: Email:

The Sweet Smell of Success A service provider for luxury goods, Beauty Contact was created with a global vision to provide the very best, most innovative perfumes in the industry. We profile the firm and its CEO, Alwyn Stephen as we look to see what the future holds for this illustrious perfume provider. ormed in 2002 and based in Dubai, Beauty Contact was established by Alwyn with a vision of making the company a global provider of beauty products with a worldwide and sterling reputation. The company can provide a turnkey solution for anyone who is interested in a private label project or for those who want to pursue their dream of entering into the world of fragrances.


Brimming with ambition, Alwyn is dedicated and determined to achieve his vision of Beauty Contact becoming a global player amongst some of the leading perfume companies in the world, and this has certainly looked achievable. Forging a reputation as an excellent manager and CEO, Alwyn ensures that he and his team are able to attract the best clients and business to his company, and he has worked on many projects with high profile names, which help highlight the successful nature of his work. Showcasing his leadership and innovative nature, Alwyn launched a new line of fragrances, named Pierre Precieuse, a French brand which he and his company have designed, developed, produced and marketed globally. The decision to launch this brand was not taken lightly, and it is a highlight of Alwyn’s that he developed this brand out of nowhere. Pierre Precieuse is a line of inimitable and luxurious fragrances, all of which have received positive responses from a variety of countries. A unique selling point of this brand is that it is original and, in many cases, a luxury that clients will value and treasure forever. What it is about Beauty Contact which entices clients to work with Alwyn and his team? Well, the team are never standing still, always looking to be innovative and creative in their designs and concepts, whilst spending a lot of time monitoring the relevant trends and developments within the fragrance industry. Providing a cost-efficient service alongside high-quality customer care leads many to see Beauty Contact as one of the best in the business. Furthermore, technology is instrumental in the company being able to provide and produce the products it does. With a lot of the work being done by designers who utilise the best technology available,

the team come up with exceptional designs which are converted into physical products. Located in Dubai, this is the best place to be when it comes to Alwyn being able to do business. It has been his home for over 32 years, and it is where he feels comfortable, both in terms of his home and his business. With Dubai hosting some of the leading sea and airports in the world, Beauty Contact finds it easier to ship goods worldwide, leading to a lot more success for the company. Determined to reach his goals and mission for the company, Alwyn guarantees that his staff are in the best position to provide both an excellent service and produce the best products. If there are any customer queries or issues which may arise, the team are trained to a quality standard meaning that they are able to answer questions at every opportunity. Within the company, the whole team work together and the working environment is something to be admired within Beauty Contact. Following in the footsteps of their leader, staff all pull together and look to reach the same targets. As a leading CEO, Alwyn knows that it is important to listen to his staff and his clients. Fostering an open and honest culture, there are discussions held in team meetings and throughout the company as everyone works hard to improve themselves and their services. Letting staff get on with their job and encouraging them to be independent is a crucial factor in the company success, as Alwyn does not micromanage his staff and instead aids them in their personal development. The success of the company is seen as a group effort, and even though Alwyn is at the head of the company, he believes that everyone contributes to Beauty Contact’s success. Ultimately, aiming to build on its ongoing success, Alwyn has big plans for Beauty Contact as he looks to catapult the company to the top of the industry and help it cement itself as a leader in the market. Working even harder to achieve this target is something Alwyn has no qualms about, as the new and innovative lines and designs will bring more recognition to the company, not only bringing in new business and clients, but helping to retain the services of longer term clients who continue to be impressed with the services offered.

Acquisition International - February 2018 11

1801AI13 1801AI13

Company: FineHeart Contact: Arnaud Mascarell Contact Email: Address: Hôpital Xavier Arnozan, Avenue du Haut Leveque, PESSAC, 33600, France Phone: 00 33 5 57 10 28 90 Website:

Creating Innovative Technologies in the Cardiovascular Space FineHeart is a French medical device company focused on creating innovative technologies in the cardiovascular space. We profile the firm to find out more and explore how it came to be awarded Most Innovative Medical Device Company 2017 – France in our prestigious 2017 Global Excellence Awards.

stablished in 2010, FineHeart started with a vision of making a wirelessly powered, fully implantable, pulsatile circulatory support system that would overcome many of the challenges associated with left ventricular assist devices currently on market. It is a game changing therapy for long term circulatory assistance in severe heart failure patients.

The ICOMS is a hybrid system between a pacemaker and a LVAD which powers a mini-propeller, pulsatile and synchronized to the heart activity. As opposed to traditional LVAD aspirating in a continuous flow the blood arriving to the ventricle, the ICOMS is the only device in which the motor is placed through the wall of the heart, and where the blood is accelerated into the heart at each beat.

“...the ICOMS, Implantable Cardiac Output Management System, is able to optimize cardiac output while preserving the heart’s innate contractility.”

This unique innovation would not be possible without a dedicated team of thought-leaders, all of whom are committed to creating truly ground-breaking technology. FineHeart was founded by a team of internationally renowned cardiologists and managers from the Medtech Industry, led by Arnaud Mascarell (CEO), Dr. Stéphane Garrigue (CSO) and Dr. Philippe Ritter, coinventor of cardiac resynchronization therapy.


Fundamentally, Heart Failure (HF) is the second leading cause of death in G20 countries. It is a degenerative disease with high mortality rates, repeated and extended hospitalizations. Critical HF with short life expectancy affects 13% of the total HF population every year. For a majority of them, there is no performing therapy. The current standard of care is medical therapy, until HF is advanced enough to warrant device-based intervention. Patients who have failed to respond to CRT pacing are evaluated for left ventricular assist device (LVAD) placement. Currently available LVADs are large, cause substantial myocardial damage, are subject to infection and thrombosis risk, and are therefore used in a small proportion of the HF population. The patented FineHeart invention, the ICOMS, Implantable Cardiac Output Management System, is able to optimize cardiac output while preserving the heart’s innate contractility. 24 Acquisition Acquisition International International -- February January 2018 12 2018

To remain at the forefront of emerging developments in the market, this dedicated and talented team use a number of techniques including competitor surveys, technological updates, training, independent experts and consultants so that their technology would be always truly cutting edge and meet the ever-evolving needs of heart failure patients. The firm’s patient centred internal culture, ensures that every member of the team is constantly focused on the overall goal, and remains focused on creating solutions designed to support patients. Ultimately, at FineHeart the overarching goal is to restore normal cardiac output and allow heart failure patients to return to a normal quality of life. To achieve this, going forward the firm will be seeking financing and/or strategic partnership to continue developing its ICOMS and start in the future clinical trials of its innovative therapy.

1801AI22 call 0330 223 3525

Based in Team Valley, Gateshead, Smart IT, winner of North Easts Best IT Support Company 2016 and Top 50 Managed Service Providers in the UK, has a proven track record of successfully delivering IT solutions across a broad range of industries throughout the UK.

Acquisition International - February 2018 13


Company: PharmaFluidics Contact: Mr Johan Devenyns Email: Address: TechnologieparkZwijnaarde 3, Gent, B-9052, Belgium Phone: 0032 9 241 56 57 Web Address:

A Game Changer in Technology PharmaFluidics is a young, dynamic and fast paced technology company based in Ghent, Belgium. CEO, Mr Johan Devenyns gives us an insight into the solutions and impressive technology provided by the firm. he future of Bio-Analysis with microChip chromatography PharmaFluidics develops and commercialises its unique µPACTM range of micro-Chip based chromatography columns for use in biomarker, diagnostics and drug research & development applications in the global biotech and pharma industries. The unique approach of smart design and lithographically defined microfabrication of PharmaFluidics’ µPACTM separation beds, leads to game-changing reproducibility, separation performance and sensitivity allowing analysts and researchers to identify substantially more compounds in complex biological samples, such as biopsies, proteome digests, culture media or biopharmaceutical actives.


Interestingly, the key expertise and IP estate of PharmaFluidics are the design, lithographic production, and surface treatment of silicon wafers for use as separation devices in liquid chromatography. PharmaFluidics collaborates with an extensive network of centres of excellence, pioneer users and global Mass Spectrometry instrument providers to develop an increasing range of applications. PharmaFluidics’ unique technology platform and product range; the µPACTM column series, offers unprecedented robustness and reproducibility as well as state-of-the-art sensitivity and resolution performance. The first clients, academic labs in bio-analysis, bio-pharmaceuticals and diagnostics companies, have confirmed these outstanding characteristics of the µPACTM technology. µPACTM makes its marks in the market In September 2017, the company started shipping µPACTM columns and has since served proteomics laboratories, medical centres and pharmaceutical companies on three continents: Europe, the USA and Asia. Its pioneering product is very well received, and has convinced pioneer users and key opinion leaders in proteomics to use micro-Chip based chromatography. New funds to boost growth PharmaFluidics successfully concluded a capital increase in the amount of €7,3m from existing and new shareholders. The funds will be used to further develop the Pillar Array technology platform, to expand the µPACTM product range, and to scale up production and global sales. “This funding will significantly boost our capacity to support our 14 Acquisition International - February 2018

growth,” said PharmaFluidics’ Managing Director Johan Devenyns. A new approach for Sample Limited bio-analysis applications Importantly, the past few years have seen the introduction of advanced bio-analytical technologies such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/ MS); together they provide unprecedented power for integrated and systematic investigation of, respectively, cellular genomes, transcriptomes, and their proteomes and metabolomes. Essentially, the holy grail of proteomics and metabolomics is to decode the proteome and the metabolome at the single cell level. This imposes enormous challenges to sensitivity, as there are no amplification methods for proteins and metabolites comparable to those of nucleic acids. Although the current packed bed nano-LC/MS is generally considered a sensitive approach, it can be associated with limited chromatographic performance, poor column reproducibility and fluidic handling problems; hence single cell proteomics has yet to be achieved. Crucial to its success, the unique performance of the µPACTM columns brings ground-breaking applications within reach. For example, the robustness and reproducibility allow proteomics data from different labs to be pooled, making reliable big data analysis possible. The miniaturisation, robustness and sensitivity open the door to point-ofcare nano-LC-MS. An innovative LC-MS approach for characterisation of bio-pharmaceuticals For over 100 currently marketed bio-pharmaceutical reference products, there is a pipeline with nearly 800 bio-similars and about 500 bio-betters in development. Proving bio-equivalence and monitoring batch-to-batch variation are forcing the regulatory landscape to change. Increasing biotherapeutic complexity, including anti-body drug conjugates, is forcing new methodologies. The drive towards continuous bio-manufacturing requires new and more on-line production analysis, and highresolution, robust workflows are required. These developments are providing tremendous opportunity for new bio-analytical techniques. Recently, PharmaFluidics’ micro-Chip chromatography device has been used to characterise monoclonal antibodies. The combination

A Game Changer in Technology

of its ultra-high resolution µPACTM HPLC columns and high accuracy mass spectrometers (LC-MS) were used to reveal details of a.o. trastuzumab (Herceptin) originator and similars, or its conjugate ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla). In mAb or ADC mapping analyses, small differences in the sequence reflecting point mutations, the position and prevalence of post-translational modifications, glycosylations, or deamidations that can arise during production or storage of the compounds, can have major impact on biological performance and regulatory approval.

PharmaFluidics’ Micro-Chip chromatography µPACTM is the first micro-Chip chromatography device that is manufactured using lithographic micromachining techniques. The lay-out of the stationary phase support structure is carefully designed. The perfectly ordered backbone of the separation bed is formed by etching interstitial volumes out of a silicon wafer.

with sharper peaks and higher concentration of compounds. The freestanding nature of the pillars also leads to much lower backpressure allowing the use of very long columns. These exceptional properties result in excellent chromatographic performance with high-resolution and high sensitivity. This new approach significantly improves LC analysis in complex mixtures of biological samples.

The low ‘on-column’ dispersion, obtained thanks to the perfect order, virtually eliminates axial peak dispersion, resulting in higher column plate numbers

Lastly, PharmaFluidics’ columns are compatible with all commercial nano-LC equipment.

Acquisition International - February 2018 15


Company: Consultiva Internacional, Inc. Contact: Myrna Rivera Address: City View Plaza, Tower 1, Suite 801, Carr. 165 Km 1.2 #48, Guaynabo, PR 00968, Puerto Rico Phone: 00787 763 5868 Website:

Creating a Sustainable Level of Financial SelfSufficiency Consultiva Internacional is a US Registered Investment Adviser, assisting clients in elements of design, implementation, and the monitoring of investment policies and strategies. We invited Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Myrna Rivera to tell us more about the company and the services that it offers. edicated to providing the best solution and finding the best outcome, Consultiva works with a wealth of different clients, tailoring its processes to accommodate them. Typically, clients are institutions as well and individuals and families. The firm is co-fiduciary with clients, and is often viewed as customers’ outsourced Investment Officer.


Despite working in a very competitive industry, Consultiva is able to differentiate itself apart from its competitors thanks to its versatility and diverse team. Myrna tells us a little about how Consultiva stands out within the sector, highlighting the team’s devotion to understanding every little detail about the client and its expectations. “Rooted in a US legal and regulatory framework, Consultiva is a multi-cultural firm. We strive to understand fiscal, tax and estate matters across national boundaries, in order to better integrate our services with those of other client service providers, particularly tax and legal counsel.” This enthusiasm of producing the best result for the client is an integral aspect of the company’s mission, as Myrna explains. She outlines the firm’s overall mission to us and describes how Consultiva integrates innovation into every aspect of its work. “Here at Consultiva, our mission is to support, with our research and client services, each client’s pursuit of their aspirations for wealth preservation and growth. We integrate innovation into our research, portfolio construction, portfolio reporting and all phases of client services.” Having alluded to what helps Consultiva separate itself apart from other similar firms in the financial sector, Myrna goes into more detail by commenting on what techniques the team and staff employ in order to stay ahead of any emerging developments, keeping the company focused on completing its mission. “Some key factors that keep us focused, are capital markets and investment management research, portfolio diversification, cost and tax management, and patience. Consultiva clients are long-term investors. We do not provide trading advice; hence, portfolios

16 Acquisition International - February 2018

are situated to move over a cycle of many years, often intergenerational. Diversification is key to generating the kind of long-term growth that can keep pace with inflation and minimise volatility, while increasing nominal portfolio values.” With the levels of dedication amongst staff high, it is the thriving work environment and exciting internal culture amongst employees which helps ensure that all staff are best equipped to provide a quality personal service to each client. Myrna speaks about the weekly team meetings that are held, as well as an ongoing training regime which leads to employees being highly skilled and trained for their roles. “At Consultiva, each team member is provided with the ongoing training required for their position, but also for other related lateral and supervisory positions. Crosstraining and team formation are key to understanding and committing to the firm’s mission, each member’s role in upholding that mission and to delivering a client experience that provides comfort and security. Weekly team meetings keep us all informed of the tasks ahead, to assure that resources are properly placed on behalf of all of our clients.” Looking ahead to the future, Myrna predicts what advances there will be throughout the global financial landscape, and she forecasts how the company will adapt to these potential developments which may arise. “Moving forward, we envision Consultiva as eventually part of a global network of investment services, centred around fiduciary duty and best practices, and integrated with other financial services, such as M&A, asset management and trust services.” Overall, Myrna seems excited about the times ahead, predicting a bright future for Consultiva and hinting at possible expansion and growth in other aspects of the sector, as well as geographically. “Ultimately, Consultiva is now positioned to grow in other markets, capitalising on our multi-cultural reality. Through strategic collaborations, we will continue to explore opportunities in Latin America and other parts of the United States.”


WANT YOUR STAFF TO BE MORE INNOVATIVE? CREATE THE RIGHT CONDITIONS • Innovation Staff Surveys • Innovation Techniques Training • Innovation Systems Support • 1-1 Coaching Acquisition International - February 2018 17


Company: Insurance Applications Group Contact: Jay Dye Address: 220 N Main St, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, USA Phone: 001 864 527 0474 Website:

IAG: Ensuring Everyone Benefits Insurance Applications Group (IAG) is a licensed National Employee Benefits Firm specializing in the product design, communication and administrative processes of supplemental insurance products for specific vertical markets. We profile the firm, which we recently awarded Best of the Best in USA Finance 2017, to find out more about the exceptional solutions and services it offers. rawing on its vast experience in the market, IAG has created new health insurance products to address the needs of any midsize to large company as a result of health care reform legislation. IAG applies a combination of technological applications and data transmission processes with proven actuarial and underwriting fundamentals.


This enables the firm to provide clients with quality insurance benefits and consistently high levels of customer service delivered to employees through an efficient and cost-effective process. Some of its products include Essential StaffCARE, HospitalityCARE, Medical StaffCARE, and HealthWrap. Its product Essential StaffCARE provides solutions that are specifically designed with unique administrative processes and product features exclusively for the staffing industry. Essential StaffCARE is the largest provider of health insurance and benefits to the staffing industry, with over 1,500 staffing companies as clients. In addition, the firm’s product HospitalityCARE offers solutions that are specifically designed with unique administrative processes and product features exclusively for the hospitality industry. HospitalityCARE is among the leading providers of health insurance and benefits to the hospitality industry and other verticals, serving hundreds of companies as clients.

“ IAG’s mission is to enable employers to maintain their moral and inherent obligation to provide for the health and welfare of their employees.” There are also products designed for specific industries, such as Medical StaffCARE, which provides products that are specifically designed with unique administrative processes and product

18 Acquisition International - February 2018

features exclusively for the medical staffing industry. Excellence and quality are central to the firm’s approach, and as such IAG maintains the highest ethical standards as set forth by the National Association of Health Underwriters. Alongside this, all transmissions of client data are conducted through encrypted, HIPAA compliant, FTP sites, managed by an SAS 70 certified team of Planned Administrators, Inc employees, and IAG is dedicated to staying abreast of the constantly changing regulatory environment at the individual State level as well as understanding the complexities of the National PPACA. This ensures fully compliance with all laws and regulations, and that clients can rest assured that they are receiving an ethical service and that their data is in safe hands. Ultimately, IAG’s mission is to enable employers to maintain their moral and inherent obligation to provide for the health and welfare of their employees, and this will remain the firm’s ongoing focus as it looks towards an exciting future.

IAG: Ensuring Everyone Benefits

Acquisition International - February 2018 19


Company: Giambrone & Partners Contact: Anne Gadd Address: Studio Legale Associato, Via Della Liberta 37/1, Palermo, 90139, Italy Phone: 0039 02 9475 Website:

Delivering Quality on a Global Basis Giambrone is an international law firm with offices in London, Barcelona, Glasgow, Mallorca, Milan, Munich, Palermo, Rome, Sardinia, and Tunis. Head of Operations and Marketing, Anne Gadd provides us with a deeper insight into the company’s offerings as we look to examine which aspects make it so successful within the legal industry. stablished in 2009, Giambrone’s reach extends across Europe, North Africa and the Balearic Islands, making the firm well positioned to assist clients with a broad range of cross-border issues. The team have the capacity, under one roof, to successfully navigate through many different jurisdictions which saves clients time and money. Committed to excellence, Giambrone have developed teams of multi-specialist, multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional lawyers in recognition of the frequent over-lap of expertise required when addressing our clients’ complex crossborder issues.


Firstly, the partners and staff at Giambrone are delighted to have received this award. We believe the dedication of our lawyers and support staff together with their commitment to delivering the best outcome to our clients has contributed to being successfully named in the 2018 Global Excellence Awards and the Best Full-Service Law Firm in 2018 within Italy. The award is perceptible confirmation of Giambrone’s competence and enthusiasm and will act as an inspiration to the staff and spur them on to even better results in the forthcoming year. The award will provide our clients and potential clients with a degree of confidence in the firm and encourage them to place their work in our hands.

“Giambrone aims to be ahead of the situation by devising preliminary strategies that can be adapted to offer our clients a framework to enable them to develop a way forward.” Giambrone aspires to grow and develop into a force to be reckoned with throughout Europe and the wider markets. There are few firms of our size that offer the level of competence and the range of experience across Europe with genuine offices, as opposed to virtual offices, based in key locations within significant cities in Europe. The culture within the firm is client focussed; no two clients or legal cases are the same and Giambrone recognises that a comprehensive

20 Acquisition International - February 2018

understanding of each client’s unique culture and their legal issues provides the optimum opportunity for successful resolution to challenging legal situations. Furthermore, the lawyers at Giambrone do not ignore the fact that our business clients need commercial solutions to their issues and always factor in this aspect in every circumstance, there is little value in providing an answer to a legal issue where the cost of the solution out-weighs the value of the issue. We aim to deliver first rate pragmatic solutions to our clients and encourage our lawyers to gain a full grasp of impact and implication on the client, in the short and long term, of each legal matter and apply a collaborative strategy to ensure that the solution chosen is absolutely in the very best interests of the client. Contributing greatly to the reputation of the company, the lawyers at Giambrone have been drawn from the very best, and across all the offices we have assembled a formidable cohort of expertise and can offer unrivalled levels of success. Our teams are constructed in a way that allows young rising stars to work with experienced lawyers who are widely respected and acknowledged experts in their field of law. Subsequently, clients benefit from the best of both worlds by combining the astute experienced lawyers with fresh new talent bringing new ideas and vision to the firm. Giambrone is constantly looking for new gifted lawyers to join our impressive teams of lawyers, and intends to become the law firm of choice for individuals and businesses requiring legal assistance in Italy and the other areas in which we operate. Ensuring we stay ahead of any upcoming developments within the industry, Giambrone acknowledges the need to constantly review the services and the way those services are delivered to maintain the best possible level of assistance to our clients. The provision of profession services is undergoing change; commercial clients expect and need speed of action and innovative solutions for their issues to keep them viable in their own markets. Giambrone must be at the cutting edge of a variety of

Delivering Quality on a Global Basis

industry sectors. The firm aims to use technology in tandem with our expertise of offer a modern service that can maintain momentum in any environment. We have developed a client services department that sits beside the legal teams which means that our clients are carefully managed throughout the entire course of their matter and in the first instance we have a comprehensive outline of the legal issue being presented and the client also has a complete understanding of the costs, the time the initial phase is likely to take and who will be dealing with their matter. The client services team are always open to our clients’ approach at any stage. Also, the client services team is able to keep the client fully informed of the key developments. Despite operating in an increasingly technology dominated environment, Giambrone’s use of progressive technology does not mean that our clients who do not embrace modern technology will be left behind, on the contrary, we always adapt our methods to suit each client and fully understand that some of our clients may be more comfortable with other methods of communication. Interestingly, the European legal and commercial landscape is in a state of instability mainly as a result of the UK’s decision regarding Brexit; this situation is resulting in opportunities for an agile law firm with cross-border capacity. Clients are looking for

commitment and partner led firms without the high fees that are typically found in large cross-border firms centred in London. Giambrone’s proactive client centric culture is ideally suited to address the many issues that European businesses, who do business with other European countries, face with the looming prospect of the changes which will inevitably arise as a result of Brexit. For many businesses their whole business model must be redrafted, contracts will effectively be torn up, even staffing may prove a challenge. Free movement is one of the core elements of EU membership. If this is inhibited, some businesses may be affected very considerably. Budgets will have to be analysed and revised. Visa requirements for example could make it difficult to recruit UK-based employees from the remaining EU Member States (and vice versa). Also, potential candidates may prefer to be located in the EU where their movement would remain unrestricted. UK employees currently working in the EU almost certainly will need assistance with visas in the future. Essentially, Giambrone aims to be ahead of the situation by devising preliminary strategies that can be adapted to offer our clients a framework to enable them to develop a way forward. The UK’s surprise decision to leave the EU raises significant challenges and potential opportunities. It is clear that Brexit will affect the rights and obligations

of all businesses aiming to be engaged in commercial activities in both the UK and the wider arena of Europe. While there is much uncertainty regarding the shape of the UK’s future relationship with the EU post-Brexit, time should be spent assessing the impact across a business at the earliest stage and be continually updated as more information is forthcoming. Therefore, consideration should be given now to the strategic action that businesses may wish to take in a number of areas, including contractual relationships, staffing, financing and supply chain management, to manage the risks and maximise the opportunities presented by Brexit. Proactive businesses will be best placed to meet the challenges of the coming years. It is probable that UK businesses that have strong trading deals with Italy but no base in Italy will be considering opening a branch in Italy in order to continue to do business. Ultimately, Giambrone is growing exponentially and aims to be a leading global legal service, offering our clients a comprehensive client- focused worldwide legal resource. Giambrone will be reviewing the potential of expanding into other European countries as well as the U.S. The other markets that the firm is investigating are those of the Middle East and China. The first steps have been taken to investigate the potential of the eastern markets to ensure that the best practice from within Giambrone can be applied to these new areas.

Acquisition International - February 2018 21


Company: Gates Hospitality Contact: Sanjay Poduval (on behalf of Naim Maadad) Address: Suite 1809, 18th Floor, Al Thuraya Tower 1, Dubai Media City, UAE Phone: 00971 4438 5231 Website:

Gates Hospitality: Hospitality Development with a Difference Gates Hospitality is a leading Hospitality Development Company with a diversified portfolio of international brands, home grown food and beverage concepts and operating hospitality assets throughout the world. We profile the firm to find out more and explore the secrets behind the incredible success it has achieved since inception. n 2010, Naim Maadad established Gates Hospitality, a home-grown company representing handpicked concepts, catering for affluent influencers. To date, the group’s most successful launch has been that of the London based brand, Reform Social & Grill. Since its introduction to the UAE market in 2013, the venue has amassed over eight award wins to include What’s On Dubai’s ‘Favourite British Restaurant’, BBC Good Food’s ‘Best Casual Dining’ and Time Out Dubai’s ‘Best Pub Food’.


Pioneering the development of gastropubs and casual dining in the region, Reform Social & Grill brought a unique business model and has since built on its foundation, while continuously adapting to the everchanging market. Gates Hospitality’s own homegrown brand Ultra Brasserie successfully operates at two venues – namely Emaar Square (Downtown Dubai) and Marina Plaza (Dubai Marina) The Black Lion opened its doors at The H Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road in 2015 and the same year saw the successful launch of Bistro Des Arts – the quintessential 1970 Parisian Bistro. Continuing the successful growth of Gates Hospitality’s portfolio, 2017 has seen the launch of the highly anticipated Folly by Nick & Scott, as well as Publique, Dubai’s premier Apres Ski chalet and Via Veneto Osteria e Cucina, which recently opened in early Q3.

“His experience covers a wide spectrum of positions within senior leadership, including the role of Managing Director...” Founder Naim, who was named CEO of the Year 2017 – Hospitality in our prestigious CEO of the Year Awards, was born into a family of gastronomic background and hence was in his early years attracted to the culinary world through their family owned pubs and restaurants.

22 Acquisition International - February 2018

A post graduate in Business Administration from International Management Center (IMC), Naim studied for his Diploma in Hospitality Management at the University of South Australia. Naim’s background includes senior positions at some of the most acclaimed hotels, resorts, spas & restaurants and was recently ranked # 3 in the 2017 Caterer Middle East’s POWER 50 list of food & beverage professionals. His experience covers a wide spectrum of positions within senior leadership, including the role of Managing Director for both Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas and The Anantara Group respectively. During his time with these exclusive properties, he was instrumental in nurturing sound relationships with owners, securing the best possible locations, negotiating and formalising contractual agreements, and appointing teams to infuse and reflect the ethos of the brands. Drawing on this myriad of experience, he has flourished into a highly qualified business executive with extensive experience in project and people management; food and beverage operations; revenue and yield management; spa operations; holistic wellness; as well as employee development. Accustomed to working under pressure and exceeding financial targets through planning, budget setting and forecasting with the focus on market positioning, G.O.P. and R.O.I. Naim’s extensive experience helps his confident approach and is articulate when dealing with senior executives and business owners. Looking ahead, 2018 will welcome the group’s first international concept, with the opening of Red Farm, at Covent Garden, London UK. Gates Hospitality’s core focus moving forward is to venture abroad internationally and grow its footprint in various hospitality regions globally. A key focus on the market place to find vacuum avenues and solutions to address these through apt brand development and delivery will be crucial to the group’s ongoing success as it seeks to provide unique lifestyle experiences sustainably and with a constant commitment to quality.


Company: Wiseberry Heritage Group Contact: Megan Green Contact Email: sales@ Address: Central Coast, New South Wales, NSW 2263, Australia Phone: 0061 02 4393 3922 Website:

More Than Just a Trademark Rayes & Fagundes is a full-service law firm aiming to be different, to think different, and to find different solutions for its clients. We invited João Paulo Fagundes, one of the founding partners, to provide us with more information on the services that the firm offers. ossessing eight offices, the Wiseberry Heritage Group service the Northern-end of the Central Coast. Started in 1994 as Heritage Real Estate by the father and son team of George and Darin Butcher, this family run business has grown so much in the 24 years of operation.


