AI Magazine May 2017

Page 1 • May 2017


a2e Industries Ltd - Adrian Ashton - Andrew Smiths Partners - Aspire Retire - Bonassa Bucker Advogados - C&C Search Cardiovascular Advisors - Crowley Accord - Elateral, Inc. Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd - EuroHold - Forresters - GO-Invest - GSIC - Gulfstream Mergers - ICD - IPGD plc. - The Mahima Mindset My Business Consulting DMCC - NFA architects Ltd. Ocean World Logistics - PEM Corporate Finance Prime Estate Agents - Quinton Edwards Chartered Surveyors Stanbic Bank Kenya - ThinkMarkets

The Leader in Global Online Cash Back Shopping Founded in 2003, Ominto, Inc. is a pioneer and leader in global online Cash Back shopping and Cash Back-based loyalty programs. Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Michael Hansen, tells us more in this special in-depth and probing interview about this leading company in the global online Cash Back shopping environment. This follows his success in receiving the prestigious 2017 USA Business Executive Awards - CEO of the Year accolade.

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, First 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

The content of the following has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles Acquisition International & Wealth & Finance INTL June Edition Online Learning

Welcome to the May 2017 edition of AI magazine.

June 2016

Certificate No:


According to business valuation experts, Company Valuation Services, business owners considering a sale should keep things concise and simple to stand the biggest chance of success in 2017. They say that 2017 is predicted to be strong for mergers and acquisitions, meaning that there are exciting times ahead for those who are interested in selling.

The CPD Certification Service, The Coach House, Ealing Green, London W5 5ER. Tel: 020 8840 4383 Fax: 020 8579 3991 E-mail: Web:

In related news, Impact Healthcare REIT plc is pleased to announce that the company has completed the acquisition of the Core Seed Portfolio and the Mulberry Portfolio for a total consideration of £148,754,000. In addition, we discover that inbound M&A investment into UK computer software companies has increased by 70% over a two-year period, in the view of a new global M&A report launched on 22nd March by Livingstone, the international midmarket M&A and debt advisory firm. I hope you enjoy reading this edition. Jonathan Miles, Editor READ THIS MONTH’S CPD ACCREDITED ISSUE TO GAIN 6 CPD POINTS

Inside... NEWS 4 The Leader in Global Online Cash Back Shopping 8 Ominto, Inc People at the Heart of Recruitment 14 Love Success Making Investment Magic in the Mid-Market 16 a2e Industries Purpose, Vision & Direction 18 Elateral, Inc. Expert Advice When You Need It 20 Intercorp Group Thriving in Challenging Times 22 International Professional GAUGE Development (IPGD PLC.) There’s No Business Like Legal Business 24 Holland & Knight The Long Arm of the Law 27 Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd

2 Acquisition International - May 2017


The Exciting World of Mobile Trading 28 ThinkMarkets Invest for Success 30 The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) The Art of Mindfulness 32 The Mahima Mindset Building upon Success 34 NFA architects Ltd. We Are a Family 36 GSIC – Golden Summit Immigration Consultancy Clear Direction and Focus 38 Forresters An Unwavering Commitment to Excellence 40 Bonassa Bucker Advogados An Appealing Line of Work 42 AppealPR Transport of Delight 44 Ocean World Logistics Striving for Excellence in Banking 46 Stanbic Bank Kenya


58 A Unique Hotel Experience


The Leader in Global Online Cash Back Shopping


People at the Heart of Recruitment



Off the Beaten Track

The Art of Mindfulness

Advice You Can Count On 48 Gulfstream Mergers EQC Agrifund - Socially Responsible Investing in a Changing World 50 Equilibria Capital Sailing on Success 54 Crowley Accord A Unique Hotel Experience 56 Treehotel/Brittas Pensionat Private Sector Investment in Islamic Countries 58 The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) Garden Centres, Horticultural Properties/ Businesses and Farm Shops - The Same Service to All 60 Quinton Edwards Chartered SurveyorsAn Ongoing Personal Service 62 Andrew Smiths Partners The Proof Is in the Pudding 64 ProofVision Business Support for the Financial Sector 66

A Thriving Practice 67 Alexandros G. Ioannides & Associates Advocates & Legal Consultants Ardent Advisers 68 My Business Consulting DMCC Legal Aid 70 Fosters Legal LLP We Bring the Show to You 71 Simply Smiley Productions Intellectually Stimulating Work 72 Sand & Sebolt, LPA Off the Beaten Track 75 Motion Placements Ltd

An Awesome Advisor 80 Adrian Ashton London Calling 81 Prime Estate Agents Best Financial Planning Firm - Manitoba 82 Advantage Wealth Systems Inc Best Biogas Facility Design Company 2017 83 EcoCorp Inc. An Eye on the Future 84 C&C Search

(CityTravelReview Projects) A Force in Fulfilment 76 Ark-H Handling Limited


4 Ways a Financial Consultant Make Your Start-up More Successful 77 Practice Makes Perfect 78 PEM Corporate Finance LLP

Sector Talk 86 Bureau van Dijk

First-Class Clinical Experts 79 Cardiovascular Advisors

Acquisition International - May 2017 3

News: from around the world

Tech M&A into the UK Is Riding High, According to New Research Inbound M&A investment into UK computer software companies has increased by 70% over a two-year period, according to a new global M&A report launched on 22 March by Livingstone, the international mid-market M&A and Debt Advisory firm. The report, The Acquirers – A Global Review, includes analysis of data from deals conducted between 2014 and 2016, across the UK, USA, Europe, and Asia. The data comprises inbound deals and cross-sector investment across the business services, industrial, media & technology, consumer and pharmaceutical industries.

Overall, the UK’s media & technology sector grew by a rate of 25% year-on-year in the period, and accounted for nearly a quarter of all inbound M&A deals, up from 20% in 2015. Adding to overall UK M&A growth, the business services sector grew at a rate of nearly 40%, reflecting the ongoing strength of the UK’s service-led economy.

The findings show that inbound UK acquisitions of companies operating within the software market increased by 70%, with deal volumes increasing from 37 in 2014 to 64 in 2016 alone. The computer services sector also increased by a notable 41%.

Daniel Domberger, a Partner and co-lead of the Media and Technology team at Livingstone, said: “The tech sector has been tipped as a leading light of British business, and 2016 didn’t disappoint. Our findings show that international acquirers and investors are continuing to eye up the UK’s blossoming tech sector, and its future looks positive, regardless of what happens with Brexit.

“Several high-profile deals in the tech sector made headlines last year, and contributing to the 70% rise was the acquisition of UK’s biggest tech company, ARM, by Japanese group Softbank. The historical significance of the £24bn deal and the unprecedented value highlights that there is still strong appetite amongst overseas buyers to acquire or invest into high-quality UK companies, and the weaker pound is helping make the high valuations of UK tech assets easier for buyers and investors to deliver. “We have also seen a flurry of disruptive technologies make significant strides forward, including virtual reality, drones and robotics. Tech is becoming the driver for almost all industry sectors, and further investment into the UK’s technology sector will stimulate growth and create jobs.”

4 Acquisition International - May 2017

NEWS / From Around The World

Impact Healthcare Reit Plc - Acquisition of Seed Portfolio Impact Healthcare REIT plc is pleased to announce that the company has completed the acquisition of the Core Seed Portfolio and the Mulberry Portfolio for a total consideration of £148,754,000. All outstanding lending facilities have been repaid in full and the Seed Portfolio has been acquired debt-free by the company. The terms of the acquisition are in accordance with the prospectus published by the company on 24 January 2017 (the “Prospectus”). The net initial yield on the Seed Portfolio is 7.6%. with rental income accruing from admission on 7 March 2017, supporting the company’s dividend policy. The company is targeting the payment of dividends for the first 12 months from admission which equate to a yield of 6%. per annum on the Issue Price, on an ungeared basis and payable in quarterly instalments. The Seed Portfolio comprises 56 residential care homes offering 2,479 beds which are leased to the Initial Tenants, in each case, for an initial term of 20 years with an option to extend for two further 10 year periods. The leases are subject to annual uplifts based on increases in the UK retail prices index (subject to a cap and floor). Further to the announcement on 2 March 2017 and following completion, applications have been made for the admission of 14,000,000 Ordinary Shares to trading on the Specialist Fund Segment of main market of the London Stock Exchange in connection with the Vendor Issue. Admission is expected to occur at 8.00 a.m. on 5 May 2017.

Rupert Barclay, non-executive Chairman of Impact Healthcare REIT plc, commented: “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of the Seed Portfolio following the IPO in March 2017. This diversified operating portfolio of residential care homes is let to experienced operators for an initial term of 20 years, providing the company with stable, secure cash flows from admission. This enables the company to provide shareholders with regular, attractive, inflation-protected income with the potential for dividend and capital growth through active asset management as well as potential acquisitions. Impact Healthcare is a well-resourced and extensively networked care home investor well placed to capitalise on the highly-fragmented market with a supply/demand imbalance that is continuing to grow.”

The Vital Ingredients Needed for a Successful Business Sale It’s often been said that honesty is the best policy, and in the case of the mergers and acquisitions market, this has never been truer. According to business valuation expert, Company Valuation Services, business owners considering a sale should keep things concise and simple to stand the biggest chance of success in 2017. This year is predicted to be strong for mergers and acquisitions, meaning that there are exciting times ahead for those who are interested in selling. But business owners should prepare themselves thoroughly to ensure that they are putting their best foot forward. To help those who are hoping to finalise a deal in 2017, CVS has collated their expertise into a comprehensive guide to help business owners put positive practices into action. Read the guide in its entirety at: https://www. Gary Edwards, Marketing Manager at CVS believes a successful sale is all down to clear communication, transparency and preparation: “2017 is predicted to have exciting things in store for the mergers and acquisitions market, but that doesn’t mean that business owners should leave everything to chance. The key to a successful sale is preparation, honesty, and a solid idea of how much your business is worth. “January saw a high volume of deals being finalised, and it would be fantastic to see this continue into the rest of the year. Preparing for every eventuality and working with experts if needs be can help ensure that your deal becomes part of the success statistics.” If you would like more information, please contact Jakiya Rahman on 01204 977001 or jakiya@

Pursuant to the Vendor Issue, Mahesh Patel has subscribed for 10,000,000 Ordinary Shares through a wholly-owned SPV, Maal Limited. Maal Limited has entered into a lock-in deed dated 3 May 2017 on equivalent terms to the lock-in deed granted by Mr. Patel on the company’s IPO. The total number of Ordinary Shares in issue immediately following Admission will be 160,172,360, each with equal voting rights. This total voting rights figure can be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine whether they are required to notify their interest in the company under the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. Acquisition International - May 2017 5

News: from around the world

CLX Acquires Dialogue Group Ltd CLX Communications AB (Publ) announces that it has acquired Dialogue Group Ltd., a global provider of mobile messaging and security services. Our vision is clear; we are building the world’s leading CPaaS company. The acquisition of Dialogue is the next natural step in executing on the strategy we outlined at our IPO in October 2015,” said Johan Hedberg, President, and CEO of CLX Communications. Founded in 1994, Dialogue is one of the leading global mobile messaging and secure communications companies, with a particularly strong Tier 1 network in the Asia-Pacific Region. Through the acquisition, CLX will strengthen its customer base in the UK and Australia and add Tier 1 operator connections in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, and Egypt. The acquisition will also add Dialogue’s Sentinel Security Solution, a powerful and innovative software solution for mobile operators, to CLX’s existing product portfolio. The Sentinel product will further strengthen CLX’s position as a supplier of fraud and security solutions to mobile operators worldwide. The solution may significantly reduce industry fraud such as global title faking and help operators capture significant revenues that might otherwise be lost. Sentinel, in combination with

6 Acquisition International - May 2017

CLX’s existing security solutions, will constitute one of the most powerful threat detection and prevention toolboxes in the industry today. The market for enterprise cloud-based communications - those between a company’s business-critical applications and its customers or things - is growing rapidly, whether it be text messaging, voice- or video based solutions or the Internet of Things (IOT). The acquisition of Dialogue will bring several benefits: • Speed up CLX’s market entry into key Asia-Pacific countries such as New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Philippines, and Indonesia. • Further expand CLX’s Tier One Super Network by adding several mobile operators in predominantly the Asia-Pacific region. • Add innovative security products and functionality to the CLX product portfolio offered to the company’s mobile operator customer base and Tier 1 operator partners. • Expected to yield net synergies of approximately £1 million compared to Dialogue’s rolling 12-month profit.

The acquisition of Dialogue will be CLX’s fourth acquisition since the IPO in 2015. Mblox, acquired in 2016, gave CLX a strong position in the US and has yielded significant cost and revenue synergies. Sinch, also acquired in 2016, added leading-edge capabilities in voice and video communications. The acquisition of Xura Secure Communications earlier this year provides CLX with a strong position in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Price, financing and timetable • CLX is acquiring Dialogue Group Ltd. at a price of £32 million on a cash- and debt free basis. • The purchase price is equivalent to 6.1 x EBITDA, based on EBITDA for the twelvemonth period ending February 2017. Net synergies of approximately £1 million are expected for the coming 12 - 18 months. • The purchase price is being paid in cash and CLX has secured financing through a credit facility provided by Svenska Handelsbanken and Danske Bank. • Integration work will start immediately. It is expected to take 12 - 18 months and is targeted to be completed by fall of 2018. To learn more please visit: www. clxcommunications.comPY

NEWS / From Around The World

Cloud Adoption Growing among SMBs Worldwide Paessler AG, the innovative network monitoring specialist, on May 4 released the findings of new research into how global IT decision makers (ITDMs) feel about cloud computing and how they are using it to meet the demands of today’s changing business climate.

The company surveyed more than 2,000 ITDMs globally, including Australia, and found that the majority are positive about cloud and are planning to expand the types of IT services they run in the cloud in the coming years. Overall, ITDMs from nearly 100 countries had an overwhelmingly positive opinion of cloud, with 80.1% responding affirmatively, with 63.5% of respondents working for companies with fewer than 500 employees. While many appear to be comfortable with cloud as a strategic IT delivery model, it does not necessarily mean they have moved their entire IT infrastructure there. Findings show that the most popular cloud functions were Web hosting, blog and content management (39.2 %), email (32%) and file sharing (32.2%) capabilities. While many of the ITDMs surveyed, claimed that they are hosting a number of basic applications on the cloud, a significant number are planning to deploy more complex business applications in 2018. The most popular include: network monitoring (34.6%), sales, CRM and ticketing systems (35.4%), and backup (33.9%).

“Widespread migration to the cloud in the SMB market is already underway, especially here in Australia, said Andrew Timms, Sales Director for APAC at Paessler. “The uptake of cloud and prevalence of BYOD has played a major role in the IT department. We will continue to see system administrators leverage the cloud model, together with existing on-premise applications to better manage local area networks, switches and data rooms. Welcome to the hybrid future.” Despite high levels of cloud approval overall, many ITDMs were still sceptical about certain aspects of the technology. Specifically, data security stood out as the biggest concern, with 44.7% stating it poses a significant obstacle, with an additional 41.3% who said it is somewhat concerning. “The findings from this survey confirm that the transformative impact of the cloud does not only exclusively impact enterprises; the SMB market are also starting to reap the true benefits,” said Timms. To view the full report, please visit www.paessler. com/campaign/cloud-survey. For more on PRTG, please visit

Plurimi Appoints Pioneering Discretionary Portfolio Management Team Independent partner-owned wealth management business Plurimi, has launched an institutionalapproach Discretionary Portfolio Management Service, established and run by Piers Cushing and Rob Cloete. Complementing the firm’s decade-old investment advisory service, Plurimi’ s new discretionary team will take an original approach to investment management, providing an intuitive and scalable investment solution drawing on over 20 years’ combined experience of private client portfolio management. Using client segregated accounts, Cushing and Cloete will lead with two global, multiasset class strategies: the “Dynamic Strategy” focuses on wealth preservation and the “Astute Strategy” on growth-orientated relative returns. Both strategies have a flexible and dynamic approach to asset allocation, enabling the team to proactively react and adapt to changing market conditions. Unlike many private client offerings which focus on a static risk profiled approach, they utilise direct instruments. This approach reduces costs, increases accountability, and permits a greater expression of investment conviction and more effective risk management. DPM Managing Director Piers Cushing said: “We are delighted to have established the Discretionary Portfolio Team here at Plurimi. Rob and I have been working together on our approach to investment management for several years and we are confident that our philosophy represents an attractive alternative to the conventional ‘one off’ risk-profiling used elsewhere.” Director of DPM Rob Cloete said: “Piers and I have placed the majority of our investable wealth in the models we run. In an industry where it’s rare for portfolio managers to ‘eat their own cooking’, we want our clients to know that our financial interests are materially aligned to theirs.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 7


Company: Ominto, Inc Name: Michael Hansen Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director Email: Web: Address: 1515 S. Federal Highway - Suite 307, Boca Raton, Florida 33432, USA Phone: +1 561 362-2393

The Leader in Global Online Cash Back Shopping Founded in 2003, Ominto, Inc. is a pioneer and leader in global online Cash Back shopping and Cash Back-based loyalty programs. Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Michael Hansen, tells us more in this special in-depth and probing interview about this leading company in the global online Cash Back shopping environment. This follows his success in receiving the prestigious 2017 USA Business Executive Awards - CEO of the Year accolade. At the core of all Ominto’s business lines is its global Cash Back shopping website from which all of its other businesses serve. The company’s primary shopping site, which operates under the brand,, maintains a leading position in the global online Cash Back shopping environment. It is the only truly global Cash Back shopping website in the world with customers in 120 countries, more than 12,000 leading stores, both international and national brands and 30+ shopping categories. Ominto’s online Cash Back shopping site doesn’t require customers to shop any differently than they do already. They shop at their favorite stores, only now, they earn Cash Back on every purchase. The company maintains no inventory of products so there are no manufacturing or R&D costs either. It maintains administrative offices in the US, Dubai, Berlin, India and Japan which provide the cultural diversity and helps to facilitate the regulatory framework required for operating a global site on a local level.


The company uses a variety of marketing channels for customer acquisition including its DubLi Network direct sales channel, its BSP Rewards co-branded/ white-label loyalty program offering, social media and other online marketing as well as various incentive programs. More specifically: • Ominto provides its e-commerce site and technology to, its own white label Cash Back site; • DubLi Network, the worldwide sales network of independent direct sellers that supports customer acquisition, while at the same time providing a low-risk, flexible business opportunity and; • BSP Rewards provides corporations, nonprofits, and organizations with their own cobranded or white-label global loyalty program, which includes seamless marketing support and full service integration. Ominto makes shopping more rewarding and builds customer loyalty The company specialise in global online Cash Back shopping as well as co-branded and white label partner programs for corporations, organizations and non-profits. Ominto’s own Cash Back site,, is a white-label of Ominto’s proprietary technology. Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Michael Hansen, tells us more about this in his own words. “ customers save money by earning Cash Back when they shop online from their favorite stores, making it rewarding for both consumers and the merchants they shop from: customers earn up to 30% Cash Back on every purchase and maximise their savings with coupons, deals and free shipping offers. Similarly, BSP Rewards Partner Program participants benefit from increased marketing exposure - valuable marketing opportunities by providing an additional loyalty program to their own respective participants - and where they can take advantage of the growing B2C e-commerce market by using Ominto’s e-commerce platform.

8 Acquisition International - May 2017

The Leader in Global Online Cash Back Shopping

Acquisition International - May 2017 9

“Online shopping is a thriving market. In 2016, global B2C e-commerce sales reached $1.92 trillion USD, and it’s projected to reach nearly $2.5 billion by 2018.1 Add to that 2.5 billion people using the internet with more than half shopping online.2 Internet-savvy buyers spend time researching products online and reading online reviews in order to find the best deal possible. The availability of coupons and discounts is one of the main factors that influence internet users to buy items online rather than visit brick-and-mortar stores. The demand for rewards and savings is huge: U.S. consumers hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs, the 2015 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census shows a 26% increase over the number of memberships reported in the last census study in 2013. “According to COLLOQUY’s biennial report from 2015 on the scope of U.S. customer rewards programs, American households hold memberships across 29 loyalty programs. These range from retail, financial services, travel, and various other economic sectors, but only 12 such loyalty programs are active. Many reward programs prove to be less relevant to the consumer or are based on boosting reward percentages temporarily. Over time, these promotional-based incentives have become increasingly less effective in helping companies retain customers and influence their purchasing behavior. The decreased appeal of these rewards deteriorates the value of these programs. Today, the financially savvy shopper is looking for a broader range of rewards, as well as new ways to accelerate their earnings and fulfill their reward qualification easily and simply.” Ominto has certainly crafted a powerful global Cash Back shopping site with attractive Cash Back rebates and shopping incentives. Cash Back is free money for something the consumer is going to do anyway – shop. Consumers want rewards programs that give perks for their established spending patterns. They don’t want to change their purchasing behavior to receive rewards. Michael then goes on to explain what this means in further detail. “To illustrate what this means, only 40% of all rewards in the travel and entertainment category are redeemed.3 The relevance of the offers and having a broad range of global brands is a critical factor for customers looking to take advantage of a shopping site. Moreover, consumers love loyalty programs: for example, according to the ‘First Data study in the US’, almost 8 out of 10 credit card holders belong to a credit card loyalty program. People always look for ways to save and earn more money. “The Cash Back industry is a relatively new market development within the performance-based marketing space. However, it provides significant value and relevance to both the consumer and the participating stores. Customers shop at their favorite online stores, as they normally do, and earn Cash Back on each purchase. Ominto provides a variety of localised payment solutions making Cash Back easy to redeem including PayPal, a DubLi Debit MasterCard®, Paytm... all depending on the user’s preference, region of the world and currency settings. Our customers are not required to take 10 Acquisition International - May 2017

action beyond their regular purchases to earn Cash Back – and they can do it at any of their preferred stores. “’s Cash Back model doesn’t conflict with other loyalty programs or memberships; rather it’s complementary. The customer can still book a flight, earn their bonus miles, earn Cash Back from their credit card, and earn Cash Back when shopping through This triple dip strategy provides great benefits for consumers all over the globe.” With customers in more than 120 countries, DubLi. com is the most comprehensive global Cash Back shopping website in the world. It gives shoppers exclusive access to online retail and travel deals, discounts, voucher codes, free shipping offers and, most importantly, Cash Back on every purchase. Joining is easy and free Customers can join via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to save time signing up and new customers are welcomed with free boosted Cash Back, which gives them double Cash Back for the first 90 days. “Customers can also choose their preferred site language and shop from thousands of brand name stores, including leading global brands such as®, Wal-Mart®, Nike®,®, Groupon™, and Expedia®,” Michael explains. “A customer registers only once and enjoys the benefits forever. Additionally, rewards customers even further for their Cash Back earnings with an extra bonus of $10 for each $15 they earn each month. The lucrative Refer-a-Friend program is paying up to $10 for each new VIP Lounge member referred. A customer can choose to invite friends via email or share their personalised referral link on social media, their own website, via text or elsewhere,” Michael adds. The VIP Lounge - one place to access deep discounts, coupons and earn extra Cash Back For more engaged e-shoppers, offers an annual VIP Lounge membership. This enhanced membership offers shoppers exclusive access to additional features, benefits, deals, discounts, extra Cash Back and faster payout of their available Cash Back, all for only $99 a year. Michael goes on to explain that the VIP Lounge is an exclusive saving community with a members-only benefits package not found anywhere else. “The benefits package consists of multiple offers. Regular benefits for all customers worldwide include extra Cash Back and faster payouts of available Cash Back. Regional or local country offers include exclusive deals that we extend according to our VIP Lounge members’ usage. Not only do our VIP lounge members receive all the benefits above, but they also have access to relevant products and/or services that enhance the membership value and engagement. The VIP Lounges offers a product and benefit mix, unmatched in the global Cash Back industry, which provides a single point of access to a complete array of saving opportunities. DubLi’s VIP Lounge offers multiple ways to save on hotel rooms, travel, flights, local shopping, dining, services,

and entertainment and leisure activities - all in one convenient location. With the launch of this new membership package, in April 2017, the company introduced DubLi Travel, the company’s own travel search engine in partnership with some of the most prominent global travel brands -, and DubLi Travel offers VIP Lounge members savings on hotel bookings with deep discounts of up to 60% with 6% Cash Back on top of that, making it a one-stop-shop for travelers looking for the best hotel accommodation deals anywhere in the world. Thus, VIP Lounge members can benefit consistently from the lowest prices, eliminating the need to wait for last-minute deals or compromising on quality and variety. The recently launched new VIP Lounge offers a unique set of saving in the travel, leisure and entertainment activities, local shopping, and dining and services categories. VIP Lounge members can save instantly with a digital coupon book on their everyday needs with thousands of discounts on local services, leisure, shopping and dining. VIP Lounge members can save up to 50% at local restaurants, shops and more and can redeem coupons right from their smartphone. Furthermore, VIP Lounge members can save on air travel with 10% discounted flight vouchers on round-trip flights anywhere in the world. The VIP Lounge is available to customers worldwide and includes both global and regional offers to suit the company’s multi-cultural, multi-regional and diverse customer base. Both global and regional offers and deals can be accessed by any VIP Lounge member, regardless of the country they live, giving them the flexibility to save anywhere in the world. “Our company’s goal is to maximize their offering in keeping with the latest e-commerce trends, such as mobile shopping and couponing, while always providing members with a variety of savings opportunities. This is our company mission at its most basic level and has been since its founding in 2003. Our focus is to ensure that our membership model is relevant and a driver - that helps VIP Lounge members achieve maximize savings on all their spending - regardless of the shopping channel. “The concept of the VIP Lounge is simple. Members receive up to several hundred of dollars of potential savings. Why not spend $99 for a year to save more, either $400 in travel benefits or an extra $400 in VIP Cash Back,” Michael adds. White-label and co-branded partner programs In Michael’s opinion, loyalty programs are no longer an option for businesses, but they are a requirement. He believes there are two primary challenges for operating successful loyalty programs - offering relevant and easy to redeem rewards to customers and long customer lifetime values. Many loyalty programs are point-based and have only a limited number of products or services, he underlines, before expanding this point in his own words. “Moreover, for customers who only make a few purchases each year, point-based systems become tricky to implement and difficult to maintain. This results in cost-intensive, time-consuming programs for businesses and organizations.