Operating with a clear vision of the future, Megan discusses with us the firm’s overall mission, detailing what steps and techniques staff use in order to try and achieve these goals. “Here at Wiseberry, our mission statement epitomises what we strive for each and every day; ‘The Wiseberry team sell and lease real estate and help families move, in striving to perform our duties beyond all expectations, we create long lasting friendships, and a great prosperity for our families.’ We love to keep ahead of what is happening with regard to changes in technology and processes, and are always looking for ways to improve efficiencies within our team. “As such, we have a big focus on training, and we do a lot of in house training along with attending seminars, training courses and guest speakers. After each of these sessions, we look at what we take away from the session and then work to get these ideas and developments implemented into our system.” Megan describes the typical clientele that the team at Wiseberry work with, before highlighting the personal relationships that the group develops with its clients. “Typically, our clients range from first home buyers to retirees, first time investors to investors with large portfolio’s, local investors to International investors, growing families to parents downsizing, along with those who have many other reasons for people needing to move. One of our favourite sayings is that we do not just sell houses, we move people, and we believe that we sell customer service, we sell an experience, and we just happen to specialise in Real Estate.” Throughout the Central Coast, the real estate industry has recently been through a fantastic boom. The company have seen prices increase exponentially and people have been able to make a lot of money selling off their real estate assets. The

record prices which have been set and broken in the recent boom highlight the fluctuating nature of the industry. With the real estate industry being unpredictable, staff must work together to ensure they can provide the best service and adapt to the relevant trends in the market. Teamwork is essential in this regard, and Megan explains what steps the Wiseberry team take in order to stay ahead of emerging developments, as well as alluding to what the internal culture is like within the Group. “Training and education are a huge part of all that we do at Wiseberry. We keep our team educated with market changes, technology updates and ensure that we are at the forefront of what is happening. “Within the company, we have a fantastic culture, we are more like family. With our eight locations, we have ensured that the culture that was set by our founders as a small family business have been carried through to our newest team members. Our team are very aware of the expectations, and they carry this through to ensure our clients are looked after from start to finish and beyond.” Boasting an exceptional reputation, the Wiseberry Heritage Group really stands out amongst its competitors. Megan comments on what she believes differentiates the firm from its competitors, subsequently marking itself out as the best possible option for clients. “Once again, we do not just sell houses, we move people. We provide a customer experience like no other. Also, we put our people first and we are always looking at what is best for our guests (clients), and ways that we can improve their experience to make it smooth, stress free, and seamless.” Ultimately, with a thriving working environment and a wealth of expertise and knowledge running through the company, there are exciting times ahead for the Wiseberry Heritage Group. Megan outlines the future plans for the Group which will see it grow its success even further. “Moving forward, our immediate future holds system reviews and the implementation of new technology to improve our current service. Also, we have growth goals to grow our sales departments and rental businesses to look after a larger number of clients.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 23


Company: Smart Apprentices Contact: Fiona Hudson-Kelly Contact Email: Address: The Barn, Fosse Cottage Farm, Street Ashton, Warwickshire, CV23 0PL, UK Phone: 0845 460 4440 Website:

Innovative Apprentice Technology Solutions Smart Apprentices is a high growth UK technology company disrupting the apprenticeship delivery model with innovative new software. We profiled the firm as we go behind the scenes of this innovative company. s a company, Smart Apprentices has grown from a start-up to 48 employees in just five years, operating with a 40% market share. The firm provides innovative technology solutions to training providers and employers, delivering to apprenticeships and helping them present a more fulfilling experience for their apprentices.

Regarding the internal culture within Smart Apprenticeships, this is a key aspect of its success. The freedom to move, alongside an agile working environment ensures everyone is invested in the firm’s objectives. At the start of the year, the Senior Leadership team communicate the company vision, which has been created through collaborative workshops involving both our users and employees.

Last year was a hugely successful year, both for Smart Apprentices and the apprenticeship sector, with the introduction of the employer apprenticeship levy and the transformation of employer owned apprenticeships.

Subsequently, these objectives are then shared with all employees and worked on within cross functional teams, which are regularly dispersed to ensure everyone works with different users and staff members throughout the year. This in turn provides as diverse a working culture as possible. This openness creates an open and transparent culture between the staff and clients, as well as generating fast-paced innovation.


Smart Apprentices’ overall mission is to provide the best and most innovative technologies for the apprenticeship sector, which can be achieved with its integrated suite of technologies, providing a fully serviced end to end experience for clients. Excitingly, the company’s flagship award-winning technology, Smart Assessor, has now been joined by four new innovative technologies which have been launched in 2017, enabling the firm to deliver on this aspiration. Thanks to these new technologies, the firm can now provide clients with a fully integrated solution, ranging from recruiting great apprentices through to initial assessments in Mathematics and English.

“Open and honest feedback is given and received, creating a fun environment from which clients and people can grow and develop...” At the helm is award-winning technology entrepreneur and founder of Smart Apprenticeships, Fiona HudsonKelly, who has created a culture of putting the user at the heart of everything the firm does. When staff designed the user interface, it initiated a Facebook competition which engaged over 9000 users to compete and design the best dashboard for learners. CEO Fiona started her life as an apprentice at the age of 16, and this inspired her to make something more of herself than she would have believed possible. As a successful, award-winning technology entrepreneur, she is passionate about inspiring the next generation to believe they can do whatever they want, because she did.

24 Acquisition International - February 2018

Open and honest feedback is given and received, creating a fun environment from which clients and people can grow and develop their skills, knowledge and behaviours in a can-do culture. Crucially, Smart Apprentices stands out from other e-portfolio technology companies due to the fact that it does not simply convert a paper system to technology, but challenges and disrupts the business model to bring innovative working practices to the sector. An example of this is its innovative Smart Rooms, which are virtual classrooms where assessors and learners can interact online with each other. These classrooms eliminate the time and cost of travel, whilst delivering a rich blended learning experience that can be consumed at a time and place convenient for millennial apprentices. Operating within an ever evolving industry such as the technology market, companies like Smart Apprentices must work hard in order stay ahead of emerging developments, enabling them to stay at the forefront of the industry. To stay ahead in this fast-paced market, Smart Apprenticeships use agile business methodologies across all teams, not just its development teams. The company focuses on what it wants to achieve, which is helping its clients to become more successful, as clients’ success is intricately linked to the company’s success.

Innovative Apprentice Technology Solutions

An agile working attitude means staff possess a clear sense of what the client is trying to achieve as a company, which means the team are able to map out how they are going to get the client to where they want to be. The whole process includes clearly engaging all resources, employees and clients, in working together to deliver on the client’s objectives. Regarding what is ahead for both Smart Apprentices and its clients, the future looks very bright and exciting, as the firm continues to develop its technologies, with its innovative and creative staff generating new products, making them the best in the business. Moving forward, the future is exciting for both Smart Apprentices and its clients as staff continue to develop its best in breed innovative apprenticeship technologies. Moreover, the team has an exciting new addition to its suite which it is currently developing to bring to market in 2018. This addition will be even more disruptive to the current working practices of the sector. Working with a clear vision of providing a ‘one stop shop’ for apprenticeship providers, the CEO’s in the company’s client base tell the firm that they want to use fewer technologies in order to deliver their apprenticeships. Smart Apprenticeships is expected to lead the way in this regard, and people are looking to the company to come up with a fully integrated suite of best in breed technologies. The firm intend to continue to fulfil their aspirations in 2018. Ultimately, as technology is ever advancing and new developments are arising every day, there are many challenges and issues which may arise but these are challenges which Smart Apprenticeships are well prepared for. The global corporate landscape for apprenticeships is vibrant, and the introduction of the apprenticeship employer levy has created a new style of degree level apprenticeships across all types of different job roles. This is giving young people an opportunity to combine earning whilst learning their degree, and this is a win-win for employers, training providers and young learners.

Acquisition International - February 2018 25


Company: Vault Rooms Contact: Karen Perkins Address: 1617 Park Place Avenue, Suite 110-VR, Fort Worth, TX, 76110, USA Phone: +1 817-864-1363 Website:

Unlocking the Secret of Vault Rooms Established in 2006, Vault Rooms has since flourished into a market leading virtual data room provider dedicated to offering innovative solutions to meet the needs of its clients. Karen Perkins talks us through how the firm has helped thousands of companies and investment banks facilitate M&A deals and capital raises, leading it to be named Ones to Watch in M&A 2017 - the USA in our prestigious 2017 Global Excellence Awards. rusted by accounting firms, investment banks, private equity firms, law firms and many others for well over a decade, Vault Rooms offers secure file sharing behind layers of bank-level security. Karen discusses how the firm utilises its strong position within the virtual data room industry to innovate and create the solutions that clients truly need.


“As a market leader, at Vault Rooms we have been privileged to be able to innovate the virtual data room industry, and provide a service for businesses to safely share business critical documents on our V-Rooms platform. As a result of our emphasis on security, ease of access, and customer service (thanks to our highly rated 24/7 customer service team), we now have clients on every continent and have assisted companies in raising more than $1 billion in growth capital. The increase in popularity and commoditization of the virtual data room market has led us to increase our focus on the user experience as a key differentiator.” “Over the years, Vault Rooms has proudly facilitated thousands of global M&A transactions across a wide range of industries for a variety of clients - including investment bankers, accountants, attorneys, private equity firms, and banks. We have experienced steady growth over the past 12 years and are forecasting that to continue for years to come.” Operating in such a fast-paced market can be a challenge, and as such, Vault Rooms works hard to stay at the forefront of emerging developments. The Virtual Data Room market ebbs and flows as the activity in the deal market changes, and this means that both the firm and staff have to continually adapt to offer clients the solutions they need, as Karen highlights. “To smooth the peaks and valleys of revenue tied to the M&A market, at Vault Rooms we have diversified our product offerings to help accounting firms manage their request lists and provided by client (PBC) materials.”

26 Acquisition International - February 2018

“Alongside this, we work hard to stay ahead of the latest developments and offer solutions that meet the requirements of our clients and are ahead of the competition. As such, our technology team stays on top of best practices and emerging technologies through active participation in several focus and development groups in our core technology and industries. We keep all of our staff educated and informed not just about the surface level aspects of the industry, but also about the subtle nuances of our customers’ needs. Everyone stays up to date and relevant with the current technology, and strives to create innovation. Then, we integrate these new technologies into our system to provide those advantages to our clients.” The team’s passion and commitment to delivering excellence is what has driven the company to the success it enjoys today, and is central to its ongoing success. It is for this reason that it has been integrated into the firm’s mission, as Karen explains. “Fundamentally, at Vault Rooms our team has a passion for delivering workflow simplification through technology innovation with a focus on facilitating secure access to business-critical files. We do this by constantly evaluating and finding ways to improve. Most recently we have set new records for responsiveness and speed through our use of a global CDN. Also, we have made architectural improvements which address load balancing, geosteering, and failover for our applications to improve system reliability. These improvements, paired with customizable document access permissions, automated email push notifications regarding new and updated documents, and drag and drop upload have shown our commitment to our customers and our mission.” With regards to the future, Karen foresees a number of exciting developments for both the market and Vault Rooms itself, as the company looks to adapt and develop to continue supporting its clients and offering them truly cutting-edge solutions.

Unlocking the Secret of Vault Rooms

“Moving forward, with business transactions expanding globally, cyber security concerns on the rise, and compliance requirements growing, companies are needing more and more the services of a platform that provides secure document exchange with a focus on ease of use and reliability.” “To build upon our current success, we will continue to evaluate the needs of companies in this global corporate landscape in order to be a leader in the virtual data room space. Additionally, in 2017 we launched our RLM (Request List Management) features to help meet the needs of our accounting clients as they work with PBC (Provided By Client) lists in their audit and tax practice. RLM helps to maximise efficiency, responsiveness, and security during the document gathering phase of an engagement. Overall, Vault Rooms is proud to have met the needs of thousands of virtual data room clients over the past decade, and plans to continue our role as a leader in this industry.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 27


Company: Studio Legale GTA – Avv. Giovanni Tretti Contact: Giovanni Tretti, Susanna Greggio, Simone Cecchinato Address: Contra Porti, 21 I-36100 Vicenza - Italy Phone: +39 0444 547317 (Martina Papi) Website:

Studio Legale GTA: A Leading Light in Italian Corporate Law Studio Legale GTA is an Italian law firm that operates in the main branches of civil and international, commercial and corporate law, both in judicial and extrajudicial fields. We profile the firm, which was named Best in International & Civil Law 2018 – Italy in our 2018 Global Excellence Awards, to learn more and explore the secrets behind its success.

tudio Legale GTA provides legal services to companies in Italy and to international companies with interests in Italy. The main areas of expertise is related to company law, compliance law (company responsibility under D.lgs. 231/2001, privacy, safety and environmental laws, etc.), labor law, commercial law and intellectual property law.


The founder partner of the firm, Giovanni Tretti, has gained extended experience as General Counsel of an important international company and has transferred to the entire law firm the knowledge of the company’s need in terms of quality, effectiveness and well timed responses; in addition our firm is located in the Northerneast region of Italy, close to Venice, where the main bulk of the companies are middle or small size, and as such requesting legal services at a competitive price. All of these advantages have helped drive the firm to the success it enjoys today. In north Italy, there is a large variety of industries in all main sectors, some of the companies

28 Acquisition International - February 2018

being word wide leaders in their segments. Recently there has been a grow in the interest by international investors and multinational groups to invest in Italy and acquire middle or small company with production or services excellence in their field. In addition, many companies, while remaining with Italian ownership, have opened new factories or offices abroad, mainly in far east, east Europe and India. All these companies need qualified services and support in the legal field, offering many exciting opportunities for dynamic and respected firms such as Studio Legale GTA. Additionally, over the past five years there has been much restructuring within the Italian corporate landscape, and many businesses survived and new companies have been founded and grow. As it looks to the future, the challenge for Studio Legale GTA is to continue to understand the modified needs of its clients in the legal field and be able to serve those needs in the way it was able to in the last decade.

World World Class Class Success Success Doesn’t Doesn’t Happen Happen by by Accident Accident


The power of the right partner can mean a world of difference – especially when it comes to your workers’ compensation The power of right can mean aa world of difference –– especially when it to workers’ compensation The powerThat of the the right partner partner cancomes mean in world difference especially when it comes comes to your your workers’ compensation program. is where Pro Group – yourofpartner in today’s complex world of workers’ comp coverage. program. That is where Pro Group comes in – your partner in today’s complex world of workers’ comp coverage. program. That is where Pro Group comes in – your partner in today’s complex world of workers’ comp coverage. Based in the US, and protecting thousands of employees, Pro Group has earned the industry’s confidence for over two decades Based in protecting thousands of Pro has the industry’s confidence for over two Based in the the US, US,inand and thousands of employees, employees, Pro Group Group has earned earned theculture industry’s confidence forand overmuch two decades decades by specializing riskprotecting management, safety training and support to promote a safe in the workplace more. by specializing in risk management, safety training and support to promote a safe culture in the workplace and much by specializing in risk management, safety training and support to promote a safe culture in the workplace and much more. more. We have earned the industry’s confidence. Now let us earn yours. We We have have earned earned the the industry’s industry’s confidence. confidence. Now Now let let us us earn earn yours. yours. | 800.859.3177 || 800.859.3177 800.859.3177

Acquisition International - February 2018 29


Company: Rosenbaum IP Contact: David Rosenbaum Address: 1480 Techny Road, Northbrook, Illinois, 60062, USA Phone: 001 847 770 6000 Website:

Protecting Your Intellectual Property Rosenbaum IP has developed an extensive intellectual property law practice representing a wide spectrum of clients. David Rosenbaum provides us with information about the inner workings of this impressive firm. stablished in 1988, Rosenbaum has typically worked with a variety of clients, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations in intellectual rights procurement, product development, handling transactions and strategic litigation. Members of the firm develop and enhance intellectual property asset value by architecting portfolios aligned with client’s required business outcomes. In addition to IP rights filing and acquisition, the team counsel clients in complex intellectual property matters and supervise due diligence and positioning reviews for licensing, mergers and acquisition and strategic product development, all with the result of building and enhancing value of clients’ intellectual property estates.


Impressively, our clients have achieved over $1.7 Billion (USD) in market value through financing rounds, merger and acquisition, licensing or litigation awards. To achieve this success, we combine professional and technical skills with sound business principles and experience. Our practice is devoted to supporting our client’s needs for intellectual property asset development, commercialisation and, when necessary, enforcement. Essentially, the focal point of an intellectual property plan is to secure maximum value for intellectual property assets. The increasing commoditisation of intellectual property legal services has caused a demarcation between low-cost volume based or “retail” IP legal services and value-based services. For 34 years, the primary ethos of our practice has been to deliver utmost value that garners the results our clients require.

“The IP planning process begins with a meeting with the management team in which the business objectives are identified and needed outcomes clarified..” Working closely with our clients, we achieve this result by ensuring tight alignment between the client’s outcome and the nature and scope of the IP protection being developed. Our starting point is clarity and transparency. As the outset, this is achieved by first gaining a clear understanding of the business

30 Acquisition International - February 2018

outcomes each client requires. The IP planning process begins with a meeting with the management team in which the business objectives are identified and needed outcomes clarified. Then, we create an IP asset development plan that is congruent with and calculated to achieve the requisite objectives and outcomes. This IP plan is then pressure tested by challenging assumptions, competitive opportunities and evaluating competitor activity in the relevant technology space. Any IP development plan is dynamic and is consistently reassessed and revised, as needed, as new objectives are identified, new opportunities are presented or new challenges arise. All patent attorneys in the firm have scientific or technical education and expertise. Members of the firm have experience in diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, organic and inorganic chemistry, mining chemicals, agricultural chemicals, genomics, proteomics, biofuels, material science, biochemistry, semiconductor materials and fabrication processes, advanced design of smart phones, mechanical and electro-mechanical component and assembly design, service design, project prototyping, finite element analysis, materials analysis, design of experiments, tolerance analysis, statistical analysis, plant breeding, environmental protection systems, industrial and medical lasers, computer hardware and software, digital and analogue electrical systems, water purification systems, evaporative cooling systems, skin care products, clothing, motor vehicle assemblies and systems, and general mechanical and electrical technologies. Holding a strong impressive track record, the firm has successfully prepared and prosecuted thousands of domestic and international patent applications across many diverse fields such as surgical implants, including cardiovascular stents and vascular grafts, materials science, including novel biomaterials, natural and synthetic pharmaceuticals, electrophoresis devices and methods, diagnostic systems and methods, DNA transformation and transfection, oligonucleotide ligands, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, drug delivery systems, immunology, ultrasonic, laser and cryogenic ablation catheters, super-luminescent light emitting diodes, nanolithography, atomic force microscopy, photolithography, vacuum deposition processes, including chemical and plasma vapor deposition, sputtering and ion bombardment processes, chemical sensor technology, resist

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

technology, carbon nitride continuous solids and the use of finite element analysis modelling for corneal remodelling. In addition to his transactional intellectual property practice, the Firm has represented clients in numerous patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition litigation in State and Federal courts. In conjunction with European Patent counsel, we have also successfully represented clients in post-grant opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office Opposition Division and European Patent Office Opposition Appeal Board. Adaptable and versatile, Rosenbaum’s attorneys are active in a wide variety of professional and social community roles, including serving on committees on biotechnology law and university patents, speaking at national legal and industry conferences, authoring the best-selling book entitled “Layman’s Law Guide to Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights,” teaching at The John Marshall Law School in the L.L.M. Program in Intellectual Property Law and at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, serving as an editor of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) Law Journal, serving as a Board Member of the Chicago-Kent Law School Patent Hub Program and providing pro bono legal services to several start-up companies and nonprofit organisations engaged in providing mentoring for entrepreneurial start-ups. Lastly, recognition as the Most Outstanding FullService IP Firm – USA is an incomparable accolade. It is a privilege to join the many other fine service providers being recognised.

Acquisition International - February 2018 31


Company: Fred-Young & Evans LP Contact: Emmanuel Ekpenyong Esq. MCIArb. (UK) Address: Suite 217A, Jinifa Plaza, Plot 1014, Samuel Adesoji Ademulegun Street, Central Business District, Federal Capital TerritoryAbuja, Nigeria Phone: 00234 803 491 2096 Email: emmanuel@ Web Address:

Creating Success in Cross-Border Commercial Law Fred-Young & Evans LP is a full-service commercial law firm in Nigeria dedicated to providing its clients with prompt and effective legal services. We spoke to Managing Partner, Emmanuel Ekpenyong to find out more about the firm, which was named Most Influential Cross-Border Debt Recovery Specialist 2018 – Nigeria in our 2018 Global Excellence Awards. stablished in 2014, Fred-Young & Evans offer an array of legal services in support of its valued clients. Its sister firm, Fred-young Recoveries is a dedicated international debt collection organization and the sole Nigerian partner on International Credit Exchange. This enables it to collect debts worldwide. Emmanuel talks more about the firm’s services and how it works to support its clients, who include foreign investors, businesses and hospitals, real estate, construction firms, financial advisory companies, betting and lottery companies and intellectual property firms.


“Here at Fred-Young & Evans, our firm is divided into three practice groups; namely, dispute resolution, corporate/commercial and intellectual property. The dispute resolution group represents clients in legal proceedings, negotiation, mediation and arbitration towards resolving commercial disputes. The corporate/commercial group provides consultation on corporate and commercial law matters. The intellectual property group provides legal services on intellectual property matters, such as registration of trademarks, copyrights, patents, and designs. “Together all three practice groups work to ensure excellence for our clients, and we have carved a niche for ourselves because of our genuine commitment to our clients’ business. We ensure that in spite of our clients’ dispute with their customers, they maintain their business relationship with their customers. This is why we explore amicable options for settlement of our clients’ disputes without compromising their interests. If amicable settlement fails, we usually propose quicker dispute resolution mechanisms such as negotiation, mediation, conciliation or arbitration. If litigation is inevitable and our clients’ claim is a liquidated sum, time would be saved by commencing a summary judgment proceeding. If our client is the defendant, genuine admissions and reasonable offer towards timeous resolution of the dispute are veritable options in preventing litigation from escalating.” This focus on offering innovative solutions stems from the firm’s mission, as Emmanuel explains. “Our mission is to consistently proffer commercially focused, time and cost-effective, as well as result-

32 Acquisition International - February 2018

oriented legal advice to challenging commercial transactions and disputes. To achieve this, we integrate innovation into every aspect of our work by identifying international best legal practice and recent decisions of Nigerian superior courts and other commonwealth countries on our practice areas. Also, we carry out research on developments in other jurisdictions as it relates to budding areas of Nigerian law and practice. This ensures that our service offering is cutting edge and tailored to meet the individual needs of each of our clients.” Overall, Fred-Young & Evans looks set to enjoy a prosperous future, as the firm has a number of exciting plans ahead, as Emmanuel concludes. “Looking ahead, the future is very bright for our firm. We have been invited to contribute as a specialist contributor to a book titled- “Contemporary Issues in Law and Society: Legal Essays in Tribute to the Hon. Justice Chinwe E. Iyizoba J.C.A.” on the topic, “Enforcement of Arbitral Awards and Foreign Judgments in Nigeria”. Also, I will be attending the International Credit Exchange Conference in Europe in October 2018 to speak on the topic of ‘Debt Collection in Nigeria’. “Additionally, we will publish a book titled The Impact of Nigeria’s Company Law and Practice on Foreign Investments in Nigeria with Editions in European Universities before the end of March 2018. “Finally, our originating summons in the case of Emmanuel Ekpenyong v. Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division for an order of Court compelling the Federal Minister for Justice to promulgate an Order to bring Part I of the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, Cap F35, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 into operation, make modern rules for the effective process for recognition and registration of foreign judgments and for the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Ordinance, 1958 Act and Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Rules, 1922 to cease to apply in Nigeria, will be heard soon. All of these projects will provide us with many opportunities to build upon our current knowledge and success, and we look forward to taking advantage of these.”


Company: 2b Limitless FZC Name: Michael ‘Mick’ Todd Address: International Media Production Zone, PO Box 392862 Dubai, UAE Telephone: +9714 5144026 (Office) +971 56 4662860 (Mobile) +971 50 1535213 (Direct) Web Address:

Helping Companies 2b Limitless 2b Limitless is a professional training and coaching organisation focused on strengths, engagement, performance and transformation. We invited Mick Todd to talk us through the firm and the secrets behind its success. b Limitless provides the support, structure and tools to facilitate sustainable success on an organizational, professional and personal level through a range of dynamic coaching and training products. These products are tailor made to target the specific strengths and requirements of an organization and or individuals who are looking to gain the leading edge in their field. Mick discusses the firm’s service offering and how it has adapted this in 2017 to ensure it continues to offer clients the solutions they need.


“At 2b Limitless, we are focused on C-Suite Executives, Senior Leaders, Entrepreneurial Leaders and High-Performance Teams. Our core business is built around outstanding strategic training programs, executive coaching programs and our 2BYB international goal-setting events. We focus on delivering targeted training and workshops around strengths, goals, strategy, purpose, vision, values and extraordinary success that is supported by world-class coaches. “The last year has seen 2b Limitless grow significantly as an organisation based around the quality of our team and the outstanding achievements of our clients. We have assembled our strongest team ever a team that deliver excellence across a broad spectrum of personal and professional success. We now feel that we have a complete coaching and training offering. Also, we have become a far greater international force delivering projects not only across the GCC but also in Australia, UK, Russia, India, USA, Hong Kong and Thailand.”

“Our team...have given us the bandwidth and skills to deliver in an elegant manner that better support our client’s needs.” Drawing on his vast experience in the industry, Mick has a strong overview of the market currently which he is keen to share with us as he explores 2b Limitless’ space within this ever, evolving landscape. “The pace of change in the modern business landscape is staggering. Leaders are faced with an unprecedented number of real time decisions that have far reaching ramifications for clients, employees and shareholders. Having real clarity of purpose, objectives, goals and the rituals and behaviours that will deliver performance, and will

lead to a meaningful impact are critical components of the modern leaders’ toolbox.” “As business continues to become more and more complex a leaders’ ability to simplify and identify the true priorities, take agile action and make a meaningful impact is key. That is where we come in and help leaders to develop a roadmap, as well as the tools that they need to deliver excellence in performance.” Although Mick is at the forefront of many of the firm’s projects, he also has a dedicated team whose hard work and dedication he explains. “Our team of outstanding professionals have given us the bandwidth and skills to deliver in an elegant manner that better support our client’s needs. Our primary success measures are built around the achievements of clients, and this year has delivered success on an amazing scale. Our clients have built amazing success around coaching and strategy, which we co-developed.” With regards to the future, Mick has a number of exciting plans which he is keen to share with us in his concluding comments. “Looking ahead, our priorities for the future are growth and change, which are the key words for 2b Limitless, as these are our key focuses across all of our key success measures. We are delighted to be recognised as ‘The Most Trusted Brand in Coaching Training and Leadership in Middle East.’ However, 2018 is seeing a real push for growth in Asia and Europe. Our office in Phuket has proved a great springboard, and we are also planning to open an office in Brisbane in 2018. We are focused on offering our clients an unrivalled training and coaching experience. “Alongside this, we are also delighted at the growth of our 2BYB (To Be Your Best) process, in 2017 we delivered our best ever events including the launch of our first ever women’s event. The feedback and impact was enormous and 2018 promises to be another amazing year for the 2BYB product. “Overall, we are in the heart of delivering our 2020 strategy and it is focused around building success and leadership processes, programmes and events that focus on strengths, engagement, performance and transformation so we not only plan to be in this space, we plan to be a key player in this space.” Acquisition International - February 2018 33


Company: Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes Contact: Leyla Djavadi Address: 76, avenue de Wagram, Paris, 75017, France Phone: 0033 1 47 54 91 90 Website:

Excellence in Economic Law Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes is a boutique law firm that specialises in economic and business law with a focus on international and European competition law, including unfair competition, abuse of dominant position, as well as advertising law, mergers, IP and distribution law. Leyla Djavadi, winner of Most Influential Woman in Competition Law 2017 – France in our prestigious 2017 Global Excellence Awards talks us through the practice and the services it provides. stablished in 1947 and gaining the title of Selarl in 2011, Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes focuses on litigation before the French competition Authority and Commercial Courts and also competition audit and distributorship agreement counselling.


The firm has an office in Brussels and is involved in European Cases before the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. Its clients are French and international companies in various fields from across the corporate landscape, including oil ang gas, beverages, radios and communication, beauty products, household and pharmaceutical products, car rental network and e-commerce. Leyla explains more about the firm’s service offering and how it works to ensure excellence for every client it supports. “Here at Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes, we assist our clients in important litigations especially before the French competition authority and also the realization of network creation projects such as franchises, or international contracts. Litigations before the French Competition Authority are very tough and involve important financial issues. This means that there is often several years of litigation and creative global strategy ahead for the client. We also try to create taylor-made solutions for big cases and also innovate in promote the alternative ways in big cases before the commercial courts to settle disputes with mediation, which is encouraged by the French courts.”

“Operating in such a fast paced market, the practice has many exciting opportunities for further growth ahead...” To ensure that every client receives the service they need which is of the highest possible quality exceptional staff are vital. As such, the practice is committed to creating a supportive internal culture which is truly focused on client service, as Leyla highlights.