The Leader in Global Online Cash Back Shopping

Acquisition International - May 2017 11

“Ominto’s business model emphasizes highly attractive, loyalty-building programs that are both relevant and compelling for both consumers and participating merchants of the shopping site. Our company’s loyalty program is cash-based, thus enjoying a higher value perception than pointbased rewards. In addition, Ominto’s model cultivates mutually beneficial relationships between customers and the co-branded company or organization itself translating into improved, longterm consumer loyalty, higher customer retention and engagement, re-engagement of dormant customers, increased revenue from existing customers, increased customer lifetime value… to name a few.

“The extra bonus for partner’s using BSP Rewards is a generous revenue share. The technology of Ominto’s global Cash Back site allows businesses and organizations to have a loyalty program like Fortune 500s for a fraction of the cost.

“This model also benefits the partner as it offers them increased marketing exposure and access to a new marketing channel, one by which their customers are already engaged. We don’t have to ask our customers to change behavior, indeed only now they are rewarding them for that existing activity. The customer, on the other hand, benefits from Cash Back earnings at thousands of their preferred stores, stacking coupons with Cash Back, while still allowing them earn rewards on their credit card, or any other loyalty card or membership.”

Ominto’s true success lies in its customercentric mindset The overall site quality, mobile-friendly responsive design for cross device viewing, unique content, relevant offers, and the look and feel of Ominto’s site pages wins a customer’s heart and mind, and differentiates Ominto from the competition. All of this impacts website engagement, which in turn, impacts member engagement levels that translates into sales. Michael proceeds to detail the appeal of Cash Back and how this is tailored to the customer.

BSP Rewards is a global and universal loyalty program that works seamlessly for companies, organizations and non-profits of all types and sizes. The program is certainly viewed as an extension of a company’s existing brand and marketing efforts. Easy integration ensures that the program does not disrupt the partner’s normal operations.

“Moreover, Cash Back is a unique business model where the revenue stream is based on a behavior by which consumers are already engaged. The appeal of the Cash Back value proposition is straightforward: join or sign in, choose your favorite store, shop and earn. The rewards are cash and not point-based. The unmitigated number of stores available on our company’s site is unparalleled and shortens the buying cycle. In addition, the Cash Back payout is easy. Cash Back can be withdrawn by the customer via PayPal, Paytm or their own DubLi Debit MasterCard®.

Michael explains that BSP Rewards caters to larger companies and organizations that have a significant customer database, with a white-label solution and enhanced marketing strategies, while small to medium sized entities and non-profits are served with a co-branded solution. “A big advantage for smaller organizations lies in the fact that with the partner program they can overcome any cost disadvantages related to their size, while enabling them to extend their geographical reach for customer acquisition.

“The company’s business model is easily scalable, allowing it to tap into new sales channels and growth opportunities quickly. BSP Rewards is achieving economies of scale by tapping into a loyal, engaged customer base of another business or organization. Given the formidable cost of customer acquisition, this one channel alone makes BSP Rewards a valid a B2B2C e-commerce model.” ________________________________________

“Success metrics include the sites ability to segment and personalise. By segmenting, we have more opportunities to personalise content to each customer’s specific interests. We segment based on customer’s set preferences and site behavior. We deliver all content based on each customer’s variables including preferred language, geographic location, membership level or status and are continually increasing these variables to optimise the overall content. “Our company’s social media channels are a great avenue for its member community to connect, be informed, build relationships and seek customer support through integrated APIs which connect social hubs with our customer support desk by sending messages automatically to their customer support agents as service tickets.” More than 65% are returning visitors to DubLi. com site which speaks volumes. Indeed, Ominto and have been featured on several TV channels and programs, including Modern Living and Worldwide Business with kathy ireland®. The company’s PR efforts focus on the most effective ways to deliver information. Consumers today consume information differently than the next. Ominto makes sure to cover all outlets to provide customers various means for receiving key messages while avoiding information overload.

12 Acquisition International - May 2017

From B2C to B2B2C has a B2C orientation and serves consumers from all over the world. is for everyone, regardless of age, gender or household income, anyone who has an Internet connection and shops online - everywhere and anytime. The BSP Rewards Partner Program is B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) which extends the B2B (business-to-business) model to include online shopping for consumers. It is a B2C model that is licensed by another organization, but facilitated by Ominto. For example, a telco company who licenses the global Cash Back site which they layer on to their existing loyalty program for their customers. “Any type and size of company can use BSP Rewards as a powerful tool for developing strong relationships with their customers while non-profit organizations can utilise the program for their members and donors,” Michael goes on to tell us. “With each of our company’s marketing channels, we use various marketing methodologies for reaching our end customers, whether that is an individual consumer or a multi-national corporation. This ranges from traditional and online marketing campaigns, SEM/SEO, word-of-mouth through our global sales network, to a dedicated business development team. “Our approach is customer-centric: we focus on continuous content, member benefits and potential savings optimization. The key strategy has shifted from seeking potential clients to making them want to come to,” Michael continues. Meeting challenges and embracing new opportunities for constant improvement In closing, the biggest challenge for any global e-commerce business is always having an efficient and reliable technology as well as operating at an ever-increasing scale Michael underlines, a point he develops in his own words. “Information technology developments are moving at a fast pace, and our company relies on highly skilled human resources and the key knowledge assets they bring. “Optimising the sales funnel is also a critical factor. Minimizing the ‘leakage’ from the funnel, including areas where customers drop off and maximizing conversion rates rely on effective but appealing web design, convenient, simple, intuitive and a user-friendly site, relevant content and perceived benefits. Therefore, the challenge lies in developing greater agility to innovate and to quickly respond to market changes. “Last but not least, the intense competition we face is always a motivating factor to differentiate and stay one step ahead.”

1 b2c-e-commerce-sales-worldwide/ 2 b2c-e-commerce-sales-worldwide/ 3 Rewards.pdf

The Leader in Global Online Cash Back Shopping

Acquisition International - May 2017 13


Company: Love Success Name: Jane Atherton & Julia Vassie Email: Web: Address: Love Success Plc 1 Lancaster Place, London WC2E 7ED UK Phone: +44 (0) 20 7870 7177

People at the Heart of Recruitment Love Success, winner of the 2017 Best Female Owned Recruitment Agency - UK award, is the leading specialist recruitment agency in London, providing a comprehensive range of candidate and client services for businesses and individuals all over the UK. We spoke to the firm’s co-owners, Jane Atherton and Julia Vassie, about the secret to their incredible success, including formal recognition from the Prime Minister.

aunched in 2010, Love Success was wholly funded by Jane and Julia with no backers involved. Today, they are an award-winning agency and formally recognised by the Prime Minister with a personal congratulatory letter for the Fortuna 50 Index, which features the fastest growing female-led businesses, and Love Success came in the top 25. They are in the Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Elite, and are on target to turn over £8 million in 2017.


Jane explains: “We are 90% female in terms of our workforce, and 40% are part-time including mothers, carers and even dancers and actors. We have beautiful offices with the best view in London overlooking the Thames, the London Eye and Big Ben, which we use as our office clock! Julia and I have worked together for over 20 years. We are regularly referred to as the “Ant and Dec of recruitment.” We have a very safe client base, billing in excess of 200 clients a week. Julia adds that the business mix is made up of 75% temporary/contingent staff with 25% being permanent introductions, and that Love Success mainly supply PA/EA, Office Support, Compliance, Marketing and HR staff to their clients. Salaries start at £20,000 and go up as high as £175,000. She adds that the firm has many consultants who are renowned recruitment specialists.

Following this excellent introduction, we asked Jane and Julia to offer their thoughts on the extent to which an ever-increasing number of women are joining boardrooms across the country every year. Jane adds that they would like the figure to be higher, but says that, “recruitment in the commercial arena is generally female-led due to the nature of the jobs we fulfil, such as PAs and EAs, which tend to attract more females. Whereas in financial services and IT recruitment, the jobs tend to be filled by a higher percentage of males.” Bucking the trend Julia adds that in terms of women in the boardroom, it goes back to the old adage that a woman starts a family, so they are not seen as leaders in business. In this regard, Julia feels that something definitely needs to change and explains that she started her first business when her daughter was 9 months old and believes that “anybody who has the will and the get up and go can do the same, but unfortunately the opportunities and acceptance of working mothers is still not as widely recognised as it should be in the UK. I am an advocate for encouraging all, whether female or male, to obtain greater achievements in promotion to manager and director level positions.” Bringing the balance in to recruitment As many businesses in the UK are seeing the benefit of having a more balanced workforce, Julia adds that converse to this, there is a UK-wide trend for recently launched firms to take on selfemployed contractors – reaping terrible results for the contractor. A recently launched delivery firm that was investigated by an undercover journalist in February this year uncovered that the firm was promising £15 an hour. However, when the undercover journalist went to work for them, his findings showed that the contractor’s pay worked out to be just under the minimum wage because the firm doesn’t pay for holidays, breaks or sickness. “There have been several companies that have launched in the UK offering ‘flexible working/ self employed’ positions, when in reality they are not paying their staff or their taxes. I believe that anybody who sets up a company in the UK and takes on staff should pay their workers a standard rate of pay, and they should be looked after when they are sick and enjoy paid holidays. Our company

14 Acquisition International - May 2017

People at the Heart of Recruitment

makes sure that our temporary/flexible work force are paid a fair wage, and we also pay all legislative costs relating to NI contributions, tax, pension and holiday pay, but it seems that other firms are getting away under the ‘flexible working/self employed’ banner without contributing to the UK. Therefore, we are seeing a notable change in the balance of the workforce which is not helping the UK flourish as it should.” Prior to launching Love Success, Julia and Jane were two of the original founding directors of Huntress that launched in 2000 and they grew the business to over 400 staff. Jane and Julia remained on the board for 9 years before undertaking a management buyout. The firm had 22 offices and turnover in excess of £100 million when it was sold for £40 million. In terms of the staff that work for them now, Julia says they are amazing and that 40% of their staff have been working with them for several years and followed them from their previous companies. This is testament to their leadership and a massive vote of confidence to them both as these staff walked away from fantastic salaries and bonuses to work with Jane and Julia on their brand new start up and all the risks that entail with new companies. Jane adds that what they do at Love Success is not seen as the norm in recruitment, she explains, “We do offer truly flexible working without compromising on bonus earnings for our staff. We are able to offer this in return for long-term commitment. We have been through several births, marriages and divorces and we care greatly about our staff providing support whenever they need it.” “We know that in everyone’s lives there will be times when they need time off or a reduction in hours to support their families or for a personal situation, and we provide this as we know we get it back tenfold in their commitment to us. Other recruitment agencies we know, don’t allow anything but full-time working, which we believe is incredibly limiting and doesn’t promote commitment or longevity within the talent force.”

we have not been affected in our business. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite! We are on target to achieve a turnover of £8 million this year, but we are watching very carefully and talking with our clients constantly about the effect of BREXIT.” Julia adds that businesses will adjust in time and that they have gone through several tough times including recessions in the past 27 years in the recruitment industry and is very confident the UK will get through this too. Having said that, Jane adds that recruitment companies with a very small client base are the ones to be wary of. If one of those clients withdraws their business, it can have a catastrophic affect to that small recruitment business. Love Success are fortunate that their business model of supplying to a high number of clients ensures the stability of the company. This business model has seen them through many recessions in the past. Love Success provides to a wide range of industries and this is obviously a winning formula for them. Evolving with technology Julia says, “The challenge now is definitely the new way of communication through social media and how to embrace the right ones without affecting your brand. As such we believe the different sites offer their own plus points with Facebook being fun, Twitter for immediate responses, Instagram for visual impact/branding and LinkedIn is for professional networking. But you can’t solely rely on these to build your business. We use them to enhance our offering but it doesn’t deflect from the success we have in relationship building with our clients from visiting them in person. We also ensure that we meet all our applicants before working on their behalf or sending them out temping.” “A lot of people try to build better technology to replace recruitment agencies. However technology cannot replace the face-to-face reality in uncovering the real applicant and their strengths and skills on offer. Recruitment companies are people based

businesses, so computers cannot convey an applicant’s personality or passion or even persuade a client to see a wildcard person for example. We get to know our candidates and gain their trust, having nurtured advised and supported them throughout the process. It’s from this engagement that we get a true picture and feel of where they would be ideally suited. These very important attributes are never evident via a computerised copy of a CV. Technology is great to enhance but should not be the only tool used” Julia adds. Creating History Jane concludes that, “anybody who wants to get on in life with a burning desire and ambition will do well. There are so many companies in London and the South East - it’s a great place to be. You don’t always need a first-class degree; it is all about the person, their approach and energy. In a recent survey we compiled we found that 20% of the top PAs had a degree. Therefore, if a client insists on only looking at “degree educated PAs” then they automatically miss out on 80% of very talented PAs! When we inform our clients of this the majority change their mind. We always ask our clients if they want us to supply them with the best CV or the best candidate? There’s a huge difference.” Jane remarks that from her own personal experience, and her experience in employing recruitment consultants, that becoming a recruitment consultant is not generally the first choice as a career when finishing college or university. “I don’t know anybody that has planned to be a recruiter from day one. For me, the idea was actually sold to me by a temp who worked in my office. I called a very well known agency in London and they refused to see me initially because I “had no sales experience.” I challenged them on this point, adding that if I was willing to drive all the way from Manchester to London for an interview to try to convince them otherwise, then they should really see me. They did and the rest is history!”

Enviable Breadth of Clients in London Turning to clients, Love Success works with thousands of different clients every year from every business sector, 70% of which are repeat customers, which is proof that people believe in and rely on the service the firm provides. Jane adds that they do regular surveys to ensure that the service being provided is always at optimum quality, for all of their clients, and that they visit their clients on a regular basis to ensure that they are maintaining the level of service. In terms of the future, even following BREXIT, things have got much busier for Love Success and they have been inundated. Jane says that they were nervous when the BREXIT result came out and of the impact this could have on London companies, professional services and banking in particular. “However, we have seen that office rental rates in the city have taken a dip which is a slight indication of the concern within the City businesses. Also, immediately after the decision was made our high salaried positions (£150K plus) were put on hold for a month or so. Other than these two indicators, Acquisition International - May 2017 15


Founder & CEO: Mr. Amin Amiri Director of Investments: Mr. William Rawkins Company: a2e Industries Limited Address: No. 1 Marsden Street, Manchester, M2 1HW Phone: +44 (0)161 923 6000 Fax: +44 (0)161 236 7266 Web:

Making Investment Magic in the Mid-Market a2e Industries are an innovative, Manchester based investment firm focusing on mid-market firms. We profile the firm and examine its dedication to creating shareholder value.

ince inception in 2001, a2e has distinctly embraced investing in or acquiring mid-market industrial/ manufacturing businesses, in special situations such as turnarounds, stagnant businesses, shareholder conflicts or exits, financial distress and businesses poised for substantial growth. Now, the firm’s operations closely resemble those of a traditional London Merchant Bank, but with an entrepreneurial perspective and a distinctive focus and ethos.


As such a2e invest in or acquire underperforming Mid-market industrial companies, focusing on achieving their aim: to affect a transformation of the key fundamentals of the businesses, thus “enabling/ revitalising” the corporates and empowering the managers to prosper in the global marketplace. An inspirational and sustainable investment model, fit for the 21st Century, this innovative approach is applied with passion and integrity.

“The firm are committed to unlocking the potential, preserve and enhance wealth by deploying its entrepreneurial flair, as augmented by a high level of expertise and involvement” a2e’s CEO, Amin Amiri, a prominent and innovative corporate financier, founded a2e 15 years ago with the sole purpose of implementing his distinctive vision and operating ethos, and deploying his contrarian approach to investing and management of the portfolio companies. Operating as a long term investor, a2e mainly invests on a selective basis in businesses with a neglected industrial brand and/ or in special situations. Once it has invested the firm seeks to inspire the people within the business and help them develop a shared strategic vision and a road map to wealth creation, tailored to the business’s strengths. Wealth is created by empowering the managers to invest in/ upgrade the business fundamentals and to create

16 Acquisition International - May 2017

sustainable competitive edges fit for the global marketplace. Through this hands-on approach a2e create alignment of objectives with the managers and other stakeholders by sharing the reward, and are cognisant of preserving the best features of a business including the loyalty of the people. This is in line with the firm’s overall strategy, which relies upon the three prongs of the transformative process, which a2e believes are an astute strategic assessment of a business’s competences/ competitive environment, an entrepreneurial deployment of our own funds and a robust alignment of our execution/management capabilities and respective interests. Fundamentally, a2e’s impressive progress and track record is due to this all-encompassing approach and our entrepreneurial perspective to creating value/wealth for Mid-market businesses and shareholders. The firm’s Academy of Executives, consisting of seasoned and successful industrialists/CEO’s is a source of inspiration and provides creative advice to a2e’s portfolio company managers. What truly sets a2e apart is its enabling ethos, deploying the key pillars of successful investing in Mid-market businesses. Uniquely, the firm focus on shareholder strategy first and foremost, as this naturally determines the investment parameters, risk appetite and at the outset, a clear path to enhancing value. The vision for the business and the corporate strategy is then determined firmly within this context. A key attribute of a2e is its vast experience and expertise in evaluating, determining and implementing appropriate shareholder and corporate strategies. By deploying their own funds to invest as equity and debt in mid-market companies, a2e highlight their faith in their own, unique approach. The ability to commit funds quickly is a most effective way to invest in/acquire underperforming/hyper-growth businesses and a major differentiating feature of a2e. In many such circumstances, raising funds from third parties is time consuming and is often futile, making a2e an ideal partner for many midmarket firms.

Making Investment Magic in the Mid-Market

Because a2e is focused on enabling the firms it invests in rather than simply profiting from them, the company is results driven and works hard to ensure that goals are achieved. As businesses grow and develop complex operations and need to cope with challenging global market conditions, the ability to implement a chosen shareholder or corporate strategy is paramount in achieving the desired results. As such, a2e’s in-house expertise is augmented by an Academy of Executives – effectively a panel of Industry Experts together with an Advisory Board. The company firmly believe this is a potent force to reckon with, as its strong track record demonstrates. Overall, a2e Industries see great opportunity in the challenging and contrarian niche that is mid-market investment, and are committed to offering clients the very best solutions, support and products in the mid-market, which is the “engine room” of the UK economy and is often overlooked by other investors. The firm are committed to unlocking the potential, preserve and enhance wealth by deploying its entrepreneurial flair, as augmented by a high level of expertise and involvement, and continuing to do this will remain the firm’s ongoing focus as it looks towards a bright and exciting future. a2e’s current portfolio of investments span 4 strategic divisions: Aerospace, Logistics, Industrial/ Decorative and Training. The aggregate sales and EBITDA are £130M and £13M respectively with the aim of doubling the EBITDA within 3 years.

Acquisition International - May 2017 17


Purpose, Vision & Direction Elateral enables brands in all industries to maintain high levels of relevance, quickly and affordably, and within brand compliance by automating content production across all formats. CEO of the Month – USA award winner Perry Kamel spoke to us about how he attained his current job role and what he enjoys the most about it.

Company: Elateral, Inc. Name: Perry Kamel Web: Address: One Westbrook Corporate Center, Suite 352 Westchester, IL, 60154 USA Phone: +1 877 914 0789

he mission of Elateral is simple but powerful. Elateral enables brands in all industries to maintain high levels of relevance, quickly and affordably, and within brand compliance by automating content production across all formats. In doing so, they deliver massive amounts of uniquely attributable value very quickly and non-disruptively. At the same time, they unleash the full potential of all other marketing technologies and systems.