34 Acquisition International - February 2018

“At Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes our internal culture is the tailor-made service to our clients and the knowledge of their needs and also a strong team work. Our associates receive a lot of training to perform legally, but also to understand and anticipate our clients’ needs and to be proactive. We have an important writing activity inside our firm with legal news letter written by our team so that they can keep our clients up to date with the latest news and information on our work.” Drawing on her own vast experience in the market, Leyla has a strong understanding of the French ecommerce and corporate legal spaces, which she is eager to share with us. “Since the middle of last year, the French economy has been more active, and this has led to changes across every sector. In particular the field of economic law has been more active, especially with mergers and acquisition projects leading to merger controls cases for our firm. The competition sector is experiencing new developments with upcoming bills and I also expect that Brexit will bring new clients and new opportunities.” Operating in such a fast paced market, the practice has many exciting opportunities for further growth ahead, and moving forward this will be its ongoing focus, as Leyla concludes. “Looking ahead, the legal sector is challenged in France by legaltech start-ups and low prices offered for legal advice. We need to adapt by offering very specialized services in our field of competition and distribution law and also by using new legal technologies as well, like smart contracts. Big data is also a new sector to explore. “As such, Selarl Fourgoux Djavadi & Associes is keen to adapt, and therefore we are looking to expand with new partners and expand our expertise into new technologies. We plan to create an innovative service, in collaboration with other firms for legal services on the internet. Central to this plan is achieving organic growth, ensuring that we do not grow too quickly and remain able to provide our clients with the same exceptional level of service that they have come to expect.”


Company: Nanavati Associates Contact: Pranit K. Nanavati Contact Phones: +91-7940038081, +91-79-40038082, +91-79-40038083, +91-7940038084, +91-79-40038085 Contact Fax: +91-79-40038086 Mobile Phone: +919879106229 Address: Satyam Corporate Square, Block “B”, Behind Rajpath Club, Nr. Friends Avenue, Off S.G. Highway, Bodakdev, Ahmedabad 380 059, Gujarat, India Website:

Multi-Skilled Associates Serving the Industry Partners and Associates of Nanavati Associates attend to matters listed before the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad, as well as often work on matters listed before other High Courts and the Supreme Court of India. Pranit K. Nanavati, Partner provides us with his thoughts on what makes the firm stand out in the industry. aving built a reputation in litigation at High Courts, in order to provide non-litigation services and litigation services at Trial Courts and Tribunals, the Partners of Nanavati Associates formed a separate partnership firm in 2002 and thus, sister firm, K. Nanavati & Gandhi Associates came into existence. Since 2003, Nanavati Associates has been providing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legal services and networks with firms in US, Europe, China as well as countries such as Curacao and Cameroon. Nanavati Associates has conducted seminars to increase awareness about IPR, and has branch offices in Surat and Vadodara, other major cities of Gujarat, India.


The firm has a large number of corporate clients including foreign multinational and Indian multinational companies. The clients also include companies with no foreign presence and at times, even individuals. Embedded within the Associates of the firm, the mission is to strive to provide the best possible legal services to its clients regardless of the size of the client or the stake involved. The growth of the firm over the decades is strictly due to the unwavering focus on merits of every matter and is only because of word-of-mouth. The firm prepares itself in advance for any new legislation to remain in the forefront. Often, partners of the firm engage in teaching at leading local law schools and other institutes and are invited to contribute in Conferences and Seminars. Hard work, honesty, and humility distinguish the firm from its competitors. Success of its numerous past Associates who have established their own private thriving practice, is testimony to the opportunities that are available at the firm, for any lawyer who aspires to be a successful lawyer in almost every area of law. Interestingly, the legal profession is well developed across India and especially, in Gujarat, as it is a more advanced state than most others in the country. Nanavati Associates is in the biggest city in Gujarat: Ahmedabad, which happens to be the seventh largest city in the country. There is healthy competition in the legal profession everywhere in the country. Allowing foreign firms to practice in India is often a subject of debate in the legal fraternity. We encourage healthy competition from everywhere, including from foreign countries.

At times, having dual or multiple languages used in legal proceedings brings its own challenges. We deal with it like any other firm and are conscious about such challenges. With the fairly large pool of Associates from different parts of the country where different languages are used, we believe that even in addressing such challenges, we are better positioned than most of our competition. Regarding our internal culture, it is to spare no effort in providing the best legal services. There are thousands of books in the library, and we subscribe to several journals on various areas of Law. A perk of these advanced times is that numerous softwares are available for doing legal research. Providing a physical environment that is conducive to providing efficient services also helps us be the best we can be. We have multiple conference rooms and each Associate is provided with a computer with internet access. Ultimately, we believe that the firm provides whatever it takes to ensure that the best possible legal services are provided to the clients. For us, we believe that the future is only going to get better. It is a dynamic world when it comes to law and we will keep ourselves updated and prepared for the changing legal scenario so that we can continue to deliver legal excellence to our Clients. As for IPR, trademark law and copyright law have been fairly well developed in India, but Patent law, though firstly put in place more than 150 years ago, is at times, considered to be still in its infancy. Thus, we see tremendous growth potential in IPR and particularly, Patents. Design is one area that severely lacks awareness. There is some awareness about geographical indications of goods, but most people in India have not even heard of the law on semiconductor integrated circuit layout design, or the law on protection of plant varieties and farmers’ rights. Thus, there is tremendous growth potential in IPR in India. Moving forward, we believe that sooner or later foreign firms will be permitted to practice in India. We look forward to it as it will only force every existing firm, including us, to only get better. Also, we welcome healthy competition from every corner of the world and feel that we are already adequately prepared.

Acquisition International - February 2018 35


Company: Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd Contact: Andy Coates Address: 78 York Street, London, W1H 1DP, UK Phone: 0208 090 2439 Web Address:

Efficient and Effective Law Enforcement Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd, trading as Quality Bailiffs, are a commercial property enforcement specialist based in London. We caught up with Andy Coates, the company’s CEO and president of the Certified Enforcement Agents Association to learn more about the firm, which was named Most Outstanding Bespoke Enforcement and Investigation Solutions Provider – London in our 2018 Global Excellence Awards. stablished in 2009, Enforcement Bailiffs provides commercial property enforcement service as well as specialising in evictions from land of trespassers, as well as removing animals including horses. The company provide a same day nationwide service to evict trespassers and squatters. In addition, the firm is able to deal with none paying tenants, collecting unpaid commercial rent arrears and reclaiming property.


This specialist service offering is designed to meet the needs of the firm’s clients, and the firm’s experience and vast knowledge of the market makes Enforcement Bailiffs the ideal partner for anyone with debt collection issues or trespasser issues. Keen to highlight the firm’s commitment to supporting its clients, Andy begins by discussing the company’s mission and the steps it takes to achieve this. “Here at Enforcement Bailiffs, our overall mission is to provide a transparent quality led, bespoke property enforcement and security solution for all our clients on a nationwide basis, with a same day response. To achieve this, we utilise the cutting edge technology with body worn video, CCTV equipped eviction response vehicles, real time reporting via cloud based management system.

“Andy and his team remain committed to providing clients with solutions that meet their needs...” “As well as technology, we also use our human resources, and are dedicated to listening to our clients’ needs, and work hard to exceed their expectations by developing new strategies to solve ongoing issues. We learn from each operation with team debriefs and adapt tactics for the next time. Everyone here has a very can-do attitude, and pride ourselves on thinking outside the box. We have a very small productive office and management team

36 Acquisition International - February 2018

that support our network of over 400 Enforcement Agents across England and Wales, all of whom work closely with our clients and provide them with the support they need. To set ourselves apart from our competitors, we provide clients with a firstclass personal managed service, delivering a same day service. Our expert advisors have decades of experience in the industry offering out of the box simple solutions to complex problems.” These agents all contribute a vast amount of experience and expertise to Enforcement Bailiffs, and as such the company has strong knowledge of the law enforcement space. Andy is eager to share this knowledge with us as he discusses how his firm has worked hard to adapt and develop around the changes it has encountered. “Over the past twelve months we have seen a number of developments in the law enforcement market, as 2017 saw a significant rise in unauthorised encampments and fly tipping. The number of incidents up local authorities reported 936,090 cases of fly-tipping in 2015/2016, up 4% on the previous year, data from Defra reveals. To combat this, we have developed a range of options and strategies for dealing with this quickly and in the most cost effect manner.” Looking to the future, Andy and his team remain committed to providing clients with solutions that meet their needs, and as such the firm will be launching a new division later this year, as he concludes. “Moving forward, 2018 will see the launch of a separate division of our business Quality Guards, based on a similar model to our Enforcement division. This will provide emergency and short-term security with quality SIA licenced security officers, dog handlers and close protection officers. They will be used to working in difficult and hostile environments such as dealing with protesters preventing evicted persons form re-entering. They will be deployed in support of our enforcement teams where required giving our clients a one stop shop.”


Company: Gentile Horoho & Avalli, P.C. Contact: Charles J. Avalli, Esquire Address: 310 Grant Street, Suite 1000, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15219, USA Phone: 001 412 261 9900 Website:

Gentile, Horoho & Avalli, P.C.: Proven. Focused. Innovative. Gentile, Horoho & Avalli, P.C., (GHA) is one of Pennsylvania’s premier law firms practicing exclusively in family law and estate/trust law. We caught up with Charles J. Avalli to find out more about the firm, which we have recently named Most Outstanding Divorce Law Attorneys 2017 – Pennsylvania in our prestigious 2017 Global Excellence Awards. stablished in 1991, for more than a quarter of a century, GHA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has provided thousands of clients only the highest quality legal services in the areas of family law, estates, and trusts. Charles discusses the firm’s work in more detail and the success it has achieved since inception.


“From high net-worth divorces that include complex financial and custody issues, to high-asset estate planning and litigation, at GHA we remain dedicated to excellence and providing optimum results for our clients. Our methods for success have been proven by our unique ensemble of highly focused attorneys who tirelessly innovate lasting solutions to immediate challenges. “Over the years we have achieved incredible success, and we are proud to have accomplished attorneys in the areas of domestic relations who are leaders in local, state, and national associations, who have also garnered numerous awards and recognitions. Adding to our firm’s depth of experience, GHA’s founding and current members were instrumental in developing the Pennsylvania Divorce Code of 1980, and its amendments. Our commitment of excellence is now reflected in our firm’s recent achievement of being awarded the 2017 Global Excellence Award as Most Outstanding Divorce Attorneys 2017 – Pennsylvania.” The firm’s dedicated team of experienced lawyers and their commitment to excellence are what has driven GHA to the success it enjoys today. As such, Charles is eager to explore the practice’s internal culture and how it fosters support for both clients and fellow staff. “Comprised of a diverse team of attorneys with more than 150 years of combined experience, our firm continues to refine its methods of representing clients through an evolving legal landscape. Our attorneys maintain a highly collaborative atmosphere, enabling a constant exchange of ideas that provide creative solutions for our clients’ most challenging concerns.” Overall, the future looks bright for GHA as the firm seeks to build upon its current success in order to

continue meeting its clients’ ever evolving needs, as Charles concludes. “As our firm continues to expand in the next quarter century and beyond, we remain dedicated to excellence and providing optimum results for our clients, and this will remain our ongoing focus as we look towards an exciting and prosperous future. We are fortunate that Pennsylvania is home to a diverse population who work in a variety of fields that include industry, agriculture, business, computer and robotic sciences, and medicine to name a few. “Drawn to its world-class universities, hospitals, and robotics center, both national and international populations are finding new opportunities. New chances for our clients also present new challenges in family and estate law. Thanks to our firm’s breadth of experience and dedication, we are prepared to seek new solutions to any obstacle for our local and international clients.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 37


The Client Comes First Company: ABV ADVOGADOS Contact: António Paula Varela Address: Av. Alvares Cabral, nº 84, 2º. 1250-018, Lisboa, Portugal Phone: 00351 213 703 600 Web Address

ABV ADVOGADOS is traditionally a Law Firm dedicated to corporate, commercial and business law. Today, the Firm is also a reference assisting foreign Private Clients in Portugal. We invited António Paula Varela to tell us more about the firm and tell us the secrets behind its success. BV ADVOGADOS represents a large number of Portuguese and foreign companies, both in Portugal and overseas. However, considering the increasing demand for legal services by individuals, in particular foreigners who choose Portugal as a living or working destination, the team also developed its “Private Clients” practice, focused specially on residence, citizenship, family, inheritance and tax matters, including the Portuguese Golden Visa program and the non-habitual tax regime.


Outlining the firm’s overall mission, António explains what steps the firm plans to take in order to achieve its goal. Meeting and exceeding client expectations is an important part of the vision that Antonio has for the firm, and the team work exceptionally hard in order to achieve this. “Looking to achieve excellent customer satisfaction, we always want to be a constructive partner to our clients, providing pragmatic and objective legal solutions which result in an added value to their activity or life. Therefore, we always look for a close relationship and thorough understanding of our clients, so we can represent and defend their interests in the best way. Regarding innovation, the ABV ADVOGADOS team is permanently updated on the market trends and the legal developments that may benefit our clients.” It is this vision which helps the firm differentiate itself from its competitors, as the team is focused solely on the client and works hard in order to achieve high satisfaction levels. These achievements have led to the firm being selected in the 2018 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Outstanding Business Development Law Firm in Portugal, something António is very proud of. “To be selected for this award, we are obviously very happy, as it is the recognition of our work and the quality of our team. However, we consider it, above all, a responsibility and a motivation to improve our services every day. This award is an honour and at the same time a drive to do more and better.” Providing us with a brief overview of the industry at present, António believes that the financial crisis which affected Portugal is over, and this will lead to a more successful future for the firm going forwards. “With Portugal having arisen from the financial crisis, in our specific area, there are many opportunities and the foreign investment is back. We would like to highlight the following areas that are ‘booming’ now in Portugal:

38 Acquisition International - February 2018

real estate, start-up companies and foreign individuals that choose Portugal as a place to live or work. In ABV ADVOGADOS, we developed our expertise to assist the clients on these matters.” With technology increasingly dominating the legal industry and relevant markets, António points out the three aspects of the sector that the firm considers crucial, and what techniques the company employs in order to stay ahead of upcoming developments. “Let me point out three aspects that we consider essential: first, we believe in the permanent training of our team. On the other hand, we attend and promote on a regular basis professional and social events, as this allows us to be updated on the new trends of the legal market. Finally, due to our important international network, we try to be always informed on recent developments that may benefit and affect our clients.” Regarding the internal culture within the company, António ensures that all of his staff are in the best possible position to provide a quality service to clients by sticking to the firm’s values and concentrating on specific areas in Portugal, following all the rules and leaving no stone unturned. “Fundamentally, we are committed to work in Portugal and in the other jurisdiction in which we operate, always aiming to reach the highest possible standard and fulfilling scrupulously the ethical and deontological rules governing the practice of the Law.” Ultimately, the future looks very bright for ABV ADVOGADOS. António concludes by predicting what the times ahead will be like for the firm. “Looking ahead, we believe that companies and people from all around the world will continue to select Portugal as a destination and our firm as their local legal advisers. Currently, we have clients from Asia, Africa, Americas and Europe and we look forward to consolidating our services as a reference for those who decide to invest or live in Portugal. “On the other hand, our firm actively supports Portuguese and foreign companies in international projects, particularly in Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique, jurisdictions where ABV ADVOGADOS has established local partnerships and has extensive experience. It is our goal for the next years to not only develop our activity in Portugal, but also in the referred Portuguese speaking countries, together with our local partners.”


Company: PLUTA Abogados y Administradores Concursales SLP Contact: Mr. Áticus Ocaña Address: Paseo de la Castellana, 13 – 3º Dcha, Madrid, 28046, Spain Phone: 0034 915 777 241 Website:

Helping Companies Reach Their Potential PLUTA helps companies in legally and economically difficult situations. PLUTA’s Director, Mr. Áticus Ocaña shares with us the secrets behind the company’s success, explaining in detail about what attracts clients to the firm. LUTA is a multinational company founded over 30 years ago in Germany, with more than 10 years of experience in Spain and another 40 branch offices spread across four countries in Europe (Germany, Spain, Poland and Italy). In addition, it is a member of the international BTG Global Advisory network. BTG GA is a partner with leading banks, law firms, private equity companies and other fund management companies.


Within the firm, there are 90 lawyers and 40 business experts, including many attorneys and tax consultants, all of whom contribute to the wealth of experience that the company holds. These experts also hold multiple qualifications as public auditors, graduates in business administration or accountants which ensure sustainable, forward-looking solutions for clients and partners. Holding an impressive reputation amongst the industry, the teams at PLUTA look to take advantage of their knowledge of the various industrial sectors which they have acquired in hundreds of insolvency proceedings and restructuring projects. It is the knowledge of the smaller and different aspects of the company, which helps the firm to stand out amongst its competitors in the market. Furthermore, strategic partnerships with banks and restructuring/insolvency networks offer additional alternatives for action to the benefit of our customers. Crucial to the success of the company, the firm has been able to help companies with complex financial and strategic challenges from a legal and economic point of view, providing added value to clients and customers, thanks to its extensive experience and needs, as it is one of the firm’s major missions. Another exciting service is that PLUTA is able to offer advice on all matters relating to commercial law, as well as support for companies during the process of restructuring and management of insolvency proceedings. With all our clients, we provide advice on all issues concerning business law, actively supporting companies during the restructuring process and they competently manage insolvency proceedings. Essentially, the company guarantees to provide the customers with competent advice, creative proposals for solutions, serious alternatives for action and, of course, it ensures professional interaction and cooperation. Furthermore, we stand for competency and creativity, for quality and integrity. With this in mind, it promotes a culture of performance which focuses on people. Mutual respect is just as important to the company

as expertise, theoretical knowledge, and practical experience. We are always aware of the fact that by helping companies with assistance and advice, that they can give people prospects. PLUTA is specialised in the restructuring and management of corporate insolvencies, with a corporate base that combines legal and business experience. Its services are grouped into three business areas: Legal Advice, Restructuring and Insolvency Management. Every business decision involves balancing numerous risk factors. In the case of an insolvency process, business decisions should be assisted by specialised legal advice. Adequate consideration of different interests, early clarification of framework conditions and advice from legal experts are key success factors for entrepreneurs, administrators, shareholders and creditors. Ultimately, it is about the use of capital and the impact on people. Legal Consulting is an essential part of success. Our experts offer deep professional experience and knowledge in the areas of strategic development, operations, organisation and performance improvement, restructuring and insolvency management. The experience of lawyers specialising in corporate, tax, labor or real estate law and construction law is an essential element. Our clients can trust us for a wide range of professional services. Talking about restructuring, the ability to forecast becomes the potential for recovery. Staying competitive requires the right countermeasures: transparent financial data, optimal corporate planning, a functioning control system and a profitable marketing strategy. In the insolvency administration, we have to take into account that in crisis situations, the efforts of management, shareholders and employees are not always enough to make a company successful again. An active quality management, the promotion of the internal exchange of information, permanent training and the principles of the Gravenbruch Circle determine our actions. We have achieved many success stories, including: Insolvency management in airline companies, insolvencies also of large food groups, with a marked international component, or even of real estate or construction companies (more than 60 cases processed in this sector). Moreover, we have represented clients of German Banking in insolvencies and restructuring of renewables in Spain. Lastly, we have finished the continuity and restructuring of companies (more than 25% of the insolvencies managed in court have been resolved through the agreement or the sale of the production unit).

Acquisition International - February 2018 39


Company: Central Law Costa Rica Contact: Rafael Quiros Bustamante Address: Av. 10, c/ 37 “bis”, Los Yoses, San Jose, Costa Rica Phone: 00506 2224 7800

Central Law: Excellence in Legal Services Throughout Central America Central Law Costa Rica is the leading regional firm which provides comprehensive and innovative legal advice in all areas of law to its valued clients. We profile the firm, which was recently named as Most Outstanding Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyer 2018 - Central America in our prestigious 2018 Global Excellence Awards, to gain an insight into this fascinating company and explore the secrets behind the incredible success it has achieved. rawing on more than 30 years of experience in the market, since 2003 Central Law has provided legal services regionally with the support and expertise of the lawyers that operate in its 11 offices located throughout Central America and the Caribbean. The firm has a uniquely organizational identity in its offices, with a culture focused in international business. Prominent international directories such as Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Latin Lawyer and IFLR 1000 recognize Central Law and its team of lawyers, placing it among the top tiers of the ranking.


The mission of this dedicated and professional firm is to be the main allies of its clients. To provide them with services which emphasise the professionalism, security and confidence they are looking for to start their business in the region. Central Law’s greatest asset is its people, the lawyers are those who provide substantially all the legal and business criteria that clients need to undertake their projects. Through digital platforms, prompt responses and professionalism, the practice is able to offer its clients all the legal services they need.

“Through digital platforms, prompt responses and professionalism, the practice is able to offer its clients all the legal services they need.” Operating in such a fast paced and constantly evolving market, Central Law has to work hard to adapt around the developments it encounters. The legal industry is changing drastically and every day customers demand even more from their lawyers, because, fundamentally, it is the clients who through their companies define how legal-commercial developments should take place. In recent months, the firm has seen how many local firms have been merging with global and multinational firms, which is

40 Acquisition International - February 2018

one of the main changes which is putting external pressures on the market. Specifically, the Central American legal market remains stable but growing, and Central Law is able to support clients by offering them the vast reach and resources of a large firm, combined with the local knowledge and understanding of a boutique legal office thanks to its unique regional structure. The firm was the firm to be incorporated in Central America DR and Panama, and that experience is a fundamental factor when it comes to forging its values and vision of the business world. Looking to the future, Central Law will continue to grow in 2018, with the implementation of a greater number of lawyers and with the individual development of each one of them. The Central American market allows the team to bid on projects in sectors such as tourism and energy, which have always been fundamental in the Central Law portfolio. Overall, the team estimate that it will expand by at least 40%, and it will also focus on the implementation of new technologies to always provide the best possible service to its clients. Within the Central America region, Central Law foresees more competition in the legal industry during 2018. As such, it is prepared to take on this challenge thanks to the talent and specialization of its lawyers, who are ready to continue to provide its customers with the support and service they need to succeed.


• • • •

Regulatory Clinical Monitoring IMP & CTS Management Sourcing of comparators, rescue medication, ancillary supplies and any other CT material • Customs clearance & brokerage • Site Contracting & Payments • Project Management • Quality Management • Trainings • Central Laboratory Russia - incl. Bioequivalence Studies • Data Management • Statistics & Medical writing Acquisition International - February 2018 41


Company: Bakhnug Law Firm Contact: Rajab Bakhnug

Lawyers in Libya Mr. Rajab Bakhnug is Senior Partner and Managing Director of Bakhnug Law Firm. The firm specialises in business, construction, investment, contracting, litigation and arbitration.

stablished in 1988, Bakhnug Law Firm is comprised of a multilingual team of lawyers who boast a wealth of expertise in between them. The team consists of founder Mr. Rajab Bakhnug; Mr. Ali Areebe; Mr. Saddin Ezarroug, and Mrs. Mysa Bakhnug, who speak both Arabic and English.


Boasting a strong reputation, Bakhnug is considered one of the major high-profile law firms in Libya due to its credibility, efficiency and decade of experience. Its areas of practice include corporate, commercial, construction, investment, oil, litigation and arbitration. Due to a good and long experience, paralleled with maintaining of high standards of ethics and integrity in conducting the profession, Bakhnug has catapulted up the industry leading it establish itself as the top of the sector. In a very short time, the firm was well known locally and abroad as a corporate and commercial law firm, and was recognised for its excellence in the areas of business, construction, investment, oil, litigation and arbitration. Providing clients with professional and high-quality advice, clients are usually attracted to the law firm if they require assistance with Libyan laws. With regard to its services, the firm is divided into two practice groups: Business and litigation. However,

42 Acquisition International - February 2018

even though these two groups are divided, they work together as a team, ensuring they are able to deliver a comprehensive service to international clients in particular. Interestingly, major clients of the firm are typically international institutions and private companies, and this includes a number of international companies operating in the construction, business, oil and investment industries within Libya. Furthermore, the firm became a bright and safe place for clients to come to if they wanted to connect their businesses with other clients and receive good advice. International clients of the company include various large and well known international companies from the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, China, South Korea, Holland, Cyprus, Brazil, Italy, as well as Austria. Ultimately, the firm work in association with law firms in Washington DC, USA, the United Kingdom and Germany, showcasing the sterling reputation that the firm holds, both domestically and internationally. It is this reputation which has seen the firm stay in contact with many other international law firms worldwide, providing them with advice and explaining Libyan laws.

Lawyers in Libya

Acquisition International - February 2018 43


Company: Labtech Diagnostics LLC Contact: Jospeh Labash Address: 1502 E. Greenville St., South Carolina, 29621, USA Phone: 00864 760 0039 Website: http://

At the Forefront of Clinical Laboratory Medicine Labtech Diagnostics LLC is a medical laboratory that serves the Carolinas. We profile the firm, which was recently named Most Innovative Diagnostic Services 2017 – USA in our prestigious 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to learn more.

linical laboratory testing is an invaluable tool used by physicians to diagnose and manage disease. A remarkable amount of information can be obtained by analyzing even a small amount of blood, other body fluids, or tissue. There are thousands of different laboratory tests available today utilizing hundreds of methodologies and instrumentation to obtain extremely accurate and high-quality results.


With the advent of the internet, many medicalrelated sites are now available where patients and the general public can obtain current information on virtually any disease or disorder. In addition, many sites dealing with laboratory medicine are available where a patient can obtain information on specific laboratory tests – what they mean and how they may be used by physicians in treatment. Thanks to the myriad of benefits of this approach, Labtech Diagnostics is on a mission to provide reliable, timely, accurate, cost effective and innovative diagnostic services and information to patients,

44 Acquisition International - February 2018

physicians, and other health care providers for the benefit of the patient. There are services across every discipline, including immunology; hematology and coagulation; clinical chemistry; allergy testing; blood banking; microbiology and infectious diseases; serology; toxicology (drug testing), serum, urine, hair; therapeutic drug monitoring; cytology; as well as surgical pathology. Client service is the firm’s core focus, and it welcomes feedback from both patients and doctors, to ensure that its service offering meets their exact needs. Currently the firm’s clients include direct patient access; physician offices; healthcare organizations; assisted living facilities; nursing homes; rehabilitation facilities; hospitals; as well as employers. Ultimately, Labtech Diagnostics is constantly evolving to ensure that it remains at the very cutting edge of developments in this dynamic and exciting sector. Moving forward, continuing to innovate and adapt will remain its ongoing focus.


Company: Mr Taxman Contact: Adrian Raftery Address: PO Box 1010, Pearcedale, Victoria, 3912, Australia Phone: +61 418 210 599 Website:

Mr Taxman: Talking You Through Taxation Mr Taxman, aka Adrian Raftery, PHD, MBA, B.Bus, FCA, CFP, F Fin, FTIA, MAICD has over 25 years’ experience in providing accounting services and financial advice to businesses and individuals. We explore how he came to be named Best for Financial and Accountancy Advice – Australia in our prestigious 2017 Global Excellence Awards.

t was during a labouring stint at the age of 15 that Adrian’s father gave him two options. Get an education or grab the shovel and wheelbarrow from the back become the 7th bricklaying generation. It did not take long for the accountant to emerge.


Whilst working with his father, Adrian would count the exact number of bricks required for each wall. He would make statements like “Dad I’ve worked out that if you didn’t have so many smoke breaks, you could lay an extra 113 bricks exactly per day”. It was soon after that his father suggested he drop the shovel and become an accountant. To put himself through university, Adrian started an accounting cadetship with Pannell Kerr Forster before gaining more exposure as a manager with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. He spent one year fulfilling a dream to work on the stock market as an option trader, before establishing ARW Chartered Accountants in 1997 and AccountantsRus in 2001. Today, Adrian holds a PhD in Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, a graduate diploma in financial planning and a graduate certificate in Journalism. He is also a Certified Financial Planner,

holds an MBA and specialises in business planning, financial planning and tax. As such, he is ideally positioned to advise on a range of tax based issues. He offers a vast online library through his website, which is fully searchable and allows clients the chance to browse a wide variety of topics covering the entire Australian tax system. Regularly contributing to a number of major media outlets including Sky News, Australian Financial Review and the Financial Standard and now the bestselling author of 101 Ways to Save Money on Your Tax – Legally! Adrian has to remain at the forefront of emerging developments in the tax industry by constantly researching and exploring the latest changes in regulation, legislation and taxation. In addition, he also offers an informative blog detailing various developments in the market and his personal reaction to them. Overall, Adrian and his Mr Taxman website provide a crucial service which benefits a wide variety of readers, and moving forward he will remain committed to offering a resource which combines readability with well-research content.

Acquisition International - February 2018 45


Company: Strachan Partners Contact: Yetunde Quadri Address: 8 Tokunbo Omisore Street, Off Wole Olateju Crescent, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria Phone: 00234 127 007 22 Website:

Integrity, Innovation, Diligence and Excellence Strachan Partners are delighted to be selected in the 2018 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Outstanding Commercial Law Firm 2018 in Nigeria, with Yemi Candide-Johnson believing that the firm’s success deserves to be recognised. Yemi takes us behind the scenes of the company as we gain an insight into its success. trachan Partners was established as a full-service law firm 27 years ago. In those years and before, the company has successfully advised, guided, supported and defended local and international clients across a wide range of practice areas, including but not limited to; dispute resolution, real estate and construction, labour, immigration, project finance and intellectual property. Typically, the firm’s clients include governments, financial institutions, professional service providers such as consultants and accountants, small and large businesses and also charitable organisations.


Differentiating itself from its competitors who also operate within the legal industry, Yemi explains that it is the boutique nature of the company and the work that it takes on. Its independent nature means that the utmost attention to detail is paid to every individual case, with high levels of creativity amongst staff, as Yemi is keen to highlight. “Essentially, we are a boutique firm and we are highly selective about the work that we will agree to undertake. We are dedicated to understanding the entire mechanics of a client’s business in order to supply effective bespoke solutions. This dedication requires careful attention and a considerable commitment of resources. We can only offer this by choice. “Furthermore, we also apply very creative problemsolving mechanisms to each matter brought before us. Our ability to think outside the box ensures that our clients get the very best advice possible.” With the legal industry and relevant technology constantly evolving at a rapid pace, it is vital that Strachan Partners and the teams employ creative and innovative techniques which help the firm to stay ahead of emerging developments. Yemi alludes to which techniques lead the company to be best placed to counter these developments. “At Strachan, we believe in observing emerging developments via social media, newspapers, news and other media platforms. We believe in first anticipating where a trend is likely to go and then act upon same. We did this in the past year by observing the rapidly increased social media activity in the industry, and have undergone extensive efforts towards improving our social media presence via (i) posting intellectually

46 Acquisition International - February 2018

stimulating articles with a core legal focus for the benefit of all readers, (ii) drawing attention to our recent awards locally and from international bodies; and (iii) highlighting our efforts towards giving back to society via training young lawyers. Last year, we did a similar thing when we trained a group of secondary school children who were with us for a few weeks in April to observe lawyers in practice.” Important to the success of the law firm and its staff, the firm set targets and goals which staff strive to achieve. Yemi outlines the overall mission of the company, listing what steps the firm plans to take in order to achieve its mission. “Here at Strachan Partners, we are committed to model diligence, excellence and integrity in the delivery of legal services. We understand that without public confidence in the reputation of lawyers, their work and the business mission of their clients is made riskier. That risk is mitigated by dedication to personal and professional development by training, and strict internal regulation including against strict policies such as our Anti-Bribery Policy and Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy. “In a challenging legal and business environment, we must bring new perspective to every assignment and overcome challenges which considerable experience teaches us to anticipate. We are alert and proactive, and therefore highly effective in crafting enduring business solutions.” Overall, concluding the discussion, Yemi predicts what the future holds for the company, commenting on the future plans for Strachan Partners, as well as hinting at future growth for the firm. Lastly, Yemi is keen to add how important the area of Lagos is to the success of this growing law firm. “Within the last year, we have invested substantially in new purpose-built offices as well as state of the art technology in our facility. Our business is expanding within this security, increasing our profile and multiplying opportunities for quality clientele. “Lagos is an important regional commercial hub whose profile and opportunity is rising. It is a target for much international commercial investment, and we know exactly how to bridge these interests to our complex legal environment.”


Product: Zaheda Skincare Address: 1 Harley Street, London, W1 Phone: 0207 307 8712 Website:

Zaheda Skincare: A Complexion Above the Rest “I believe above all beautiful skin starts with superior skin care and a simple daily routine. Simply follow our 3 Steps Skin Care Schedule to beautiful skin…” These are the thoughts of Zaheda Hafez, founder of the award-winning Harley Street Clinic, and she tells us more about her exciting skin care range, Zaheda Skincare. ollaborating with leading cosmetic scientists, Skin Expert Zaheda has used her multi-decade experience and knowledge to build and run a successful clinic in London. Inspired by her clients’ results and testimonials, Zaheda has developed a multitude of fascinating and outstanding skin care products, leading to her skin care range; Zaheda Skincare.


Regarding her successful clinic which has provided the platform for Zaheda to launch Zaheda Skincare. This multi award-winning laser skin care clinic is located in Harley Street London and was founded in 2000. A Leading and excellent team of Skin Experts offer professional advice and solutions to modern skin concerns. Having produced impressive results to fast become the go-to Skin Clinic in London for many high-profile figures. Hi-tech treatment and cutting-edge skin care products work synergistically to produce outstanding results second to none. Ensuring that users and clients receive the utmost benefit from her products, Zaheda has set out a three-step plan for Zaheda Skincare treatments which reveals a more beautiful and glowing complexion. Following this procedure means that clients are certain to gain the best outcome, resulting in beautiful skin complexion, as Zaheda notes. “In my professional experience, I believe above all beautiful skin starts with superior skin care and a simple daily routine. Simply follow my 3 Steps Skin Care Schedule to beautiful glowing skin. “Following the 3 Steps Skin Care Schedule, clients are able to choose three products in total. One Cleanser, One Exfoliator, and One Moisturiser. Clients should then simply cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise twice a day, to reveal and maintain more glowing youthful looking skin.” Marine and botanical actives work synergistically in this science-led formulation, and the rich nature of algae means that it can provide immeasurable benefits in one unique formulation to keep the skin more plump, supple firm and youthful.

From the Zaheda Skincare range clients can choose the best products for their skin type. • Deep Sea Cleanse • Ocean Tone • Ultra Smooth Sea Polish • Sea Collagen Marine Serum • Marine Fluid Shine Free • Marine Boost Super Serum • Ultimate Youth Lift • Ultra-Light Derma White • Sea Collagen Marine Body Serum. Following the inspired choice to release her own range of skincare products, Zaheda has excelled in the industry and made others sit up and take note of her reputation. Notably, Beauty Director at Cosmopolitan UK had this to say about her success; it is a skincare product which is “creating loads of buzz among those in the know right now”, hinting that the product comes recommended highly by independent professionals in the beauty sector. Ultimately, integral to the success of both the Harley Street Clinic and Zaheda Skincare is the dedication and ambition of Zaheda. Both the clinic and her skin care range leave clients satisfied to the extent in which they want to return and continue to use the products. Zaheda Skincare will attract more clients to the clinic and to use the products, leaving Zaheda to look forward to a fruitful future in the healthcare industry.

Acquisition International - February 2018 47


Company: TopMark Claims Management Ltd Contact: Stephanie Staubach Address: 160 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4TB Phone: 0141 331 6844

Understanding Your Needs TopMark Claims Management Ltd specialise in claims and associated support services, for both private and public sector clients nationally and internationally. We sat down with Stephanie Staubach, our Most Influential Woman in Claims Management 2018 – UK. who takes us behind the scenes of this industry leading firm. rading since 2006, TopMark work for the UK Government servicing departments, such as the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice, as well as Utility companies, the BBC, blue light authorities and large self-insured commercial clients to name a few.


Despite working in an incredibly competitive industry, TopMark still comes out at the top in regard to customer service. This can be put down mainly to the firm’s ethos of placing the client first, as Stephanie explains. “In the current market, many clients can feel dictated to by their suppliers and the service they receive can often lack the individual approach needed to really make a difference. Here at TopMark, we never offer an off the shelf product, as we really get to know what makes the lives of our clients more problematic and make it our priority to lift that burden. “This can mean introducing efficiencies through technology, changing a client’s approach to their own reporting of accidents, or helping them save money in their insurance budgets to fall in line with their internal targets. Integrating innovation is not about making assumptions about what clients need, but taking the time to listen to a client and be proactive in helping them drive forward their objectives. Sometimes the simplest of steps can have the biggest impact.” Differentiating itself from its competitors, again putting the client first is what entices people to work with TopMark. Stephanie alludes to the results that TopMark achieve and how staff really sell their services in order to get the client on board. “Importantly, we save our clients time and money, as shown by proven results and tangible savings. We believe that our clients are investing in a positive change when they come to us, as often they have been with the same supplier for a significant period of time and have fallen into bad habits with a lack of progress and innovation. “They are often surprised at the options that our appointment opens up to them, particularly in terms of how the work is managed, service results, targets and objectives achieved. Currently, there is too much

48 Acquisition International - February 2018

of a disconnection in the market regarding selling your services to a client to then delivering on your promises. More often than not, the personnel involved in selling the service to a client will have no further contact with them post appointment. “At TopMark, winning a client is the first step but our work thereafter is a commitment to deliver on the promises we make. Then, we provide tangible evidence to our clients, at strategic stages, of the savings, both in monetary terms and in respect of the efficiencies we have made, setting higher targets for the upcoming years. Essentially, we put our money where our mouth is.” Regarding the internal culture within the firm, the thriving work environment contributes greatly to the mission of putting the clients first. Aiming to satisfy clients, staff have incentives which help drive them on to meet the highest quality standards offered to them, something which Stephanie is keen to comment on. “Crucial to our success, our policy for developing and rewarding staff is fairly unique. We have high standards in our expectations of staff but this is because we take great pride in our work, with all employees possessing a great amount of passion for great customer service delivery. Often in the insurance sector, people are promoted after a certain length of service or experience, but in my view that approach is not always the most effective. I am proud of the fact that over the years I have developed my apprentices, resulting in opportunities for staff who would ordinarily have waited a number of years to have such promotion opportunities.” Ultimately, these are exciting times for TopMark, and Stephanie concludes by telling us the future plans for the firm, discussing the new contracts that the company has secured, as well as reflecting on what has been a successful year for the company. “Excitingly, 2017 saw us opening our London Branch and we have contracts secured for 2018 which are likely to see a further office in Manchester or Leeds. Additionally, we are working on a company rebrand, and are hoping to launch this soon, as we encourage our clients to keep an eye out for upcoming developments.”


Company: MakroCare Contact Name: Nancy Telephone: 9734810100 Web Address:

New Possibilities Every Day MakroCare is expert strategic development and commercialisation global partner for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. We invited President and Co-founder, Mahesh Malneedi, to talk to us about this journey, and the road that lies ahead for their company.

akroCare’s success is a result of a 20year industry journey, in which they have provided their clients with a broad range of knowledge-based contract and consulting services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Mahesh tells us a bit more about the journey that his company on, before detailing the typical services that the firm offers.


“For over two decades, we at MakroCare have successfully helped clients bring new products to the market faster and maintain regulatory compliance of existing products. Apart from clinical areas, our focused regulatory services include regulatory strategy, operations, labelling and CMC. “With the ongoing developments of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, we saw a clear advantage of adapting those in some of the regulatory areas. Subsequently, we started developing AI and automation platforms, making it domain specific areas like Regulatory Affairs (REGai) and Reg Ops Automation (ROA). By effectively turning our knowledge and experience into products and turning this into Automation, MakroCare has helped clients increase their productivity and save costs.” Integral to the success of the firm is the internal culture within the company. Mahesh explains how it feels to have been selected as the Most Innovative Life Science Regulatory & Automation Services Provider in our 2018 Global Excellence Awards. He comments on how this will benefit staff morale and therefore the company in a long-term nature. “Firstly, we are honoured to receive this prestigious Global Excellence Award. Being selected for this

award is a great morale boost for our employees, who try their best every day to deliver highest quality services to our clients. “Secondly, these awards reassure both ourselves and our clients that we are progressing on the right path to help this industry’s ultimate customer, the patient.” Despite the life science industry being incredibly competitive, MakroCare is still able to stand out amongst others is the market thanks to staff efficiency, and the constant ability of the team to network and innovate accordingly, as Mahesh explains. “Intriguingly, the Life Sciences industry is quite complex and ever changing. From drug efficacy, the licensing impact to compliance pre- and post-trials, data management, analysis, regulatory acceptance, market potential; the cycle is a tough trail. In order to keep us on our toes, the diverse regulations globally keep changing constantly. Whilst moving ahead with newer solutions and services, we constantly connect and innovate to keep ourselves meet the global growing needs.” Overall, there are exciting times ahead for Mahesh and MakroCare, and with developments constantly arising within the sector, the company will look to capitalise on its success and move forwards, whilst all the time exploring new opportunities, something Mahesh is clearly excited about. “Looking towards the future, areas such as Patient Centricity and RWD are taking shape as next generation focus for life sciences industry. These newer areas need a ground up innovation rather than incremental changes. This will lead to several newer opportunities to providers like MakroCare.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 49


Company: Gilson Gray LLP Contact: Vanessa Kennedy Address: 29 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BW, UK Phone: 01312854790 Website:

Supplying Support to Solve Insolvency One of the largest law firms, Gilson Gray offers specialist legal, property and financial services. We invited Steven Jansch, Partner, Head of Insolvency and Solicitor Advocate, who has been named Leading Insolvency Law Practitioner 2017 – UK in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to talk us through his role in the firm’s success. ince its establishment in 2014, Gilson Gray has flourished, and has evolved into a multiaward winning full-service Scottish law firm with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The company draws on the vast experience of its staff, including Steven.


As a commercial litigator and civil Solicitor Advocate, Steven has spent many years appearing before the Scottish Courts and various Tribunals and Committees. Also, he has spent time working in the public sector. He is accredited by the WS in Commercial Litigation and also accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in Insolvency Law. On a regular basis, Steven deals with Court of Session appearance and procedural work, as well as appearances in the Sheriff Court, particularly on Insolvency matters. Alongside this, Steven is also regularly instructed to provide written opinions in his capacity as a Solicitor Advocate. He discusses how he approaches this role and his many others, ensuring that he offers clients the best possible level of support and service.

“...similar issues can arise but additional problems become apparent when things like bankruptcy restriction orders and concealment of assets by delinquent bankrupts arise in addition.” “As a practising solicitor advocate and a specialist in insolvency law, I work hard to ensure that I offer my clients the best possible approach to all issues that they face, using my experience and knowledge to help them to achieve the outcome they need. My approach revolves around collaboration, and as such I work closely with clients, getting to know their businesses and concerns, and tailoring my advice and approach to their own individual needs. As a firm, Gilson Gray stays in regular contact with the governing bodies and major entities involved in this area, an approach facilitated by my role as the chair of the Edinburgh insolvency discussion group.”

50 Acquisition International - February 2018

Thanks to his experience and work at the frontline of insolvency law, Steven has a unique insight into this fascinating market which he is eager to share with us. “Insolvency law is a very fast paced area of law to work in. Within a company, insolvency can mean everything from covert assistance, to directors seeking to restructure and turn around a company that may have hundreds of employees, through to trying to help an Insolvency Practitioner trade immediately on their appointment. The fact is, insolvency does not really change the day-to-day trading issues that the company face. In fact, it makes trading much more difficult because the insolvency practitioner, as an officer of court, faces compliance with additional rules from those faced by a regular company director. “In personal insolvency, similar issues can arise but additional problems become apparent when things like bankruptcy restriction orders and concealment of assets by delinquent bankrupts arise in addition. The recent press coverage of the bankruptcy regime has shone a light on weaknesses in the regime, none of which come as a surprise to anyone practising in this area of law.” Moving forward, Steven foresees many challenges and opportunities for both himself and his firm, which he outlines in his concluding comments. “Looking ahead, Business entities whether based in Scotland working with Scottish customers, or with more international dynamic, will be well placed to take advantage of short to medium term investments in the global corporate landscape in my opinion. The uncertainties of for example Brexit and the as yet undefined trade deals that may arise from that, put long-term investments in risky category at present. However, those with ability to make longer term strategic investments now, in my view, will be the forerunners of global commerce in the future. “From my firms’ perspective, that means that we need to continue to be the best at what we do. Continuing to invest in the infrastructure that is necessary to enable each of our individuals to be the best, and also to maintain a close working relationship with our clients. This is to ensure that they are given the best opportunities possible, and that we continue to assist and maximise the opportunities that they have decided to go for.”


+855 23 212 802

+855 23 212 801 Acquisition International - February 2018 51


Company: Mantis & Athinodorou LLC Contact: Michael Mantis Address: 101, Penelope’s palace, 14 Odos Nikolaou Nikolaidi, Paphos, 8010, Cyprus Phone: 0035 726 934 277 Web Address:

Real Excellence in Real Estate Law Mantis & Athinodorou LLC is a forward thinking Paphos Law firm, with a proud legacy. Partner Michael Mantis discusses this and how the firm came to be awarded Most Outstanding Real Estate Law Firm 2017 – Cyprus in our prestigious 2017 Global Excellence Awards.

antis & Athinodorou was established in 1979, by Penelope Athinodorou-Mantis, the first female lawyer in Paphos. It has since grown to be one of the most reputed legal advisory services in Cyprus. As of 2010, the firm has evolved into a family-run business, through the addition of Penelope’s sons, Nicolas Mantis and Michael Mantis, as Partners. Michael discusses the firm’s success so far and how proud he and his team are at winning this coveted title.


“At Mantis & Athinodorou, we pride our personalized services to our clients and ensure that every new case is attended to by a Partner. We have five key areas of service which include real estate, immigration (citizenship by investment; and European residency), corporate law, wills and administration and litigation. “As a team, we are all very pleased to have been selected in the 2017 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Outstanding Real Estate Law Firm 2017 – Cyprus. As a result of our renowned reputation for advising clients on real estate investments, we are now aiming to become the go to law firm for related services of citizenship by investment and permanent residency schemes in Cyprus.” This reputation is built on a foundation of excellence that is achieved through continuous improvement. As

52 Acquisition International - February 2018

such, Michael is eager to highlight how the entire team at Mantis & Athinodorou constantly strive to improve their knowledge and build upon their experience so that they can offer clients a truly impeccable level of support and advice. “To ensure our ongoing success, we better our team by keeping up with different industries and exploring potential cross sector learning. Additionally, we are staunch believers in using the latest technology in Cyprus to ensure that efficiency is a principle driver of our services. We believe in training our lawyers through formal and on- the- job to be the best in the market. Notably a few of our lawyers have gone on to join the Judiciary.” Moving forward, this results-driven legal practice is looking forward to a bright and prosperous future, as Michael is proud to conclude. “Looking to the future, at Mantis & Athinodorou we are excited for what 2018 will bring, as we will be representing some of the largest real estate development projects in Cyprus. This will provide us with many opportunities to build upon our current success and expand our already vast portfolio of clients.”

Real Excellence in Real Estate Law

Acquisition International - February 2018 53


Company: Host Capital Limited Contact: Geoff Brooks Address: 73 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1RS, UK Phone: 0207 290 9493 Website:

A Whole Host of Experience in Fund Management Host Capital Limited is an independent Authorised Corporate Director (ACD), authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which draws on its vast experience within the fund management space to offer clients a range of innovative fund hosting and product development services. We caught up with Geoff Brooks, Executive Director and Head of Strategy and Wealth Management, to learn more about the company, which was named Most Outstanding Specialist Fund Management Consultancy in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards. ounded in 2004, Host Capital provides independent fund hosting services, as well as offering a range of other complimentary services including digital wealth and multi asset fund solutions. Overseeing assets in excess of £1.6bn, the firm’s team of 25 experienced and committed individuals work hard to provide excellence for their clients. Geoff explores the firm’s service offering in more detail.


“At Host Capital, we tailor our experienced ACD service to our clients’ needs, providing fund management companies with a higher and more detailed level of service which many of the larger ACDs cannot meet. We work with quality suppliers in fund accounting, fund administration, transfer agency, marketing and distribution of funds. Our aim at Host Capital is to offer investment products managed and operated by some of the most talented names from the world of investment management.

“The firm’s dedicated team specialises in regulatory oversight and compliance; risk management; operational and accounting oversight; investment management oversight; and product development.”

54 Acquisition International - February 2018

fund AIFM service which will allow fund managers to concentrate on managing the investment portfolio and also maintain their existing relationships with their banks, fund administrators and other service providers. The firm’s dedicated team specialises in regulatory oversight and compliance; risk management; operational and accounting oversight; investment management oversight; and product development. The firm is already an Independent Authorised Corporate Director for both vanilla and specialist UK authorised funds. This provides Host Capital with invaluable expertise to develop an independent AIFM service designed for alternative investment managers and funds. Additionally, Host Capital can provide Delegated AIFM Risk Management Services to both investment managers and funds that intend to become the AIFM. The model allows the AIFM to delegate the risk management function to Host Capital which allows the AIFM to demonstrate that the risk management function is hierarchically and functionally separate from the portfolio management function. This is a key requirement of the AIFMD and MIFID II regulations. This also allows funds and managers access to our sophisticated risk management infrastructure and systems that have been developed over many years through the firm’s existing independent UK authorised ACD service.

“Through the careful selection of our product partners, we host, deliver and launch specifically designed investment funds such as UCITS, NURS, QIS and PAIFs, to meet the needs of sophisticated investors, institutions and private clients advised by an authorised financial advisor.”

Overall, Geoff is proud of the range of services that Host Capital can provide, and in his concluding comments he explores how the company’s vast array of solutions ensure excellence for its valued clients, and will ensure that the firm remains successful as it looks towards a bright future.

Alongside its core services, Host Capital has developed a fully independent, standalone alternative

“With extensive experience in financial product development operations and oversight we are

A Whole Host of Experience in Fund Management

uniquely placed to develop, host, launch and operate and maintain FCA Authorised Collective Investment Schemes. We believe in a specialist, not generalist, approach to designing investment funds, and work with leading law firms, Fund Administrators, Fund Accountants and Transfer Agents to tailor our ACD service to each client. “As part of our commitment to assisting clients in delivering investment products, Host Capital offers both fund hosting and product development services which enable clients to launch UK regulated investment funds. Our clients tell us that we are different because we don’t just operate funds, but work in partnership to add value in delivering commercial success of their product. This is achieved through experience, knowledge, attention to risk and regulatory detail, and the complete product development service we offer.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 55


Changing the Game Company: Augentius Contact: J P Harrop Address: Two London Bridge, London, SE1 9RA, UK Phone: 0207 397 5455 Website:

Augentius is one of the largest independent Private Equity and Real Estate Administrators in the world. CEO Ian Kelly, who helped to drive the firm to be awarded Best Private Equity & Real Estate Administrators – 2017 in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards, discusses why fund administration needs a new name. here was a time in the early days of the fund administration industry when it simply did what it said on the tin. As the global funds industry grew in size and complexity, the outsourcing of day-to-day back-office detail was a natural step in terms of cost efficiency. Reliability, expertise, and reputation have always been important factors in how funds select administrators, but the benefit provided was essentially a ‘negative’ one: its primary purpose was to remove a problem from the fund manager’s plate. To adapt the Victorian phrase, a good fund administrator would be ‘neither seen nor heard’, toiling in the background so that the fund could focus on generating returns.


Much has changed since. The clients of fund administrators are operating in a landscape that would have been unrecognisable just five years ago. The immediate post-crisis climate triggered a deluge of new regulation that continues to roll around the globe. From FATCA to Dodd-Frank to AIFMD and beyond, the volume and complexity of data that funds are expected to capture and report to regulators and investors alike has ballooned. Regulation aside, funds are also facing a more complex landscape as ongoing globalisation opens up a variety of new markets, all with their own idiosyncrasies. And all the while, competition for capital has become ever more intense. This changing environment has also had a transformative effect on fund administrators themselves. The step change in the volume of reporting means that the best administrators are now a central hub for a vast array of important information from multiple sources – information waiting to be turned into value. And the increase in complexity combined with the rising importance of technology and automation has meant that leading administrators saw the value in investing heavily in higher intellectual capital. In many cases, fund administrators are no longer the bean counters of old. The upshot of all this has been the rise of a new breed of fund administrator. While accurate, quality outsourced administration remains at the heart of the business model, some administrators are taking advantage of their newfound position to take on a greatly expanded role. Unlike the role of third party administrator (taking a bothersome task off a fund manager’s plate), these new roles involve actively adding value to the client’s proposition. One area where fund administrators are starting to actively add value is in the area of investor communications. Given the trove of data administrators sit on, the best administrators are perfectly placed to

56 Acquisition International - February 2018

help a fund ensure that its investors receive the information they need. This means providing it in the relevant format, and allowing the investor to access in-depth information about their investments on a far more regular basis, tailored to their own particular requirements. The fact that modern fund administrators now need to be absolutely on top of the precise, technical details involved in the new regulatory environment – details that are ever shifting thanks to the ebb and flow of global regulation – also puts these providers in a perfect position to offer wider compliance services. Given that regulatory reporting now forms such a crucial and large part of the wider administrative workload, administration and compliance practices have never been closer. More broadly, the steady accumulation of expertise and data within the fund administration sector means that the best firms are able to take an increasingly advice-based, consultative role – helping managers to improve their businesses and tackle any challenges that may arise for funds with unusual needs. The ideal relationship between a fund and its administrator is now an active partnership. It is not an unthinkable leap from this expanded role to the wider provision of backoffice consultancy. Additionally, as the role of fund administrators expands, specialist knowledge of the private equity and real estate industries becomes ever more important. The services described above will, as always with the asset class, have to be modified to suit the idiosyncrasies of the sector. Regulation presents a good example: the AIFMD places very different demands on private equity and real estate funds than it does on other alternative asset classes. Given the distinct challenges that are now being faced, managers are increasingly looking for administrative partners that understand the particularities of their business model inside out. The industry will continue to evolve in this direction. The expertise and experience of the best fund administrators mean that they are well placed to transcend the limitations of pure administration, and instead offer funds a wide range of services. As the market environment continues to become more complex, demand for these additional services will only increase. Ultimately, as an industry we are fast reaching a point where the name ‘fund administrator’ no longer paints the full picture. No longer a simple facilitator of backoffice processes, the new breed of specialised fund administrator will come to fill an indispensable niche within the private equity and real estate industry.


Schul International Company The Importance of Protecting Intellectual Property in 2017 Phone: 800-848-1120 |

Acquisition International - February 2018 57


Company: KTalk Coaching & Consulting Address: 1704, 3 Sails Tower Adjecent to NBAD, On Corniche & Khaleej Al Arabi Intersection, P.O. Box 48099, Abu Dhabi, UAE Phone: 00971 2 443 0330 Website:

Shifting Mindsets. As Mindsets Influence Behaviours. Behaviours Dictates Results. KTalk Coaching & Consultancy supports leaders, teams, and organisations make those personal and collective changes that are most important to them. We invited Co-founders, Mohammad Thaer Abdul Halim and Marwa Karoura to explain more about the company and its overall mission. Talk typically work with individuals based within any organisational set up, whether it be a Government, multinational, not for profit or family business. We asked Mohammad and Marwa about the regular services that they offer, how they fit around redefining leadership and how the firm as a whole aims to offer the very highest standards of service and support to its valued clients.


Please give us a brief overview of your company, and tell us about how it works to support clients. “In any organizational setup, we are basically dealing with people. That means with relationships across institutional and sector boundaries. And that’s really what we are after to change, how people connect and communicate with each other, how they connect to the larger system (Tasks, people, polices and procedure), but also to themselves while executing their Tasks, enforcing the process and eventually affecting the organizational bottom-line.

“On the level of the individual, that shift KTalk is after creating, we usually refer to as mindfulness or as a self-reflective capacity.” “At Ktalk, we call that dialogue. For us dialogue is not people talking with each other. Dialogue is the capacity of a system to see itself, to move from a debate style of conversation, to a more self-reflective conversation, where leaders begin to see their own assumptions that are driving the conversation and eventually the results they are getting. “In a simplified version, you can say we are after moving leaders through a mindset shift, where initially they saw the system (Tasks, people, polices and procedure) basically something out there, towards another perspective that is seeing the system (Tasks, people, policies and procedure) in a way that is including themselves within it. In which the system (Tasks, people, policies and procedure)

58 Acquisition International - February 2018

is not something separate, where Leaders begin to reflect about the intertwined relationship between the self and the system (Tasks, people, policies and procedure) that they’re dealing and engaging with. “So that mindset shift from this kind of perspective, the system (tasks, people, policies and procedure) is out there, to the kind of perspective, which includes myself and my relationship to the system (tasks, people, policies and procedure), is really what we are all about and what we believe makes all the difference. “On the level of the individual, that shift KTalk is after creating, we usually refer to as mindfulness or as a self-reflective capacity. Mindfulness is the capacity to connect to the now and to pay attention to your Intention and the impact of it on the system (tasks, people, policies and procedure). It about leaders not just being absorbed by the firefighting around them, but switch on this meta awareness, where the leaders are not only seeing something outside of themselves, but also see their own selves within that system (tasks, people, policies and procedure).” This is a really innovative approach. How does this ensure that your clients are able to adapt around the challenges they face in the corporate landscape today? “Many, if not most, of the change challenges organizations face today and will face in the future requires more than incorporating new technical skills (outer game development) into the current mindset. The current complexity of the economical and the social reality these organizations are operating within presents what we call ‘adaptive challenges’, and they can only be met by transforming the mindset, by advancing to a more sophisticated stage of mental development, it needs Leaders to master their ‘inner game’ Facing an adaptive challenge with a technical solution is a destined failure. In the behavioural approach to organizational transformation, unfortunately leaders adjust systems and processes; technical solution (‘outer game’) with the aim of motivating

Shifting Mindsets. As Mindsets Influence Behaviours. Behaviours Dictates Results.

or incentivizing employees to behave (adaptive challenge: inner game) in certain ways. They might try to inspire employees to adopt desired behaviours or enact policies that require these behaviours. Without a change in mindset; Adaptive Skills (inner game). However, newly adopted behaviours won’t stick and results will suffer. On the other hand, organizations that foster the right foundational mindset (adaptive skills development: inner game) are able to ensure that employees sustainably adopt those behaviours that drive the desired break through results. “Desire and motivation are not enough: even when it is literally a matter of life or death, the ability to change remains maddeningly elusive. Given that the status quo is so potent, how can we change ourselves and our organizations? Our solutions focus on how individual beliefs-along with the collective mind-sets in organizations--combine to create a natural but powerful immunity to change. By revealing how this mechanism holds organizational change efforts back, our solutions give organizations the keys to unlock potential and finally move forward. And by pinpointing and uprooting organizations immunities to change, we can bring organizations forward. “This persuasive and practical approach we adopt in our solutions, filled with hands-on diagnostics and compelling implementation and execution structures and framework, delivers the tools organizations need to overcome the forces of inertia and transform each leader’s life and work.” How do you implement the skills you teach internally to ensure that the culture at KTalk helps drive your team to success? “To ensure excellence for both staff and clients, we adopt a creative leadership culture, where we thrive to live, relate, work and learn primarily from a creative orientation. This means that we work on directing our focus on creating what we most aspire for. We consciously try to direct our focus on a vision of the results we care about. Our motivation is that of being pulled into action out of a natural curiosity, desire, commitment, and even love for the future we are moving toward. “As for equipping our staff to enable them to offer the services our clients need, this lies in the rigorous due-diligence process we go about in selecting our team members and their alignment with our value system and organizational culture in one hand. Alongside this is our continuous aspiration affiliating with institutions offering best international practices when it comes to developmental models, assessment tools, certification and accreditation of facilitators and coaches.” Finally, what are your plans for the future of KTalk and how will you adapt to continue offering your clients the solutions they need? “After being blessed earning a super successful year in 2017, we are planning to expand our presence in the region, starting with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and eventually the UK. We are very much looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities this will bring us.”