“Our mission is transformational. We are energised and inspired by the tremendous value we are able to deliver our clients quickly and reliably in a non-disruptive way. “ Most importantly, their patent-pending platform that enables marketers to adapt content across all formats and channels, in minutes, is proven to reduce unit production costs and even time to market by 90%. Or more. With their cloud-based platform, brands are able to empower global and local marketers to deliver flawless marketing that is on brand and on time according to Elateral’s CEO Perry Kamel. He shares his thoughts about winning the CEO of the Month – USA award, what this means to his firm and what he enjoys most about being in this role. “Elateral’s greatest honour, and the most significant measure of our success, is when clients win thirdparty awards. To date, approximately 80% of all Elateral clients have won third-party awards for high-value marketing innovations powered by the firm’s platform. This is what really makes us tick, and we’re so proud of that fact. That said, it is a great honour indeed that our hard-working team has been recognised in this way. “ “This award helps validate Elateral’s transformative vision and game-changing innovations that are solving one of the most profound challenges faced by virtually all marketers today: to produce content that powers relevant, engaging, and authentic

18 Acquisition International - May 2017

experiences for consumers across channels, in any media format (social, mobile, web, print, 2D, 3D and even video), with unthinkable speed and cost efficiency, and with the bullet-proof brand integrity and compliance demanded in today’s dynamic and highly competitive market environment. “Nothing is more meaningful or rewarding than helping clients, partners, employees and others to unlock their greatest potential to achieve the unthinkable. The opportunity to contribute to the personal and professional growth, success and security of so many is a humbling and energising privilege. To help others find purpose, meaning, and reward in their work, along with a good measure of good old fashioned fun, makes it all worthwhile.” In terms of his career background, Perry has nearly thirty years’ experience delivering highvalue technology and marketing innovations. Prior to joining Elateral, Perry was a founding Managing Director of Accenture Interactive, served as Chief Marketing Officer for technology firms Ciena and Siemens ICN, as well as group Chief Executive for Siemens Next Generation Networks. As a former board member of the National Telecommunications Association and a McKinsey & Company alumni with extensive experience in applied innovation, Perry is no stranger to working with cutting edge technology solutions, and the organisational and operational aspects so vital to enduring success. Throughout his career, Perry has played pivotal roles in pioneering many technology breakthroughs that power our present-day lives, including intelligent optical networking, voice-over-IP communications, presence-based communications, permissionbased marketing, collaborative video and other web-based applications. As a recognised pioneer in multi-channel interactive marketing and content supply chain transformation, he also has several patents and successful start-ups to his credit. Perry then goes on to explain how it felt when he first became a CEO, and also his responsibilities towards his investors and staff. “That was quite a long time ago! I suppose that feeling really hasn’t changed. It is very humbling and inspiring to this day. Being CEO puts tremendous responsibility for the well-being of many squarely

Purpose, Vision & Direction

on one’s shoulders. It also provides tremendous latitude in determining how you specifically wish to impact the lives, personally and professionally, of those in your charge and within your sphere of influence. “A CEO must look after the well-being of the enterprise and its investors, of course; but, this is inextricably linked to the positive impact one has on the many stakeholders that matter most. In a very real sense, success is less the objective than the symptom of doing the right things in the right way for the right reasons. “Few things are more powerful than to provide each individual member of my staff with a clear sense of purpose, vision, direction, and personal contribution to a great mission. This is really what it all comes down to.” The closing words go to Perry - who imparts his vision for the firm in 2017 and beyond – and also the opportunities and challenges he personally faces as a CEO. “We are seeing accelerating growth and amplified success as a business. We’re sustaining that by doing the right thing, and doing it the right way. Our mission is transformational. We are energised and inspired by the tremendous value we are able to deliver our clients quickly and reliably in a nondisruptive way. “ “As mentioned above, 80% of our clients have been honoured with third-party awards for high-value innovation. This is such a tremendous source of inspiration for us! Elateral’s greatest aspirations for 2017 and beyond is to keep making award-winning heroes among our clients! “Growth is both a blessing and a challenge. As we continue expanding our business and strengthening the firm’s market leadership, we are determined to strengthen and build upon our solid cultural foundation of being obsessively committed to delivering success and value for our clients. Yes, we’re very proud of Elateral’s technology leadership and extensive portfolio of patent-pending innovations and advantages; but delivering value and advantages to our clients is our overarching priority.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 19


Company: Intercorp Group Web: Address: 45 Pont Street, SW1X 0BD Phone: +44 (0) 203 427 3308

Expert Advice When You Need It Leading Advisors of the Year - Property Investment Advisor of the Year – UK award winner Intercorp Group is a privately owned high-level consulting firm, which provides tax, estate planning and fiduciary structure solutions to high-net-worth families. To celebrate their success, we invited them to profile a choice selection of the marvellous services they provide.

ntercorp Group functions as an accessible interface, streamlining intelligence from an elite global network of professionals and specialists and ultimately bestowing on clients both the knowledge, confidence and solutions to handle their matters in the best possible way.


Our services include: International investment structuring A primary concern of high-net-worth families is ensuring their wealth is sustainable, protected both now and for future generations. As a result, many families have long mobilised their assets internationally, safeguarding them against political, economic or social instability.

“Ultimately, Intercorp Group professionals work to help clients reconcile the consequences of different structures for their real estate investment and decide on a bespoke solution.” Intercorp’s consultants have at their disposal a number of investment vehicles and structures, each of which can have a positive impact upon the tax liability of the investments they support. At the heart of this is a tax efficiency programme, which employs our comprehensive knowledge of jurisdictional rules to identify the best opportunities for return. While our consultants will never offer recommendations on the suitability of individual investments, the team is accomplished at advising the client’s fund managers on the best type of investment vehicles, always in full appreciation of tax legislation and the objective of the investment. We are committed to keeping abreast of developments in these areas and regularly appraise and update our advice in line with such developments.

20 Acquisition International - May 2017

Protection of family businesses abroad Expanding the family company into other territories and the necessary safeguarding of both its intellectual property and its potential for multijurisdictional wealth generation As a natural consequence of family members moving abroad, many family businesses are expanding into other territories, bringing forth a plethora of considerations regarding the protection of the business. In terms of intellectual property, while clients will have taken care of the processes required to register and protect their brand under domestic legislation, this protection often will not survive under another jurisdiction. As the business expands, both the brand identity and the fundamental concept – the processes or products it trades on – are vulnerable to exploitation by competitors. Intercorp Group ensures the effective preservation and development of brands and intellectual property across several jurisdictions, working with each business to define and integrate the value of their brand and their idea into legally recognised assets of the company. Our team can then execute the necessary registration of these assets through trademarks, patents, designs and copyright in each country of operation. In addition, Intercorp Group regularly advises on the tax implications of cross-border expansion, identifying and mitigating issues surrounding the current business relationships and educating clients on solutions yielded through the formation of offshore holding companies. Our consultants will engage with our global network of professionals to draw upon expertise spanning corporate and commercial contracts, intellectual property, data protection, tax, banking and finance, employment and immigration, ultimately acting as trusted advisor for the client, throughout the entirety of the process. Asset protection In making new investments internationally and outside of the family business, the potential liability for risk, naturally increases. Intercorp works alongside both the families and their existing advisors to identify ways in which to minimise such risks.

Expert Advice When You Need It

Our consultants will assess and properly protect the invested assets and effectively structure the business to ensure the risks fall directly and solely on the capital to be invested. Our global perspective is particularly valuable for these types of engagements, as we ensure that any structuring undertaken is enforceable and reliable across all territories. Corporate restructuring Preparing for a sale, merger, acquisition or initial public offering of the family company; the strategic counsel required to design and implement purchase and sale structures; cross-border tax implication and pre-transaction due. Many family businesses reach a point of maturity, which demands the anticipation of a change in structure. This commonly manifests as either: an initial public offering (IPO); a private investment; or a merger or sale, each of these requiring exceptional skill, sensitivity and precision in their execution. Intercorp Group regularly provides counsel on such matters, working collaboratively with existing advisors and our trusted network of professionals. Our consultants perform a pre-due diligence investigation on the clients’ business, highlighting potential complications that could affect the proposed restructuring and the company’s corporate attractiveness to other parties. This diagnostics report is a strategic and consolidated representation of the very best advice and clear identification of the courses of action required for their implementation. Intercorp will then advise on the appropriate structures for the transaction, paying special regard to both cross-border tax liabilities and the potential implications of these on the family’s overall wealth, following the completion of the transaction. Real estate investment Investing in property in other territories; the requirements to consider and mitigate estate tax obligations in both domicile and destination jurisdictions. Investment in real estate is a very natural endeavour for high-net-worth families who are in pursuit of more tangible ways to invest their wealth. Particularly popular, is foreign investment in the US and UK real estate markets which each raise several estate tax liability issues. These in turn, must be mitigated to achieve the families’ investment objectives. Intercorp Group manages the acquisition and financing processes in collaboration with our network of legal and commercial professionals across the world. Our advice always pays due regard to the individual needs of the family as well as the tax implications imposed both by their domestic jurisdiction as well as those of the country in which they wish to invest. Ultimately, Intercorp Group professionals work to help clients reconcile the consequences of different structures for their real estate investment and decide on a bespoke solution.

Acquisition International - May 2017 21

Thriving in Challenging Times 1704AI54

Company: International Professional GAUGE Development (IPGD plc.) Name: Nidal Alsaafeen Email: Web: Address: 3rd Floor, 14 Hanover Street London, W1S 1YH UK Phone: +44 (9) 207 317 0693

Thriving in Challenging Times The London based company in the Information Technology sector, International Professional GAUGE Development (IPGD PLC.), recently enjoyed success in the 2017 Business Elite Awards – UK. We interviewed the firm’s Nidal Alsaafeen to find out more about the company and his reflections on receiving this prestigious accolade.

nternational Professional GAUGE Development (IPGD PLC.) is a limited liability company (LLC), specialised in providing business intelligence management solutions, business continuity management systems (BCMS) and consulting services to its clients, with a focus on business automation. The company provides products and services range from setting strategies to a completely integrated business management solution implementation.


“It’s an honour for us to be selected for the 2017 Business Elite Award – UK. It is beautiful to see our hard work being appreciated by important parties, but at the same time we have a responsibility towards our client, that is to keep offering the best and to continuously developing the company’s products services. “This recognition means a lot, it is an encouragement for us to give more and work harder, to present the valuable products and services we offer.

“We are a strong company, with our expert team and in terms of the clients we serve. We are confident that what we have to offer is the best in the information technology sector and that the work we do is special for the clients. Our company can to compete in the market, regardless of the strength of the competitors and economic challenges we face. As long as we are maintaining the same high quality services for our special clients, then we can thrive in these challenging times. Nidal adds that IPGD’s reputation in the market and with the clients is great, and that they are well-known as a high qualified and professional company. In summary, the company’s areas of expertise are: Solutions: - ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system; - SCM (Supply Chain Management); - CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and; - HRMS (Human Resource Management System). Consultations: - TQM (Total Quality Management); - BQMS (Business Continuity Management System); - Business Process Engineering / Reengineering; - Qualifying RPO for the financial market and; - Software and mobile app development. “In terms of our future aspirations, I would say that first of all, we want to become the business intelligence management solution partner of growth and success and to partner with world class software solution providers. It is also very important that we continue to provide innovative solutions for industries, based on quality products and services as well as becoming the company that IT professionals seek to work for. The challenges are to keep track with international standards (CMM, ISO, QMS, BCMS, TQM, ITIL, IAM, etc.) and to expand our company’s geographical coverage into the Middle East.” “Additional challenges include upcoming technological changes and development and competition from other firms. It is vital that we stay up to date with our solutions in the industry we work in as part of the wider world economy.”

22 Acquisition International - May 2017


ROIDER IP is a European patent law firm established in 2013 and named after its founder Stephan Roider who has an impressive track record of more than nine years working in the field of intellectual property. Our clients are domestic and foreign companies involved in all fields of technology and ranging in the size from small start-ups to medium-sized and large multinational companies, as well as research institutions and individuals. ROIDER IP is focused on providing cost efficient and high quality intellectual property services, in particular drafting and filing European and International patent applications. We support and accompany our clients through every stage of patenting European patents - from drafting the application to defending or attacking a European patent in opposition and appeal proceedings before the European Patent Office. The combination of our highly qualified legal and technical expertise allows us to understand our clients’ objectives and provide focused intellectual property services for achieving them.

ROIDER IP Law Firm Stephan Roider Pfarrer-Erhard-Weg 19 82008 Unterhaching, Germany T +49 (0)89 2371 0616 F +49 (0)89 2371 0615


There’s No Business Like Legal Business Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,200 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location. Company: Holland & Knight México, S.C. Email: antonio.casares@ Web: Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 342 Piso 28, Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06600, México, D.F. Phone: +52 55 36028014

Holland & Knight’s Mexico Practice has substantial experience in a wide variety of Mexican business areas which is enhanced by our established working relationships with leaders in Mexico’s major business and government sectors.


olland & Knight Mexico most relevant practice areas:

Financial Services Our attorneys are highly experienced in all types of financings. Particularly, we have extensive public finance knowledge. Members of our Financial Services Team in Mexico are focused on local and cross-border financing such as aircraft, corporate, real estate, as well as all other types of asset financing. Structured Finance and Securitization Members of our Mexico Practice have been key participants in the formation of the Mexican securitization industry, and have participated in several precedent-setting transactions and our development of a number of the structures that are recognized as the Mexican market standard. Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity and Corporate Services Our Mergers and Acquisitions Team is enhanced by our experience in private equity. We have participated in numerous acquisitions of highly regulated entities in the financial and energy sectors. We assist our clients in fund formation as well as capital calls and investments. Energy and Infrastructure Areas of expertise in this sector include oil and gas, electricity, liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewables, biofuels and government procurement. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable on public contracts, project finance and regulatory matters related to the energy and real estate sectors. We handle local and cross-border energyrelated transactions, from their structuring to their execution. Our attorneys have participated in the implementation and policy making of the 2008 Mexican energy reform.

24 Acquisition International - May 2017

Corporate Services Our Corporate and Business Team has experience in legal matters related to the operation of Mexican companies, including incorporation, organization and governance as well as the decisionmaking process. Our practice includes advising international companies to operate in Mexico, either directly or through subsidiaries incorporated in Mexico, designing and implementing joint ventures, corporate re-organizations, divestitures of parts of the companies, dissolutions and advising our clients on day-to-day general corporate matters. Real Estate Our team has enormous depth and broad experience, and, as a result, it develops sophisticated solutions to client issues. We handle large portfolios containing both, complex and simple leases with equal efficiency, as well as all product types, including office, industrial, flex, retail and mixed-use. We provide full-service leasing representation to various types of owners and agents – broker/ managers, private owners, banks, insurance companies, pension funds/pension fund advisors, REITs, private investment funds and overseas investors – for entire office, multiuse, and retail complexes. Regulatory and Government Affairs Holland & Knight’s Mexico office has an experienced team of lawyers who advise on regulations issued by the Mexican government authorities. Our team has counseled clients on the compliance of these regulations, and on filings before these authorities for lack of compliance of these regulations by competitors that want to reduce their costs. U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Our attorneys have broad experience in representing clients facing issues arising under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-bribery

There’s No Business Like Legal Business

and anti-corruption laws. We handle every aspect of matters involving FCPA and related U.S. anticorruption laws, including: due diligence, auditing sales agents, and developing policies and training compliance materials, establishing controls for handling interactions with governmental officials and investigating potential violations. International Trade – Dumping and Subsidies The Holland & Knight Mexico Team has substantial experience with the procedures for the determination of antidumping and countervailing duties. Our seasoned team also has experience in investigations performed by the Mexican investigating authority (International Trade Practices Unit) and challenging the outcome of such investigations before international bodies such as NAFTA panels and WTO. Environmental Our environmental law team includes former general counsel to Mexico City’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, specialized in regulatory, social and financial aspects as high profile infrastructure projects. Holland and Knight has established the integration of a specialized area in environmental law conformed by lawyers and specialists in complementary disciplines. Labour, Employment and Benefits Our Labour, Employment and Benefits Group focuses on supporting all aspects of corporate issues in this area. Our attorneys have extensive experience in the following areas: negotiations before the Employee’s Defense Office (Procuraduría de la Defensa del Trabajo), labour litigation before

the federal and local board in Mexico, labour litigation and writ of amparo appeals, executive compensation and employee benefits, labour management relations, non-compete agreements and reductions in force/managing change. Leading Lawyers on Your Side A number of our attorneys are ranked in the 2017 edition of Chambers Latin America and ILR1000 Financial and Corporate Guide 2017, as well as the 2016 editions of The Legal 500 Latin America, Latin Lawyer 250, Chambers Global. IJGLobal awarded Holland & Knight’s Mexico Practice with the 2015 “Latin American Wind Deal of the Year” for the team’s representation of Oak Creek Energy Systems Inc. in a multilayered infrastructure finance transaction regarding the company’s Tres Mesas wind farm projects. The firm was also recognized by Petróleo & Energía as one of Mexico’s “Top 100 Influential Leaders in The Energy Sector” for 2015, and by LatinFinance 2014 for the firm’s role in Fibra UNO’s US$2.5 billion follow-on public offering named the “Follow-On Equity Deal of the Year. ANTONIO CASARES CARRILLO Is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office. His primary practice areas include finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, and infrastructure. His legal career as a banking lawyer includes representation of leading Mexican and foreign banks in transactions of every kind. Mr. Casares extensive experience includes representing clients on numerous transactions and providing comprehensive guidance on a wide range of areas. He has:

• •

Represented national and foreign financial institutions in structured financings, securities offerings and financial restructurings; he participated in what was at the time the largest restructuring in Latin America, and in the issuance of the first perpetual bond by a Mexican non-governmental entity; Structured joint ventures and closed acquisitions between local and international companies, including a deal that Latin Lawyer named the ‘M&A Deal of the Year’ in 2007; Represented Mexican and foreign clients in complex real estate operations in Mexico; Been a member of multidisciplinary groups advising the Mexican government in the structuring of public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects, including toll roads, bus rapid transit and water projects and; Represented investment banks and issuers in a variety of registered and private debt offerings.

Mr. Casares career began at a Mexican securities boutique law firm. Then he worked for a commercial and civil litigation law firm, also in Mexico. He also practiced for more than 10 years at a leading international corporate law firm where he was a partner for four years. Mr. Casares joined Holland & Knight after six years working in his own firm. After obtaining his LL.M from Columbia University in 2001, he worked as an attorney in the New York City headquarters of a major global law firm. Mr. Casares has been a panellist at numerous conferences related to project finance and has appeared in the media in programs related to infrastructure opportunities in Mexico. He has also been a lecturer for post-graduate degree programs in securities regulations.

Acquisition International - May 2017 25

Specialised in Immigration law, Criminal law, Civil law and Labour law.

Rambla Catalunya 66, 2B 08007 – Barcelona, Spain

The Long Arm of the Law 1705AI06

The Long Arm of the Law Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd is a commercial property enforcement specialist and is celebrating their success in winning the exclusive Leading Enforcement Adviser of the Year – UK award. The company provides a same day nationwide service to evict trespassers and squatters. The company also deals with non-paying tenants, collecting unpaid commercial rent arrears and reclaiming property.

Company: Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd Name: Andy Coates Email: Web: Address: 78 York Street London, W1H 1DP UK Phone: +44 (0)208 090 2439

ndy Coates of Enforcement Bailiffs gives advice to clients on the best way to enforce their instructions and oversees the operations. Andy has been in the profession since 1988 and is the current Vice President of Certificated Enforcement Agents Association. He specialises in the eviction of trespassers from land, and the removal of fly grazing of horses. He tells us more about the company’s specific areas of expertise.

“Everyone needs professional help and advice from trusted advisors. Any company who is faced with problems needs a variety of quality qualified advisors to help them solve a problem.

“As a leading training provider in the enforcement sector our company’s expertise cover all forms of enforcement,” he begins. “We cover mainly the commercial sector for rent and property recovery and, in particular, dealing with trespassers such as traveller eviction or commercial squatters. The company also has an equine and animal division.”

Recently, Andy and the company were awarded the title of Leading Adviser 2017 – Leading Enforcement Adviser of the Year – UK. He tells us how it feels to receive such a prestigious accolade.


Andy has worked as a bailiff and an investigator but also as a manager and director, with considerable experience of enforcement and investigation work.

“Our clients are mainly landowners and the legal sector as well as business and some local authorities. Our business comes from direct marketing, web site sales, networking and word of mouth.”

“We are delighted to receive this again and it now means with have won this award for two consecutive years,” he enthuses. “We feel very proud that our clients are happy with the services and advice given to them.

Andy passed the examination of The Enforcement Services Association (ESA) and the entrance examination of The Association of British investigators (ABI). He has the mix of both operational and managerial experience and skills.

“It is formal recognition of the achievements we have strived for in the past 12 months and proves that our business strategies are working. In particular, we feel that our introduction of the two hour eviction service and joint ventures with legal advisors to provide a three day court order for squatters has played a key part in this.

In his career his managerial positions have included the Enforcement Director at JBW Group, a Director of the Association of British Investigators, CEO at National Enforcement Services, Enforcement Manager at Drakes Group (now Marston Group), and Operations Director at DAC Bailiffs (now part of Philips Collections).

“Also, without the right staff, both behind the scenes and at the sharp end, any business would fail quickly - we feel our staff play a pivotal role within our business and have contributed in us receiving this award once again.”

Andy’s bailiff experience includes every debt type from commercial rent and arrest to High Court writs. He is a co-founder of the Association of Professional Process Servers (APPS) and also a former council member of the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA), and a former Governing Council member of the Association of British Investigators (ABI). “Enforcement advisors carry out many problem solving duties behind the scenes setting up strategies, planning operations, delivering the logistics quickly to deal with the problems and conducting the risk assessments,” explains Andy.

With regards to the future, Andy foresees further growth for the company, following the opening of a Carlisle office in 2016 to serve its clients in Cumbria. “We feel that, whilst all support should be centralised at our head office, regional offices are essential to maintain good local ties with clients. Local offices also give us the ability to provide a quick locally focused service to all clients. We would look at expanding this during 2017 and plan to open an office in the West Midlands.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 27


Company: ThinkMarkets Name: Nauman Anees & Faizan Anees Email: Web: Address: Copthall Avenue, Level 2, London, UK, EC2R 7DA Phone: +44 (0)203 829 5408

The Exciting World of Mobile Trading ThinkMarkets is an industry leader with a global presence — with headquarters in London and Melbourne as well as hubs in the AsiaPacific, Middle East & North Africa, Europe and South America. As the winner of the Investment and Wealth Management Awards 2017 - UK, we caught up with the firm’s founders, Nauman & Faizan Anees to find out more about the firm’s valuable offerings and the vital role of mobile technology in their work.

hinkMarkets is authorised and regulated by the FCA and fully registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. They offer brokerage services allowing traders to execute trades across a broad range of financial derivatives, including; FX, stock indices, metals and commodities. In addition, they are acquiring more markets & products continuously to increase their offering according to the demands of their client base. Markets coming up for them include; equities, bonds, grey markets and 24-hour pricing.


Looking at the financial services industry in more general terms, Nauman believes that this is a highly competitive sector, as there are a significant number of CFD providers and new players are constantly entering the market. There is a stigma of competitive pricing and tight spreads, however ThinkMarkets tries to go beyond this by creatively developing; new trading tools, platforms, markets, and adding technological enhancements, and the firm is always on the lookout for innovative partnerships.

Nauman continues to share his thoughts on the firm’s work and his reflections on winning the Investment and Wealth Management Awards 2017 – UK accolade. “Our global reach and service-offering is broad with over 150 staff, across four continents in over 10 countries, yet we are not inhibited by rigid internal processes that dampen the personal touch we have with our customers. On the staffing-front, we have a Chief Market Analyst who provides market analysis for CNBC, Bloomberg, Sky News, BBC, Reuters, the Daily Mail and The Times. “We are a technology focused organisation with significant investment into platforms and mobile technology, ‘Mobile First’ is part of our wider mobile strategy for 2017/2018 with a series of exciting developments in the world of mobile trading to keep an eye out for. “It’s an honour to be selected for the Investment and Wealth Management Awards 2017 – UK, indeed recognition of our dedication to re-investment into our staff, technology and customer services means a lot to us. Traders have been using mobile for some time now to view pricing, news and charts, however when it comes to executing trades, particularly in high-latency regions that are using legacy 2G and 3G networks, traders lack confidence. This plays a very important part in the work we do.” ThinkTrader Mobile As a leading financial services provider of forex, CFDs and financial spread betting, ThinkMarkets has enhanced its ThinkTrader mobile trading app through the implementation of Neumob’s SDK, an app acceleration framework that will significantly reduce latency for global forex and CFD traders. Nauman then goes on to explain more about this mobile app and the impact it will have. “ThinkMarkets’ mobile app users will see a drastic change in the performance of the platform. Traders will be able to access the numerous functionalities on ThinkTrader, from reviewing charts & livemarket-pricing, placing orders and executing trades,

28 Acquisition International - May 2017

The Exciting World of Mobile Trading

in a much faster manner. The firm’s analytics & data shows that ThinkTrader had a swifter load-speed & quicker interactions between every transaction, with the results showing that traders in several countries saw a substantial increase in the performance of the app, Malaysian users benefited by a 42% increase in app speed, India 37% and China by 20%, successfully supporting a low-latency trading environment.” European Footprint ThinkMarkets has recently expanded their language and customer support services into Greece, and has completed a Rebrand from ThinkForex to ThinkMarkets in 2016. ThinkMarkets has extended its European-reach through the launch of its Greeklanguage offering, and will support the needs of Greek-speaking traders through its dedicated, round-the-clock online trading services.