Thank you for your time, it has been a pleasure.

Acquisition International - February 2018 59


Company: Singh & Singh Law Firm LLP Address: C-139, Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110 024, India Phone: + 91 11 4987 6099 Phone: + 91 11 4982 6000 to 6099 Website:

Intellectual Property Protection Singh and Singh Law Firm LLP is an Indian law firm with years of experience in providing services in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) Law, Media and Telecommunications Laws, Arbitration, Competition Law, Law of Taxation, Drugs Regulatory Laws. We profile the firm as we look to find out more about this dedicated and innovative law firm. ounded in 1992 by, Mr. Maninder Singh (Currently, Additional Solicitor General of India) & Hon’ble Mrs. Justice Prathiba M. Singh (Judge, Delhi High Court), Singh & Singh has grown over the years to become India’s leading law firm in the field of Intellectual Property Litigation, IT and Media & Telecommunication Law. In 2012, Singh & Singh was converted into an LLP with five partners. However, after the designation of Hon’ble Mrs. Justice Prathiba M. Singh as Senior Advocate in 2012, the LLP was reduced to four partners. Since then, the Firm is running as a professionally managed firm and currently has four partners and three associate partners, each an expert in their respective practice area.


Since being established, Singh and Singh have been running as a professionally managed firm, and currently has four partners and three associate partners, with each being an expert in their respective practice area. The firm further has over 40 attorneys and patent agents.

“An impressive indication of its achievements, the firm has been ranked in top tiers by various international and national publication.” With the founding partners boasting a wealth of expertise and sterling reputations throughout the industry, they embarked on a vision to create a youthful and energetic law firm, leading to the perfect combination of knowledge and desire. As such, when the founding partners moved on, the team now have proven themselves to be extremely competent, continuing to operate and advance the legacy of Singh and Singh. Working with a real ambition of being the best, the team are dedicated to their clients and providing with the highest standard of quality services that they can. This is made possible thanks to the extensive experience that each member of staff boasts, and the magnitude of qualifications amongst staff.

60 Acquisition International - February 2018

Building on its continuous success, Singh and Singh has grown over the years, leading it to becoming one of India’s leading law firms in its particular fields of practice, and has been awarded both, individually and as a firm, in the past years. An impressive indication of its achievements, the firm has been ranked in top tiers by various international and national publication. Leading this accomplished and expert team are four partners, Bitika Sharma, whose area of expertise includes Trademark & Patent - (Prosecution and Litigation); Sudeep Chatterjee, who works in Trademark and Copyright - (Prosecution & Litigation), Anti-Counterfeiting, Domain Disputes. All highly trained and skilled partners, Tejveer Singh specialises in Telecom, Broadcasting, Regulatory and Enforcement; and Saya Choudry, who practices in the specialty of Patent - (Prosecution & Litigation), Competition. Key to the success of the firm, the partners work well with the rest of the law firm in order to deliver an outstanding service. Long-term clients indicate high levels of customer satisfaction, and it is the firm’s dedication and reputation of putting the client first which has helped establish the practice at the top of the industry. Overall, having already grown to become a recognised force within the legal industry, Singh and Singh is in good hands as it looks to capitalise on its success of being named as Most Innovative Intellectual Property Litigation Firm 2018 – India, and become the leading IP firm worldwide.


Company: Chamberlain & Co Contact: Michael Chamberlain Address: Resolution House, 12 Mill Hill, Leeds, LS1 5DQ Phone: 0113 242 0808 or 0845 230 0808 Web Address:

Intergrading Integrity into Insolvency Law Chamberlain & Co is a boutique national recovery and insolvency practice with a team of dedicated professionals who specialise in the field of business recovery and insolvency. We invited Michael Chamberlain to tell us more about the firm, which was recently awarded Most Trusted Independent Insolvency Adviser – UK 2017 Global Excellence Awards. rawing on its team’s extensive experience gained within the largest accountancy firms, Chamberlain & Co is an innovative and dynamic firm committed to delivering high quality service and value to our clients, which are primarily entrepreneurs in the SME market. Combining big firm expertise with the cost- effective, client focused approach of a boutique, the firm supports clients across the full breadth of corporate and personal turnaround, rescue, refinance and insolvency processes.


Working with a wide range of clients across the SME market, the practice tailors its service to the clients’ individual needs so that the outcome is always as positive as possible during this often incredibly trying and distressing time, as Michael highlights. “As a firm that operates to the highest levels of professionalism and integrity, at Chamberlain & Co we realise that each assignment presents a unique set of problems which require innovative solutions. Our initial focus is often to find success through discreet restructuring and the reorganisation of finances and business practises using leading edge rescue techniques. When this is not feasible, we examine informal and formal arrangements with the various creditors and other stakeholders. In some cases, the most appropriate option is to crystallise the position through the insolvency options available. The advice provided often covers both business and personal financial distress situations as the two are often interlinked in the SME market.”

“...we are looking to use the business skills and expertise we have gained over the last 20 plus years to help more businesses restructure.” Thanks to the breadth of its experience the firm and its team have a strong knowledge of the UK’s insolvency landscape and the ongoing challenges it faces. This strong collective knowledge helps externally with clients and internally with the training and development of the less experienced team members. The team works closely together and are encouraged to discuss problems encountered on cases, using the team’s experience to reach the most suitable solution. Drawing

on the Carillion Group’s collapse as an example, Michael explores why firms such as his are so vitally important. “The insolvency market in the UK remains a competitive and challenging one. Throughout the UK there are a significant number of national and independent firms competing for the insolvency and restructuring work. Our industry has a perception problem – the size of professional fees and costs of an insolvency processes constantly being raised. In large insolvency cases, the level of fees will be brought to the attention of everyone, however, the problems that have been resolved, the jobs, businesses and livelihoods that have been saved are often all overlooked. “In the Carillion Group, where the size and nature of the businesses are varied and complex, the teams will have to review all the major assignments and then make decisions on how best to proceed with these in order to determine the most appropriate action to maximise the return, or restrict any losses to creditors. Alongside these considerations will be how to minimise disruptions to schools, hospitals, other government services and capital projects of national importance. On top of this will be the need to deal with employees, pensioners, pension trustees, suppliers, government and the media. All of this will need to be undertaken under very tight timescales in order not to jeopardise or restrict the options available.” Ultimately, the insolvency market is no different to any other, with continuing advances in computer technology and communication methods the pressure to work quicker and more efficiently increases. Therefore, Chamberlain & Co will be seeking to adapt its service offering to continue meeting its clients’ ever-changing needs as the firm looks to the future, as Michael concludes. “Going forward, we are looking to use the business skills and expertise we have gained over the last 20 plus years to help more businesses restructure. It is our intention to establish a fund to be able to take the position as principal in certain special situations to capture the upside in successful investments for the benefit of all stakeholders whilst helping to preserve and create jobs and revive the business for the greater social benefit. This will present us with many great opportunities to continue providing our clients with the exceptional solutions they expect from us.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 61


Company: Law Firm Kowalik Contact: Aleksandra Kowalik Address: Saunders House, 52- 53 The Mall, Ealing W5 3TA, London. Phone: 07540977720 Website:

International Family Law At Its Finest Kowalik Law Firm is a family law firm with offices in London and Poland. We profile the firm, which was recently named Most Trusted Criminal Law Team 2017 – Poland in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to learn more about its service offering and explore the secrets behind its success.

ounded in 1992, Kowalik Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services to individual clients, entrepreneurs and legal persons. Offering service across England, Wales and Poland, the firm has a truly international reach which benefits its many private clients. The team can advise on international cases including immigration and deportation.


It also deals with a variety of other matters including extradition, civil matters, inheritance cases, economic affairs, labor law, divorce, alimony, administrative law: in particular tax proceedings and the drawing up and bringing complaints to the Court in Strasbourg in its Polish office.

“...Kowalik Law Firm works hard to ensure excellence for everyone it supports and moving forward this will remain its ongoing focus...” Through its English office the firm can provide support with criminal law, civil law, divorce in England and Poland and the seizure of the vehicle and property by the Border Force.

62 Acquisition International - February 2018

The office is led by Aleksandra Kowalik, a Registered European Lawyer from the firm of Kancelaria Adwockaka Kowalik in Swiecie, Poland but has been practising in the UK since 2013 and joined Justitia as an Associate in April 2017. She was called to the Bar in Poland in 2009 and is a member of the Regional Bar Council in Bydgoszcz. Aleksandra specialises in criminal law and procedure including international criminal cooperation and mutual assistance, deportation and extradition under the European Arrest Warrant, principally between the UK and Poland, acting mainly for Polish citizens who are resident in the UK. In this respect, her practice also extends to asylum and unlawful detention, which has become particularly relevant since the Brexit vote in 2016. She also has considerable expertise in tax and VAT fraud, commercial disputes, international trade agreements and medical negligence claims. Ultimately, the Kowalik Law Firm works hard to ensure excellence for everyone it supports and moving forward this will remain its ongoing focus as it seeks to continue to thrive and succeed.


Company: Averian Global Contact: Alan Carey, Chief Executive Address: Limerick Office: Bridgewater House, 89 O’Connell Street, Limerick, Ireland T: +353 61 348348

A World View on Global Strategies Averian Global has grown organically and through acquisitions, has become one of the leading consulting firms globally, offering Strategic, Technical and Solution Consulting to clients of all sizes. We profile the firm, aiming to explore more about this exciting and innovative consulting firm. stablished in 2008, Averian Global aims to meet the needs of clients undergoing organisation or strategic change. Operating on a global basis, the firm has offices in Dublin, London, New York and Dubai.


Averian now helps meet the needs of the world’s largest companies who are experiencing strategic challenges and undergoing significant business transformation. Since its formation, the company has built a client base of successful SME’s, multinational and blue-chip clients. Averian has been instrumental in adding significant value to these organisations and has a track record of success across many sectors. Delivering a quality of service, its team of experienced and dedicated strategy professionals are chosen for their broad range of skills and are expected to have practical hands on entrepreneurial experience allied with sound academic knowledge. Interestingly, the firm’s consultants have experience in delivering business strategies, transformation and organisational change programmes. Through its innovative ‘CSI’ offering (C-Suite Initiatives), the firm focuses on the achievement of business value along with very strong analytical and communication skills which enable the team to manage change initiatives to solution delivery. To date, Averian has created initiatives valued at over $1bn for clients. Regarding the technical side, the company has built specialist SWAT teams, experts in Software Analysis and Testing ensuring clients position only the best and most appropriate solution to meet their needs.

“...the firm’s consultants have experience in delivering business strategies, transformation and organisational change programmes.” Furthermore, Averian also offers clients a unique software solution:; an innovative cloud based solution to provide consistent and expert reviews of business documents in order to remove ambiguous or vague requirements

within initiatives from the earliest possible stage. To date, Business Challenger has assessed over 10,000 support agency applications and over 2,000 business plans seeking grant support. The company boasts many areas of expertise which entice clients to work with them. Further solutions include Technical and Solution Design and Programme Management; Financial/ Accounting Services, PMO, Test Services. Lastly, Averian also specialise in Business Restructuring, Business Planning and Feasibility Studies, as well as Training & Business Mentoring. Ultimately, at Averian, the team understand the link between people, process and technology, building on this and developing practical workable solutions through strategic guidance, business analysis, design, planning and solution delivery. It is Averian’s passion for helping businesses grow that makes Averian the best there is.

Acquisition International - February 2018 63


Do It Once, Do It Right. Company: Bydand PM Contact: Bethia Thomas ( Address: Faringdon Business Centre, Volunteer Way, Faringdon, Oxon, SN7 7AQ, UK Telephone: 44 (0) 1367 246015 Website:

Bydand PM is recognised as a leader in strategic business management, and is a strong and responsible consultancy, supporting clients and allowing them to meet their own strategic objectives to grow and to adapt to changing circumstances and demands. We invited Mel Lane to tell us what makes the company the Best Project Management Company 2017 in the UK. stablished in 2012, the team at Bydand have been working hard to help clients achieve their own objectives through strategic business management, exceeding their expectations and comfortably meeting their requirements and deliverables.


Differentiating itself from other firms within the project management consultancy industry is a major contributor to the success of the firm. Mel starts off by telling us what helps Bydand mark itself out as the best possible option for clients, alluding to the company ethos as a key factor in this regard. “Here at Bydand, our ethos demonstrates our commitment to responsible consultancy; our clients appreciate this and trust us to do the job. Our day rates reflect our responsible ethics; we are motivated by helping our clients achieve their objectives, and not by short-term revenue generation. We think this is helping us to build a solid platform for our future growth.” Being selected in the Global Excellence Awards as the Best Project Management Company in the UK last year is an honour for the firm, as Mel explains, and she comments on what it means for the company, both now and going forwards.

“...our ethos demonstrates our commitment to responsible consultancy; our clients appreciate this and trust us to do the job.” “It is fantastic to be recognised in this way; we feel that we are the best at delivering smart solutions for our clients, and it is truly satisfying to see this being recognised at this level. “Having won an award from AI in two consecutive years, this really feels as though we are hitting the right note with the services we offer, and the principles which we feel are so important to the way we work; to be vindicated in this way shows us that we are delivering what we promise with the conviction and skill that is critical in this business.” Working within an ever changing market, Mel and the team must employ a variety of techniques which help them stay ahead of the new strategies and developments constantly arising within the industry.

64 Acquisition International - February 2018

“We are aware of our surroundings, and we know our business environment is continually evolving, and as such we see it as vital that we stay in touch with current market forces to keep up to date with all aspects of change in today’s economic climate, as well as to identify potential trends that may affect our clients in the future.” In order to hit targets and reach certain goals, staff at the company must all be pulling in the same direction. Mel talks us through the internal culture within Bydand, discussing the origins of the company and its name, as well as alluding to those techniques implemented in order to provide the best possible service to clients. “Essentially, our name, Bydand, finds its roots in the Middle Scots, meaning abiding or steadfast, and in the Scots phrase ‘Bide and Fecht,’ meaning ‘Stay and Fight.’ These ideals mean a lot to us, and we always make sure of that when we represent our clients in any capacity. Bydand will stay and fight alongside them to achieve their objectives with efficiency and confidence. Everyone we work with knows that this is what we stand for, and that this is what we deliver.” Looking towards the future, Mel outlines the overall mission of Bydand, explaining the team’s strategies which help them achieve results. She is keen to talk about the philosophy of the company, as well as predicting an exciting future for Bydand. “At Bydand, we stand by our philosophy ‘Do it Once; Do it right’, and understand the value of practical consultancy offering support, experience and guidance skilfully, pragmatically, intelligently and efficiently delivered. We want our clients to achieve, so when we are engaged we do not want to waste time, we are there simply to concentrate on the task at hand, and we will be wanting to do it right. If we get it right, we will only need to do it once. “Since the firm’s inception, Bydand has been steadily growing, taking on trusted professionals to meet the needs of our clients. We know the consultancy world continues to evolve, and because of this we continue to adapt, grow and learn. Increasingly, we can see we are doing the right thing; we are rarely short of engagements, this is because we’re sensibly priced, experienced in what we do and frankly, handy to have around.”

Do It Once, Do It Right.

Acquisition International - February 2018 65


Company: ARCHINA Design s.r.o. Contact: Ivo Nahálka Address: Jungmannova 748/30, 110 00 PRAHA 1, Czech Republic Phone: 00420 602 257 978 Website:

Overarching Excellence in Design ARCHINA Design is a dynamic and inventive architecture and design firm based in the Czech Republic. We provide a riveting overview of the firm, which was recently awarded Most Innovative Hospitality Architect - Czech Republic in our highly coveted 2017 Global Excellence Awards.

ounded in 1992, ARCHINA Design supports a range of clients with the full designs for hospitality, office, multiuse, commercial and residential buildings. The company also offers a range of additional services including 3D hand and computer renderings, models, the cooperation with the artist in all type of art as well as the procurement and construction management.


The completed projects are located mainly in the Czech and Slovak republic, and European Cities such as Zagreb in Croatia; Walbrzych in Poland; Paris, France; Sofia in Bulgaria; and Moscow, the capital of Russia. The company has two offices based in Prague and Bratislava, and with a total of 18 staff, all of whom are committed to providing truly exceptional service to the company’s valued clientele. With regards to the architectural design of buildings, ARCHINA Design’s services are provided for all type of the buildings, from new builds through to reconstructions or combined constructions, and for the architectural, structural, construction,

66 Acquisition International - February 2018

mechanical, electrical and special parts of the buildings. In the interior design space, the firm’s solutions are provided for all type of use and all different type of the spaces, specifically hotels, office and commercial centres, multiuse and residential buildings. Additionally, the design of the various elements for different commercial segments is the part of the company portfolio, and the firm works with goods such as loose furniture, lighting, carpets and rugs, steel and glass objects and casino games. The design of the elements is within own projects or for the producer of different elements. To support the presentation of company projects, the 3D hand and computer renderings are the part of the firm’s own services, same as the applied graphic design. Overall, this versatile and varied design firm has a bright future ahead, as ARCHINA Design seeks to build upon its current achievements and grow even further over the years to come.

Overarching Excellence in Design

Acquisition International - February 2018 67


Law Firm: Law Office of Ramni Taneja Name: Ramni Taneja Advocate and Notary Web Address: Address: A 34 Defence Colony New Delhi 110 024, India Telephone: +91 11 4155 2051

A Commitment to the Rule of Law Law Office of Ramni Taneja began in 2006 in New Delhi, India. Ramni Taneja is admitted as an Advocate in India in 1980, as well as being a Notary in New Delhi, India, since 1999. She has authored a book: Foreign Direct Investment and Globalisation [Eastern Book Co., 2014], we invited Ramni Taneja to write about the firm’s expertise and her thoughts on winning this prestigious accolade. he areas of legal practice at Law Office of Ramni Taneja cover both transactional work and litigation and consist of: Acquisitions and mergers, arbitration [international and domestic], air law, banking law, commercial law, civil law, contract law, constitutional law, corporate law, company law, criminal law, due diligence, direct and indirect taxation and international taxation, extradition law, family law, foreign direct investment, international joint ventures, insurance law, initial public offerings, intellectual property law, infrastructure law, labour and employment law, media and entertainment law, migration and nationality law, maritime law, succession law, private international law, public international law, property law, to name a few.


Ramni Taneja begins by telling us how it feels to have won the Leading Adviser of the Year - India award, before underlining her own role as an advisor and the areas she specialises in. “I am humbled and honoured to be selected by AI for such a prestigious international award. This award is of great significance, as I feel that internationally, I have been recognised for my dedication and professional commitment. My motto is: a commitment to the rule of law and I hope that I am worthy of such a great honour bestowed on me.”

“Staff do indeed play a very major role in the success of any firm; this is particularly so in the case of the legal profession.” “I am an Indian advocate; a sole practitioner. I practise as an Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and in the Delhi, High Court and all other courts and tribunals in Delhi and indeed India. I also advise clients on transactional issues. The principal areas of my practice, covering litigation and transactional legal work, are: civil law, commercial law, corporate law, constitutional law and criminal law. Ramni is then very keen to tell us about the extent to which advisers contribute massively to a company’s success, plus the variety of clients her firm caters for. 68 Acquisition International - February 2018

“I can only speak for myself as an Indian advocate. It is very important for a lawyer to constantly bear in mind that when a lawyer represents a company, whether it is regarding a major corporate transaction or in court, the lawyer must maintain the highest professional and ethical standards. “The lawyer’s duty is to defend the company’s position, truthfully and honestly, within the strict rigours of the law. Upholding the majesty of the law, ensuring the primacy of the lawyer’s duty to the court, plus maintaining and upholding impeccable professional standards are also the duty of any lawyer. It is worth remembering that a lawyer is always an officer of the court. “My clients include multinational companies, Indian companies both public and private companies, statutory corporations, individual clients and clients who need my services pro bono. We are strictly prohibited under Indian law to ‘approach’ clients. The Standards of Professional Conduct and Etiquette issued by the Bar Council of India concerning Indian Advocates are strictly enforced.” In closing, Ramni highlights the role staff play in the success of the firm, plus her future plans and clear message of inspiration for all lawyers out there. “Staff do indeed play a very major role in the success of any firm; this is particularly so in the case of the legal profession. My firm’s administrative manager and my firm’s para legal manager are its pivotal strength. “My commitment to the legal profession - and my dedication to the work that I do for my clients -both represent the greatest challenge for me. Abiding by the rule of law, preserving the dignity of the legal profession and observing the highest standards of professional ethics remain for me the primary pillars of the legal profession today. Law is a very noble profession. The famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle said: ‘Law is reason free from passion’. To me, this is the quintessential message for lawyers by one of the world’s most eminent thinkers and scholars’ centuries ago. This quotation has stood the test of time and has inspired me for decades.”


Company: Vargas & Vargas Abogados Contact: Luis Fernando Vargas Rodriguez Address: Cra. 13 A No. 89-38, Oficina 521, Bogota D.C, Colombia Phone: 0057 530 69 71 Website: http://

Lawyers Lead the Way in Litigation at V&V Vargas & Vargas Abogados (V&V) is a renowned boutique firm established in the city of Bogotá D.C. We profile the firm, which was recently awarded 2017 Award for Excellence in Litigation – Colombia in our highly regarded 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to find out more about the services it offers.

rawing on its vast experience in the legal industry, V&V provides its professional services in advisory, consulting and litigation to private and public-sector companies, business organizations, individuals, domestic and foreign. These clients span the various sectors of the economy, in all the national territories, and as such the firm works hard to become the strategic ally of its clients in each of the cases and businesses that are brought in to its consideration.


The firm has a prominent and structured team which offers clients large capacity, competence, knowledge, skills, ethics, diligence and commitment, as well as the synergy between the experience and the youth of its lawyers. It is this team that has helped the firm to be at the forefront and successfully enter new areas of law, thus achieving positioning, reputation and recognition nationally and internationally.

“...V&V is aware of the importance and responsibility that law firms must assume in the development of the future of our country.” Confidentiality, responsibility, seriousness, professionalism, expertise and opportunity in handling the problems raised and each of the businesses entrusted by our clients has allowed this dedicated team to draw successful creative

solutions, innovative techniques and strategies in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in its successful structuring and development, harmoniously combining and coordinating the different disciplines of the team. Over the years, V&V has participated in various national and international transactions and negotiations in different sectors, advising local and foreign clients, successfully completing the assigned tasks. Also, the firm has strategic partners in different countries, at the level of correspondent firms and private entities, fundamental support in proper client service and in the improvement of their businesses. Professional services are provided in Spanish, English and French. As such, the company is able to offer clients a truly global service designed to meet their individual needs. Ultimately, V&V is aware of the importance and responsibility that law firms must assume in the development of the future of our country. For this reason, it is part of the firm’s policy that each of its lawyers devotes part of their working time to effective collaboration with non-profit entities dedicated to issues of health, rehabilitation and protection of children, providing them with advice in different areas of law. This work is carried out to generate the promotion of social responsibility within the local community, and looking ahead this will remain the practice’s core focus as it seeks to build upon its current success and support even more clients over the months and years to come.

Acquisition International - February 2018 69


Company: Avondale Corporate Limited Contact: Avondale team Address: Chapter House, 33 London Road, Reigate, RH2 9HZ, UK Phone: 01737 742 867 Website:

Avondale: Experienced, Candid and Creative. Avondale is an independent multi-disciplinary corporate advisory practice, supported by a carefully selected team of experienced, strategic corporate consultants. We spoke to Avondale’s Chairman, Kevin Uphill who gave us further insight into the ongoing success of the firm. vondale provides bespoke advice and expertise to a broad range of clients, from SMEs to large corporates, multinationals and non-profits, both in the UK and internationally. Over the course of more than 26 years, the team has overseen the sale and purchase of over 500 organisations.


Specialising in a variety of areas, the company’s core services include Business Sales, Acquisitions, Strategic Advice and Corporate Finance. Regarding Business Sales, the M&A practice specialises in a bespoke approach for strategic exit preparation, placing the business owners aims at the core of achieving maximum value. For their acquisition service, Avondale combines its unique, international and strategic approach, possessing in-depth market knowledge, research and business intelligence to target and uncover UK and international prospects. Moreover, providing strategic advice to a wealth of clients, the practice guides and advises leaders to create a business strategy which delivers optimum performance and results. Avondale’s Corporate Finance service helps businesses assess their financial needs and capabilities to inform their strategy on investment, acquisition or divestment, and play an active role in sourcing sustainable funding arrangements for growth.

“It is very much a culture of trust. As we have grown as a business, we have always made sure that the people we hire perpetuate this culture of strong, creative personalities, all with a track record of professional success.” Kevin Uphill explains what differentiates Avondale from its competitors, alluding to the fact that the team are constantly place the client first and aim to exceed their expectations especially. According to Kevin, each client and project is unique. “Crucial to our success is that we are a client-led practice. While we have a proven framework that underpins how we tackle a sale or an M&A project, we always approach every client and every project

70 Acquisition International - February 2018

with a fresh pair of eyes. Unlike other advisory firms, many of which employ a generalist approach, our solutions are always tailored to the business itself, and to the people who make the business. “Furthermore, we work hard to get to know our clients through a combination of background research and face-to-face meetings. Many advisory firms will parachute specialists in to manage different stages of a project, whether it be research, strategy, marketing or final negotiation. Our consultants work with clients all the way through the project lifecycle; this ensures that they know their client’s business inside out. It provides continuity and drives results.” Kevin discusses the networking nature of his employees, who are always looking to learn, develop themselves and gain advice from others as well as provide it. This fundamental quest to improve helps the firm stay ahead of any potential advances which may arise in the market. “Integral to the way we do business, we work hard to stay in tune with market developments, and we make it our business to understand our clients and the issues they face. As the political and economic environment is constantly shifting, we make sure our consultants are fully immersed in the research and due diligence side of our work and are not simply focused on execution. “Additionally, we also run several networking events, conferences and focus groups throughout the year, both independently and in collaboration with the Institute of Directors, where we encourage business owners, company leaders and people from all walks of life to share knowledge and perspectives. It means we always have our ear to the ground and it allows us to get out in front of new developments.” A major aspect of Avondale’s extensive success is its thriving work environment. When staff go to work happy, they are motivated to do the best for the company and provide the best service they can to the client. Kevin talks about the trusting nature of the staff, commenting on the stringent hiring structure which ensures harmony within the group. “It is very much a culture of trust. As we have grown as a business, we have always made sure that the people we hire perpetuate this culture of strong, creative personalities, all with a track record of professional success. Several of our consulting team

Avondale: Experienced, Candid and Creative.

has owned and scaled up businesses themselves, or else have first-hand M&A experience through their work. It means their approaches are taken from reallife experiences, and not straight out of a textbook.” Excitingly predicting the future of Avondale, Kevin believes that companies are constantly adapting to macro and market trends, and he maintains that guiding clients through cross-border mergers and acquisitions will be at the forefront of Avondale’s activities moving forwards. “Looking ahead, we are constantly adapting to macro and market trends and the changing needs and interests of our clients. As a company, we have always had a global focus, but we are positioning ourselves increasingly towards the international marketplace and guiding clients through crossborder mergers and acquisitions. “Over the next few years, we expect this to become a major focal point of our work over the next few years. We are seeing a huge interest in UK businesses from overseas trade buyers and investors. Britain has a reputation for producing quality businesses, and much of our work going forward will involve helping company owners to take advantage of this window of opportunity.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 71


Raising the Bar Contact: Ruslan Desyatnikov Company: QA Mentor, Inc. 1441 Broadway, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10018, USA Telephone Number: 1-212-960-3812 1-800-622-2602 Website:

QA Mentor is an independent software testing services provider that offers more than 30 unique QA services and test automation solutions through its own unique methodologies, proprietary frameworks, and developed QA products. Recently, we sat down with Founder and CEO, Ruslan Desyatnikov to tell us more. ith clients across all industries, from healthcare to gaming, and of all sizes from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. All of QA experts hold certifications in Brainbench or ISTQB, have indepth knowledge of over 50 automation tools and solutions in seven different domains, and have at least three years of experience working in their field, Ruslan further explains.


“Alongside QA experts, we also have numerous open-source tools, enterprise software, and our proprietary automation frameworks. Our sophisticated QA methodologies and best practices attract customers and we’re also the only company of our kind that has regular working shifts that cover all time zones.” Recently, QA Mentor were selected in Acquisition Intl’s 2017 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Outstanding Software Quality Assurance Service Provider 2017. When discussing the success, Ruslan reflects on all the hard work and dedication the team have provided to clients throughout the years, and what this win means to them.

“With evolving technology, QA Mentor is ready to support new trends and technologies.” “It always feels special when QA Mentor is recognized around the world. It boosts our motivation more and more when we see the fruits of our work paying off. Every single one of our employees around the globe try to make an impact when they come to work. Personally, I believe that not a single person in our global organization comes to work just for a paycheck. We’re trying to make our customers happy every day in everything we do. Hard work, dedication, commitment, flexibility, a firm understanding of clients’ needs, teamwork, and support for each other is the combination for our success. One thing I keep telling my guys is that success is a choice. They’re all are in control of their future and it is only up to an individual to succeed or not succeed. We’re raising the bar higher and higher every day to get better, to learn more, to pass certification exams, and challenge ourselves constantly. We never stop learning – and sometimes that’s done the hard way through

72 Acquisition International - February 2018

our mistakes and lessons learned. Following every completed release, we have a post-implementation review internally and then we send our action plan to our clients so they can see our projected improvements.” QA Mentor’s primary mission is to help establish cost effective quality frameworks with the goal of facilitating the overall success of their clients. They want to provide the most cost-effective testing services and solutions to all customers around the world regardless of the size of the company. QA Mentor’s mission is to not only provide testing services but educate their customers and clients about their own unique testing methodologies. As for what differentiates the company from their competitors, marking them as the best possible option for their clients, Ruslan informs us that it is down to research, listening to the clients and studying trends. “With that information, I look for gaps in the marketplace and try to fill them while keeping cost effectiveness in mind. Also, I look to small companies that are innovating and either partner with them or purchase them, as I did with Abid Consulting French based company specializing in developing automation testing tools and solutions recently. “One of the major benefits of working with us is that clients don’t just get labor resources, but also our proprietary methodologies and best practices that can be adapted and implemented by our professionals. This includes the following best practices implementations: Test Metrics Framework, Agile Testing Methodology, Static Testing Implementation, Defect Life Cycle Management process, test cases coverage strategies, security testing methodology, risk-based approach techniques, automation testing solutions via proprietary frameworks, elearning QA courses, and our own test management platform and much more.” Ensuring that their every client receives both the overall solution and the ongoing support that they need, Ruslan details QA Mentor’s approach to achieve this. “We believe in helping our clients to help themselves, we offer corporate QA training

Raising the Bar

services, public seminar services, and e-learning courses via our QA Mentor University. Also, we have unique services not offered by anyone else, such as our Architecture Inspection Testing Services that ensures a client’s architecture is solid and scalable so that it can easily handle expected growth. Another aspect is that we also have our own Test Management Platform, QA Coverage. All of these things allow our clients to learn how to manage their own testing as they see fit, with guidance from our professionals.” When giving an overview of the technology industry that QA Mentor operates within, Ruslan reflects on just some of the challenges the sector faces. “As we see it, these are some of the primary challenges that our industry faces: Decreased Profits – We see headlines all the time about companies making big bucks, but the truth of the matter is that many do not have a very high ROI, or return on equity. To meet shareholder requirements, technology companies are pushed to innovate and that means more development and more testing. Extremely High Customer Expectation – Customers these days are fickle creatures and all companies feel the pressure of this. If a customer’s experience is poor – especially when it comes to technology – they don’t hesitate to find another source. Some companies are still using poorly maintained legacy systems that cannot keep up with the increasing expectations of the customers. Competition – Related to the last issue is competition. In this high technology age, customers can see, hear, and experience competition daily. Start-up companies are building specifically for today’s customers and this presents a huge challenge to companies stuck in the past. Increased Regulation - Budgets must be continually increased just so that tech companies can be compliant with ever increasing regulations.” Working within such a fast-paced technology industry, it is important that a company develop techniques and employ them to stay ahead of emerging developments. For QA Ruslan, notes on how the company deal with developments within the market and how they keep up with industry trends. “Things are moving so quickly these days and it almost seems as if things become obsolete just shortly after they’re introduced. If your company can’t keep up with the trends, it will be left behind in no time. In addition to hardware and software advances and changes, customers are also changing. They’re far less tolerant of slow application performance and glitches. With the immense competition out there, one problem with your software could cause them to switch to a competitor immediately. Our clients need to keep up with their own clients’ needs, and in turn we need to be able to help them do so. “I’ve long championed R&D in testing Big Data and the Internet of Things. After collecting data points and conducting research, I plan new service

offerings in Big Data and IoT to be launched very soon. “While some of our staff are dedicated to keeping on top of trends, most of our staff do it voluntarily since it’s interesting to them and significant part of their livelihood. Keeping up is exceedingly difficult and advances don’t seem to be slowing or getting any easier any time soon. While those of us in technology get excited about advances, they can also make our job more difficult at every turn. Learning seems to be a never-ending endeavor.” It’s no secret that behind every great business is a team of dedicated, innovative, talented individuals who make the company what it is. That is no exception as Ruslan provides high praise to the talented staff who form the backbone of QA Mentor. “The staff is the reason that QA Mentor is successful. Their skills and attitude can make or break the company. Because of that, I dedicate a good deal of time and resources for internal training programs, not only for the benefit of the company but for the good of my employees. I create an environment that encourages testers to lead projects, take initiative, and make project-level decisions. We challenge our staff to improve themselves by helping them to set goals and objectives, such as passing ISTQB and Agile Testers certification exams, as well as becoming more technical and learning project management skills. “Whether it’s a junior resource or an intern, I treat everyone equally and encourage them to speak to me directly with any issues. The entire company is very transparent and lacks the politics seen at some organizations. Every month we highlight

an employee’s great efforts and our employees are active in charities across the world. All of this is not only because I care about my employees, but also because I know they are the keys to the success or failure of the company. I think the way I manage is attractive to people who want to grow and challenge themselves in a comfortable, encouraging environment.” Looking ahead, Ruslan notes on the wider technology market, the developments that he anticipates and how the company will adapt around these whilst highlighting what the future holds for QA Mentor. “With evolving technology, QA Mentor is ready to support new trends and technologies. For example, we’re already working on a performance testing strategy for the IoT (Internet of Things) domain. Big data is another booming area where we already have our own methodology to support testing for it. “As for our future, we are continuing to expand and increase our footprint with a goal of having a presence in every country in the world. Our e-learning and remote training options will educate individuals and companies around the globe. We’ll also continue to invest in Research and Development and develop new products to meet ever-changing needs. Next quarter we will release a new product called – QAMometor which is a Metrics/KPI tool which will help QA Organizations to monitor quality, make intelligent decisions based on the metrics, determine why defect leakage changed, or why certain deadlines were not met. It will also will provide a historical view where you can make some comparisons between previous releases.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 73


Company: Sylla & Partners Contact: Mohamed Sidiki Sylla Address: Immeuble, Soumah, 5eme, Etage, Almamya, Guinea Phone: 00224 622 28 10 16 Website:

Providing the Best to the Best Sylla & Partners is a Guinea based law firm which is internationally oriented and focused on mining, energy, telecom and infrastructures. We profile the Most Innovative Law Firm in Guinea from last year’s Global Excellence Awards, as well as the Managing Partner of Sylla & Partners. ylla & Partners is strongly committed to the principles of integrity, rigor, quality and professional ethics. The strict observance of these principles in everyday working methods of Sylla & Partners gives the company a major credit for professionalism and reliability.


Defending the interest of its clients, Sylla & Partners holds expertise in a variety of practice areas, notably labour law and social protection. Regarding its work in corporate law, the company is its clients’ choice thanks its legal structures in place which help them secure better transactions and deals. Furthermore, in the area of taxation, Sylla & Partners provides its customers optimal fiscal management. Guaranteeing that clients’ expectations will be exceeded, Sylla & Partners makes it a rule to confer to services it provides to its customers an international standard quality, whilst relying on its extensive local knowledge of the areas in which it operates. Attracting a vast range of clients, Sylla & Partners is a firm whose employees work perfectly in both English and French. Sylla & Partners collaborates with several international law firms on issues related to Guinea and the West African sub-region. Essentially, the attraction of the Guinean mining sector for foreign direct investment (FDI) is undeniable. Illuminating customers in their strategic choices and assisting them in developing their projects, preventing legal and tax risks associated with their activities, alerting them to the possible impacts of any new legislation or regulations on their sector, are the main objectives of Sylla & Partners.

“Guaranteeing that clients’ expectations will be exceeded, Sylla & Partners makes it a rule to confer to services it provides to its customers...” Upholding the highest of standards, the firm is strongly committed to the principles of integrity, rigor, quality and respect for ethics and ethics. The strict application of these principles on a daily basis in the working

74 Acquisition International - February 2018

methods of Sylla & Partners gives our company an important credit of seriousness and reliability. At the top of the company is Managing Partner, Mohamed Sidiki Sylla. Mohamed is a lawyer licensed in Guinea and in New York (USA). Mohamed holds an LL.M. (Master of Laws) from Georgetown University in Washington DC and a Masters in African Community law (Business Law option) of the Institute of Community Law of Abidjan. He has ten years of experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Auditors Associates / KPMG, Afric’Conseil and World Bank Group’s IFC. Well-versed in a variety of practices, Mohamed leads from the front in proving an unrivalled service in the region, His areas of expertise include project finance, mining law and taxation, the promotion of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). He regularly intervenes in diagnosis, negotiation and contract drafting, OHADA Business Law, international taxation, tax and legal audit. A key aspect of his success, Mohamed is bilingual, speaking both English and French. Overall, aiming to capitalise on its ongoing success, Sylla & Partners are working exceptionally hard to continue to provide an excellent service, enticing clients to return to the business by matching their expectations and exceeding them in a way they could not imagine.


Trust That Enriches. Company: ILIRIKA Fund Management Contact: Kosta Kostadinovski Address: Blvd. Kliment Ohridski 45, Floor 1, local 8, Skopje, 1000, Macedonia Phone: +389 2 3215 840 Website:

Ilirika Fund Management AD Skopje (Ilirika) organised the first open ended investment fund in Macedonia. We spoke to Kosta Kostadinovski who told us more about the trusted and well-renowned management firm. stablished in 2007, Ilirika is an independent financial institution, and its founder company, ILIRIKA Slovenia is one of the leading financial institutions in the area of corporate acquisitions in both Slovenia and Southeast Europe. In more than 20 years, the company has established contacts with the most renowned global and regional companies, providing advice during the successful implementation of many M&A projects. Also, it supplements a comprehensive range of investment services in Slovenia, with business and investment opportunities in foreign markets. It is present in the Croatian and Serbian markets through local offices with a primary focus on two types of clients, hi-wealth individuals and corporations.


Within the finance industry, Ilirika adopts many approaches, and Kosta outlines the firm’s approach to managing risk and ensuring the best possible returns for investors. “Specifically, there are three funds in our offer, two equity funds and one money market fund. ILIRIKA Southeast Europe is aimed at achieving above-average returns by investing in shares of companies with high potential for growth in the countries of Southeast Europe, all of which include the markets of the countries of the former Yugoslavia and the wider Southeast region. ILIRIKA Global-Growing Markets is set to achieve high growth by investing in large multinational companies that have high potential for development. ILIRIKA Cash fund is money market fund intended for conservative investors who need liquidity and want to make an attractive return. Fund assets are invested in low-risk financial instruments such as deposits, bonds, bills and other money market instruments. “Devoting quite a lot of effort on researching the potential targets, using our group’s know-how, coupled with the regulations provided by the applicable laws and procedures which are compatible with EU directives, appropriate frame for risk exposure is implemented and adequate returns for the investors are delivered.” Crucial to the success of the company is its transparency and ability to build trusting and long-term relationships with clients. Kosta describes what attributes he believes a company should hold in order to be a success within the industry, before explaining what techniques the team employ in order stay ahead of any advances which may arise. “Essentially, the key to our success is transparency and building strong relationships with clients. Bearing in mind that we are entering into long-term financial deals, Ilirika’s goal is to remain clients’ lifetime financial advisor.

“Also, our company pays a lot of attention on the development of employees’ skills and abilities though continuous education and training. Furthermore, actively following global financial trends and developments gives us the opportunity to adapt some global practices to local needs. Recently, we entered in a partnership with “UNIQA insurance” introducing unit-linked life insurance to the market.” Alongside the firm’s capability to maintain its position in the finance sector and stay ahead of upcoming developments is its ability to differentiate itself from its competitors. Kosta alludes to the unique nature of the company’s services and levels of expertise as key in this aspect. “Basically, our core competence is the knowledge of domestic and regional markets. We have unique group synergies as we are the only fund management company that delivers individual wealth management, incorporating hi-quality brokerage services and exceptional regional M&A expertise.” Contributing to the achievements of Ilirika has been the thriving internal working environment, meaning that all staff work together to provide the best possible service. Kosta comments on the learning nature of the team, explaining that it is important to educate employees and clients, leading to a wealth of experience and expertise both in the company and the industry. “Here at Ilirika, we are truly devoted on education to the people with a single goal to increase general financial literacy. We call our sales department, an education department. Our sales leaders organized lot of informational and advanced financial seminars during the years. Doing so, our clients have had the opportunity to acquire practical skills on personal financial management and choose smartly among the products from Ilirika’s wide range of services that fits their needs, so that their financial goals could be achieved over a period of time and gain financial freedom. Practically, when it comes to staffing, our primary selection nearly always comes from the clients.” Overall, all this leads to an exciting future for Kosta and Ilirika Fund Management. Kosta signs off by predicting good times ahead for the firm, stating that the company will continue to deliver competitive services which are unrivalled by many. “Judging on the basis of the recent global trends, our profile of services shall be one of the most demanded financial services in the observable future. There would always be opportunities in the market, but the true quality is to identify them in timely manner. By carefully developing our competences, we are able to offer competitive services and market coverage across the globe.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 75


Company: Deokyoung Ko, Law Group Minju Contact: Deokyoung Ko Address: 3F, 215 Seocho Jungang-ro, Secho-gu, Seoul, 06593, South Korea, Republic Of Phone: 0082 2 591 8400

Deokyoung (Jay) Ko – “Experienced, Driven, Effective”

Deokyoung (Jay) Ko is currently working with Law Group Minju as a Senior Foreign Legal Consultant. We spoke to Jay as he talks us through his career and what has led to him becoming AI’s Best Corporate & Cross-Border Transactions Lawyer 2018 in South Korea. ocated in Seoul, South Korea, Law Group Minju is a medium-sized law firm which employs over 40 attorneys in a variety of legal areas. Specifically, Minju boasts an excellent reputation in the areas of banking, finance, corporate, and M&A.


Prior to joining Minju, Jay was an Executive Vice President of a biotech company in South Korea which has a wholly-owned subsidiary in the U.S., and additionally was in charge of legal and global business matters of the company. Jay tells us what his ambitions were when he started, and outlines the steps he has taken in terms of his career progression. “Minju is my third law firm throughout almost fifteen years of my legal career. I earned my professional degrees from the U.S institutions: M.B.A. from Boston University and J.D. from Indiana University. Right after the graduation of the law school, I began my legal career as Associate Attorney at a boutique law firm specialising in securities arbitration and litigation operating offices in Indianapolis, Chicago, and New York. Thereafter, I returned to South Korea and joined a law firm located in Seoul, where I was involved in the different types of cross-border deals and transactions for approximately 10 years.” Having resumed practicing in the legal industry, Jay registered with the South Korean Bar Association (KBA) as a Foreign Legal Consultant (FLC). At present, most FLCs are working with South Korean offices of large international law firms, in either the U.S. or the U.K. Jay explains how he is different to the majority of FLCs who are now working abroad, alluding to the fact that he can help local companies who urgently require his assistance. “Contrary to those FLCs, I marched in the opposite direction, and I decided to join a mid-sized South Korean law firm because I am confident I will have more opportunities. Helping organisations and companies who are in sincere need of expert assistance and guidance in cross-border transactions will help me to feel a greater sense of accomplishment”. “Minju, as a company, authorises me to exert a high degree of discretion in my legal practice in terms of, among other things, pricing, developing new clients, and various types of engagement with the clients. Minju’s goal is to provide large law firm services at a reasonable

76 Acquisition International - February 2018

price, alongside increasing the volume of its advisory services for cross-border transactions as well as the number of offshore clients.” Essentially, it is the overall mission and objectives which Minju aspires to achieve that attracted Jay to work with the company. He is excited at the prospect of expanding the firm’s business, and has built up an extensive network of clients and lawyers which has contributed to his success. “Sharing the same goals, I am very pleased to have a chance to play a key role in expanding our firm’s business. After joining Minju, I became a member of an international lawyers’ network on behalf of the company. By the same token, I introduced a reputable global debt collection agency to Minju to seek a possibility of debt collection services representing overseas clients.” Having grown up in South Korea, Jay sees this as an integral aspect of his success, as he lives and breeds the culture of South Korea, meaning he has an excellent understanding of the inner-workings of legal regulations in the country. “Personally, I was born, raised and educated in South Korea, meaning I undoubtedly have a better understanding of the South Korean language and business culture than some others in South Korea. Additionally, I possess educational and professional background in the United States, adding to my portfolio.” “Overall, I am a well-qualified attorney who is capable of giving effective advice to small and medium sized enterprises (SME) which have not yet been globalised so far in comparison with big multinational companies. Those SMEs are normally not the clients of either global law firms or top 10 South Korean law firms, and I would like to act as a nexus in this regard, connecting them with their counterparts abroad which desire to begin business with them.” “Ultimately, I am gladly willing to take whatever responsibilities are at the forefront and play a dual role as a both gatekeeper and facilitator for the SMEs, at least in their cross-border deals. I know there is still an unmet desire for customised services in both the domestic and foreign arena, for cross-border businesses that have been poorly available, or even overlooked so far in competitive legal market.”


Company: ENGIE Contact: Nicole Iseppi Contact Email: Website:

A Trailblazer in the Energy Market ENGIE is a global energy player and an expert operator in the business of electricity, natural gas and energy services. It is developed around a model that is based on responsible growth, taking on the major challenges of energy’s transition to a low-carbon economy. We profile Associate Director, Nicole Iseppi, who has been selected as AI’s Global Leading Adviser Awards 2018, in Energy & Natural Resources, UAE. NGIE employs 154,950 people worldwide, with operations in 70 countries around the globe, providing individuals, cities and businesses with highly efficient and innovative solutions largely based on its expertise in four key sectors: renewable energy, energy efficiency, liquefied natural gas and digital technology.


It is not often the legal and energy industry comes across a professional who in their career to date has had such a depth of unique, high calibre and leading international energy infrastructure experience as Nicole, and she believes that she “still has a lot more she would like to be part of, contribute too and achieve within the energy industry.” Boasting a wealth of previous experience, Nicole has worked in the past as a foreign legal practitioner in Japan and has the professional qualifications as a Solicitor in England and Wales, Practitioner of the High Court of Australia and a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia. She is a regular speaker at various global energy infrastructure conferences, including was asked to give a keynote address at the Global Solar Leaders’ Summit Conference for 2017 and speak at the G20 Global Infrastructure, 1st Annual Meeting for 2018. Furthermore, Nicole has been appointed by her industry peers to be an official committee member of the IBA Global Power Law Committee. When Nicole first joined ENGIE in 2010, she acted as the Deputy General Counsel and Head of Finance Legal for ENGIE’s South Asia, Middle East and Africa regions and shortly thereafter was also appointed to act as the Global Team Leader for ENGIE’s Structured Network for their international energy Financing Agreements. Since the beginning of 2016, Nicole has now been acting as the Associate Director of Strategy for the Global Generation business of ENGIE. Where she applies her core energy and legal industry skills and knowledge in a broader business, strategic and commercial sphere with respect to risk management of global power generation, an essential part of both ENGIE’s portfolio of assets and the global energy sector. Standing out amongst her peers, Nicole is the only professional in the international energy and legal industry to date, who has worked directly in-house as a senior legal and strategic adviser in both the world’s largest IPP global energy company; ENGIE, and also one of

the world’s largest energy project finance lenders; Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). She assists and advises such leading international companies in the successful delivery of their respective energy related interests, strategies and infrastructure investments. Prior to joining ENGIE, Nicole was also mandated to act as the adviser for establishing and implementing, on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of Finance and JBIC; Japan Carbon Finance, Ltd. Essentially, to date, Nicole’s career specialises in providing a complete advisory and project management form of service, in relation to global energy infrastructure projects. She has had substantial experience in the strategic formulation, developmental, project financing, execution and operational phases of energy infrastructure projects within the IPP, IWPP, Renewable Energy and also LNG sectors of Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and European regions for the past 18+ years and has been with ENGIE since the beginning of 2010, of which she has also been working within the GCC region (including, the United Arab Emirates) since 2004. As a result of Nicole’s international energy and legal experience, she was also appointed in the beginning of 2016 to the management committee and as a Project & Legal Director for the global solar Terrawatt Initiative (TWI). TWI is a global independent non-profit foundation created out of COP21 Paris Agreement, which promotes global solar development and aims to animate a high level of public and private global dialogue between core stakeholders in an open, innovative and collaborative environment, to work out how best to achieve acceleration of solar to meet the objectives set via the “Sustainable Development Goals’ and the “Paris Agreement.” Throughout her career, Nicole has had the privilege and rare opportunity to have advised, negotiated and managed the successful execution and delivery of many of the energy global ‘Deals of the Year’, within the industry over the past decade and a half. Her experience, knowledge and lessons learnt from the energy and legal sectors are highly respected and recognised in the industry by both her professional peers and clients. Lastly, adding to her impressive portfolio, Nicole has also been recognised in multiple ways by her industry peers, highlighting how highly respected she is within the market, as she leads the way for others to follow.

Acquisition International - February 2018 77


Unique in Urology Company: Urology Chambers Limited Contact: Mr Ronald Miller Address: Urology Chambers Ltd, 39 Shepherds Hill, Highgate, London, N6 5QJ, UK Telephone: 0208 341 1799 Web address:

Urology Chambers Limited is an expert Urology consultancy firm based in London. We profiled the firm and Ronald Miller, the practice’s Principal Medical Expert, to learn more about how they came to be awarded Most Highly Regarded Expert Witness 2018 - Urological Surgery in our 2018 Global Excellence Awards. rology Chambers is committed to providing patients with the best possible care, whether they are looking for someone to talk them through the treatment options or seeking an expert to carry out a procedure.


Mr Ronald Miller, Urology Chambers’ Principal Medical Expert, is an internationally recognised consultant urologist and well-respected expert witness validated by the British Association of Urological Surgeons, the Academy Experts, and the Expert Witness Register. He is fully trained in medico-legal practice, and frequently gives lectures to colleagues and lawyers on urological issues. He has a significant urological private practice having previously been Head of Department at The Whittington Hospital, Honorary Consultant Urologist at University College Hospital and the Royal Free Hospitals in London, as well as Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Urology. His legal work covers stone disease, gynaecological urinary tract injuries, urological tumours, cauda equina cases, and pelvic fractures. He routinely is asked to opine on vasectomies, scrotal surgery, torsion and circumcision cases. His opinions are based on 30 years of experience in urological academic practice and wide-ranging publications, as well as a period as chairman of the North London Cancer Network (urology) when he was responsible for urological cancer outcomes in the region. Lastly, his work has been recognised by a Hunterian Professorship, numerous visiting professorships in the USA and Europe as well as national and international prizes.

“Urology Chambers and especially Mr Miller are proud to receive such a prestigious award in recognition of the excellence of the service which they provide.” Mr Miller is extensively published and has given over 700 major international and national presentations. He is the author of many important papers (146), 2 text books and 24 chapters. He currently completes

78 Acquisition International - February 2018

over 100 negligence cases per year {10% single joint expert, 20% defendant, 70% claimant). He is routinely instructed by most of the major medicolegal litigators in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Feedback on his reports has been outstanding and resulted in many successful court litigations and settlements. Ultimately, Urology Chambers provides the extensive network and support a successful expert relies upon. Urology Chambers and especially Mr Miller are proud to receive such a prestigious award in recognition of the excellence of the service which they provide.


Company: Njeri Kariuki Advocate Contact: Njeri Kariuki Address: Hughes Building, Muindi Mbingu Street, P.O. Box 79647, City Square – 00200, Nairobi, Kenya Phone: 00254 02 221 7936

Turning Belief into Reality Njeri Kariuki is an advocate who has specialised in resolving disputes through arbitration and Alternative dispute resolution (ADR). We profile Njeri and discuss the services that she offers. uring the course of her career, Njeri has delivered awards as a sole arbitrator spanning the petroleum, insurance, banking, industry and corporate sectors, mainly in the domestic arena. Njeri has also sat on several three panel tribunals, as co-arbitrator, determining disputes in similar sectors. Besides being an arbitrator, Njeri is also an accredited mediator and is listed as a trainer & a tutor of several courses with the AFL of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.


In addition, Njeri sat as Chair of a Dispute Adjudication Board set-up to midwife an international geothermal project to fruition for a period of three years. In her primary profession as an advocate, Njeri takes on, in the main, non-contentious matters in the realm of real estate (conveyancing) law, probate and succession, commercial contracts, company/business formations and company secretarial matters and also dallies in insurance litigation. Outlining the firm’s overall mission, Njeri tells us what steps she takes which help her to reach her targets and achieve her goals, before going on to explain how she integrates innovation into every aspect of her work, including staying up to date with developments in an ever evolving industry. “Throughout my career, the aim is to be a service to society with humility, integrity and a big smile. I achieve this by being personable, amiable, serving excellence and demanding that my staff members buy into my ethos to meet and exceed my clients’ expectations with a view to retaining them in the long term. Working innovatively, I listen closely for new trends within my industry, as well as others that I have the privilege to interact with via the networks I have cultivated over the years and then applying what I consider appropriate into my work, whatever the source. ICT plays an important part in my work as it facilitates performance and the delivery of service to my clients.” Despite working in an incredibly competitive industry, Njeri is able to differentiate herself from any legal professionals and mark herself out as the best possible option for clients. This is thanks to her overall ethos of exceeding client expectations and building an excellent personal reputation, something she is keen to highlight. “Separating myself apart from others is my ethos. I believe that you only have your reputation to get you through your life’s journey and if that’s thrown on to the scrap heap, you will have no legacy to speak of.

An arbitral practice can only be built on a personal reputation for ethical behaviour and integrity for as I have noted elsewhere, even thieves want to put their money in the hands of an honest person of high integrity for they know where to find it when they want it back.” Providing us with a brief overview of what the legal industry is currently like in Kenya, Njeri is of the opinion arbitration offers a good alternative to the courts in the commercial aspect of law. She talks us through how arbitration has changed over the years, and mentions how she has had to adapt as well. “Arbitration is the method of choice for settling disputes in the commercial sector in Kenya and this has been the case for the last 20 to 30 years. Over the last few years, this trend has extended to international business transactions. The construction industry has been consistent in its use of arbitration although for the last several years, adjudication and dispute review boards have taken over in respect of large infrastructure projects. Arbitration is a more expeditious and efficient means of resolving disputes and the application and use of arbitration has become quite extensive in Kenya to the point that some of the amendments to the 2010 Civil Procedure Act were influenced by it. Having said that, it is only since promulgation of the 2010 Constitution that wananchi or the general populace has taken an interest in arbitration as a means for resolving disputes, although some confusion remains between what arbitration is versus mediation. “The privacy afforded to the disputing parties by arbitration is a contributing factor to its increased use. The judiciary’s attitude towards arbitration, the respect for the sanctity of the process and the contractual terms in addressing parties’ selection of the forum as well as the governing law, has markedly improved in the last several years.” Overall, Njeri holds a positive outlook for herself and her team, believing that through stability and continuity, her services will continue to improve, clients will continue to return, and her reputation will continue to be enhanced. “Moving forward, one prays for sustainability and continuity through the work and projects that I currently undertake. Hopefully, the visibility that international recognition provides will lead to further involvement in international arbitral references, projects and mediation.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 79


Company: Inter Vivos, PLLC Contact: Glen Wagstaff Address: 1425 South 550 East, Orem, Utah 84097, USA Phone: 001 801 477 1570 Website:

Earning the Trust of Others Inter Vivos aims to provide every family with access to quality estate planning that they can afford specific to their needs. Founding Partner, Glen Wagstaff explains more about the firm and the services that it offers. nter Vivos, PLLC is an estate planning law firm which offers customised planning solutions for clients, including Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Asset Protection Planning, Business Planning, Legacy Planning and Estate Administration.