The firm announced the launch of its full-scale Greek-language website in March 2017, which enables traders from Greece and Cyprus to trade with the award-winning broker on the popular MetaTrader 4 platform, as well as ThinkMarkets’ in-house developed, proprietary trading platform, ThinkTrader. Faizan Anees, co-founder then elaborates on the qualities that this product offers. “Apart from our core services of FX and CFDs on low & competitive spreads, ThinkMarkets’ development teams have tailor-made the firm’s front and backoffice systems to accommodate Greek-speaking traders and thus offering them a sophisticated, dynamic and seamless trading experience.

“The firm’s dedicated client portal, the ThinkPortal, allows users to manage their accounts directly from their own device, whether its web or mobile, the portal is complete with a range of functionality including instant deposits and withdrawals, additional account creation and inter-account transfers, all available in Greek-language. The final word goes to Nauman, who tells us about his vision for the firm in the future. “Mobile First is the firm’s focus for 2017, and while there are many innovations within this sector, we have released a partnership SDK for our ThinkTrader mobile app, that has reduced latency significantly in legacy 2g/3g networks. We are also increasing our assets within this area, leading up to some very exciting releases set for this year, so I will say watch this space!”

Acquisition International - May 2017 29


Invest for Success Company: Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) Name: Owen Verwey Email: Web: Address: 190 Camp and Church Streets, Georgetown, Guyana Telephone: +592 227 0653, +592 225 0658 Fax: +592 225 0655

The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) is the primary service provider to local and foreign investors and exporters alike. As a recent recipient of the Leading Advisors of the Year – Guyana, CEO Owen Verwey provides a fascinating insight into the crucial work of this government agency. O-Invest’s mission is to, “contribute to Guyana’s economic development by promoting and facilitating local and foreign private-sector investment and exports in accordance with the country’s approved investment and export strategies.”


This government office falls under the purview of the Ministry of Business. The agency was established in 1994 to stimulate, facilitate, and promote the development of trade and industry, especially the diversification of investment activities in all sectors of the Guyanese economy. CEO Owen Verwey then tells us more about what GO-Invest does and offers his thoughts on winning the Leading Advisors of the Year – Guyana award. “GO-Invest offers sound technical advice on the process and steps to doing business in Guyana. GO-Invest is also the agency legally mandated to draft the Investment Agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Investor (foreign and local). The Investment Agreement allows for Investors to access fiscal incentives.

“The staff of GO-Invest are credited with the success of the agency, as they are a small group of expert individuals, able to offer accurate advice and guidance.” “Additionally, The GO-Invest Export Promotion Division works closely with investors and supports businesses in seeking export opportunities in overseas markets. The division helps current and potential exporters to promote their products and services in national and international exhibitions, trade fairs, and regionspecific and country-specific trade missions. “On winning the Leading Advisors of the Year Guyana award, this is indeed apt at this point, as GO-Invest is the leading investment facilitation and Export Promotion Agency in this country. In fact, it is the sole Investment Promotion Agency in Guyana. All services offered by GO-Invest are free of cost.” The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) has two main functions. Each one is carried out by individual departments. These are Investment Facilitation Division and the Export Promotion Division. Owen then tells us about his own interesting role at GO-Invest and what this involves.

30 Acquisition International - May 2017

“I provide advice and guidance to investors who are entering or looking to expand their business and projects so as to ensure the interest of both the Investor and the Government is served. I bring together major economic knowledge, local demographic knowledge, augmenting the business and a political awareness and knowledge of government processes. Additionally, I have public, private, local and international experience in investment.” GO-Invest’s Investment facilitation services are: • Liaising with government agencies to support investors; • Assisting investors with necessary steps to commence business operations; • Advising on relevant investment incentives and regulation; • Coordinating joint ventures and; • Investment policy advocacy. Their export promotion services include: • Providing information on trade opportunities; • Assisting in promoting products locally and internationally; • Liaison with relevant agencies to address export problems; • Export policy advocacy and; • Identifying and addressing export needs of private sector firms. The important behind the scenes work that advisors carry out are information sharing, networking as well as the technical ability to easily complete high level due diligence and analytical assessment of business models or investment opportunities Owen underlines. He adds that simplifying the process and time for investment decisions or project implementation is another vital aspect of an advisor’s work. “Experts are able to get access to decision makers, ability to understand decisions and urgency for decisions and generally provide the necessary assistance at a very high level to ensure the success of projects” he tells us. Owen then highlights the type of clients GO-Invest serve, and the vital role of the staff under his authority play. “GO-Invest serve both domestic and foreign investors and exporters. GO-Invest has an opendoor policy, whereby investors and exporters are free to approach the agency at any time and will receive the assistance they require. Additionally,

Invest for Success

the agency engages in various investment promotion and export promotion activities, such as attendance to trade fairs and expos, participations in various sectorial forums and conferences as well as advertising both locally and in foreign mediums. “The staff of GO-Invest are credited with the success of the agency, as they are a small group of expert individuals, able to offer accurate advice and guidance.” Owen concludes by saying that GO-Invest are currently in the process of reorganising the agency, in order to better serve their investors. He adds that they are developing a National Investment Strategy, as well as a National Export Strategy. “We are aiming to have more direct input in the overall country decisions on investment decisions and implementation. Finally, we will be providing a significantly higher level of due diligence and analytical review of project proposal.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 31


Company: The Mahima Mindset Name: Mahima Lucille Klinge Email: Web: Phone: +41 765 643 773

The Art of Mindfulness Mahima Klinge, bestselling author and renowned self-mastery mentor and leadership trainer, tells us more about her approach and how we can all benefit from The Mahima Mindset following their recent success in achieving the European Training Awards 2017 – Switzerland.

estselling author and mindfulness trainer, Mahima Klinge is a Zimbabweanborn native now living in Switzerland. She has dedicated her entire adult life to learning and sharing everything she has mastered in the art of joyful living in the now.


Her impressive presence, gained over more than 2 decades of meditation training and experience, makes her an extremely effective and engaging workshop leader, transformational coach and keynote speaker. Mahima tells us more about her firm and her approach. “We take people on rapid, life transforming journeys that connect them to their inner power. This helps them to find their genius and live their higher purpose,” she begins. “We offer transformational workshops, group and private coaching packages that empower people to own their gift and fully express it in the world.”

“When people know who they are, what their gift is and share that in the world they perform at their best. The reality is that the majority of the workforce (60-85% depending on your source) are not highly engaged. When you have a workforce, who are happy and fully-aligned with who they are and their work is aligned with their gift, current issues such as engagement, motivation and productivity are removed because they become intrinsic and internally generated by the individual.” Mahima’s client base is predominantly females, between the ages of 28-48, who have unfulfilling careers. “They are doing work that makes them feel stuck, frustrated and disconnected from a feeling of making progress, and they have a desire to change this,” explains Mahima. “They want to know who they are and create a life based around that something that they love waking up to do every morning.” The benefits of such training in the corporate environment include a more productive and focused workforce; higher employee engagement; less sick days being taken; better innovation and creative thinking and improved dynamics and interactions. Mahima tells us more about how technology plays an important part in her corporate training days. “Technology helps leverage time and distances increasing the reach and effectiveness of trainings. Today you can have people all over the world sharing the same experience together at the same time. With new tech such as VR the experience of remote and virtual coaching will only increase the value and experience for consumers of training services.” Mahima has recently received the European Training Awards 2017 – Switzerland for her training and mentorship, something of which she is very proud. Humbly, Mahima explains that her staff play a vital role in her success. “It is an absolute honour and privilege to be selected as part of the European Training Awards 2017 – Switzerland,” she enthuses. “It feels amazing to be recognised for all the years of hard work and

32 Acquisition International - May 2017

The Art of Mindfulness

striving to empower people to connect to their inner potential and live a more fulfilled life. “My team are amazing! They really make it possible for me to do what I do. The support from them multiplies my capacity for active clients, creating new products/services and working on the strategy and direction of the business.” Mahima has big plans for the future, for both the industry and her firm. “More and more people are waking up to the fact that they are not living as they should and want to align themselves with their gift. Today, people are just simply not tolerant of living an unfulfilling life. This represents a huge opportunity for us to capture this audience. It also presents the challenge in how we leverage what we have and grow in a sustainable way. This includes leveraging technology for reaching and delivering to an evergrowing audience. “As a firm, in 2017 we’re hoping to continue our rapid expansion with a targeted growth of 250% over that of 2016. To help fuel this growth we will shortly be launching a membership site, rich with our best life changing transformational trainings. In 2016, we began opening up to international markets and are looking to continue offering our services to more people around the world. Ultimately, we are working towards creating centres all around the world where people can come to learn the tools and techniques and get the support necessary to avoid burnout and other physical and emotional stressrelated problems.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 33


Building upon Success Most Outstanding for Restoration Architecture 2017 award winner NFA architects is an established and experienced practice formed of a senior director with dedicated architects, designers and technologists based in Kent. We interviewed the firm’s Nick Farnell to write more about his firm’s work and how it feels to win this prestigious award. Company: NFA architects Ltd. Name: Nick Farnell Email: Web: Address: The Brick Barn, Court Road, St Nicholas at Wade, Kent CT7 0PT Phone: + 44 (0)1227 668 125

ithin their team, NFA architects enjoy the creative process and the satisfaction of delivering client focused site sensitive architecture. Nick has been in practice for over 20 years, he has gained vast and varied experience over a long and successful career. “The key to achieving the very best for a client is to understand more than the brief, the client themselves, to combine both needs and desires and ultimately delivering more than the client first imagined possible” Nick begins.


Having worked across a variety of sectors in both small and large practices, Nick understands the importance of creating a dedicated team to support and develop each project. NFA is architect lead creating a focused design inspired philosophy that benefits the client. Testimonials “Working with NFA architects has been an amazing experience from many points of view. First of all, the team, led by Nick, is very competent, responsive and always looking for something innovative. During the planning phase, they have been able to address all the questions and concerns coming from the authorities making the whole process smooth. During the development phase, they have always been focused on checking the progress of it but most importantly they have been very demanding about the quality. In summary, I had a great experience and I will definitely work with them again in the near future.” Emanuele Angelidis. Private Client (Grade I listed building conversion)

“Nick Farnell was the one architect who understood how we wanted our family to live in our new family home. He created a warm and light environment which continues to impress people who enter our house today. The sense of space and enjoyment is what helps create our house a home. Notwithstanding his workmanship. Nick was a pleasure to work with always listening to what was required, adapting and the result was wonderful. We have recommended him many times and look forward to working with him again in the future.” Pia & Keith DeCarlucci, Private client

34 Acquisition International - May 2017

NFA Architects was formed on the success of the highly acclaimed Third Space Health Club, which won ‘The Best Health Club in The World’ international Design Award presented by British Airways in 2003, and as recently as 2010 & 2011 won the London lifestyle awards. Ever since, the practice has achieved considerable success becoming widely respected for its innovative modern and bespoke approach to architecture and has featured numerous times in the press. Nick then explains more about the firm in his own words. “We work in several sectors, predominantly residential but also commercial and education. Our forte is designing wining schemes in sensitive locations such as working on grade I listed buildings in some of the most prestigious locations across London and further afield. Our work covers all work stages so we can guide our clients seamlessly from concept to completion on site. “We also offer a range of services to aid developers. Often commercially sensitive decisions are time critical and we assist in developing a commercial case for a site or project to establish the feasibility, we can then take on the project should it go forward to completion.” Philosophy & inspiration The firm’s philosophy is to blend the individual needs with site specific responses thereby creating bespoke solutions that are of their ‘place’. They

understand their responsibility to clients and the world around us for now and future generations. Nick goes on to detail his thoughts on the firm’s philosophy and inspiration that surrounds the work they do. “For us sustainable solutions are produced when common sense is combined with intelligent design. Advances in technology are useful aids but so is understanding our environment. Understanding the way, we want to use our homes is vital to limiting waste and extending the life span of what we build. “Fundamentally architecture is about making places. It operates on the macro level, shaping cities and responding to external influences, reflecting our interests, attitudes and passions in our homes, places of work, worship and recreation.” “In addition, our inspiration is varied as it begins with the client and their aspirations for their project. We are contemporary designers and look to architects such as Carlo Scarpa and Tom Kundig for their play between new and old but our methods are fluid enough to tailor to the client not impose a style or ideal on a person. We also look to the context for inspiration, sometime this means working sympathetically with the context and sometimes working in contrast, it is this fluidity that produces sometimes unexpected but always beautiful designs appropriate to the individual constraints.” Most Outstanding for Restoration Architecture 2017 On winning the Most Outstanding Renovation Architecture award 2017, Nick says it is great to be honoured in this way. NFA architects strive for success for all their clients he adds. “Our approach is bespoke to each project and keeps the design process fresh. Taking the time to understand our clients and appreciating how they wish to live helps us to achieve the perfect solution. The key to our success in the residential sector is designing the big architectural moves that will create amazing spaces while applying the details that are personal to the client. This award is greatly received especially considering the length of time each project takes from the moment the first discussions ensue to the time when we can hand the keys back to our eager client.

Building upon Success

“This award means a huge amount for the firm as it is great to be honoured for our endeavours and rewards the painstaking crafting of the architecture we create. Obviously, any positive press and awards helps create the atmosphere off a successful company and helps instill in our client base a trust and empathy with our skill and dedication. The office is extremely happy to receive this award for their professional and unstoppable work ethic. Understanding and exceeding expectations The clients of NFA architects range from corporate to residential client. Their clients are their top priority, indeed understanding and then exceeding their requirements is the firm’s ultimate aim Nick underlines. “We pride ourselves on our track record of delivering projects to the highest standards. It is our firm commitment to each and every client to deliver the best possible solution within the limits they chose to impose. We craft our designs and nurture the initial concept to develop well considered projects that leave our clients delighted. By our nature, we lead clients through the process making it as enjoyable as possible. “Often, we find clients chose to return or introduce friends as they have enjoyed the process so much and the working relationship developed through it. It is our firm commitment to each and every client to deliver the best possible solution within the limits they chose to impose.

A close-knit team The role staff play in the firm is fundamental to the continued success of each and every project Nick goes on to tell us. Enthusiasm and positivity drive the office, a point he proceeds to expand upon.

So, times are exciting for the firm, and they hope to be in need of extra talented staff towards the end of this summer to build further upon their success. Nick then explains the wider industry challenges facing the firm.

“The love of creating and the appreciation of the clients helps to sustain the high levels of energy and determination to get the project through the many stages. A close-knit team is essential to delivering the high standard of work required and being part of an encouraging, creative and busy team means all aspects of our work benefits.

“In 2017, there are some specific industry based challenges facing the industry, and not just the challenges faced by global warming or ecological necessity there is the financial uncertainty caused by the rise in Stamp Duty, the upcoming election and Brexit, and to the role of the UK globally once we have left the EU. This is having a remarkable effect on the higher property values in London especially and we have seen this market decrease considerably over the past 18 months. The knock down effect this is having on the periphery may not be felt for some time.

“In addition, keeping up to date with current trends is vital as our clients have high standards and expect the best from us, however our view is that great design does not necessarily come from being ‘on trend’ rather from an appreciation of space, light, place, time and people. Often it is the constraints that lead ultimately to the best designs as finding solutions rather than compromise challenges the designer to create better more considered architecture.” Plans for the future The firm’s plans for 2017 is to keep pushing forward promoting good design led architecture. This year, unlike others, has seen them take a wider step forward into new uncharted territory. For instance, this year they are looking to commence their first in-house development project in the UK, plus they have been appointed to carry out two new large scale build projects in the Caribbean.

“Equally the knock on effect this is having in terms of funding potential for clients and developers is being felt. We have found clients holding back where they would once relish spending their money in the certainty it would be safe in the square meterage of their new building. We have seen this coming for some time and like most professional companies have looked to other potential markets to see if we can engineer a way forward. The testament to this is the fact we are now embarking upon our first development project and have secured work abroad for the first time outside of the EU.

“We craft our designs and nurture the initial concept to develop well considered projects that leave our clients delighted. By our nature, we lead clients through the process making it as enjoyable as possible.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 35


We Are a Family Company: GSIC - Golden Summit Immigration Consultancy Name: Joel Miranda Angon 
 Email: joelangon@ 
 Web: Address: Ground Floor, CL Properties Building, 14 J Llorente cor. J. Osmeña Sts., Capitol Site, Cebu City, Philippines 6000 Phone: +63 32 2554370

GSIC – Golden Summit Immigration Consultancy is a Philippine-based immigration consultancy firm with a mission to help Filipino professionals who are interested to migrate to New Zealand by providing honest, straight-forward and up-to-date information that will aid in the decision of its customers. We interviewed the firm’s Joel Miranda Angon who turns the spotlight on the firm’s work following their achievement in winning the Leading Global Mobility & Immigration Adviser of the Year award, exclusive to the Philippines. SIC completely supports and adheres to the migration plans and directions of New Zealand. At this stage, an increasing number of professionals are looking at further developing their expertise and knowledge through study – doctorate, masters, postgraduate diplomas, graduate diplomas, degrees, diplomas and certificates.

clients – indeed relatives, friends and colleagues come to us with the endorsements of former clients who have become successful in New Zealand. We also provide regular public seminars in various key cities around the Philippines through the eight offices of the company in Cebu, Cavite, Davao, Manila, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan De Oro and General Santos.”

New Zealand is very welcoming country with a multi-cultural society, not to mention the warm and friendly people, which attract many international students from around the globe, in various industries like health, business, accounting, IT, engineering, tourism and hospitality to discover the high quality and world-recognised education system. Joel then outlines the firm’s excellent relationships with their clients.

Joel then proceeds to share his thoughts on winning the Leading Global Mobility & Immigration Adviser of the Year award for the Philippines.


“The award is a huge honour and inspiration. It truly means a lot to all who work at GSIC. To us, it is a confirmation of the kind of personalised and quality customer service we have been strongly embracing as a corporate culture over the years.” “So, this is where GSIC takes pride as firm, we have strong and long-standing relationships with Universities, Institutes of Technology, polytechnics and private training establishments across the whole New Zealand giving our customers a whole range of choices from up north to down south of the country. “A large percentage of the clients GSIC deals with are professionals, with some years of work experience, individuals who aim to pursue further study to up their knowledge and expertise, as well as expanding their potential on the global business stage. “Golden Summit Immigration Consultancy benefits greatly from the referrals of happy and satisfied

36 Acquisition International - May 2017

“GSIC has been in the business for more than 12 years, so it is quite surreal that an international award giving body has recognised us for the work that we do. As the director and head of the company, I consider this award as an inspiration to further the quality of service we provide our customers and to ensure that we continue to uphold the same ethical standards that propelled the company to its current level. “The award is a huge honour and inspiration. It truly means a lot to all who work at GSIC. To us, it is a confirmation of the kind of personalised and quality customer service we have been strongly embracing as a corporate culture over the years.” Joel’s own role in the company as an advisor is an a fully licensed immigration adviser of the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) of New Zealand. This is a government entity authorising and supervising advisers all across the globe who are providing immigration advise to those aiming to travel, study and/or migrate to New Zealand. He then tells us more about his own role in further detail and the team of seasoned individuals he works with. “As a ‘fully’ licensed adviser, I am authorised to provide information on nearly all immigration matters – visitor, study, work, professional migration, family reunification, partnership entry as well as business migration. “As a licensed immigration adviser - I am responsible in ensuring that all applications lodged with Immigration New Zealand are well assessed from the initial engagement with the customers, to preparation of the acceptable and verifiable documents - to dealing with questions and

We Are a Family

concerns of the customers with a mutual objective of safeguarding the success of the visa application. Each application lodged with Immigration New Zealand bears my name and my license, providing a level of confidence with customers that their application is well managed and protected.” “GSIC comprises of a team of ethical, highlymotivated, success-driven and customer-focused individuals embracing one culture – ‘success in making others successful’. We agree that each member is as important as the rest, because we believe that we are not just a business firm, but that ‘we are a family’. Joel ends the interview on an optimistic note, outlining his vision for the firm’s future. “GSIC aims to make 2017 as the best year for the company – with the greatest number of happy and satisfied and eventually successful clients – and more cities and municipalities across the Philippines to visit and share the opportunities New Zealand offers. Additionally, we strive for increased knowledge and expertise among the GSIC team members through technical and training sessions, not to mention stronger business relationships with NZ schools and better and more sturdy relationships with the New Zealand government institutions.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 37


Company: Forresters Name: Dr Matthew Barton Partner, Life Sciences & Chemistry Email: Web: Address: Skygarden Erika-Mann-Str. 11 80636 Munich, Germany Phone: +49 89 2441 299 0

Clear Direction and Focus Forresters is a full service intellectual property (IP) law firm based in the UK and Germany, handling all aspects of European and UK patent, trademark, design and copyright law. As Leading Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year – Germany award winner (Leading Adviser 2017), we invited this firm to write about the tailored advice they provide for their clients and Dr Matthew Barton’s work in their Munich office. stablished in the UK in 1884, we consider ourselves to be one of the most progressive IP firms, with our unique selling point of ‘clear direction’ influencing everything we do. Clear direction means giving our clients clear advice tailored to their particular circumstances; any attorney can simply quote the law, but we pride ourselves on providing useful, practical, commercial advice and recommendations based on our intimate knowledge of the client’s needs. We do this in a clear and concise way – without dumbing-down but avoiding jargon and unnecessary complexity.


“Looking ahead, 2017 and the next few years will be an exciting time for intellectual property, and especially for UK firms like Forresters.”

I am personally a partner based in our Munich office, having started my career with Forresters in London in 2001. Being based in Germany, a very large part of my work therefore centres on the European patent office which involves drafting, filing and prosecuting European patent applications which when granted, can take effect in up to 40 countries across Europe. I am also highly active in dealing with the EPO opposition procedure - either attacking granted patents belonging to our clients’ competitors or defending our clients’ patents against such attacks - with a high success rate. This means frequent hearings and advocacy on behalf of our clients, as well as proceedings before the EPO’s Boards of Appeal (the effective appeal court of the EPO).

Winning the Leading Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year - Germany award is a great confirmation that we are getting it right and providing clients with the advice they need. We are very grateful for this outstanding recognition - but we never forget that this has been achieved by the entire team - from partner level right though to support staff. Without our excellent support network in every office, the attorneys of Forresters would not be able to operate on such a high level, so congratulations for this award must go to all of our staff.

With a PhD in chemistry, I handle patents in a wide range of subject matter, from industrial chemistry and drugs through to alloys and medical devices. I also have a thriving practice in mechanical subject matter such as household goods, working with clients that are globally recognised brands through to up-and-coming small to medium enterprises and individual inventors. I enjoy the variety of having a mixed practice and a variety of clients, who all receive the same level of responsiveness and care, whether multinational or individual.