Outlining the overall mission of the firm, Founding Partner, Glen Wagstaff describes what steps the firm takes in order to reach its goals, and how staff integrate innovation into every aspect of its work. He notes that each project and individual is unique, and the team treat clients in this manner. “Here at Inter Vivos, our goal is to become the largest estate planning law firm in the world and to offer quality planning solutions to every person regardless of status or background at a price they can afford. We look at each and every case as unique, and do not believe in one size fits all solutions. As such, we push each of our attorneys to develop a specialty within estate planning, and to innovate within that field to offer greater value to our clients. As well as, new or creative ways to get our message across to those clients who need that type of planning the most.”

“While many law firms avoid technology, we embrace it and utilise platforms to offer multiple planning options to our clients...” Differentiating itself from its competitors, Glen points us towards the adaptability and versatility of the firm as key factors in marking itself out as the best possible option for clients. “The fact that we have so many specialties within planning differentiates us significantly. Everything from planning for benefits such as Medicaid and benefits for individuals with special needs to gun trusts, pet trusts, international planning, and offshore asset protection planning. “In all, we have over 24 distinct planning specialties within estate planning which we market to and have attorneys develop practices around. Another big difference is that we can handle cases across states and across countries as needed, to make sure a client’s interests are being taken care of properly.”

80 Acquisition International - February 2018

Providing us with a brief overview of the industry at present, Glen observes that the firm must have a licensed attorney operating in every state or country that its operates in. In turn, this limits the speed at which the firm is able to expand, which is quite important within the ever evolving estate planning market. He also then goes on to explain what techniques staff employ to stay ahead of emerging developments which are arising on a constant basis. “Estate planning is a jurisdiction specific industry, which means that we have to have licensed attorneys in every state or country that we practice in. This limits how quickly we can grow and how easy it is to establish ourselves in any particular market. Beyond that, non-lawyer services offering cut-rate planning confuse consumers into not trusting attorneys. At the end of the day, nothing replaces having a competent licensed professional helping you protect your interests, but competing on price with those kinds of services can be difficult. “While many law firms avoid technology, we embrace it and utilise platforms to offer multiple planning options to our clients as well as remote consultations, training, and collaboration across the country and more cost-effective solutions for completing work.” Regarding the internal culture within the firm, Glen comments on the freedom in which staff are given in order to find the best solution and provide the best service. He alludes to how he ensures all staff are in the best possible position to answer queries which clients may have. “Each attorney in the firm is given a lot of flexibility and independence for their personal practice, but each is given resources to help them with every aspect of their business, a managing attorney to assist them and provide quality control; and training on the best practices/ procedures to follow in handling cases.” In his concluding comments, Glen outlines what the future holds for the firm and what plans the team have lined up in order to further establish themselves as a leader in the industry. He signs off by referring to the passion amongst staff and how they are always looking to provide the best service possible.

Earning the Trust of Others

“Looking ahead, this year we are doing a 12-city speaking tour and hope to complete it with a TED talk about legacy planning, and establishing a legacy of values that can be passed between generations. Beyond that, we plan to have a presence in all 50 states by 2020 and begin international expansion shortly after that. “Ultimately, we are passionate in our belief that everyone has a need to plan their estate, whether to pass property to their heirs or avoid problems during incapacity or after death. Every person has an estate and every person has some need to plan against the worst case scenario.”

Acquisition International - February 2018 81


Company: The Brainbox Group Ltd Contact: Kevin McKinley Address: 37 Church Street, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 3BZ, UK Phone: 07841 754318 Website:

Learning, Done Your Way The Brainbox Group deliver mandatory training courses such as Health and Safety Training, Food Safety Training, First Aid Training and Fire Safety Training in an engaging and thought- provoking way. We profile the firm to find out more about how they came to be named Ones to Watch in Health & Safety Training 2017 – UK in our coveted 2017 Global Excellence Awards.

“The company have a modern fresh training centre that clients are welcome to use or can visit the client at their office.” ounded in 2009, the Brainbox Group believe in providing both great training courses and fantastic service at affordable prices. The team offer a range of solutions and can tailor their courses to meet specific needs, with the aim of ensuring that every client receives the support and service they need.


The company have a modern fresh training centre that clients are welcome to use or can visit the client at their office. Additionally, the firm can also offer clients consultancy for any in-house courses, and can also do a Health & Safety Audit to make sure that their building is fully compliant. This flexibility offers clients choice and ease.

82 Acquisition International - February 2018

Overall, the Brainbox Group aims to ensure that clients achieve their mandatory training requirements in such a way that people actually learn from the experience, rather than just turn up to tick a box. The firm like to take an interest in each company that they deliver training for, and are happy to meet with the client beforehand to discuss their business. From this discussion, the Brainbox Group’s staff can then tailor the course to fit their business model, whilst still meeting all the mandatory elements, thus making the courses more relevant and interesting for the client and their staff. This client focused approach will remain the company’s ongoing focus as it looks towards a bright future.


Company: HOCHTIEF (India) Private Limited Contact: Gopan Pillai Address: Polyhouse Tower, 4th Floor, New No. 86 / Old No. 98, Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai 600 032, India Phone: 00 91 44 4900 4800 Website:

Identifying With Excellence From its established office at Chennai, India, HOCHTIEF India (HTI) is a part of HOCHTIEF Engineering GmbH, and functions as a cross sectional unit among various in-house verticals and at the same time offers different services to external clients. We profile the firm as we aim to explore more about the award-winning company. stablished in 1999, since its inception as an Engineering Service Provider, HTI has achieved steady progress and has earned a reputation as a reliable and quality service provider.


Beginning as a dedicated support to the parent company by providing engineering solutions in various fields, HTI has a wide range of customers internationally there thanks to its ability to build a professional reputation globally. Realising the trend in construction field in line with technology developments, HTI has moved itself into Digital Engineering and Construction from 2006 onwards and has been and continues to be a pioneer within the market. Now with the services of around 170 highly qualified and experienced professionals, HTI covers a wide spectrum, including development and detailed engineering, preparation of shop drawings, estimation and tendering, project planning, 3D BIM modelling, MEP services, animation, market survey, research, Preparation of Project Reports to name a few. Being a member of HTI Engineering, the team enjoys technical and management support and patronage from the parent company. As part of one of the highly reputed construction companies in the world, HTI understands very well the need for construction and comes with the best practical solutions.

“...with staff specialising in a variety of areas and the team and management possessing experience and knowledge of the highest level...” Operating with a fully-fledged team of professionals belonging to the fields of Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing are experienced in all constructions markets, which can follow each and every code of practice and is up to date in technical know-how.

Working in specialist areas of development of design and design reviews, detailed engineering, Building Information Modelling (BIM), and Project Management services. Essentially, guaranteeing that an excellent service is provided to customers, HTI identifies itself with certain principles, making sure staff would be with responsible actions and holistic thinking of each employee. Identifying and considering the requirements of certain customers, HTI prides itself on the accurate processing of each task adapted to customer’s wishes, which usually results in exceeding expectations and a lot of return business. Ensuring that all levels of quality are met in all areas, the firm is efficient in its processes and operations, a value which all staff adhere to. Performing the work on schedule and in accordance with the contract within the prescribed cost framework is just one of the factors which impresses client. Operating with a stringent hiring structure, the firm makes sure that each member of staff which is employed holds a wealth of expertise required for the certain project, and that certain teams are deployed to benefit the client. Lastly, with staff specialising in a variety of areas and the team and management possessing experience and knowledge of the highest level, there are many reasons which contribute to the belief of HTI having an exciting future ahead.

Acquisition International - February 2018 83


Company: Natterbox Ltd Address: No.1 Croydon, London, CR0 0XT, UK Phone: +44 203 510 0500 Website:

Changing the Way You Natter

Natterbox enables organisations to transform customer experience through its unique voice integration inside Salesforce. We profile the firm, which was recently awarded Most Innovative Business Phone System – 2017 in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards to find out more and explore the secrets behind its success. he most innovative companies have fully embraced digital channels to serve their customers. However, despite the wealth of information available online over 65% of business to business interactions still take place via the phone. The result; critical customer information is communicated by phone and needs to be an integral component of a digitised customer engagement.


Additionally, organisations invest significant resource to collect customer information in their selling, service and retention processes and store it in the CRM platform and other data stores. Customer conversations are rarely captured and used to ensure an optimal customer experience. This leads to poor sales and service performance, poor customer satisfaction and consequent loss of business. Natterbox launched in 2010 to solve these business telephony issues and bring voice into the digitised customer experience through its cloud PBX service that captures and integrates voice into customer processes and the CRM platform. Over 450 organisations around the world rely on Natterbox to set new standards in customer experience to drive measurable increases in sales efficiency, competitive advantage and organisational success.

“...Natterbox offers an innovative range of solutions and services designed to meet its clients’ varied needs, and this will remain its ongoing goal...” Today, Natterbox offers a complete business phone system and contact centre 100% embedded and managed inside Salesforce. Administrators can create and manage their entire phone system, create personalised caller journeys and buy numbers through Salesforce, meaning that there is no hardware, and no software.

84 Acquisition International - February 2018

Available from the Salesforce AppExchange, Natterbox Advanced Voice Services provides a complete Cloud PBX with Contact Centre. The solution is designed to either replace a customer’s existing phone system with one that is 100% embedded or can integrate with your existing phone system. The system allows administrators to create and manage their entire end to end phone system and contact centre globally. Provision new phone numbers, develop personalised IVR-free caller journeys and configure intelligent call flows and Salesforce based call routing using the AVS declarative call policy builder. Prioritise and route sales calls to the right department or account owner. Route support calls to the case owner. Allow marketing to provision phone numbers for new campaigns in real-time. Automatically update activity and chatter feeds every time there is a customer interaction on the phone. Clients can choose from more than 120 customisable call activity reports and dashboards. Users can see their call activity and call recordings directly through Salesforce. The AVS CTI gives full click to dial screen pop and call wrap up functionality. Save time, reduce clicks, and improve data integrity. To support a wide range of clients, Natterbox is available worldwide, serviced by its global network of data centre infrastructure providing quality of service, reliability, reduced complexity and at great value. The company’s international headquarters are in London with offices in Australia, Germany, Sweden and the USA. Fundamentally, Natterbox offers an innovative range of solutions and services designed to meet its clients’ varied needs, and this will remain its ongoing goal as it looks towards a bright future.

Changing the Way You Natter

Acquisition International - February 2018 85

Join 108,000 Subscribers in Over 170 Countries What are you Waiting for?

86 Acquisition International - February 2018


Company: CR Services Plc Contact: Jameelah Ayedun Address: Plot 1669, Oyin Jolayemi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria Phone: 234 (1) 454 8700, 070 Website:

A Helping Hand for Small Businesses CR Services (Credit Bureau) PLC, in strategic technical partnership with CreditRegistry Corporation, has laid the foundation for fraud-proof, largescale consumer and small business credit in Nigeria. We profile the firm to find out more and explore the secrets behind its success. ounded in 2003, CR Services has pioneered the world’s first integration of advanced biometric technology into a credit bureau system and has laid the foundation for fraud-proof, large-scale consumer and small business credit in Nigeria. The firm’s services and robust solutions help members to efficiently manage the entire credit cycle to grow revenue and reduce risk.


Since inception, CR Services has worked in partnership with Nigerian lenders to provide the most extensive credit information database through pioneering and innovative technology in order to conquer the challenge of consumer identity and information asymmetry in Nigeria. Trusted with Nigeria’s largest credit information database, the company has been at the forefront of providing world-class credit bureau and fraud prevention solutions to its members, including deposit money banks, primary mortgage banks, microfinance banks, merchant banks, finance companies, development finance institutions, telecom operators and other service providers. Providing information, innovation and practical know-how to the industry sets CR Services apart. This can be clearly seen in the fact that CR Services has become the world’s first and only credit bureau company to utilize advanced biometric technology to literally reinvent the methods of borrower identification.

“Through this division, CR Services has provided risk management solutions that have helped clients with new products touching every strategic and tactical element of the Credit Cycle Model – Planning, Acquiring accounts, Maintaining accounts, Collections and Remedial Management and creating Management Information Systems (MIS).”

With biometric technology, CR Services identifies consumers based not only on their personal information but also through fingerprint and facial recognition which are unique to every individual. CR Services enables creditors to know a customer’s true identity, preventing revenue loss and protecting consumers from identity theft fraud. After a successful private placement in 2007, CR Services began a significant expansion of its services through the creation of the Credit and Risk Management Division. Through this division, CR Services has provided risk management solutions that have helped clients with new products touching every strategic and tactical element of the Credit Cycle Model – Planning, Acquiring accounts, Maintaining accounts, Collections and Remedial Management and creating Management Information Systems (MIS). The firm has since grown its suite of products to empower sales and marketing efforts thus providing beneficial services to businesses that extend liability and credit-based services to its customers. Looking ahead, CR Services will continue innovating to ensure it continues to provide the solutions their clients need to succeed.

Acquisition International - February 2018 87


Company: Fresenius Kabi Ltd & Calea UK Ltd Contact: Kate Kelly Address: Cestrian Court, Eastgate Way, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1NT, UK Phone: 01928 533519 Website:

Fresenius Kabi: Where Caring for Life Means Caring for People All Around the World Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company that specialises in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. Its products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. We profile the company which has been selected in AI’s Global Excellence Awards last year as Best for Home Health Services. resenius Kabi is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA healthcare group. The firm is a global leader in its particular business segments, and offers employees of diverse cultures and backgrounds a wide range of fulfilling and challenging career and personal growth opportunities, both domestically and internationally. Key to its success, staff work together in the spirit of partnership, personal commitment and integrity to create value.


In the field of biosimilars, Fresenius Kabi develop products with a focus on oncology and autoimmune diseases, and its products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. With its corporate philosophy of caring for life, the team is committed to putting essential medicines and technologies in the hands of people who help patients and finding the best answers to the challenges they face. Fresenius Kabi employs about 35,000 people worldwide. Impressively, in 2016 the company reported sales of more than €6 billion.

Taking on responsibility for its clients’ service, as a healthcare company, the team goes the extra mile to improve its business operations. Maintaining a strong set of values, the team consider responsible and sustainable management as an integral part of its culture and daily business.

“Fresenius Kabi develop products with a focus on oncology and autoimmune diseases, and its products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients.”

Building trust and maintaining long-term relationships is another attribute which contributes to Fresenius Kabi’s outstanding reputation. In order to be perceived as a reliable partner of integrity by patients, customers, suppliers, government agencies, and the general public in the healthcare system, it is important that the firm fulfils its legal and ethical responsibilities as a company, and this is something that the company.

Offering a variety of services, clients can work with Fresenius Kabi knowing that they will deal with world-class, dedicated teams, adopting an open mind, creative and positive culture in which nothing is impossible. Within the company there is a variety of opportunities to grow with the business, providing them with a chance to make a difference in patients’ quality of life.

Overall, ensuring that all products are delivered to the highest quality and that there are not universal issues, all staff members work exceptionally hard to vigorously test the solutions and results. Paying great attention to detail, the methodical approach and rigorous implementation and testing processes mean that Fresenius Kabi will firmly establish itself as a leader in the industry.

88 Acquisition International - February 2018

Fresenius Kabi: Where Caring for Life Means Caring for People All Around the World

Acquisition International - February 2018 89


Company: Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting Contact: Ken Kehrer Address: 510 Meadowmont Village Circle, Suite 229, Chapel Hill, NC , 27517, USA Phone: 001 919 533 6241 Website:

Fuelling the Financial Industry Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting provides the financial advice industry with insights based on a melding of research and experience in managing the delivery of investment, insurance, and wealth management services. We profile the firm, which was awarded Best Strategic Management Consulting Firm 2017 - the USA in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to learn more and explore the secrets behind the company’s success.

“...Kehrer Bielan remains dedicated to providing exceptional support and advice to clients across the financial space, and will continue to do so as it looks towards a prosperous future.” ounded in 2012, Kehrer Bielan is a strategic management consulting firm that provides the financial advice industry with insights based on a melding of research and experience in managing the delivery of investment, insurance and wealth management.


Drawing on its vast experience in the market, the firm works with banks, credit unions, broker-dealers, insurance companies and related financial services companies to provide services including market research, product and business development, consulting and industry discussion groups. The firm’s principals—Kenneth Kehrer, Peter Bielan, and Jon Gabriel—have participated in the financial advice industry as executives,

90 Acquisition International - February 2018

researchers, analysts, and spokespersons for over 30 years. Together they bring a unique, unbiased resource and perspective through their original research, actionable advice, and keen understanding of where the industry has been and where it needs to go, sharing this insight with their clients and industry peers to ensure their continued development and success. Overall, Kehrer Bielan remains dedicated to providing exceptional support and advice to clients across the financial space, and will continue to do so as it looks towards a prosperous future. The financial space is constantly evolving, and as such the firm will remain innovative and continue to share its expertise on how clients can adapt around these changes.


Company: Fiduciana Trust (Cyprus) Limited Contact: Anna Homenko Address: 8 Mykinon Street, Nicosia, 1065, Cyprus Phone: 00357 2246 0890 Website:

Leading the Way in Fiduciary Services Fiduciana Trust (Cyprus) Limited is a boutique Cyprus trustee and fiduciary services company with international coverage. We profile the firm, which was recognised as Best Boutique Fiduciary Services Provider 2017 – Cyprus in our coveted 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to learn more and explore how it came to achieve such incredible success. stablished in 2009, Fiduciana Trust offers tailor-made solutions related to the incorporation, maintenance and administration of Cyprus corporate entities inherent to international corporate structures.


The firm focuses on offering the highest level of personalised trust, corporate and accounting services and solutions to clients. Besides the traditional domiciliary and administration services, practitioners at Fiduciana Trust are able to assist their clients with the creation of “family office” solutions, establishment of complex interjurisdictional trust structures and establishment of funds and their administration. From 2011 the firm began offering a full range of business centre facilities to its clients. To ensure excellence for every client it supports, Fiduciana Trust consists of multilingual, highly qualified and experienced members having legal, tax and accounting background. Apart from its Corporate department, which provides a full range of corporate services to its private and institutional clients, the firm’s Accounting and Tax department provides bookkeeping, accounting and tax services, as well as VAT compliance. The company tailors its services to meet the clients’ needs and remains committed to adding extra value to businesses of its clients. The company prides itself in sourcing highly qualified employees in order to provide a service to its clients of extraordinary quality.

“The company prides itself in sourcing highly qualified employees in order to provide a service to its clients of extraordinary quality.” Working collaboratively to create success, the firm has an established network of associates and is a member of various professional organisations such as ITPA, STEP.

Fundamentally, Fiduciana Trust lead the field in providing added value to clients across its full service offering, and this remains the firm’s ongoing focus as it seeks to build upon its current success and continue to offer exceptional service to its valued clients.

Acquisition International - February 2018 91


Company: Manchester Window Cleaners Contact: Paul Johnson Address: 89 Manchester Road, Knutsford, WA16 0NX, UK Phone: 0161 452 0518 Website: http:// manchesterwindowcleaners.

Perfecting the Art of Window Cleaning Manchester Window Cleaners provides professional window cleaning services to all commercial and business properties. We profile the firm, which was recently named Manchester’s Best Window Cleaning Service – 2017 in last year’s Global Excellence Awards, to find out more.

stablished in in 1975, today Manchester Window Cleaners have over 35 years of experience in commercial window cleaning, which it draws on to ensure that every client receives truly exceptional service.


The firm’s staff are fully trained to use all methods of window cleaning systems available, including traditional, pure water clean and reach and wash systems. This dedicated team also specialises in interior window cleaning.

“This wide reach ensures that the firm is able to support a wide range of clients and provide them with their superior services.” Specifically, the firm uses Reach and Wash waterfed pole systems, which are recognised by the Health and Safety Executive as an excellent way to comply with the new government regulations in the working at height directive. The process involves the water being pumped up telescopic poles to a soft brush head, which cleans the glass more effectively than conventional methods. After the windows have

92 Acquisition International - February 2018

been thoroughly cleaned they are then rinsed in pure water. This leaves the glass clear, sparkling and spot-free. Fundamentally, Manchester Window Cleaners Reach and Wash waterfed pole system ensures that all of its staff are operating with a duty of care, safely and legally. There really is no safer way to clean windows. Supporting the entire region, Manchester Window Cleaners serve all areas of Greater Manchester including Salford, Media City, Trafford Park, Old Trafford, Didsbury, Chorlton, Stretford, etc. Additionally, the firm also serves South Manchester/ Cheshire areas such as Sale, Altrincham, Knutsford, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge. This wide reach ensures that the firm is able to support a wide range of clients and provide them with their superior services. Recently, Manchester Window Cleaners has an expanding commercial customer base, located throughout the Greater Manchester area, including offices, colleges, schools, warehouses, showrooms, large residential and apartment blocks. Moving forward the firm will continue to adapt its service offering to ensure it continues to meet its clients’ needs.


Company: Portas Capital Contact: Beat Kunz Address: Kronenpl. 1, Dietikon, 8953, Switzerland Phone: 0041447403422 Website:

Achieving Excellence in Asset Management Portas Capital AG is an innovative Swiss firm that manages assets and advises investors. Having recently named the firm Best Asset & Investment Advisory – Switzerland & Hedge Fund Manager of the Year - Western Europe we decided to provide an overview of the company and the range of services it offers.

rawing on over 10 years’ experience in the market, Portas Capital is a multi-family office and independent wealth manager with domiciles in Zurich, Switzerland. The firm uses its investment competence and experience to service wealth families, private individuals and institutional clients and offers a range of investment strategies with robust risk control.


Having established a strong strategy, the firm has retained this, and today Portus Capital’s core markets have been the same for many years and remain unchanged. Investment decisions taken and advice given by the firm are free from any conflict of interest. The firm provides overall advice to its clients in all investment classes and always have regard for sound financial planning.

“...the firm can provide competence and access to various frontier markets, depending on the asset class, thanks to various partnerships.”

As a mid-size wealth manager, Portas Capital is flexible and able to develop and implement new innovative investment strategies quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the firm can provide competence and access to various frontier markets, depending on the asset class, thanks to various partnerships. It is the firm’s collaborative culture and professional staff that truly set it apart from its competitors. Portas Capital’s team of 12 client relationship managers, with the help of 7 experts, support wealthy families, private clients as well as institutional clients. The team always grows organically to ensure that it is able to support a wider range of clients whilst at the same time providing them with the same exceptional level of service that they have to expect and rely upon. To ensure its continued success, Portas Capital is constantly striving to develop its skills in asset management and improve risk management, and this will remain its ongoing focus as it seeks to adapt and evolve around the developments that are occurring in the fast paced financial market.

Acquisition International - February 2018 93


Company: Astute Recruitment Contact: Mary Maguire Address: St Michael’s, Queen Street, Derby, DE1 3SU, UK Phone: 01332 346100 Website:

Changing the Face of the Recruitment Space Astute Recruitment is an independently owned recruitment consultancy specialising in accountancy and financial recruitment. We profile the leading independent Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire accountancy and finance recruitment specialist, which won Best in Accountancy & Finance Recruitment 2017 – UK in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to learn more.

ounded in 2009, Astute Recruitment deals with positions ranging from senior qualified roles, finance directors, financial controllers, through part qualified and qualified by experience accountants, payroll, sales and purchase ledger clerks and managers, credit controllers and VDU clerks all on a temporary, contract and permanent basis.


the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire accountancy recruitment markets at all levels, this was once in a lifetime opportunity that they could not miss. Starting in the middle of the recession within 12 months the business has gone from strength to strength to be recognised as the go to financial recruitment specialist in the area.

“Astute Recruitment will be seeking to grow and cultivate even more relationships with clients to ensure its continued success.”

Collectively, the management team has over 40 years’ experience in this sector and a proven track record of success, which they draw on to ensure excellence for their valued clients. The firm is committed to exceeding the expectations of both its clients and candidates. Astute’s highly skilled and expertly trained consultants will work with clients to manage their requirements and ensure that the overall outcome meets their needs.

After being made redundant in 2009, Sarah Stevenson and Mary Maguire decided to set up their own bespoke accountancy recruitment business. Between them having nearly 40 years recruitment expertise plus unrivalled knowledge of

Looking ahead, Astute Recruitment will be seeking to grow and cultivate even more relationships with clients to ensure its continued success.

94 Acquisition International - February 2018

Changing the Face of the Recruitment Space

Acquisition International - February 2018 95


Company: ARKITEKTURMINISTERIET / AMPD Contact: Bo Benzon Address: Otto Busses Vej 5A, Building 020, Copenhagen, 2450, Denmark Phone: 0045 2244 0273 Website:

Redefining the Space we Live in ARKITEKTURMINISTERIET / AMPD (AMPD) is a multidisciplinary studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark, comprised of a creative team who are skilled within Architecture, Design, Art, Interiors, Set Design, Festivals and Constructions. We invited CEO and Founder, Bo Benzon to tell us more about how the firm is redefining design. anging from furniture to containers, as long as the idea or challenge is right, then AMPD is willing to approach every project with unique ideas. The firm is pioneering temporary architecture and design, meaning clients will experience a better world.


Encompassing a variety of areas, Bo explains how the adaptability of the team leads to it being able to realise almost every customer’s dreams. Paying great attention to detail, the company delivers on its promises, customising its products and solutions to fit client requirements. “Here at AMPD, we are a one-stop solution for clients, and bring almost all features of a process from idea to realisation. We are thinkers and doers, delivering everything and anything from scratch to give you wellarticulated customisations. The team strive to create beautifully, functionally and in a different way than the ordinary. We turn everything upside down and do as much as possible in an environmentally friendly way, and are constantly exploring new materials and connections. “Typically, our clients vary from private to commercial alongside governments, and amongst our client base, AMPD counts some of the biggest companies in Denmark and around the world. We believe true innovation is created with an abstract mind, through holistic synergies for a hedonistic goal.” Regarding the firm’s overall mission, AMPD wants to make the world a better place by providing unique products, and revolutionising creative thinking. Operating in a unique manner to other firms is part of the nature, and it is this aspect of its design, alongside its overall targets which help distinguish the company as a leading competitor within the industry. “Essentially, our main goal is to make the world a better place to be in. We try and do that by challenging our thinking to be outside the box, abstract and turn everything upside down to make it worthwhile. In that conceptual thinking, you keep exploring your horizon and try to reach for originality in every project or idea. “Crucial to separating ourselves as the company to work with, is our unique approach to the tasks. From the idea to final product, to where we have removed

96 Acquisition International - February 2018

the middlemen – our network is quite big and we are good at connecting the dots.” Providing us with an overview of the industry, Bo talks us through what challenges both the industry and the company are currently facing, before explaining what techniques the studio employs to stay ahead of emerging developments. “Firstly, we are facing a lot of challenging competition from very talented companies and influencers within architecture, design, art, culture and social society. Secondly, Copenhagen is undergoing a wide spread of new buildings and urban development. Some of the biggest expansions of cities in Europe has made the industry a busy and interesting power source in society. “Examining all features of a product and solution, we turn everything upside down and make the idea worthwhile and liveable in all aspects. We draw everything in Rhino 3D on our digital platform that also controls the production line through the CNC-router. Also, we make built-in light and sound features to a huge number of our projects. Moreover, we constantly explore new materials from which some are very state of the art like.” Another aspect of AMPD’s success, is the staff’s ability to all pull in the same direction and work together. Bo comments on the thriving working environment within the firm, mentioning how all staff are best equipped to provide the best possible service to clients. “Together, we work as a family. As a result, everyone inspires each other and pays the same attention and detail to each and every project. Talking to the client and understanding the issue at hand thoroughly is important. Each client or issue is different but they also have similarities, and as such, pointing out those specific elements is very important.” Ultimately, with the design and architecture industries constantly evolving, there are plenty of opportunities for AMPD to explore in the future, and there are exciting times ahead for the company, as the team undertake more projects which aim to develop a new way of living and understanding the space around it.


Company: F & H Porter Novelli Contact: Christina Harvey-Duwe Address: Brabanter Str. 4, Munich, 80805, Germany Phone: +49 89 12175 112 Website:

F & H Porter Novelli: Perfecting PR F & H Porter Novelli is one of the top 15 PR agencies in Germany and part of one of the largest PR networks worldwide. We profile the firm, which was named Most Client-Focused PR Consultancy 2017 – Germany in our 2017 Global Excellence Awards, to learn more.

ore than 35 years of experience in the PR industry and a creative, strategically thinking team combine competencies that help F & H Porter Novelli to find the best solution for the communicative challenges faced by its clients.


From corporate communication to content marketing, the firm can draw on a wealth of experience and are in the cutting edge of the times in all communicative disciplines. Crisis communication, strategy development, classic brand PR and social media management are in the right hands with F & H Porter Novelli as well as employer branding, sales support and media training.

“In the long term, F & H Porter Novelli’s clients are looked after by a permanent team as needed, so a point of contact is established early on in the process to ensure that clients feel supported and secure.”

In order to be able to fill this wide range of services with life and expertise, the firm’s specialized employees work together in flexible task forces to work out the right solution for every communicative problem, depending on the task and objective. In the long term, F & H Porter Novelli’s clients are looked after by a permanent team as needed, so a point of contact is established early on in the process to ensure that clients feel supported and secure. This combination of flexibility and structure creates a powerful advisory model. Overall, F & H Porter Novelli sees itself as a strategic communications consultancy with a high level of implementation expertise and creative flair. The firm’s service portfolio goes far beyond traditional public relations or media relations and ranges from corporate communications and employer branding to consulting in situations that are particularly critical to success. As a door opener to new industries and markets, the team also support its clients with highly sales-oriented measures in addressing prospective moves that will benefit them and their business. Moving forward, this will remain their ongoing focus as the firm looks towards a bright and exciting future.

Acquisition International - February 2018 97


Company: Checkers Safety Group Europe Contact: Rene Vieveen Address: Achterzeedijk 57, Barendrecht, 2992 SB, The Netherlands Phone: +31 180 615 744 Website:

Quality and Service Excellence Stands the Test of Time The Checkers Safety Group designs and manufactures ground-based industrial safety products in its eight factories across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and sells through a distribution network to industrial markets of over 70 countries worldwide. We speak to Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Rene Vieveen about the company and what services it offers. stablished in 1987, Checkers Safety Group began with a simple vision that still rings true today, aiming to be a dynamic and growing organisation dedicated to saving lives and protecting assets by delivering innovative safety products.


During 2015 and 2016, the Checkers Safety Group acquired nine companies, making it one of the global market leaders in the design and manufacture of more than 200 specialised industrial safety products for the industrial, construction, power transmission, construction, mining, oil & gas, and general manufacturing industries as well as the commercial, entertainment, hospitality and facility management markets. The company focuses on its main power brands, namely Notrax® industrial and commercial mats for professional use, TuffTrak® ground protection and temporary roadways, Linebacker® cable management systems and Monster™ Motion Safety traffic and vehicle safety products. The Terraplas® product line is a specialised stadium and arena turf protection system, used commonly in professional sports stadiums worldwide, including soccer, American football and Major League Baseball stadiums, to avoid damage to the grass during concerts or events. For each of its power brands, there is a rich history and the legacy of an entrepreneur who met a customer need.

“Our most important criteria when developing a product remains to solve a problem.” Notrax® has a wide range of ergonomic, anti-fatigue, and safety mats for industrial, commercial and food service environments, which is probably the largest in the world, as well as dust-control matting entrance

98 Acquisition International - February 2018

matting. Superior Manufacturing Group, now known as Notrax®, was a modest manufacturing and repair shop for rubber entrance matting. Linebacker®, focuses on cable management systems, cable ramps and hose bridges. Cable management systems are laid on the ground and cables are run through them so that “pedestrians and vehicles can go across streets and walk on them without being exposed to the cables” he says, as well as revealing that this type of product has been used in every Olympics event since around 1986. With known brands such as the Yellow Jacket®, billed as the ‘original’ cable protector, the Yellow Jacket Series is a favourite in the entertainment industry, and is known for its durable construction and high load capacity. TuffTrak® concerns heavy duty outdoor temporary access roadways and platforms, in the form of heavy duty mats which protect the ground as well as

Quality and Service Excellence Stands the Test of Time

flooring for special events. The Terraplas® product line is a specialised turf and artificial grass protection mat on soccer stadiums, with an aim of avoiding damage to the grass during concerts or events which is evident in Wembley Stadium. What started out as four companies, AlturnaMats, SVE Portable Roadway System, Zigma Ground Solutions and Terraplas have joined forces as part of the Checkers Safety Group under the TuffTrak® brand, becoming a leading manufacturer of the largest range of temporary roadways, ground protection and turf protection products. Monster™ Motion Safety deals with products for vehicular and pedestrian traffic safety with the original range of wheel chocks, warning whips, beacon lights, and parking stops. Warning whips alert extremely large vehicles on a worksite that smaller vehicles are near. In regard to aeroplanes, Checkers is the only vendor for wheel chocks for the US presidential fleet, Air Force One. Checkers Industrial Safety Products was founded in 1987, by Steve Henry who focused his initial product line on large wheel chocks which he developed to hold or check (checkers) large haulage trucks in the mining industry. He developed a wheel chock for the first 60-tonne vehicles and today, Checkers manufactures products that could check a 400-tonne vehicle. Superior Manufacturing Group Europe BV was established in 2000 as the gateway to Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and the Middle East and Africa. From our 8,000 square meter facilities in Barendrecht, The Netherlands, SMGE makes, finishes or customises all Notrax® products. With a large selection of products in stock and with its LEAN operations, as such the company is able to ship its orders within 24-hours for distribution around the world. Innovative in its nature and never compromising on quality, the team and employees at the Checkers Safety Group work incredibly hard to achieve the overall mission of providing excellent solutions and products, as well as an outstanding service, as Rene points out. “As one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers, our commitment is to make quality products and to continue looking for innovative ways of serving our customers. This is reflected in the company mission to provide revolutionary product designs and visionary safety solutions that protect people, assets, and the environment. We are committed to operating transparently, being a responsible community leader, and ensuring growth opportunities for our employees. “Essentially, the Group do not just manufacture products, but focus on customer problems and work together with them to create a product that would resolve the issue. Plus, if the firm do not have the perfect product, then our research and development team takes over with a new product design process. We are constantly developing products to address new issues that arise in the market.” “Superior Manufacturing Group has been manufacturing Notrax® floor matting for industrial and commercial applications for 70 years. The

team’s vast experience has taught us that a superior quality product will stand the test of time. Therefore, we ensure our products manufactured of the highest quality material and workmanship. Our best-selling products continue to exceed the expectations of our customers and distributors by meeting specific quality criteria of durability, comfort and safety. Our most important criteria when developing a product remains to solve a problem.” Possessing an ability to stand out amongst its competitors and differentiate itself from its competitors is crucial to the success of Checkers Safety Group. Rene is quick to praise the adaptability and versatility of the firm, particularly in regard to the ever evolving nature of the firm. “Understanding and responding to the markets specific needs reflects our interest and pleasure in serving our distributors and their customers. We are constantly developing new products to meet the changing needs of the industry, and we focus on customer problems and working together with them to create solutions that resolve their issue. Our innovations team continues to design state-of-the-art products through intense research and development using new technologies, new design techniques and new ideas. “As a global supplier with facilities in Europe and the United States, we constantly seek to reduce the environmental impact of our processes. Our manufacturing facilities are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified. The LEAN organisation of our operations also allows us to reduce our carbon footprint while providing faster and even better service to our customers.” Furthermore, having alluded to the constant changes and advances which are arising in the industry, Rene goes into a bit more detail about how the company works within the fast paced market. Also, Rene highlights what techniques are employed in order to stay ahead of emerging developments, including keeping staff morale happy and making sure employees enjoy going to work. “At the heart of our company are hardworking, loyal and knowledgeable people, passionate and to a certain extent slightly obsessed about our products, markets and customers. Through the acquisitions, the group has assimilated a vast amount of market knowledge and expertise of engineering and production processes for rubber and plastics including polyurethane, PVC, HDPE that has strengthened our core competency of manufacturing. This joint expertise combined with our research and development resources, and manufacturing capabilities represents what we believe to be one of our key competitive strengths. “Moreover, our team is instrumental to everything that we do as a company, and they have been able to participate not only in the acquisition, but also in the seamless integration of businesses and aligning with the culture which has been very important to us.” Moving forward, there are exciting times ahead for Checkers Safety Group, and Rene outlines the future plans that the firm has in place, commenting

on how they will set up the company in the times ahead. “In January 2018, Justrite Safety Group and Checkers Safety Group International merged the companies further expanding the portfolio of safety products. Justrite’s products include safety cabinets and large outdoor storage buildings, safety vessels and containers for laboratory and industrial applications, spill containment, safety showers and eye/face wash, and other products that all help industrial customers maintain safe practices. Long recognised as a vital part of environmental, health, and safety programs, Justrite products are available worldwide. “As market leaders in our segments, we have similar mind-sets in how we approach the market of industrial safety supplies through a trusted distributor network. Our belief in strong customer and supplier relationships is the foundation of our business. We have joined a larger family of like-minded companies that strive for excellence in the safety industry.” In due course, being part of a larger group of companies also allows for leveraging of resources and strategic investments. The focus is to drive improved profitability through automation of processes and services, optimise our products and improve manufacturing efficiencies. CEO and President of Justrite, Mark McElhinny had this to say on the merger. “We believe that the wider basket of safety solutions, coupled with a stronger global footprint, will bring greater value to our distributor partners and customer base” Ultimately, Checkers Safety Group’s complementary product ranges, allows it to capitalise on the synergy in markets, where it overlaps as well as explores the respective distribution channels to develop new markets. By joining forces, the firm will expand its knowledge base of materials and production techniques, and be able to apply these best practices across all of its manufacturing and logistics facilities. The economies of scale will allow the company to expand its product ranges, all whilst maintaining its high levels of service to its distributors.

Acquisition International - February 2018 99


Company: REDNUX GmbH Contact: Carsten Kruse Address: Burgdorfer Str. 85-89, Uetze, 31311, Germany Phone: +49 800 0888 333 Website:

Achieving Excellence in Air Conditioning REDNUX GmbH is a supplier of heating and cooling systems. We provide a fascinating overview of the firm, which was recently named Most Customer-Focused HVAC Supplier 2017 – Germany in our highly regarded 2017 Global Excellence Awards.

ounded in 2015, REDNUX provides a wide range of products and services to meet the needs of its valued clients. The firm offers a vast array of products from leading brands such as Samsung, LG, Daikin and Mitsubishi Electric.

Projects undertaken range from private homes through to apartment blocks, corporate offices and other major installations. With a dedicated and professional team, REDNUX is able to offer a truly exceptional service and an outcome that meets the clients’ exact requirements.

Solutions offered range from air conditioning units and multi-split air conditioners through to associated equipment such as inverter accessories, WI-FI options, cable ducts and many more. There are also mobile air conditioning units offered, and all the firm’s products are available to view on its website, with the highly knowledgeable staff able to offer additional support should clients require it.

To ensure that clients feel fully supported, the firm offers a 24-hour service hotline which can be accessed seven days a week, so that clients can report an issue and have it fixed quickly and efficiently. Its Germany-wide network of experienced regional as well as national refrigeration and air conditioning specialists ensures the optimal functioning of its clients’ products.

“To ensure that clients feel fully supported, the firm offers a 24-hour service hotline which can be accessed seven days a week...”

Looking ahead, REDNUX remains a dynamic and constantly evolving firm which aims to remain at the forefront of the latest developments within the heating and cooling systems market. It is always adding to its workforce and collaborating with new service partners to ensure it offers clients the service and selection they need.


100 Acquisition International - February 2018


Company: KETNER Ltd. Contact: Meti Ketner Address: Tržaška cesta 134, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Phone: 00386 51 344 655 Website:

Protecting Your Intellectual Property! KETNER Ltd is comprised of a team of patent attorneys from Slovenia, all boasting a sterling reputation, and holding devoted exclusive professional partners in all fields of intellectual property protection around the world. We profile the firm and the services that it offers as we look to explore the secrets behind its ongoing success. ETNER is a Slovenian legal office specialising in intellectual property (IP), such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs and other aspects of IP. The team operate with a firm vision in mind, with the internal culture and working environment dictating an optimistic future for the company. Its team of highlyqualified experts provide legal consultancy and expert reports.


Working with a wide range of clients, the firm offers such services as IP Consulting, Representation, Protection, IP maintaining activities, IP enforcement activities and IP valuation. Under the experienced leadership of CEO Meti Ketner, and in cooperation with other highly-qualified expert partners, KETNER strives towards the enforcement, protection, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Utilising her wealth of expertise, Meti and the team always aim to support their clients, preserving their trademarks and patents throughout the corporate landscape, and ensuring that they receive the solutions and services that they require. Regarding its services concerning patents, KETNER will take on any aspect of patents considered to be a good idea, when well presented by the client. The team will prepare the patent technical documentation, before working with the client to continue patent protection.

“...KETNER work a lot to protect clients’ digital assets, working tirelessly to guarantee that clients receive only the very highest standard of IP law advice and support..” In relation to trademarks, the firm protects sound trademarks which are created in its ZEBRA department, its own registered trademark, and also others which are registered worldwide. With technology playing a much more prominent part throughout the industry, KETNER work a lot to protect clients’ digital assets, working tirelessly to guarantee

that clients receive only the very highest standard of IP law advice and support. A big factor in the firm’s success is the way the team and company deal with clients, and what approaches they use in order to communicate with and support teams throughout the entire process. However, important to note is the ability of the team at KETNER to not only support its clients, but also its colleague and peers within the digital industry, all of whom are working to protect trademarks and patents. The team have contributed to many official papers and publications, whilst also updating its website constantly in order to provide the most up-to-date information. This is particularly important as laws and regulations regarding IP are always changing, and the firm works incredibly difficult to keep up with these advances and stay ahead in the industry. Overall, it is clear that the expertise and magnitude of knowledge within the firm is developed accordingly in order to provide the best service possible to clients. There is an incredible range of services provided by KETNER, and with staff operating to an incredibly high level, the route is clear for KETNER to establish themselves as a leader within the industry.

Acquisition International - February 2018 101


Making Things Simple Company: Viteos Fund Services LLC Contact: Shankar Iyer Address: 80 Cottontail Lane, Suite 430, Somerset, New Jersey, 8873, USA Phone: 001 732 356 1200 Website:

Viteos is a shadow-accounting firm which can turn the increasingly complex ecosystem of post-trade data, into neatly normalised, customised information that increases an investment manager’s capacity to scale and grow through the institutionalisation of processes and data. We spoke to CEO, Shankar Iyer as we look to gain more of an insight into their deep operational, technological and accounting expertise. ounded in 2003, Viteos employs 573 professionals worldwide, all offering a 24 hour service, five days a week. Headquartered in New York, the firm has delivery centres around the world which assist the company when serving its global clients.

most outsourced functions for hedge funds, with over $5 billion in assets under management. In accounting, reconciliations, collateral and order management all remaining the most commonly outsourced functions, with shadow accounting experiencing a new focus for institutional investors.

Tailored for each manager’s specific requirements, Viteos’ best thinking and best practices help managers grow.

“Essentially, the biggest driver to the growth in outsourcing, will rely heavily on the service provider’s ability to deliver infrastructure solutions to seamlessly run operations for complex asset classes. One potential catalyst to further outsourcing, is incorporating the attendant cost as part of fund versus management expenses. While caution must be exercised to gauge investors’ appetite for a revised expense allocation, the sustained regulatory reporting burden has put this as a forefront consideration for many hedge funds.”


Shankar tells us about his business and ongoing strategy, outlining what techniques he employs to ensure that he achieves this. He talks us through the full range of services that the team provides, and the customisation of certain solutions which help improve the satisfaction levels of customers. “Here at Viteos, we offer customised, straight-throughprocessing and integrate post-trade operations across virtually every asset class, currency, border, or structure you can imagine. We offer a full range of shadow-accounting, middle- and back-office professional services for investment managers. Our deep operational and accounting expertise backed by state of art technology enables a high degree of control via automation. The result is a new level of scalability and flexibility to help you grow, whether you are focused on gathering assets, developing new strategies or entering new markets.” Delivering a fantastic service around the world, Viteos services the world’s largest hedge funds and its staff are vital in its success. Holding high levels of expertise and qualifications, if clients ever have any queries or issues then employees are in the best possible position to deal with the potential challenge. Operating within an increasingly technology dominated generation, Shankar predicts what key developments there will be within the accounting industry, and importantly, how Viteos will adapt around these potential issues. “Increased pressures on returns have driven many hedge funds to look for operational efficiencies to reduce costs and headcount. Demand for a robust institutional quality infrastructure continue to grow, especially with an enhanced regulatory regime. Outsourcing of back office functions has evolved to become a critical partner for hedge funds’ looking to optimise operational performance. Current trends point to information technology and compliance as being the

102 Acquisition International - February 2018

Integral to its success, Viteos approaches technology differently, becoming an extension of the organisation. Clients choose individual components from any of its products to design their own bespoke, interoperable offerings. Services seamlessly integrate into the client IT landscape with a plug-and-play delivery model, gaining flexibility without any changes. By keeping data at the client site, the firm is able to mitigate security concerns. Ultimately, with Viteos well placed to adapt its surroundings, the company is increasingly excited about the future of Viteos. Shankar concludes that there are exciting times ahead for Viteos and the rest of the team. “Moving forward, we have begun offering licensing of our technology which we use to service our shadow accounting clients. This is the first time that we will offer our technology for licensing to a larger group, other than to our current clients. “Lastly, Viteos Universe; a modular collection of solutions, with robust straight through processing capabilities can turn your data into useful information. Intuitive from an accountant’s viewpoint, each module is engineered to handle post-trade activities with minimal intervention. The technology powerfully manages data flows of all types. It is thoughtfully designed for workflows, process by process it fosters collaboration, as well as intuitive dashboards that turn performance indicators into digital visuals of actionable information. Furthermore, with capabilities available on every device you have transparency and accessibility like never before.”


Company: The Organisers Ltd. Contact: Katie Shapley Address: Organiser House, 166 Chiltern Drive, Surbiton, Surrey, KT5 8LS, UK Phone: 0207 078 7554 Website: recruitment

Your Very Own Private Office The Organisers Ltd is a company which acts as a private concierge for its clients, boasting a team of personal assistants on hand for anything 24/7. We invited last year’s Female CEO of the Year for Business Solutions, Katie Shapley, to tell us a bit more about the services that the team offer. stablished in 1998, The Organisers undertake any task from every aspect of domestic and corporate recruitment, through to property management and renovations/building projects through to arranging travel and parties and administrative tasks. The company works across four core divisions, including lifestyle management and concierge services, property and relocation, schools and education and finally staff and recruitment, aiming to lift the heavy workload that individuals and companies alike find themselves with. Katie starts off by discussing some of the work that the firm undertakes.


“Here at The Organisers, we are lucky in that the work is incredibly diverse and varies in scope daily. One day we might be refurbishing an office and the next arranging a party for 500 people across four countries over two weeks! We have a huge database of suppliers and know who to use and importantly, who not to use for any given task. We only work with those companies who have the same attention to detail and share our commitment to delivering exceptional levels of work and service. Outlining her company’s overall mission, Katie explains: “Here at the Organisers, our overall mission is to take care of the day to day challenges for our wealthy clients, so that they can get on with making the world a better place.” “Furthermore, we aim to ensure we continue to provide excellent service to our clients and make their everyday life easier. We have developed a 4-step process which ensures each task we carry out is effective, efficient and delivered to the highest standards possible. The team regularly reviews and amends our processes to ensure that we are working to the best of our ability.” One major aspect which makes the company stand out is the efficiency of the team, according to Katie. Letting clients concentrate on their own businesses, using The Organisers saves clients’ time and delivers them an exceptional service, something Katie is very proud of. “The Organisers work discretely and efficiently in the backgrounds of our clients’ busy lives, using our expertise and creativity to solve problems in a caring, transparent and confidential manner. We have two brand pillars of domestic and corporate support, and we pride ourselves on providing a bespoke service within the concierge service and lifestyle management market.

“Additionally, we save clients time by using expertise and contacts unavailable to people outside our circle. We are social, domestic and corporate ‘fixers’. Also, we have over 20 years’ experience and still work for our original clients and, unlike our competitors, we are actively transparent in our dealings with clients and suppliers. Many traditional concierge services charge a membership fee, but The Organisers charge by the hour or create bespoke packages, giving our clients control at all times, which means they feel comfortable asking for small jobs as well as larger projects to be completed. This total involvement in our client’s lives encourages long-term relationships. In fact, after 20 years we still work for the same people who appointed us all those years ago” Operating within the private and the corporate world, Katie comments on what techniques The Organisers employ in order to deliver the best service. ‘’We monitor activity Online to measure efficiency and keep excellent records, as well as contribute within the Family Office world and through mainstream publications’’. She is keen to observe that having a good understanding of the industry is integral to the success of the business. “It is as simple as knowing your product. The team are well connected and keep up to date through the news and various social media platforms to ensure we always stay one step ahead. Also, we regularly submit editorial or comments across a variety of journalism databases, as well as speaking at conferences, so are able to see what the pressure points are and where the interest lies for the public within our industry.” Ultimately, Katie is excited about what the future holds for The Organisers. She hints at possible expansion and is clearly pleased at the success across all divisions of the business: “Moving forward, The Organisers are continuing to grow and build on our successes across the four divisions. In particular, our award-winning HomeMaker service is an area we are shining a spotlight on within our Relocation division. Whilst some companies will help you pack and leave you with a pile of boxes at the other end, our HomeMaker expertise extends far beyond that. We have perfected this service so when clients walk into their new home, they find the beds made, the curtains hung, the fridge stocked and all the boxes unpacked and the house cleaned. Our clients confirm this is a fantastic service, and we are looking forward to expanding our partner relationships and taking the relocation industry by storm!”

Acquisition International - February 2018 103

Support Services Company: Bureau van Dijk E-Mail: Web:

2018 has gotten off to a slow start in terms of the volume and value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals targeting support services companies, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. In all, there were 881 deals worth an aggregate USD 20,884 million announced during January. Should dealmaking continue on this trajectory throughout 2018, the year would be unlikely to achieve the same results as 2017, but it remains too early to know what the coming months will bring, given that we are just five days into February at the time of writing. ctivity in the support services sector in January 2018 was down on the same month in both 2017 (USD 23,440 million) and 2016 (USD 22,127 million) in terms of value. However, when compared to December 2017’s USD 18,428 million, January’s value is higher. While dealmaking did not quite reach the same heights as in the opening months of the preceding three years, it represents the first time that January has surpassed December’s value since 2015. 2017 as a whole proved to be somewhat disappointing as both volume and value declined over the 12 months to 11,838 deals worth USD 292,879 million, from 12,778 deals worth USD 394,703 million in 2016.


The largest deal targeting a support services company to have been announced in 2018 to date involved SAP America agreeing to acquire Californian cloud-based sales performance management software-as-a-service provider Callidus Software for USD 2,400 million. This was

followed by USA Compression Partners announcing plans to pick up CDM Resource Management, a Texas-headquartered natural gas compression and treating contract service provider, for USD 1,700 million. Two other deals broke the USD 1,000 million-barrier in January. The first took the form of a USD 1,600 million takeover of US oil and natural gas midstream service provider Lucid Energy by a consortium of private equity firms such as Riverstone and Goldman Sachs, while the second involved Chinese second-hand car trading platform operator Chehaoduo Old Motor Vehicle Brokers raising USD 1,000 million in a series C round of funding. Together, these four deals accounted for 32 per cent of total value targeting companies in the support services industry in January 2018. Having been targeted in three of the top four deals so far in 2018, it comes as no surprise that North America has topped the world region rankings by both volume and value in terms of M&A targeting support services companies. The region has so far been targeted in 300 deals worth USD 12,007 million in the year to date. In terms of value, it was followed by the Far East and Central Asia with USD 6,273 million, while Western Europe came third with USD 2,901 million. By volume, the Far East and Central Asia placed a close second, with 270 deals, followed by Western Europe with 244 deals, while Eastern Europe (45), Oceania (37) and South and Central America (16) also featured. In conclusion, it is still too early to say how 2018 is likely to shape up and while results are still some way away from reaching the levels recorded throughout 2017, much encouragement can be taken from the fact that there have already been a number of high value deals targeting the support services industry announced in the year-to-date. If the following months continue to produce large deals, 2018 may be able to reach highs recorded in 2015, when 13,280 deals worth USD 371,477 million were recorded. We have seen in the past that a couple of large investments can change the course of a month or year and this could yet prove to be the case in 2018.

104 Acquisition International - February 2018

Round-up of February

Number and Aggregate Value (mil USD) of Support Services Deals Globally: 2006-2018 YTD (as at 31st January 2018)

Number and Aggregate Value (mil $) of Support Services Deals Globally by Target Sector: 2006-2018 YTD (as at 5th February 2018)

Deal monthly Number value of deals (Announced date)

Aggregate deal value (mil $)

Zephus classification (target)

Number of deals

Aggregate deal value (mil $)

January 2018



Computer, IT and Internet services



December 2017



Mining & Extraction



November 2017





October 2017



Transport, Freight, Storage & Travel Services

September 2017






Personal, Leisure & Business Services


August 2017




Banking, Insurance & Financial Services


July 2017 June 2017






May 2017






March 2017



Chemicals, Petroleum, Rubber & Plastic


April 2017




February 2017



January 2017



Industrial, Electric & Electronic Machinery



December 2016






November 2016






October 2016



Property Services



Hotels and Restaurants



Public Administration, Education, Health Social Services






September 2016



August 2016



July 2016



June 2016



Number and Aggregate Value (mil USD) of Support Services Deals Globally: 2006-2018 YTD (as at 5th February 2018) Deal yearly value (Announced date)

Number of deals

Aggregate deal value (mil $)




2017 2016 2015 2014

11,838 12,778 13,280 12,417

292,879 394,703 371,477 255,864




Number of Support Services Deals Globally: 2006-2018 YTD (as at 5th February 2018) World region (target) North America











Far East and Central Asia Western Europe Eastern Europe Oceania

1,840 2,758 935 443

3,254 3,092 665 429

3,476 3,406 888 392

3,134 3,256 828 423

270 244 45 37

South and Central America Africa Middle East

394 114 143

296 89 167

237 94 147

215 97 138

16 7 3

February – Healthcare Dealmaking in the healthcare industry is off to a good start in 2018, following a record year in terms of the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals announced in 2017. There were 2,096 deals worth an aggregate USD 49,978 million announced in the sector in 2017, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. In terms of both volume and value, this represents an increase on the 1,986 deals worth USD 44,533 million recorded in 2016. 2018 has started promisingly, with 149 deals worth USD 4,916 million announced since the start of the year. Of these deals, 142 worth USD 4,907 million were announced in January, which despite being one of the largest recorded aggregate deal values in the healthcare industry of the last 12 months, still represented a decline on the USD 12,902 million announced in December 2017 and the USD 6,748 million announced in January 2017. However, if results continue on this trajectory for the rest of this year, value should manage to surpass 2017’s levels. It is still too early to tell if dealmaking will be able to reach the highs recorded in 2015 (USD 64,174 million) and 2006 (USD 74,542 million), although it only takes a couple of significant deals to change the course of the year. The largest transaction announced in the year-to-date involved Mitsui & Co acquiring an 18 per cent interest in Malaysian private hospital operator IHH Healthcare for USD 2,286 million. This has been the only deal to exceed USD 1,000 million so far this year. In conclusion, dealmaking in the year to date has started favourably due to one billion-dollar-deal and if more high valued transactions are to be signed off in the coming months, values may be able to reach the highs recorded in 2015.

Acquisition International - February 2018 105

Winners’ Directory

2017 Global Excellence Awards

Most Outstanding Tax Transaction Advisory Firm 2017 - UK Company: Ernst & Young LLP Telephone: 020 7951 1907 Web Address: Best Street Lighting Maintenance Experts - UK Company: Intratest LTD Telephone: 01202 530166 Web Address: Most Outstanding Offshore Stock Exchange 2017 Company: The BSX Telephone: 001 441 292 7212 Web Address: Leader in Comprehensive Specialist Tax Services - UK Company: Lyndhurst Accounting Telephone: 0117 962 5829 Web Address: Best for Business Accountancy Services - Wales Company: Business Sense Accountants Ltd CPAA Telephone: 01792 310110 Web Address: Most Trusted for Croatian Corporate Law Company: Bogdanovic, Dilicki & Partners Telephone: 00385 1600 56 56 Web Address: Most Outstanding Full Service Global Law Firm Company: Giambrone Europe LLP Telephone: 0207 183 9482 Web Address: Most Outstanding Boutique Law Firm: Corporate - Cyprus Company: Christiana Petrou Milis LLP Telephone: 00357 22100123 Web Address: Leading Real Estate Adviser of the Year - Hungary Company: Barkassy Grunfeld Telephone: 0036 1 210 0768 Web Address: Most Outstanding Boutique Law Firm: Intellectual Property - Texas Company: Tumey L.L.P Telephone: 001 713 622 7005 Web Address: Most Trusted for Property Consultation - Spain Company: Telephone: 0034 609 97 72 62 Web Address:

2018 Leading Adviser Awards

Leading Corporate Law Adviser of the Year - Argentina Company: Estudio Grispo & Asociados Telephone: 0054 4393 1133 Web Address:

106 Acquisition International - February 2018

Acquisition International - February 2018 107

108 Acquisition International - February 2018

AI magazine February 2018 - Boyas Drafting & Design  
AI magazine February 2018 - Boyas Drafting & Design