We are a UK firm with an international presence thanks to our fully staffed office in Munich, Germany, the home of the European patent office (EPO). In the UK, we have offices throughout the country, in London, Birmingham and Liverpool, so that we can assist clients from across the UK.

More broadly Forresters can protect all aspects of a given product – from the way it works (patents), to the way it looks (designs) and its name and branding (trademarks). We have an expert trademark team who are specialists in obtaining the broadest possible coverage for a brand, and we are one of the biggest filers of European Union trademarks. So, a client can walk through our door for the first time and leave with every angle of his or her product being protected.

However, we have clients from around the world, with significant business coming in from the USA and Asia. Our attorneys are qualified as at least UK and European practitioners (in patents and/or trademarks) and our practice focusses on obtaining and defending IP rights in the UK and Europe, as well as using the international systems for patent and trademark protection.

38 Acquisition International - May 2017

Additionally, through our network of trusted associates around the world we are able to protect intellectual property in almost any jurisdiction you could mention, while coordinating the entire portfolio from Europe.

Of course, IP does not start and finish with the granting of a protective right. As well as the patent opposition procedure mentioned above (and the opposition procedure in respect of trade marks),

Clear Direction and Focus

we can handle every aspect of the IP, including arranging and officially recording sales (assignment of the IP) and licences, as well as the administrative tasks such as registering a company’s name change against the IP. Most importantly, many IP rights require the payment of annual renewal fees to keep them in force, and our renewals team is expert in handling these routine but time-critical and essential payments. Looking ahead, 2017 and the next few years will be an exciting time for intellectual property, and especially for UK firms like Forresters. Following the Brexit vote and the subsequent triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, we are fully focussed on ensuring that our clients do not lose any rights when the UK leaves the EU. With our Munich office and balanced team of qualified attorneys, we are already future-proofed against Brexit and we will have no difficulty offering the same full range of European services in the future. Meanwhile, we are watching and waiting to see how Brexit develops and how it will affect IP. The planned Unitary Patent system (an almost EU-wide patent and corresponding court) is still intended to start shortly but is presently on hold, at least in part due to Brexit, but we will be ready to act and advise our clients as soon as the system moves forward. With our ever-growing team, Forresters is all set and looking forward to a very bright future.

Acquisition International - May 2017 39


Company: Bonassa Bucker Advogados Name: Fátima Cristina Bonassa Bucker Email: fcbb@ Web: www.bonassabucker. Address: Rua Afonso Bras, 864 cj 112, São Paulo SP, Brazil Phone: +55 11 3846 3307

An Unwavering Commitment to Excellence Bonassa Bucker Advogados has been involved in the implementation of several international enterprises, constituting companies and partnerships, as well as serving foreign investors from various sources. In this article, Fátima Cristina Bonassa Bucker provides a profile of the firm’s work and their unwavering commitment to excellence.

onassa Bucker Advogados is a law firm founded in 1990 and based in the city of São Paulo – the largest city of Brazil in terms of business and representation. Our main value is ensuring the excellence in the delivery of all our services, based on high level of academic knowledge and technical expertise of our lawyers, all of whom are specialists in their respective areas of law.


The services we offer are corporate advisory, foreigner investments, engineering and infrastructure, tax, intellectual property, labour, real estate, sports law, dispute boards, mediation, arbitration and judicial litigation. Our main clients are from the engineering and infrastructure sectors, industrial, services as well as entertainment and sporting companies.

“In just a very few words, our law firm counts on a professional body and highly qualified staff to provide a safe, efficient and individualised service, attending the needs of national and international companies.” Our corporate advisory services can be summarised as follows: • Assistance in strategic negotiations for the acquisition of companies; • Consultancy in the purchase and sale of shareholdings, commercial establishments and assets; • Incorporation of companies and preparation of corporate documents; • Corporate planning and restructuring, including mergers, divisions, incorporations, transformations; • Formation of consortia and joint ventures and; • Preparation and follow-up of due diligence.

40 Acquisition International - May 2017

In terms of direct foreign investments, we offer: • Consultancy and legal planning for the realisation and registration of investments in currencies or assets; • Financial transfers, remittances of profits and repatriation of capital; • Assistance and preparation of processes for recording investments in the Central Bank of Brazil, regularisation of unregistered investments; • Establishment of subsidiaries, branches or subsidiaries of domestic companies abroad and foreign companies in Brazil and; • Structuring of companies for investments abroad. When it comes to national and international trade relations, we specialise in: • Negotiation, consulting, examination, review and elaboration of international commercial contracts; • Assistance and representation of domestic and foreign clients in cases involving subsidies, safeguards, compensatory measures and ‘dumping’; • Import and export consultancy and; • Special customs rights and regimes. Concerning intellectual property, our expertise in this area can be summarised as follows: • Negotiation and drafting of agreements for the licensing of intellectual and industrial property rights, transfer of technology, provision of technical and scientific assistance services; • Registration of trademarks, patents, software, domain names and copyrights in Brazil and abroad; • Elaboration and follow-up of processes with INPI and Central Bank; • Franchising modelling; • Legal proceedings, involving unfair competition, search and seizure, trademark and patent infringement and; • National and international arbitrations. Our team has expertise in arbitrations and judicial litigation involving, among others, corporate matters.

An Unwavering Commitment to Excellence

I am the office director, and have a Ph.D. in International Law, Master in Economic and Financial Law, and graduated in law at the University of São Paulo. I have certainly enhanced my knowledge by attending the relevant courses and programs in the best law schools in the United Kingdom and United States of America. To the date, I’m the Cultural Director of the São Paulo Lawyers Association (AASP) and the Director of the Mediation Centre of AASP. In just a very few words, our law firm counts on a professional body and highly qualified staff to provide a safe, efficient and individualised service, attending the needs of national and international companies.

Acquisition International - May 2017 41


Company: Appeal PR Ltd Name: Paul Snape Email: Web: Address: Chatsworth House, 6a Montpellier Street Harrogate, HG1 2TQ UK Phone: +44 (0)1423 56 99 99

An Appealing Line of Work AppealPR has been established for 19 years and specialises in providing media relations and digital marketing support to professional services firms, particularly in corporate finance, funding, insolvency and deal making. We spoke to the firm’s Paul Snape to find out more about this nice agency and their impressive body of work.

s a niche agency, AppealPR have remained focused on the professional services sector and, as one of a handful of specialists outside the capital, this approach has served them well. Throughout the early noughties, they publicised a great many deals on behalf of clients such as DLA Piper, Deloitte, Lloyds Corporate Markets, Begbies Traynor, McInnes Corporate Finance and many other boutique firms.


AppealPR’s specialism in the sector took them into the world of insolvency during the financial crisis when the vast majority of deals fell away and there was a rush towards offering restructuring services. They have represented business rescue and recovery specialist Begbies Traynor, insolvency trade body R3 and other advisory firms including Grant Thornton during the period since the 2008 crash. Paul remarks that it is good to see a return to the more positive investment deals, trade sales and MBOs they were routinely publicising in the early 2000s, before telling us more about the firm.

“Five years is a long time in this sector, especially with the global economy showing such uncertainty.” “As entrepreneurs ourselves, our strength comes from having a real understanding of finance and business. Having written a business plan for a disruptive publishing venture, TheBusinessDesk. com in 2005, we have more rounded experience than just as a PR agency. We took that proposition through the funding rounds, attracting over £1m of private venture capital. From growing that business rapidly, we gained a real insight into the dynamics of finance that other agencies simply don’t have. Being a PR outfit with a publishing interest also taught us a great deal about how to make the most of Google’s respect for media coverage. We now blend our media relations services with digital work too, maximising search benefits by using what we learned.

42 Acquisition International - May 2017

“As well as publicising transactions at the very end of a corporate finance process, we are also brought into the deal planning stage by certain clients when they have a mandate to market a business carefully for a trade sale. This more strategic role is very rewarding for us as we understand the impact the correct profile and online references for a business can have on the success of its sale process. Essentially, our role can involve refreshing websites; editing content and messages; and placing up to date, credible media references in key trade and national publications to assist with the sale process. “The enhancements we can make to the reputation and perception of a business can help stimulate competition, deliver results in Reuters and Google searches around carefully targeted phrases and industry terms, and generally improves the market understanding of the business and its momentum at a time when these aspects can have a very real and tangible impact on value.” In this capacity, AppealPR have secured a number of purely lead generation projects where their sole aim is to attract leads for high value professional or financial services firms. This activity might include media relations for a new lender - or developing a search oriented website and generating content to attract organic search results. Paul then expands on this point in his own words. “It also often involves generating content for sponsored LinkedIn campaigns to hook new clients or undertaking AdWords campaigns designed to generate inbound paid contact. “The last ten years has seen a division between marketers and agencies that are adept at maximising the natural digital benefits media relations now brings, and those that have chosen to ignore how Google has impacted our industry. “Fortunately, a great many traditional agencies are still struggling to come to terms with the opportunities that digital and even paid search brings. Meanwhile, we and the others in marketing and PR who immersed themselves in the change from print to online, and who worked to really understand how it was being delivered by publishers, are ahead of the pack - we are now seeing the rewards from this investment.”

An Appealing Line of Work

Paul’s own role in the firm is leading the firm’s strategic corporate finance work, supported by journalists and account managers, but they are a very flat team and work across clients in small teams, ensuring that their senior consultants get to know clients well and get a fantastic understanding of their business objectives. Paul tells us more about the firm’s relationship with their clients, and the importance of the team in supporting them. “Our typical client relationship is six or seven years, and our longest standing client is over 12 years and still growing. Only with that degree of continuity can we earn the trust and respect to become an extension of the client’s own executive team, and we are often seen as just that. “AppealPR’s team is paramount to the work we do. We are only as good as the relationships we have, and the quality of the work and results our consultants produce for clients. We really strive to provide true consultancy and we often push back and offer some challenging advice to clients if we feel it is in their best interests. “While this can be difficult, in the long run as media relations and digital marketing specialists, we are trusted to know what will or won’t result in the desired objective. That doesn’t necessarily mean generating media coverage - we only use the media as a means to achieving the desired end result. When we issue press releases about a business that is about to go into a corporate finance process, we might be aiming to attract overseas trade buyers’ interest, or to show expertise in a niche sector that has a premium value, or to refresh the market perception of the business growth path. “If we are publicising the sale of a firm, we might be looking to reassure staff, customers and suppliers that the new owners will be investing to grow the business, or communicating messages about a repositioning strategy. The point is that our team understands why clients want media coverage and what the end result of that message delivery is, and, therefore, can ensure a better outcome. That is the key difference between the approach of Appeal consultants and many other PR people who focus on the coverage rather than the impact the media has on target audiences.”

“That said, as a business that innovated in B2B publishing when we diversified in 2007, we always have an eye on the media market for the most significant changes in the sector. These don’t always come in the form of new technology, but rather in the way you use existing platforms and blend your use of the web with sponsorship and content generation. “The most fundamental way we are keeping ahead of the trends is by having our own Google accredited PPC and SEO consultants in-house, so we can develop and deliver bespoke techniques that wring the online value out of press releases, and generate surveys and other content that gets the dual benefits of high profile visibility by humans in print and on media websites, but also brings technical search improvements. “This strategic blending of search and PR has to be the future evolution of every media campaign, influencing robots, crawlers and Google to leave the long-term benefits long after the news value of activity has ebbed away, and publications have archived coverage and content.” Paul then tells us about his future aspirations for Appeal PR and where he sees himself in five years’ time. “Five years is a long time in this sector, especially with the global economy showing such uncertainty. Our aim is to keep innovating in the way we bring together search, media relations and traditional PR to deliver a holistic approach to influencing key audiences. “We will also continue to target professional and financial services as an area of specialism as the key skills needed in this area are hard to replicate; what’s more, our reputation is well established and we love work that involves us in the strategic deal making activity.

goods and services overseas who don’t want to commit to the prohibitive entry level fees of global advisers, but who need smart, savvy marketing. We launched our US specialist agency, Great British Marketing, in 2014 and that has gained traction, particularly in the months since Brexit. Our initial projects have delivered great results for clients in both the US and the UK and we see this as a massive area for growth.” Finally, there are indeed opportunities and challenges ahead in terms of the wider industry Paul believes. The ongoing trends away from qualified journalists to a more ‘noisy’ and less respected spread of content focused non-news websites will give the media industry headaches he underlines. It will also widen the gap between Google’s credibility and, therefore, value for differing media coverage he adds, before elaborating on this interesting point. “The Guardian’s move to requesting ‘support’ from readers to contribute to the cost of producing news rather than demanding subscriptions, is interesting, and there is a political dynamic that could see this succeed where a harder line capitalist stance has had limited returns. As a digital-only publisher, I experienced first-hand the need to maintain quality and reputation to attract commercial success, and the media as a whole is still facing a watershed as printed products continue to fall away. “The challenge and the key opportunity is to keep a close eye on which channels deliver value for money and bring either increased value, or new customers and fees. If we operate media campaigns in isolation to paid content sponsorship, or lead generation web activity, we will not be able to deliver the best campaigns. Keeping ahead of what works best for various professions, sectors and businesses will be our biggest challenge, but one that will keep us on our toes.”

“Another area of focus is international work. There is a big opportunity for us to assist firms exporting

In terms of keeping up with industry trends, Paul believes that Appeal PR Ltd benefits from the latest media targeting software that, “thankfully, has a relatively low entry level and so there isn’t really a vast difference between the resources available to small agencies like us and the global players” he explains, before elaborating his interesting observations in the role technology plays in the firm’s work. “We keep an eye on the market for new applications and web resources to ensure we offer clients the smartest use of time tracking trends and monitoring coverage which in itself can be a significant use of resources. We also benefit from being in a business-to-business niche that is less impacted by the trends in social media and consumer platforms where change is more rapid and disruptive than in B2B.

Acquisition International - May 2017 43


Transport of Delight Company: Ocean World Logistics Name: Muhammad Saad Email: Web: Address: Phone: + 92 21 324 774 979

Ocean World Logistics (OWL), proud recipients of the Most Outstanding International Sea Freight Company 2016 (part of the 2016 Global Excellence Awards), details the valuable logistic services they provide. ur moto at Ocean World Logistics is, ‘We don’t talk, we deliver’. OWL has a hands-on management experience, not to mention our local port knowledge and experience, as well are our undoubted desire to build a lasting service relationship with the clients we serve. We believe in taking the time to get to know you and your business, thus going the extra mile to ensure that your shipments arrive or depart, free of any problems or delays.


OWL’s network participation is with trusted international counterparts on the other end of the shipment, who are equally dedicated to serving your interests. In addition, our cooperating agents take the same care with your shipment as your customer or vendor would. I am proud to say that all of our employees are experienced in every aspect of the freight forwarding process, including import and export documentation requirements for all types of cargo. As a firm, we offer regular air, sea and land transportation to and from Pakistan.

“I am proud to say that all of our employees are experienced in every aspect of the freight forwarding process, including import and export documentation requirements for all types of cargo.” Logistics management In terms of logistics management, OWL offers a broad range of services from warehousing and transportation to logistics, with years of experience to draw from. We are certain that we can provide you with and your firm with solutions that will improve your supply chain. We offer a complete end-to-end management solution that makes a positive difference in your business by providing an alternative to costly internal operations and management. Our services in this respect include: • Public warehousing; • Contract warehousing; • Inventory management; • Order assembly and pick n pack; • Logistics consulting; • Packing and labelling and; • Interstate distribution as per orders.

Road freight Concerning road freight, what we offer in this vein can be summarised as follows: • Transportation of heavy and odd dimensional cargo to any destination in Pakistan; • Project cargo movement from inception to erection and commission; • Deliver to consignee destination of impact cargo after custom clearance from air cargo and seaport on our own delivery trucks; • Personal baggage trucking to passenger doorstep after clearance; • Container transportation trailers for all inland destinations in Pakistan; • Pick up for export cargo from the shipper warehouse to the nearest port and; • With our expertise in road and rail logistics operations, we can offer optimum, reasonable, coordinated and competent transport solutions. Air freight When it comes to air freight, we offer innovative solutions for all sizes and types of cargo, indeed our dedicated and trained staff keep long standing relationships with a variety of reliable carriers. This enables us to ensure the perfect handling of all shipments, to ensure that our customers are satisfied every time this service is provided. I would like to add that we handle all air freight shipments in a professional, reliable and expedient manner to ensure the safe, timely and cost effective delivery at destinations all over the world. Sea freight As an energetic logistics group, we provide a wide range of professional NVOCC/freight forwarding services to worldwide destinations, with a wellconnected network of strong and professional agents globally. We have the perfect blend of experience, added with accurate control of every sector, we delivery sea shipments in a fast, reliable and cost effective manner. As our customer, all you have to do is sit back and let us arrange for your groupage, distribution, transhipment, palletisation, customs clearance, door-to-door delivery and more with total ease. Our sea freight services include: A weekly service from inland points to multiple international destinations; • Multiple carriers’ choice; • Door to door services; • Packaging and labelling; • Fumigation and palletising and; • Highly competitive rates. For more information about what we do, feel free to browse our website at: or reach out to us at the contact details provided in this article.

44 Acquisition International - May 2017

Transport of Delight

Acquisition International - May 2017 45


Company: Stanbic Bank Kenya Name: Ben Wandawanda Email: WandawandaB@ Web: Address: Mezzanine Floor, Stanbic Bank Centre Chiromo Road, Westlands, Nairobi 100, Kenya Phone: +25472566523

Striving for Excellence in Banking Ben is a commercially astute banking executive with an outstanding PanAfrican track record of success in developing profitable business functions and turning around poorly performing ones. Following his success in the Manager of the Year – Kenya award, as part of the Business Elite Awards 2017, we interviewed him to find out more about his background and his current job role. y way of an introduction, Stanbic Bank Kenya is a subsidiary of the Standard Bank Group, a leading Africa-focused financial services organisation with a history of more than 154 years on the continent. It is Africa’s biggest bank by assets and operates in 20 countries across the continent, including South Africa and other key markets around the world.


Stanbic Bank Kenya serves three broad client groups namely Personal and Business Banking (PBB), Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) and Wealth, giving people the financial tools they need to grow as individuals and business owners. As Pan-African bank, the firm believes that they can, and do, make a positive difference to the lives of their fellow Africans, in a lasting and powerful manner.

“In this world of uncertainty with Trump and Brexit, the two key strategies that will make firms resilient are ‘diversification and appropriate risk management’.” Ben Wandawanda is a graduate of the Gordon Institute of Business Studies, University of Pretoria’s Advanced Management Program in Retail Executive Business Development and also holds an MSc in Strategic Management from Derbyshire Business School, University of Derby as well as a BSc in Applied Physics and Mathematics. Ben’s 18 years of work experience spans across Internet Service Providers, ICT and telecommunications and banking. He worked as Head of Business Banking for Standard Bank Malawi for 6 years before moving to Kenya in January 2013 as the Executive Head for Business Banking in Kenya and South Sudan. Ben begins the interview by sharing his thoughts on being selected for the Manager of the Year – Kenya award, as part of the 2017 Business Elite Awards. “Firstly, it is humbling to be selected as Acquisition International’s Manager of the Year – Kenya and I feel greatly honoured for this. However, I would

46 Acquisition International - May 2017

like to pay tribute to the great business banking team that I lead in Kenya; they are the true heroes and heroines who provide me with a never-ending supply of inspiration to stay hungry and continue to strive for excellence. We celebrate every win, for the briefest of moments, then regroup to move on to the next challenge. “For me personally, this recognition is testimony that through hard work and by putting people first, the customer effectively becomes first by default, and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well…. this is how as a collective, we can win. I also hope that when my two children get to read this publication, they will be filled not only with a sense of pride but a sense of determination to achieve even greater things in their lives. “For our bank, this recognition is confirmation that we continue to make positive steps in changing people’s lives and contributing to the growth of Kenya’s economy. As a bank, we are committed not only to Kenya, but to the African continent and its people.” With the current state of the fluctuating markets, due to a number of factors including Brexit and the USA presidency, Ben shares his thoughts on the extent to which he thinks that the strongest businesses stand out amongst the competitors, and how Stanbic Bank Kenya continues to thrive in these challenging times. “When you look at both these risk scenarios (Brexit and USA Presidency), there could both direct and indirect impact for a company in question as well as the jurisdiction it is operating in. For instance, a horticulture firm operating in East Africa that relies heavily on GBP revenue from UK, will inevitably get hit from the effect of a weaker GBP and also the subsequent slowdown within the UK economy as a result of Brexit. “The long-term impact on the UK economy from the Brexit decision will likely be slower exports since most of its trade is done with the EU hence once it loses access to this single market area, economic growth will most likely be muted. Of course, the Donald Trump presidency also brings about a fair amount of uncertainty due to the unpredictability of policy from the US. Trump may decide to reduce

Striving for Excellence in Banking

donor support towards some African economies, but the near-term risk for African firms and economies is the high likelihood of a stronger Dollar over the course of the year, which could also lead to more expensive rates for Dollar debt. “The Trump administration has also proposed to reduce taxes in the US and this has prompted the US Federal Reserve to flirt with the possibility of raising rates faster in 2017 in an attempt to reign in any potential inflationary threats owing to the likely reduction in taxes.” The Kenyan economy is not heavily reliant on donor flows but most textile firms in Kenya export to the US, Ben explains, adding that should there be any disruption in the trade relations between Kenya and the US, textile firms could face severe headwinds. Ben then explains this interesting point in his own words. “In this world of uncertainty with Trump and Brexit, the two key strategies that will make firms resilient are ‘diversification and appropriate risk management’. For instance, should a horticulturist expect their GBP revenue from UK to slow down after Brexit, they should perhaps look to hedge this currency risk. “Alternatively, as demand for products from the UK is likely to subside over the coming years, firms need to try and look for new developing source markets so as to minimise the revenue concentration risk away from the UK. “The same goes for an importing firm which could be worried about the Dollar soaring against African currencies from Trump’s tax proposals, and in this case, the hedging strategy should be adopted. Also, should the firm in question have any outstanding Dollar debt, they should quickly consider to swap the debt currency or fix the interest rate in order to enhance profitability.” Ben then wraps up what has been a very interesting interview indeed, by reflecting on his aspirations for his employer as it continues its exciting journey in 2017 and beyond. “As we continue to operate in a turbulent microeconomic environment, my future aspiration for Stanbic Bank Kenya is to continue driving the acquisition of profitable transactional customers whose ecosystems we will support for our mutual growth and thereby build a sustainable bank that will continue to deliver acceptable returns to our shareholders. “If we can achieve this, while keeping our people excited about coming to work daily, the knock-on effect will effectively transcend to our customers and as an organisation and we will certainly touch many lives and contribute to our country and the continent’s growth.

Acquisition International - May 2017 47


Company: Gulfstream Mergers Name: Mike Sherry Vice-President Email: MSherry@ Web: Address: 17111 Kenton Drive, Cornelius, North Carolina 28031 Phone: +1 704 892 5151

Advice You Can Count On Gulfstream Mergers & Acquisitions is a full-service mergers and acquisitions firm, recently awarded the prestigious Leading Financial Adviser of the Year – USA award, after which we caught up with Mike Sherry, Vice President, to learn more about their success.

ulfstream Mergers & Acquisitions is a full-service mergers and acquisitions firm that has successfully completed over 500 transactions for our clients throughout the United States since 1993. Gulfstream’s services include divestures-including full or partial, company grooming, valuation services, and acquiring companies for select clients.


Leading Financial Adviser of the Year – USA award Mr. Sherry told us, “Everyone at Gulfstream Mergers is enormously enthusiastic to be recognised as a true global leader by a reputable organisation such as Acquisition International. Accolades like this provides us with worldwide recognition that simply can’t be bought.

“More broadly speaking, as a full service, mergers & acquisitions firm, we handle the entire process for our clients.” This prestigious award serves as a confirmation that the talented individuals making up our company are doing things the right way. Any time a company is recognised as a global leader by a group such as Acquisition International, it validates the efforts and strategies that our clients have come to count on from Gulfstream Mergers.” Company overview The team at Gulfstream Mergers and Acquisitions are recognised experts in the acquisition, merger, and selling of companies. Transaction services include: an accurate market valuation of the company, effective marketing, personal and ethical relationships with all parties involved, in depth negotiating skills, due diligence expertise, cooperation and creative solutions for legal and accounting advisers and traditional and alternative sources of financing. In addition to M&A transactions, Gulfstream Mergers & Acquisitions assists companies whose principals are looking for liquidity but also want to retain control or to take their company public through a reverse merger. Gulfstream also has the professional team in place to take a company from private to public.

48 Acquisition International - May 2017

Divestures Gulfstream’s four-step process has been developed and fine-tuned over the years to allow their client a complete understanding of the options and opportunities that await in a step-bystep, methodical manner. The process of selling a business is meticulous and time consuming – and they will never sacrifice quality for quantity of deals. Company grooming/exit planning These should preferably be undertaken 2-5 years before a business (or equity stake) is offered for sale. Along with extensive business strategy and trying to improve the bottom line, creating clean historical financials (3 years) and maintaining and empowering employees is critical. These are a few of the indicators that sophisticated buyers want to see in place. Valuations Gulfstream Mergers & Acquisitions is proud that their team includes experts in the field of valuations. Both sell-side and buy side-clients depend on Gulfstream Mergers & Acquisitions for accurate and dependable valuations. Their business valuations follow the requirements of a “valuation engagement”, as that term is defined in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Statement on Standards for Valuation Services No. 1 (SSVS No. 1). Acquisitions Gulfstream Mergers & Acquisitions has an established 24-year history of assisting our select buy-side clients in acquisition strategies, achieving external growth or purchasing companies for investment. Their goal is simple; to reduce and minimise their client’s risk potential, their wasted time and money by minimising the acquisition risk. The role of people – advisers and staff On his role at Gulfstream, Sherry said, “I am responsible for overall sales strategy as well as the company’s domestic and international expansion. Regarding current initiatives, “Most recently, I have been working on our 2017 Northeast expansion rollout, which includes the development of our Philadelphia office.” On how Gulfstream is different than typical M&A firms and Business Brokers, ”As a full service, mergers & acquisitions firm, we handle the entire process for our clients. From the initial intake of a new client, we understand that they still have a business to run, so we take special care to handle

Advice You Can Count On

all activities involved. Some of these include, creating the initial go to market strategies and marketing materials, planning the meetings and making introductions to our strategic partners that can help our clients in very specific areas. We truly handle the process from beginning to completion.” Mike continued, “In terms of the clients we serve, we are agnostic. We have an impeccable track record of completed transactions in over 30 industries from California to the Carolinas. Gulfstream looks for quality companies that are ready to explore possible exit and growth strategies and then works with them individually based on their specific needs. There is no cookie cutter approach here.” On the subject of people, “I would like to stress the vital role that our dedicated and talented staff play. Without them, we would not have obtained the success that we have enjoyed over the past 24 years. These individuals each play a key part in all phases of what we do.” Plans for the future Sherry believes that the future is bright. “We are growing and continually adding to our inside staff. The goal for 2017 is to open our next office in the Boston area and, in 2018, we plan on expanding operations to the Midwest and Southwest. Lastly, I would like to add that while we serve clients in the United States, we do source potential buyers/ investors and sellers globally, including Canada, Asia, Europe and Latin America.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 49


Company: Equilibria Capital Management Name: Daniel Tafur Address: O’Hara House, One Bermudiana Road Hamilton HM08, Bermuda Phone: +1441 295 2233 Company: Equilibria Capital Management Name: Fabio Lopez Ceron Address: 30, Quai Gustave Ador 1207 Geneva, Switzerland Phone: +41 22 707 6720 Web:

EQC Agrifund - Socially Responsible Investing in a Changing World Equilibria Capital is an alternative asset management firm based in Hamilton, Bermuda and Geneva, Switzerland. The firm was founded in 2011 by Daniel Tafur and Fabio Lopez Ceron, who spent the majority of their career in Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking and Wealth Management divisions in London.

quilibria Capital manages investment funds and separate account for private and institutional clients globally. The firm’s funds and portfolios invest across multiple asset classes in both public and private markets. Equilibria Capital has grown steadily since its launch and currently manages over $600 million in client assets. One of Equilibria’s most innovative funds is the EQC Agrifund, an agriculture-themed fund with a socially responsible approach to investing.


Socially responsible investing has come a long way since its humble beginnings - when it mostly meant not buying shares of tobacco companies and purchasing shares in alternative energy companies. Times, however, have changed and investors are increasingly concerned about socially responsible investing, sustainability and the environment and seek to make a positive impact whilst achieving attractive returns.

Socially responsible investing (SRI) has now become a guiding principle for many investors, who under this approach consider managers, companies and projects that manage environmental, social and governance factors (the so-called ‘ESG factors’) effectively. In 2014, Equilibria launched the EQC Agrifund, a global food and agriculture-themed fund with an absolute return bias. EQC Agrifund invests with a long-term view, looking to promote the preservation and improvement of its assets – based on an economic, environmental and social perspective. Responsible investment in the agriculture and food space is essential for enhancing food security and nutrition and supporting the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food. In the manager’s view, companies and projects that focus on sustainability and on socially responsible factors are more likely to endure and create sustainable value over the long term, than those that do not. The socially responsible approach to investing in agriculture and food systems produces a multiplier effect for complementary sectors, such as service or manufacturing industries, thus further contributing to food security and nutrition and overall economic development, particularly in developing countries. The idea behind using ESG concepts is to help identify companies with superior business models and forward-thinking attributes that are focused on the long term, mitigate risk and ultimately, deliver better returns. While the specific factors vary by asset category, project and geography, there are several impact objectives the EQC Agrifund considers when evaluating opportunities and managing investments in the food and agriculture space. Within the environmental factors at local and global levels the fund analyses climate change mitigation, carbon emissions, utilisation of natural resources, energy and water usage, waste, soil, water and air pollution, land conservation and sustainable and organic practices.

50 Acquisition International - May 2017

EQC Agrifund - Socially Responsible Investing in a Changing World

Acquisition International - May 2017 51

With regards to social factors the fund considers the protection of human rights, local community impact, child labor, working conditions, workforce health & safety, education, poverty alleviation and fair trade, small and beginning farmer land access and access to food and food safety. Within the governance factors the fund analyses the companies’ alignment of interest between business management, its shareholders and other stakeholders. Amid the rising popularity of ESG investing, something that has changed is that investors now expect a competitive return for investing with a conscience. EQC Agrifund’s management team believe that there’s no longer a trade-off between profits and the planet. The fund’s results speak for themselves. The fund delivered a return of +4.4% in 2016 and has posted an annualised return since inception of +4.2% (with no negative years) while keeping volatility extremely low. The Fund’s annualised volatility since inception has been only 2.1% considerably lower than fixed income, equities and the hedge fund space overall, leading to a Sharpe ratio of 1.75.

By comparison, the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index has, over the same period, a Shape ratio of 1.14, Global Equities 0.44, DAX Global Agricultural Index 0.09 and HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index -0.33. A further key benefit of the fund is the low correlation to traditional assets and diversified strategy. The Fund has also been able to protect capital significantly better than global markets across all asset classes; the EQC Agrifund´s maximum cumulative drawdown since inception has been -1.8%, which compares very well vs. vs. the DAX Global Agricultural Index (-21.5%), Global Equities (-13.2%), the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index (-9.0%) and the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index (-2.7%). Furthermore, by the end of February 2016 (against a backdrop of plunging equity markets which were down almost -16% globally) the fund had dropped only -0.2%. Over the last three years, all of the fund’s substrategies have been net positive contributors to the fund’s performance, allowing the fund to deliver positive returns in over 70% of calendar months. Only in one instance since inception did the EQC Agrifund deliver a negative performance of worse than -0.5% in a single month. Moreover, the fund

employs no leverage which further underscores the strength of its investment returns. Going into 2017, the supply-demand dynamics in global agricultural markets look to stay stable, barring major unexpected weather events in key geographies. In this context, the Fund expects certain themes to gain strength, including the economic recovery in South America, a closing of the lending gap in the sector, the demand for organic fruits and vegetables, and the innovation path in novel agricultural technologies. More broadly, the macroeconomic and government policies in key markets – notably the US, Europe and China - are set up to play a larger role in the agricultural economy and trade in 2017. EQC Agrifund will continue to invest responsibly and balance risks and opportunities across geographies and asset classes. We will also continue to focus on identifying and investing in opportunities with an emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility. Responsible investment in the agriculture and food space is essential for enhancing food security and nutrition and supporting the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food.

Avance Global: Consistent Returns & Capital Preservation with a Value-Driven / Macro Approach quilibria Capital’s flagship fund is Avance Global, which has been managed by Daniel Tafur and Fabio Lopez Ceron since 2003 when they were at Morgan Stanley. Avance Global, which has Euro and $US share classes as well as UCITS and offshore versions, is a global macro/multi strategy investment fund that follows a value-driven approach and deploys a dynamic strategy based on fundamental top-down and bottom-up research.


The fund invests globally in equities, fixed income and currencies and is designed to grow capital at attractive rates of return whilst preserving capital in adverse market conditions. The fund has a deepvalue investment philosophy with a sensitivity to short-term fluctuations and a keen focus on downside protection. In managing Avance Global, Equilibria strives to achieve superior returns by selecting 40-50 highconviction and deeply researched investments with the objective of holding them for the long-term. The company tends to stay away from index-tracking strategies and are focused on buying securities that are attractive on both an absolute and relative valuation basis. 52 Acquisition International - May 2017

Avance Global: Consistent Returns & Capital Preservation with a Value-Driven / Macro Approach

The fund aims to hold approximately 30% of its positions in equity and 55% in fixed income. Avance Global’s superior track record of more than ten years has resulted in the fund being rated with Four Stars by the prestigious Morningstar rating system in the categories of Overall Performance, 10-Year Performance, 5-Year Performance and 3-Year Performance. Avance Global posted a return of +8.4% in 2016 and has delivered an annualised return since inception (January 2003) of +6.0%. Both the 2016 return and annualised return figures have easily surpassed the performance of global equity markets (+6.8% in 2016 / +5.7% annualised since 2003), Global Fixed Income (+3.9 in 2016 / +4.2% annualised), the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index (+2.5% in 2016 / +3.7% annualised) and the Global Macro Fund Index (-2.9% in 2016 / +1.1% annualised). The positive trend has continued in the beginning of 2017 - as of end of March - the fund has posted a return of +2.5% YTD and has accumulated a return of 12.0% over the last twelve months. One of the key factors that helps to explain Avance Global’s strong track record and ongoing success is its flexibility. The fund takes a benchmark-free approach to investing which offers its clients the widest array of opportunities and an unrestricted approach to risk management. Avance Global can invest anywhere in the world, anywhere in a company’s capital structure (providing there is a good degree of liquidity) and across any currency

and it has the flexibility to have very large cash weightings if the manager believes that is the best allocation of capital. The flexibility of the Fund´s investment strategy has allowed the investment team to continuously exploit inefficiencies by investing in the most undervalued market segments and pivoting across asset classes and strategies in a dynamic and value-seeking fashion. Successful asset allocation as well as fundamental research produces two sources of returns and long-term investing enables us to exploit the market’s biggest arbitrage and inefficiency: a focus on short term results. Although our investment process is designed to weather even the harshest of market environments (by virtue of diversification and partial hedging). The fund’s managers believe that long-term investing offers the best opportunities but that tactical moves can also add significant value in the short term. The returns of Avance Global have been delivered in a highly consistent and defensive manner, as evidenced by the fund’s low volatility: 6.0% annualised volatility over the last 5 years. In the last 5 years, the Fund has posted a Sharpe ratio of 1.10 and a monthly hit ratio of 72%. In the last 14 months, the Fund has only had one negative month (September 2016: -0.1%). Moreover, the fund employs no leverage and always maintains sizeable cash exposures (~25% average exposure in 2016), which further underscores the strength of

its investment returns during 2016 and in prior years. Avance Global has been able to protect capital significantly better than equity markets in adverse market conditions. For example, in the October 2007 - March 2009 bear market, global equities fell by -55.8% whilst Avance Global dropped by only -16.4%. A more recent example was at the beginning of 2016: by the end of February 2016 (against a backdrop of plunging equity markets which were falling almost -16% globally) Avance Global had dropped only -3.4%. In the current market environment - characterised by excessive optimism and an unwarranted appetite for risk - Avance Global remains defensive and weary of herd behavior. The fund seeks to continue to deploy cash in assets with an attractive risk/reward profile. Currently, the largest exposure is to the equities of pharma/biotech companies, where fundamentals remain strong yet share prices and valuations are historically depressed and trading at material discounts to broader markets and to their historic valuations. This exposure represents over 10% of our holdings. In the Fixed Income space, the management team believes that floating-rate subordinated debt (=low duration) offers the most attractive risk-reward proposition. This strategy represents over 20% of the fund’s holdings.

Acquisition International - May 2017 53


Sailing on Success Company: Crowley Accord Name: Vinod Parekh Email: vinod.parekh@ Web: Address: A-101, Citi Point, Andheri-Kurla Road, Andheri (East), Mumbai, 400 059, India Phone: +91 22 6141 3333

Crowley Accord is a ship management company. They provide owners, charterers, operators and other members of the maritime industry with their crewing and technical management services and solutions. As winner of the Small Business Achievement Awards, we invited them to profile their company and the essential cogs that keep their firm running. s a ship management company we provide crewing and technical management services and solutions - and assist with documentation, legal and contract as well as back office services. Our client list consists of owners, operators and other vessel managers from across all across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.


Our firm Crowley Accord provides tailor made services to each of our clients. The service is personalised and we believe strongly in the company’s dedication to the job. Our values and flexibility have enabled us to provide innovative solutions to clients. These innovative solutions have proven extremely valuable to clients in the current market climate of the maritime industry. In terms of being included in the Small Business Achievement Awards, we are delighted that our 25 years of service is acknowledged, and that the company’s work in the industry is appreciated. It always encouraging to be recognised. It strengthens our confidence and adds motivation to achieve further recognition.

“Concerning the small business sector today, we believe that this is vital for the development of any economy and for global progress in general too.” Concerning the small business sector today, we believe that this is vital for the development of any economy and for global progress in general too. It is up to this sector to generate employment opportunities and develop strong skills for their employees. There is no doubt that small businesses are promoting the shipping sector and also industry specific development and growth. Crowley Accord has a permanent team of 50 members ashore, plus we have a revolving staff of around 600 seafarers who are employed on the vessels under our management. Our executive team consists of experienced members who have been involved with different aspects of the maritime sector through their entire career. The company’s key people are:

54 Acquisition International - May 2017

Mr. Sanjay Shesh, Managing Director He is a marine engineer by qualification and has sailed for a decade. He has also been with Univan as a superintendent and later as a technical director. He also went on to start Fleet Management’s office in Mumbai and set up Mercator’s and ABG’s Ship management company. He’s been associated with NEPA shipping since 2008. When he acquired Accord Marine Management in 2009 – he set up the acquisition by Crowley in 2014 - to form Crowley Accord Marine Management and is now itsManaging Director. Mr. Surjit Kumar Dey, General Manager – Technical He is a marine chief engineer and has sailed for a decade with Univan. He has been part of the Crowley Accord team since 2010. Capt. Noel Fernandes – Superintendent He has sailed for 25 years on tankers and bulk carriers. Mr. Ashok Kumar Srivastava – Marine Engineer He has sailed for over 11 years since 1966 - and later was a director at Tolani Shipping. He later took up a position as a director at Arcadia Shipping and moved to Accord in 2010 as the CEO. He now is a senior advisor with Crowley Accord Marine Management. This all-round team and their dynamic staff have contributed immensely to the success of the company and have sailed us smoothly to our 25th year. Hopes and plan for the future Crowley Accord has begun to explore opportunities in the Pacific, indeed we hope to be able to extend the advantage of our services in this region as well. In addition, Crowley Accord is elated to be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. Over the years, the company has managed a variety of vessels ranging from livestock carries at the start and later moving on to tankers, containers, bulk carriers, offshore vessels, product carriers, etc. Finally, we have also managed coal and iron transshippers and now specialise in the management of these vessels as well.

Sailing on Success

Acquisition International - May 2017 55


Company: Treehotel/Brittas Pensionat Name: Kent Lindvall Email: Web: Address: Edeforsväg 2 A 960 24 Harads Sverige, Sweden Phone: +46 (0)928 103 00

A Unique Hotel Experience Treehotel offers a unique hotel experience: treerooms with contemporary design in the middle of unspoiled nature. Here you can forget about the time constraints of everyday life, enjoy the serenity, and rejuvenate in a sophisticated yet familiar environment. Founder and part owner Kent Lindvall writes about this extraordinary hotel, which is a childhood dream realised for him. reehotel is located in Harads, near the Lule river, about 100 kilometers from Luleå airport. The village has a population of about 600 and features a restaurant, shop and guest house. When you arrive at Treehotel, you check in at Britta’s Pensionat where we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner for Treehotel guests. Then it’s just a short stroll through the beautiful nature to your treeroom.


The most striking part of Harads is its magnificent surroundings. From Treehotel’s rooms you get a fantastic view of the Lule River valley, miles of forest and the powerful river. This unique hotel has been around since 2010, indeed in the time since then the staff have learnt much about high end travel and service.

“Our goal for the future is not to build many rooms in the same place. We want to be an exclusive hotel with just a few choice rooms.” We offer an experience that is timely – that is unique living close to nature - with high profiled design and an authentic experience in a sustainable hotel. The rooms include a UFO, a bird’s nest, a cabin, a mirror cube and a blue cone which changes colour to orange, all of which are located in trees. These spectacular creations have certainly attracted much attention over the years. There were sceptics here and there in the beginning, but eventually many of them also came to land in the bird’s nest and its neighbouring rooms. International press and designer aficionados from all over the world began came to the Treehotel in large numbers when we started. Today, the hotel has naturally earned a place on many bucket lists. Over the years, it has attracted everyone, from international celebrities, designers and fashion magazines, to ordinary people wanting to experience something as unusual as staying in a treehouse. For me, it can be summed up as a childhood dream with a touch of luxury and flair.

56 Acquisition International - May 2017

Treehotel was inspired by the film ‘The Tree Lover’ by Jonas Selberg Augustsen. It’s a tale of three men from the city who want to go back to their roots by building a tree house together. ‘The Tree Lover’ is a philosophic story about the significance of trees for us human beings. The idea behind Treehotel is to offer high-standard accommodation in a harmonious place where daily stress melts away. Guests can relax and renew their energy while surrounded by unspoiled nature. Together with some of Scandinavia’s leading architects, we created our uniquely designed ‘treerooms.’ The rooms are suspended 4-6 meters above ground, boasting spectacular views of the Lule River. A very important part of our concept is to consider ecological values and make minimal environmental impact. For this reason, we devote considerable resources to finding sustainable construction and energy solutions. We build our treerooms in the natural forest while hardly affecting the surroundings. We choose material and construction techniques that make as little environmental impact as possible. We build on live trees without destroying the tree and we do not chop down any trees or damage nature while building. For the main part, we use local construction companies. Each room has a modern, environmentally friendly combustion toilet where everything is incinerated at 600 °C. The toilets are completely odourless and powered by electricity. The Mirrorcube, on the other hand, has a freezing-toilet, also electrically powered and completely odourless. In winter, it also contributes to heating. The staff here are the most important resource we have - we are six-person team here all of whom are full-time. As a small company, all of our staff act as hosts and they represent our unique brand, including Britta and I who are working hard all year round earn our pay. In short, the Treehotel is our life. I am in charge of marketing, Britta runs the kitchen and our youngest daughter is a huge asset to the company, working on the many activities that take place.

A Unique Hotel Experience

Between the three of us, we keep developing and realising new ideas. The large Dragonfly conference building has been added to the list of popular rooms and in 2016 and the seventh room is being built, a suite that will be extraordinary in every sense of the word. It is higher up, and is larger and more luxurious than any of the other rooms we offer. Having said this, keeping up with industry trends is becoming increasingly difficult as new technology is released daily. We are trendsetters and have created a new hotel product. We try to keep up with all technological developments, but our focus is to ensure that all of our guests are satisfied after they have spent time with us. Our goal for the future is not to build many rooms in the same place. We want to be an exclusive hotel with just a few choice rooms. We envision a future with a strong brand and more Treehotel in other places in the world. I certainly hope to go around the world and open more unique Treehotel within five years. In terms of the future, I would say that challenges are changing travel trends in the world and there are economic changes that our customers are facing. Having said that, there is no doubt that we have a strong and well-known product today. It is important to maintain the quality development of the product and give each guest an unforgettable experience when they come and stay at the Treehotel.

Acquisition International - May 2017 57


Company: Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) Email: Web: Address: P.O. Box 54069 Jeddah 21514, KSA Phone: (966 12) 636 1400

Private Sector Investment in Islamic Countries The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is a multilateral development financial institution and a subsidiary of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. Established in 1999, ICD currently has an authorised capital of $4 billion and a membership of 53 countries. We invited them to write about the firm’s mandate as well as their hopes and plans for the future. CD supports the economic development of its member countries through the provision of finance for private sector projects as well as advisory services to governments and businesses. Currently, the shareholders of ICD are the IDB, 53 Islamic countries and 5 public financial institutions. ICD is rated ‘AA/ FQ ’ by Fitch, ‘Aa3/P-1’ by Moody’s, and ‘A+ by Standard & Poor’s. Our clients can be any entity working in the private sector, but we can also provide advisory services to governments and public entities.


ICD’s mandate, to serve the private sector of member countries, is carried out through the provision of a variety of products offered to our clients:

“ICD is working intensively to increase the availability and affordability of Islamic finance products for a wide range of financial institutions in its member countries.” • ICD finances private sector entities and greenfield or expansion projects directly through equity participation, the purchase of assignable bonds and term financing. ICD also extends short-term finance to cover working capital and/or raw materials requirements of private sector entities through Murabaha or Purchase and Lease-Back. • ICD can also play a role in mobilising resources for financing a project through co-financing or syndication. • ICD strives to nurture and empower identified channel partners, by setting up or aiding existing development banks in driving development and growth in the Islamic world. This vertically leverages two key instruments in order to extend financial aid: institutional equities and lines of finance.

58 Acquisition International - May 2017

ICD provide also advisory services to governments, public entities and private entities of member countries with an aim to create the ideal environment to facilitate private sector investment and to assist companies in unlocking their potential. Advisory services include project finance advisory, raising funds through the issuance of sukuk, and encouraging the development of the business environment for SMEs. In the last couple of years, ICD has comforted its presence in the member countries with its advisory services, which complements its products through advising clients in issuing Sukuk and establishing Islamic financial windows and Institutions.

The role of the ICD team ICD’s business focus is the development of innovative, high-quality products and services; employee performance plays an integral role in achieving our business goals, and we realise that all steps of ICD’s products from conception to marketing are essential components. Employee performance in these areas is critical to our business success. Due to that, ICD invests in each and every employee, who, in turn, contribute to its success. We work in an inclusive environment that embraces change, new ideas, respect for the individual and equal opportunity to succeed. Plans for 2017 and beyond ICD will focus more on the development of what we call ‘Islamic Finance Channels’, designed to reach out and spread Islamic financial products far more widely, with the objective of having a greater developmental impact in its member countries. This will be achieved substantially through setting up Islamic Banks, Investment and Ijarah Companies, Takaful and Re Takaful companies in our member countries. ICD is pioneering many aspects of Islamic finance and sees its role as being a powerful driver for economic change. • Capture the growing demand for Islamic products;

Private Sector Investment in Islamic Countries

• • • •

Create opportunity for growth and diversification; Create opportunity to attract incremental capital to support future expected growth; Create opportunity to attract strategic expertise from established Islamic financial institutions; Create opportunity to attract Islamic investors looking to diversify geographically their portfolios; Provide opportunity to generate capital gains/ value enhancements for the parent financial institution shareholders and; Plan to extend finance to Infrastructure and PPP projects.

Industry based challenges on the horizon Industry challenges vary by country and by intensity, but in general, most jurisdictions are facing problems due to a number of fairly similar factors. For example, just to name a few, the lack of skilled human capital and well-developed capital markets, the absence of financial integration both regionally and internationally, the poor capitalisation of Islamic financial institutions, the shortage of liquidity and cash management tools and the poor public awareness of Islamic finance products are all factors impeding Islamic finance growth. Seeing that ICD is a multilateral developmental financial institution, some of these challenges are inadvertently ours as well. The lack of financial intermediation facilities is what distinguishes poor countries from its richer counterparts in our opinion. To this end, ICD is enhancing economic development by providing a variety of Islamic financial services and products throughout its member countries. We have several academies in the pipeline designed to enhance knowledge of this fast-growing industry. The complex regional and international regulatory, economic and political context, and the growing need for scalable interventions to achieve meaningful developmental impact, requires broadbased co-operative efforts to ensure success and sustainability. ICD has been active in reaching out to governments and institutions, and devising new ways for cooperation and collaboration. Concluding thoughts ICD is working intensively to increase the availability and affordability of Islamic finance products for a wide range of financial institutions in its member countries. Extending Line of Finance (LOF) to financial institutions, providing advisory services and investing in various types of financial institutional equity for the ultimate benefit of local real sector businesses, have proven to be critical tools for ICD in boosting the private sector and combating poverty in its member countries.

Acquisition International - May 2017 59


Company: Quinton Edwards Chartered Surveyors Name: Simon E Quinton Smith FRICS MI Hort, Director Email: Web: Address: 38 London Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1JX UK Phone: +44 (0)1635 551 441

Garden Centres, Horticultural Properties/ Businesses and Farm Shops - The Same Service to All 2016 Global Excellence Awards UK award recipient is ‑ Edwards, specialist property and business surveyors based in Newbury, West Berkshire. We interviewed expert Simon Quinton Smith to discover more about the firm’s specialist property and business offerings.

uinton Edwards is part of Quintons (Commercial) Limited who trade as Quinton Edwards and Quintons, the latter who are commercial property surveyors with both trading entities being based in Newbury, West Berkshire with Quinton Edwards being the leading advisers providing property and business advice to the garden centre, horticultural and farm shop market throughout the United Kingdom and sometimes into Ireland and Europe.


“Our firm really is the best at what we do – no-one has the knowledge or experience of the industry that I have but still many companies, firms and lawyers, individuals and banks prefer to go to the larger companies without the specialist knowledge but they really should try us.” They buy, sell and let garden centres, plant centres, farm shops, horticultural properties and businesses and other associated businesses. They also provide valuations - and the undersigned is an RICS accredited valuer and business valuer - who also provides consultancy in regard to concessions. In addition, they undertake rating appeals and Simon Quinton Smith is an accredited expert witness. He then shares further thoughts on the company and his role within in it. “The company was formed in October 1989 and we are based in Newbury, Berkshire as it is a good springboard to drive throughout the United Kingdom. I had been specialising in the garden centre and horticultural industry for three years prior to setting up the company. “What sets my business apart from others is that it is very much a niche business. There is no other firm of chartered surveyors who offer the same

60 Acquisition International - May 2017

services and who have the combined knowledge of garden centres, horticultural and farm shops. “The reasons that our valuations are sought after is that they are detailed and authoritative and are backed up by comparable evidence all of which I have personally transacted. We regularly receive telephone calls from my peers in the industry asking for assistance for valuations that they are doing. However, under strict RICS guidelines they should not be doing these valuations because they are not transacting these properties or businesses and thus do not really have the detailed knowledge required.” Simon then proceeds to share his reflections on winning the 2016 Global Excellence Awards UK accolade, stressing that he feels delighted and proud to have won this. “I think this award perhaps means more for my colleagues than it does for me. I am told by my clients that I am very good at what I do - and I often get more satisfaction from helping people solve their problems for perhaps quite a small fee than doing larger agency deals - which are much better remunerated. Hopefully, this award will enable a wider audience to appreciate the skills and experience that I have to offer. “I think my list of notable achievements shows how our business is succeeding. Most of the firm’s members of staff have been with us for many years, one member Mandy over 25 years, so they are also very experienced. We consistently show good turnover and profitability year on year with a lot of our business being repeat business or referrals. The firm’s client base is from the large to the small – indeed they do not differentiate Simon stresses, a point he goes on to expand in his own words. “We offer the same service to all - from advising Terra Firma in 2012 on their acquisition of Wyevale Garden Centres for £256 million - to saving an old lady’s house when her son had put it up to the bank as security. We have a lot of repeat business and many of the firm’s clients are very complimentary about the service that we offer and our expertise.” Testimonials

Garden Centres, Horticultural Properties/Businesses and Farm Shops - The Same Service to All

The wide experience and industry knowledge that Simon Quinton Smith brought to the valuation of our business and the subsequent negotiations with the Wyevale Garden Centre Group enabled shareholders to maximise their expectations while illustrating the potential still locked within the company. Selling any business is an emotional rollercoaster and Simon proved to be both a wise counsellor and a pragmatic dealmaker. Ray Kennedy, Director, Wych Cross Nursery Ltd Quinton Edwards has acted for our business for many years undertaking valuations and letting our Chilton Cantelo Nursery. Simon Quinton Smith and his team have unparalleled property knowledge for our industry and I would not hesitate to recommend him for all forms of property related work. Tom Jones, Chilton Cantelo

In addition, the firm has two teams – Quinton Edwards and Quintons – and both are very important because both Simon and his co-director Shane Prater are out 80%-90% of the time. Simon then explains this in more detail “The Quinton Edwards team comprises Gordon Perry who drives me around so I can work, undertakes measuring of all the properties, does research, puts the reports together and is generally invaluable. Rachel McMordie is my marketing coordinator and sales negotiator – she is based in the office and handles all the day-to-day specialist properties and businesses that we are selling, for example Conwy Water Gardens. Clare Hyde is my personal assistant – she types up all the reports, proof reads and generally helps me to make sure no mistakes are made. “Shane Prater has a team of two others and we have a part-time accounts lady who does not only our accounts but those of all the properties that we manage. The firm could not function as a successful business without the dedication and expertise of our teams.”

The firm’s hopes and plans are to continue to provide an excellent service and first class advice to all of their clients, now and into the future as Simon tells us. “The challenges relate to the Institution’s preference for larger non-specialist practices rather than smaller niche practices when undertaking valuations or providing advice. There is also the attack on commercial and residential agencies from on-line companies. However, as a niche practice with great knowledge and experience, we will be able to continue successfully for a long time into the future. “Although the firm has been trading for over 25 years, there are still a lot of people out there who we could help but who still don’t seem to know about us, even those in the industry where we advertise regularly in all the industry publications on-line, etc. “Our firm really is the best at what we do – no-one has the knowledge or experience of the industry that I have but still many companies, firms and lawyers, individuals and banks prefer to go to the larger companies without the specialist knowledge but they really should try us.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 61


Company: Andrew Smiths Partners Name: Andrew Jayatunga LLB, LLM, Attorney at Law Email: trademark@ Web: Address: 309B, Kalapaluwawa Rajagiriya, Colombo, Sri Lanka Phone: +94112794316

An Ongoing Personal Service Andrew Smiths Partners Leading Adviser of the Year Leading Adviser of the Year - Sri Lanka award winner Andrew Jayatunga shares his thoughts on the firm’s unrivalled expertise in the core areas of legal and commercial activity. ndrew Smiths Partners has unrivalled expertise on the core areas of commercial activity including property law/real estate, foreign investment, intellectual property including trademarks, patent, industrial designs; litigation; corporate; commercial; dispute resolution; arbitration as well as civil & commercial litigation.


In addition, the firm offers services concerning money recovery, employment/labour law; construction contracts/disputes, maritime contracts/ disputes, family law, enforcing foreign judgments, conveyancing, DEEDS, lease agreements, last wills, testamentary matters, resealing foreign probates, setting up/incorporate companies, BOI matters, company secretarial services and transactions on day-to-day operations.

“our product ‘reliability’ is an essential element of any professional relationship and legal security.” Andrew Smiths Partners guarantees that first-class advisers are available at all times and that clients will receive ongoing personal service. In 2016, the firm won the Global Law Experts Annual Award for the Intellectual Property Law firm of the year - Sri Lanka. In addition, Andrew Smiths partners ranked as ‘International Star for the Leadership in Quality (ISLQ)’, under Gold category award by the international quality convention held in France in April 2017. Currently the firm has clients (including fortune 500 companies) in 22 countries and works with over 50 law firms all over the world including the UK, USA, India and China. Andrew then details the firm’s client base and expert team of professionals in his own words. “Our clients are market leaders in various industries including banking and finance, manufacturing, retail, power, oil and gas, education, health care and insurance, agility and property development, technology, software, electrical, chemical, Internet, media equipment, pharmaceutical, automotive and consumer products including a word leading communication equipment manufacturers, infrastructure contractors, trust companies.

62 Acquisition International - May 2017

“Our typical clients are currently high net worth individuals and international corporations; we aim to strengthen our litigation team by recruiting experience litigation lawyers. Our co-operation within personal law firms in handling international litigation is testament to our strength in the litigation field and has significantly improved our market position. “Andrew Smiths Partners professional group is made up of a team of professionals with characteristics such as initiative, creativity, applied intelligence, technical knowledge and willingness to work. We believe that our expertise in this area and the positive results we achieve for the clients gives us an advantage in the international litigation field. This is demonstrated by the corporations we have established with international law firms - and large international incorporate clients - as well as high net worth individuals.” The firm also provides legal services in the specialist field of corporate finance mergers and acquisitions, listing incorporate compliance including drafting the prospectus required for IPO exercise, advising and handling the legal documentation work, preparing the full information statements subscription agreement as well as placement agreement and other legal documentation. The firm also offers services in relation to advertising and joint ventures and preparation of a joint-venture agreement and shareholder agreements, advising on merger and acquisition transactions and preparing acquisition agreements, as well as advising on investments and venture capital investments, corporate loan and financing matters, and acting as the company secretary and handling secretarial work for private and publicly listed companies. Andrew then underlines the firm’s remarkable level of expertise and what sets them apart in the outstanding work they do. “As a family law firm, Andrew Smiths Partners has access to not only in-house expertise, but also a network of lawyers nationally and internationally whose experience covers the array of family law issues. This network enables the firm to provide advice and assistance to clients with any family law issue, no matter how complex it is. “Our team of lawyers have acquired expertise in working collaboratively across jurisdictions and formulating international defence strategies, as well as covering international investigations and

An Ongoing Personal Service

prosecutions including extradition and the sharing of information between states. Our work is done with in the spirit of a true vocation for service, with an undoubted conviction and a clear mindfulness of the responsibility we assume for the performance of the tasks assigned to our law firm. “As a law firm, Andrew Smiths Partners focuses on intellectual property matters and mainly on trademarks and patents. Andrew has extensive experience in pursuing litigation in these areas. Such cases often involve exclusive technology and protected trademarks, which are the lifeblood of any firm or enterprise. It works to protect these valuable assets in cases involving everything from simple trademark applications, oppositions, licensing agreements, patentability and prior art searches as well as opinions and patent protection to complex issues such as trademark infringement, passing off, and patent violations.” Andrew is an experienced practitioner, attorney at law; indeed, his practice focused on intellectual property issues including trademarks, patents, industrial designs; foreign investment, employment/ labour law; construction contracts/disputes and corporate due diligence matters. In addition, Andrew is an attorney at law and a graduate in law. He lived in London for more than seven years where he earned a Masters of Law (LLM) in International Commercial Law from University of Westminster London, 2004. He has also gained considerable working experience in the banking and finance in the areas of risk and compliance, under different regulatory regimes. Also, he has continuing credentials from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Andrew also advices Sri Lankan and international companies throughout Sri Lanka on all questions of employment law. His areas of specialisation include acting as an employment law consultant during corporate acquisitions and restructuring, including negotiations on redundancy schemes proceeding before conciliation bodies, collective agreement negotiations spin-offs, as well as due diligence right through to the post-merger integration stage. He concludes that, “our product ‘reliability’ is an essential element of any professional relationship and legal security. This reliability is supported by our capacity to keep an intermediate position between the different points of interest involved in the operation and our independent judgement and criterion.” Member-American Bar Association, Law Society & Bar Association of Sri Lanka Qualifications LLM International Commercial Law, International Financial Law [London] -University of Westminster 309 Regent St, Paddington, City of Westminster, W1B 2UW, United Kingdom LLB Bachelor of law (University of Colombo) Attorney at Law PG.DIP in Management (London) P.G DIP in Software development (London) LICA -Institute of Chartered Accountants (SL) Cert -Information Communication Technology Law (BASL) Cert -Intellectual Property-Patent Drafting (WIPO)

Acquisition International - May 2017 63


Company: ProofVision Name: William Uttley Email: Web: Address: Unit 2, Newton Business Park, 26-28 Standard Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 6EU UK Phone: +44 (0)20 8965 5666

The Proof is in the Pudding ProofVision are becoming one of the leading suppliers of waterproof electronics. Following their success in being a part of the Small Business Achievement Awards, we invited the firm’s Managing Director William Uttley to profile their impressive array of products. roofVision are becoming one of the leading suppliers of waterproof electronics. They pride themselves on making their product range work in challenging market conditions, by providing a solution for any setting. ProofVision started with their bathroom TV range, but they now offer an impressive collection from outdoor displays, mirror TV’s, in-wall toothbrush chargers and Bluetooth mirrors as well as music system technology. It’s a very exciting time for them and they’re enjoying every minute William tells us, before offering his reflections in being included in the Small Business Achievement Awards.


“We are working on some very exciting projects for our digital signage range from sports events, theme parks and retail parks.” “To be included in the Small Business Achievement awards is an important recognition of our role in the markets we operate in. We feel it shows us that we are successfully building a recognisable brand to those within the business - and that we are helping grow a niche market from an unknown luxury a few years ago to something that could be common place in a few years in most UK households. “As a company, we are only a small team who cover many areas to make it run successfully, indeed there are multiple lines of communication but we feel that we all pull together to meet the company’s objectives on a daily basis. To win an award of this status really means a lot to us. We do work extremely hard and everyone in the team is committed to achieving the highest quality product; from customer support to the development team full attention is given to detail. Winning an award like this gives everyone a huge feeling of achievement and recognition for all those extra hours and early starts. “Our client base differentiates between the ranges we offer. Our main market for the bathroom products are companies such as Victorian Plumbing and Bathstore, two large respectable businesses who operate online. Bathstore’s for example use our products in their impressive range of showrooms across the UK. Through companies like this, we are able to reach out to a huge quantity of customers

64 Acquisition International - May 2017

and this partnership gives them the option to add a product of ours to their new or existing bathroom and outdoor areas. “We also operate in the sound and AV market, where we anticipate significant growth in the years ahead. Property, retail and hospitality development has always had a high demand for luxury products such as ours, so this is an industry that we are heavily involved in.” ProofVision offers live television solutions for the bathroom, which would have been unheard of even as recently as 10 years ago. They have taken a key role in making it possible to have entertainment installed in every room of the home. The firm also offer a comprehensive range of Bluetooth options that offer mobility and connection solutions throughout the home and also in the work place. William then outlines why the small business sector is an exciting place to be right now for a firm such as his. “The small business sector is a very exciting place to be today, indeed with the ever-growing access to information, people seem to want to move away from the large corporate companies and deal with companies who have more of a personal touch. Schemes such as ‘Small Business Saturday’ encourage people to spend their hard-earned money with a small business, whether it be at a local farm or craft industries, or with companies such as ours. I believe that there is here a sense of trust and community value that is blossoming in the UK’s current economic climate.” Looking ahead, the future for ProofVision is bright and weatherproof William underlines, a point he goes on to develop in his own words. “We are working on some very exciting projects for our digital signage range from sports events, theme parks and retail parks. We also offer an extensive range of products for outdoor solutions for gardens, events and much more. Our outdoor screens can be left outside throughout all four seasons and they have a IP65 rating, as well as boasting the newest technology in anti-reflective screens which support a crystal-clear image, no matter what the weather. We are also launching our bespoke mirror TV range, which will enable our customers to work side by side with our development team to create their own mirror TV solution to work in any environment, or they can choose from a large range of our carefully selected framed mirror TV’s.

The Proof Is in the Pudding

“All our products are designed by ProofVision in the UK and one of the most exciting products we are working on is the in-wall toothbrush charger. Who needs waking up to your toothbrush out of battery and then desperately trying to find a socket with messy wires getting in the way? Not us, that’s for sure! We have developed, in true ProofVision fashion, a fully waterproof in-wall toothbrush charger (patent pending). Fit this slim line charger into your bathroom wall and leave your toothbrush to charge throughout the day in a safe, secure and hygienic manner. This is a product we are very proud of. “Finally, ProofVision pride ourselves on the personal service, care and attention we give to our clients and customers. We work towards designing and creating innovative products that will excel in any environment and can be bespoke to our clients’ requests. We are extremely grateful and proud to be a part of the Small Business Achievement Awards and are excited to develop and grow our brand now and into the future.”

Acquisition International - May 2017 65

Business Support for the Financial Sector

Business Support for the Financial Sector What do M&A, corporate finance, private equity and venture capital have in common? They all require a significant amount of cumbersome desk work, particularly in the early stages of your career. But how many people join the world of corporate finance because they have a particular interest in carrying out hours of desk research, or a love of aligning slides in PowerPoint? anish company no-more is assisting corporate finance clients and their employees across the world at various stages of the M&A process, including support with pitch decks, IM, teasers and even due diligence research on the non-confidential aspects. The service, which company founder and ex-McKinsey management consultant Anders Thomsen calls ‘micro-outsourcing’, is proving to be a popular service amongst young analysts keen to climb the ladder quickly.


There has long been a belief within the industry that newly graduated analysts must ‘earn their stripes’ through long hours, hard graft and many hours of research and pitch deck preparation. However, Thomsen believes that this comes with a cost. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review in 2013, “Knowledge workers spend a great deal of their time - an average of 41% - on discretionary activities that offer little personal satisfaction and could be handled by others.”1 To look at it from the perspective of cost-benefit analysis, micro-outsourcing adds value and enables junior consultants to do more with less. Early adopters are already using no-more to handle intensive workloads and create new insights via bottom-up analysis. When the flawlessness of the pitch deck is already guaranteed (no-more’s inhouse quality assurance team checks every slide individually before release), the analysts are free to spend their time doing what they’re best at: analysis. Thomsen says: “When you employ a team of intelligent, highly educated individuals – it simply doesn’t make sense for them to be spending ten or more hours a week aligning PPT slides; you are essentially paying someone a corporate finance wage to carry out tasks that could very easily have been done by someone

66 Acquisition International - May 2017

less skilled. In short, you’re not getting their best, and their best is what you hired them for.” Saving time Time is widely considered to be the most precious commodity in business. Just as it is impossible to manufacture more crude oil, so too is it impossible to manufacture more hours in a day. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. The tradition of heaping extra work onto junior analysts is not only damaging to employee morale, but it also has a negative impact on your use of that most valuable of assets – time; and for an industry that is largely built on asset management, this is an oversight, to say the least. When it comes to finding the information that makes the difference between a good pitch deck and an outstanding one, time is the key metric. If you are working to a tight deadline, sometimes it is necessary to make tough decisions. Researching the complete brand spread within the German market is extremely time-consuming; you know that it might make the difference between winning and losing the mandate, but if you don’t have the manpower, there’s not much you can do. Microoutsourcing provides the opportunity to delegate this task to a global network of fully vetted specialists, who will also make sure the information is beautifully presented, freeing up your team to spend that time working on something that only they can do. With low costs and fast turnaround times (typically less than 24 hours), micro-outsourcing is enabling more corporate finance companies to improve their offering and compete with the larger firms, without extending their employees’ working hours.

your accounting department happy, too. According to a study2 by the Center for American Progress (CAP), the cost of replacing an employee who falls somewhere in the mid-range pay bracket of around $40,000 a year is around 20% of that employee’s annual salary. However, that figure quickly increases as you move further up the ladder, with highly educated executive positions with an annual salary of $100,000 or more costing as much as 213%. If young analysts’ brains were free to work on more complex problem solving, whilst still getting the pitch deck completed in time for tomorrow’s pitch and still getting home at a reasonable hour, wouldn’t that be the holy grail in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction? More significantly, wouldn’t it represent a huge disruption to the status quo? No more staying late and missing the kids’ bed time. No more having to cancel date night for the fifth week in a row. No more having to choose between your career and your loved ones. Outsource your desk research, PPT tasks and excel models, and enjoy finishing on time for once. Micro-outsourcing is like having a limitless supply of junior analysts on demand, except that they don’t want any recognition, you don’t have to pay them an analyst’s wage and you don’t have to keep them on hand when you don’t need them. They’re perfectly happy just sitting in the back office, content in the shadows, but enabling you to deliver above expectations, giving you a competitive advantage. And after all, isn’t that what being in finance is all about?


The importance of a happy work force It is often said that a happy team is a productive team, and keeping your team happy might just keep


A Thriving Practice 1705AI08

A Thriving Practice Company: Alexandros G. Ioannides & Associates Advocates & Legal Consultants Name: Alexandros G. Ioannides – Managing Partner Email: Web: Address: 10 Hadjigeorgaki Cornesiou P.C. 1015 Nicosia, CYPRUS Phone: +00357 22 452 224

The Law Firm of Alexandros G. Ioannides & Associates is a thriving professional practice of experienced advocates and legal consultants, member of the International Bar Association of London, which envisages to keep providing the highest standard of legal services to clients both locally and globally, whilst maintaining a personal approach and conduct accordingly. he head offices in the firm’s own listed premises in the centre of Nicosia the capital of Cyprus, is the core of an international network of advocates and legal consultants of associated offices inter alia in Cyprus, Greece, United Kingdom and United States of America, forming an integrated and dynamic team worldwide.


Recommended firm inter alia by USA & UK embassies, introducer – recommended firm inter alia by international & local banks, public & private companies etc. Affiliate firm of OCREUS GROUP and appointed as full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) of London, UK. As of January 2016, we are proudly in receipt of the Acquisition International “Leading Adviser of the year award for Cyprus” (AI Global Media Ltd International Publishing Group / Wealth & Finance INTL). Areas of practice The Law Firm of Alexandros G. Ioannides & Associates provides a wide area of services including but not limited to:

• • • • • • • •

Corporate and commercial; Incorporation management, fiduciary services for international trusts & companies; Civil litigation and consulting; Probate and administration of estates; Family / matrimonial; Contracts / property / employment; Intellectual property and; International investments.

Associated services The Law Firm of Alexandros G. Ioannides & Associates in order to promote the interests of its existing and prospective clients can provide upon request through its Associates, both in Cyprus and abroad: • Project management services; • Accounting and due diligence services; • Liaising between client and third parties, including banks and other financial institutions, Governmental departments and authorities and; • Expert services & consultancy. Our affiliate firm OCREUS GROUP, with their strong foothold in the U.K. and worldwide, are readily available to assist and advise all potential clients upon request, on a wide spectrum of high end professional services.

Acquisition International - May 2017 67

Ardent Advisers 1705AI22

Ardent Advisers Company: EuroHold Names: Jean-Francois Alandry Pascal Vieilledent Web: Address: Avenida Diagonal, 361, 2º 08037 Barcelona Phone: + 34 93 457 89 80

Eurohold is a corporate finance company established in 1989, with strong ethical values, specialised in cross border deals in some high value-added sectors, present in Europe and emerging countries through a strong own network and independent leaders in number of mid-size and small-size deals in Spain. Following their success in achieving the exclusive accolade of the Leading Corporate Finance Advisers in Spain, we interviewed Jean-Francois Alandry to discover more about this firm of seasoned professionals. ince their inception, Eurohold has specialised in attractive and growing sectors such as technology, life sciences, distribution and retail, luxury goods, environmental services, B2B services, wines and so on. The firm offers a global vision on those sectors.


As to the clients the firm serves, this can be divided into three distinct categories, which are entrepreneurs, multinationals and PE/VC firms. A very different approach is required for each type of client, with more or less time spent on sector knowledge or M&A understanding for example. Jean-Francois Alandry tell us about the crucial role advisors play in the company, and how they serve their clients. “Psychology is very important. Firstly, you need to understand the person, then the company in its sector, then the global economic and political situation and finally, the potential transaction. It’s never any other way around”. “It is important to select the right advisors because an external and professional vision is often accurate but is also important that the client remains the owner of strategical decisions. Our main role is to design deals from scratch and then help the parties to materialise them throughout adequate processes.”

68 Acquisition International - May 2017

In terms of the firm’s staff, Jean-Francois says they play a big role. Their young staff are in charge of an important part of the process, under a more senior partner’s authority. That makes it easier for them to evolve and grow professionally he tells us. On winning the Leading Corporate Finance Advisers in Spain award, Jean-Francois underlines how proud the firm are to receive this. “We are very proud of it. After 28 years operating in M&A, it is encouraging that the market appreciates our values, efforts and different approach to this sector. It goes without saying that a better reach to the different actors within the M&A market could present future business opportunities! Bringing the interview to a close, Jean-Francois describes his hopes for the firm’s future and the values they vehemently stand by. “We should open Portugal before the end of the year. Our plan is to increase cross-border activity between our different offices, particularly the one between Europe and emerging countries. In addition, we are proud to defend strong ethical values and independence. Today, the M&A market needs more than ever actors with no conflicts of interest.”

The Most Transparent Corporate Service Provider the UAE 1705AI34

Company: My Business Consulting DMCC Name: Kamelia Allow Email: kamelia.allow@ Web: Address: Offices 704 & 705 Indigo Tower, Cluster D Jumeirah Lake Towers, P.O. Box 340531 Dubai UAE Phone: +971 4 432 7436

The Most Transparent Corporate Service Provider the UAE My Business Consulting DMCC is a leading corporate service provider in the United Arab Emirates. The company provide wide range of corporate services including, but not limited, to free zone and offshore company registration, bookkeeping and accounting solutions, professional advisory, bank account opening, business setup consultation, visa processing, and administrative support. y Business Consulting DMCC is a registered trade mark since 2010. The company is affiliated as Registered Agent in Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAKICC) and as Registered International Corporate Service Provider of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Authority since 2015.


With over 17 years of business significance in the UAE, it is no wonder that the company was selected for the Business Elite Awards 2017. Acquisition International invited the founder of the company, Mrs. Kamelia Allow, who, in her past business experience in the UAE, expressed her deep concern on issues in terms of providing investors a clear picture of their business venture in the country. As a way to address this concern, she made it her mission to develop a company that will be the first in the market to be the most transparent service provider. To ensure transparency they maintain the following: • All government fees applicable for any Free Zone company formation in the UAE can be found in My Business Consulting DMCC website. • All Scope of Services as per package is well presented without any hidden points. Time Frame of any services is always provided and met promptly by all team members. Daily update of every request is also a must to ensure that clients are kept abreast. • Statement of Account with clear explanation and supporting documents of all expenses of any services request is given to clients as well. • The company also conducts survey to all services they completed to understand if they satisfy the clients’ requirements. The same survey is announced to all members of operation team to identify any lapses and to correct it immediately to ensure better services next time. • Social Media is one of the best outlets to be connected with the public, so My Business Consulting DMCC provides daily updates and information about UAE and International Business, including the latest trends of working in the UAE. • My Business Consulting DMCC owns and maintains proper operations and finance database of clients, which is very useful in keeping their records in place and ensuring all clients on time renewal any documents.

There are thousands of corporate service providers in the UAE. However, My Business Consulting DMCC stands as the best and keeps its good business relationship with clients. In fact several clients is still with the company since the day we commenced operations. Striving for excellence, My Business Consulting DMCC is not only patronized by their clients, but has also been recognized by several authorities and private governing bodies. Some of the recognitions they received are the following: • Nominated for Change Master: Breaking New Markets and Products by Middle East Starts of Business Awards 2015 • Awarded as Most Innovative Consultant in 2016 by DMCC • Nominated as Best Customer Service in 2016 by DMCC • Recognized as Top Performing Consultants in 2017 by DMCC • Awarded as Most Innovative Business Advisory Firm in 2017 by UAE Business Awards • Awarded as Best UAE Business Consulting Service in 2017 by GCC Business Excellence Awards • Awarded for Excellence in Corporate Finance Services in 2017 by GCC Business Excellence Awards • Awarded as Most Influential Woman in Management Consulting – Kamelia Allow (Managing Director) in 2017 by Influential Businesswoman Awards by Acquisition International Magazine Being awarded as International Business Elite of the Year by Business Elite Awards by IA Media is one of the greatest achievement of My Business Consulting DMCC. The founder, Mrs. Allow, expresses her deep gratitude to her team of extraordinary experts and to all loyal clients for making this achievement possible. With the current challenges the business market is facing – concerns on Brexit, the new presidency in the USA, Common Reporting Standard (CRS) or Value Added Tax (VAT) in the GCC, My Business Consulting DMCC Team of Experts, with their transparency policy, are positive that they are well equipped to assist any market stakeholders or investors who are planning to relocate and to start their business ventures in the United Arab Emirates. To know more about My Business Consulting DMCC, please reached them on their website: or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube. Acquisition International - May 2017 69

Legal Aid 1703A110

Legal Aid FOSTERS LEGAL LLP We are always ready for emergency

Company: Fosters Legal LLP Name: Sandra Foster Email: Sandra@ Web: Address: Springfield House (opp The Monument), 24 The High Street, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 3EJ UK Phone: +44 (0)1438 318 452

Fosters Legal LLP, multi-award winning, community focus law firm, based in Stevenage, providing legal service for those on lower income and benefits to help them access legal service, thereby, bridging the gap between the most vulnerable, average and the rich in the legal market. As the Ones to Watch in Family and Company Law – UK award winner, we invited them to profile how they help people on low income and benefits in the community. ppointed as a national business leader, Fosters Legal also helps start-up businesses with growth and drafting of contracts in order that their business will be well established successfully. We specialise in the following areas: • Matrimonial (including all aspects of divorce and separation); • Cohabitation matters (including pre-and postnuptial agreements); • Child welfare and child arrangement orders; • Domestic abuse and court orders; • Local authority and section.20 procedures; • Family law matters; • Drafting consent orders after agreement between parties; • Referral to mediation services and drafting of consent orders after mediation; • Arranging legal representation (licensed access); • Arranging professional McKenzie friend to support you at court; • Checking legal documents before submission at court and; • Drafting and checking business contracts (for start-ups, small and medium size businesses).


Our firm has helped and supported a lot of diverse people on low income and benefits in the community including the those who used to qualify for legal

70 Acquisition International - May 2017

aid but not anymore. However, we have arranged a financial package in order to help and support people, especially those on benefits (subject to financial assessment) to access legal service. Fosters Legal LLP offer legal service and support to a wide variety of clients from varying walks of life, most are on low income and benefits, looking for cost effective legal services. Acting as intermediaries, Fosters legal can refer clients to specialist solicitors and barristers specialising in family and legal aid, care proceedings, housing and employment law. Our ability to recognise and listen to your requirement quickly results in us being able to either support you directly or direct you to the right source of help, ensuring you get what you need when you most need it. Our high success rate is measured in the number of very satisfied clients we have worked with and the fact is that most of our new clients are generated from referrals from those past satisfied clients we have already helped. Our aim is to provide the highest level of client care, effectively, efficiently and with empathy. With a team of experienced Licensed Paralegal lawyers, very skilled partnered solicitors and barristers Chambers, Fosters Legal LLP may be able to meet your needs, contact us first and try us first.

We Bring the Show to You 1703AI26

Company: Simply Smiley Productions Name: Shannon McNab Email: info@ Web: Address: Oval House Theatre 54 Kennington Oval SE11 5SW UK Phone: +44 (0)207 793 8038 or +44 (0)7931 959 636

We Bring the Show to You Simply Smiley Productions are experts at bringing the magic of theatre to children and recently received the Most Outstanding Children’s Entertainment Company award, as part of the 2016 Global Excellence Awards. We invited Shannon McNab to tell us more about this touring company based in London who stand by their motto, ‘We Bring the Show to You’. e at Simply Smiley Productions believe that all children should get the chance to experience live theatre in any setting. Since 2005, we have brought shows to hundreds of thousands of children in schools and nurseries, at festivals and events and in many corporate settings. We have long term relationships with all of our clients who book us year after year. Indeed, we are the one stop solution for all of our blue-chip companies, banks and councils who are looking to take the stress out of hosting Christmas parties and family events. Live events are precious and they engage the children with the world of pantomime!


He’s behind you! Oh, no he isn’t! Panto is traditional English theatre, it’s interactive and also exciting for children. Our pantomimes are different because we write our own stories and scripts, bringing to life characters no-one has ever met before. The children are always captivated by such events because they don’t know the endings to our original stories. Each show runs for an hour and can include post-show party entertainment; disco, balloons. magic tricks, face painting, games and prizes, decorations, lighting, Father Christmas and his grotto and so much more! We look forward to making your next event a Simply Smiley One!

Acquisition International - May 2017 71

Intellectually Stimulating Work 1703AI40

Company: Sand & Sebolt, LPA Name: Howard L. Wernow Registered Patent Attorney Email: HowardW@ Web: Address: Aegis Tower, Ste 1100 4940 Munson Street, N.W. Canton, OH 44718 3615 Phone: +1 330-244-1174

Intellectually Stimulating Work Sand & Sebolt, LPA is an intellectual property boutique law firm located in Northeast Ohio, USA. They were recently awarded the Most Outstanding IP Law Firm 2016 as part of the 2016 Global Excellence Awards, after which we invited them to profile the work of their firm. he original founding member of Sand & Sebolt, LPA has been practicing patent law since 1969 and continues to mentor and advise the current roster of nationally recognised patent attorneys. The U.S. patent attorneys at Sand & Sebolt devote themselves to one area of practice—intellectual property. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition, licensing and associated litigationthese are our specialties.


Sand & Sebolt provides goal-oriented legal services by meeting the specific needs of individuals, professionals, entrepreneurs and large corporations involved with intellectual property issues. Sand & Sebolt combines personalised attention with a wealth of national and international resources to create successful long-term relationships. While Sand & Sebolt does not seek accolades or recognition, many are bestowed upon the attorneys and the firm. We are proud to have won the Most Outstanding IP Law Firm 2016 award as part of the 2016 Global Excellence Awards. In addition to this, the firm was also named as a winner of in 2017 IP Excellence Awards as the Patent Attorney of the Year 2017 - Ohio, and a winner of the North America News - Legal Elite of 2017 as the Best IP Law Boutique - Ohio & Recognised Leader in Patent Prosecution - Mid-West USA, amongst many others.

72 Acquisition International - May 2017

Sand & Sebolt counsels clients ranging from a Fortune 500 company to individual entrepreneurs, with most of our client base originating from middlemarket companies and research institutions. As a firm, we have a very active international practice, inasmuch as competing in a global marketplace requires a sophisticated approach to determine which intellectual property assets need to be protected and in which specific markets they need protection. Sand & Sebolt regularly prepares and prosecutes international filings and has a dedicated, highly-trained staff to facilitate the rapid and accurate administration of foreign filings. Sand & Sebolt’s approach to international filings reflects the firm’s overall philosophy of understanding each client’s specific goals and needs, while implementing a team approach to providing the best possible protection regardless of the country. The firm has spent a great deal of time forging relationships with intellectual property experts from around the world and utilises this vast network of qualified and reliable associates to properly protect your intellectual property assets in a myriad of foreign countries. Similarly, law firms from around the world rely on Sand & Sebolt to perform valuable and timely international filing services for them and their clients.

Something different, very eccentric and unique! We specialize in silk and fresh arrangements. If you’re looking for high quality and personal service, you’ve come to the right place. At Latrell Flowers, we’ll give you the attention and personal service you’ll come to expect and enjoy. We offer the best in floral arrangements and artistry. We are now a Mobile Global Company based in Baltimore providing services around the Globe, let us put our experience to work for you. AAT0020

Off the Beaten Track

Off the Beaten Track Name: Jeremy Maki (CTR project coordinator) Company: Motion Placements Ltd (CityTravelReview Projects) Email: Web: Address: The Old School, Fivehead, TA3 6PQ, England Phone: +44 (0) 131 208 2741

Motion Placements Ltd runs the citytravelreview projects and organise a study working experience project for young people where they can also learn a language and gain an insight into a new culture. Jeremy Maki lifts the lid on some of the firm’s many projects that benefit young people in society. hat products and services does your firm provide? Our project member’s take part in various project related activities in Berlin, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Madrid and Lyon and create an online published travel guide aimed at young people. We are a fairly established company and have been running the projects now for around 10 years. We have won quite a few awards over the past years and been recognised by many reputable organisations. Our main aims are to create excellent worthwhile experiences where young people can enjoy learning a language, another culture and gain the chance to be part of a unique work experience whilst simultaneously discovering and exploring another European city.

What are your firm’s unique selling points? Although similar companies are around there does not appear to be any other firm that incorporates as many elements into a project as us in such a comprehensive way. We are a forward-looking organisation and are open and able to implement new ideas quickly. Our main focus is on the quality of our projects and what the main benefits of the project actually are and how can we realise these.

What does your client base look like? Our customers are typically young people usually between the ages 18-30 and in most cases, are undergraduates, post graduates or young people looking for a gap working experience or simply a change in career direction. We tend to have around 200 people join our projects each year staying on our projects from anything from 1 month -3 months. Our clients are looking for something a little different and off the beaten track whilst at the same time doing something exciting and productive with their time and to have something to show in their CV, resume or portfolio.

What are the main objectives for your business in the future? To keep growing steadily! We are one of the originals to be in this market and are setting the benchmark for experiences like ours. We hope to be around for a good few years and are always interested in new partner relationships.


What are the main challenges facing your company today? The market changes dramatically with new regulations and rising costs and new complications that can arise. We have to anticipate many issues and have back up strategies and plans scheduled.

What business or business person do you most admire and why? Gary Vaynerchuk for his continued motivation drive and inspiration. This is an individual that clearly moves with the times and can see and predict the right moments when we need to make a change in order to progress. This is seen within his portfolio of business’. A business must continue to adapt to the market, customer needs and the external conditions that are set at that time.

Acquisition International - May 2017 75

A Force in Fulfilment 1704AI53

Company: Ark-H Handling Limited Name: Neil Horton Email: Web: Address: Ark-H Handling Ltd Unit 33, Watson Rd Wilstead Industrial Park Wilstead, MK45 3PD Phone: +44 (0)1234 742 777

A Force in Fulfilment 2017 UK Business Elite Awards award recipient Ark-H Handling Limited is one of the UK’s premier handling and fulfilment houses. Established over 25 years ago, the business provides a comprehensive range of services including storage, order processing, campaign support, mailing and distribution.

ith roots in the fulfilment of marketing collateral and point-of-sale material, recent years have seen Ark-H Handling Limited adapt to become a key player in the fulfilment of on-line/ecommerce fulfilment.


Our outstanding reputation has been built through a single-minded focus on quality, customer service, flexibility and rapid response. Those attributes have allowed us to achieve accreditations across the full range of Quality (ISO9001) Business Continuity (ISO22301) Data Security (ISO27001) and Environmental (ISO14001) standards. That strong foundation underpins the service provision to our traditional clients in areas such as f.m.c.g., automotive, print and retail. It has

further enabled the business to build expertise in several specialist areas including fulfilment of pharmaceutical, medical and health and beauty products (with MHRA and BPA licences); food and drink products (with HACCP, FSA certificates and alcohol licence); as well as in-depth expertise in tightly regulated sectors such as finance, education and the public sector. The success of the business lies in the combination of its core strengths – staff, space, systems and security. Employing over 130 people, all of whom are trained in their professional and functional areas, we are proud to hold the prestigious bronze level Investors in People. The pride and commitment of our staff is visible in the care they take of client stock, stored in our modern, flexible, warehouse facilities of over 120,000 square feet. All our buildings, secured with computer controlled access and internal/ external CCTV, are BREEAM rated for environmental impact. Bespoke IT systems, built around a core database designed to manage inventory control and order processing, have been developed over the years in step with the changing demands of the marketplace. Impressive on-line functionality, with secure password-protected web-access, gives our clients total visibility of their product and order status 24/7. Easy interface modules and flexible api allow us to connect with most client and carrier systems (from SAP and Dynamix to Magento and Shopify). In addition, comprehensive reporting capability, with the facility to produce tailored reports to client specification, means that the system is easy to ‘personalise’ to meet the specific requirements of even the most demanding clients. We believe that technology and the full range of digital services lie at the very heart of the future of our industry. The past 25 years has seen Ark-H grow from a small fulfilment operation to a full service to a market leader, from 2,000 square feet and 5 people to over 120,000 square feet and over 130 people. We have weathered recessions and market change and despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the currently volatile political and economic climate, Ark-H is confident about the future. The inexorable rise of on-line retailing, with its commensurate growth in fulfilment and logistics, means that we have real reasons to be cheerful.

76 Acquisition International - May 2017

4 Ways a Financial Consultant Make Your Start-up More Successful

Name: Ellie Martin Email: elliemartinwrites@

4 Ways a Financial Consultant Make Your Start-up More Successful Start-up culture is a lot of things. It’s non-traditional, it’s informal, it’s imaginative and above all it’s innovative. While all of these attributes sound great, and they are, they are also behind some of the reasons that start-ups tend to fail. n cases where early stage start-ups place a lot of energy on the creative process, they could overlook logistics, resulting in unstable finances are unattainable goals. The good news is, you don’t have to compromise entrepreneurship for success.


1. Invest in someone who knows how to invest Before you make any serious moves, make sure you that invest in someone who can help you make the right investments! A financial advisor can help you with everything from pricing analyses, to fundraising to market research. On top of understanding your financial logistics, working together with someone who knows their numbers can help you map out an appropriate budget plan based on your specific needs.

“Getting your first investment is a big deal! Throw a party, hang a plaque, and then get on the phone with your financial advisor.” Luckily, there are plenty of experienced financial consultants who are with familiar with contemporary business models. Devoting some of your precious time and resources to developing a relationship with an experienced advisor may just be the move you needed to make in order to land your next big investment. 2. Navigating the flexible financial plan It may sound counterintuitive, but your financial plan doesn’t need to set in stone. Today, companies large and small are embracing more flexible ways of working. But, making room for change doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind. There are still inevitable ups and downs businesses will go through, whether you’re Facebook or just a group of friends with a great idea. In short, you need to be prepared if you want your business to thrive.

Hiring a skilled financial consultant that has seen a business go through ups and downs first hand can help you adjust to changes, such as unforeseen expenses. A financial advisor will prepare you for unexpected overhead, which is necessary if you are planning to make a pitch to an investor. Small business that have looked beyond the basics, such as salary and cash flow, tend to come off as more trustworthy when having considered future growth stages. 3. So you got your first investment…. now what? Getting your first investment is a big deal! Throw a party, hang a plaque, and then get on the phone with your financial advisor. Just because you increased your cash flow, doesn’t mean you have increased your value...yet. Speaking with someone who knows the ins and outs of the financial world can help you make better use of your newly acquired chunk of change. Using your funding skilfully can make all the difference when it comes to acquiring funding in the future. A financial advisor can help you map out which milestones you need to meet in order to achieve your goals. Milestones are based on a company’s personal goals, which could mean hiring another staff member, working out some kinks, or even putting some of that money away for emergencies. Overall, having a game plan when you receive your first investments will increase your value as a company not just financially. 4. Don’t worry too much about the future, but don’t forget about it Again, financial plans do not need to be concrete, especially if you are a small business or growing start up. But, you should have an idea of where you’re going. An experienced financial advisor has most likely helped other clients define what they expect from their future successes. Starting up a business can be a lot of work, so it’s sometimes easy to forget to include yourself into the plan. Based on your personal situation, maybe you are planning to have a family, or already have one, and a financial consultant can help you to make sure you can cover your personal costs.

Acquisition International - May 2017 77

Practice Makes Perfect 1705AI20

Practice Makes Perfect PEM Corporate Finance LLP is a Cambridge-based corporate finance boutique. We caught up with them to find out more about what they do, after their success in achieving the Leading Business Valuations Consultant of the Year – UK award. EM Corporate Finance (PEMCF) advises owner managed businesses on transactions, ranging from M&A and company sales to management buyouts and private equity fund raising.


Company: PEM Corporate Finance LLP Name: Lake Falconer, Corporate Finance Partner Web: Address: Salisbury House, Station Road, Cambridge, CB1 2LA, UK Phone: +44 (0)1223 728306

They are part of PEM, a full service, award winning accounting and tax practice with over 140 staff and 14 partners. PEM is the largest independent firm of accountants and business advisers based in Cambridge. The flat structure of the PEMCF team enables them to deliver personal senior level attention to clients, while also having the tax expertise and other resources of PEM at their disposal. Corporate Finance Partner Lake Falconer begins the interview by explaining more about what the firm does, their global reach and their reactions to winning this distinguished award.

“I personally specialise in business valuation as well as advising on company sales, management buyouts, equity financing and strategy. The firm as a whole specialises in valuing businesses for a variety of purposes including shareholder disputes, tax, restructuring, in preparation for sale, and for legal purposes. “We also have global reach as a member of Kreston International, a global network of independent accounting firms. Kreston currently ranks as the 12th largest accounting network in the world and covers 113 countries, with 180 firms providing a resource of over 23,000 professional and support staff. “We’re delighted to have received the Leading Business Valuations Consultant of the Year – UK award, which recognises our work in the valuations field. The recognition of AI through this reward will allow us to demonstrate our capabilities to corporates seeking valuations, and also to other intermediaries such as lawyers and tax advisers who may need business valuations.” Advisers certainly play an important role in the firm’s success. As well as taking the time to interview the directors and managers of a business being valued, PEMCF conducts detailed research, based on a number of resources, to support and inform their findings. In Lake’s view, the right external advisers undoubtedly make a huge contribution to the success of any business. Lake then tells us in his own words about the people he works with, that is the firm’s clients and the staff that work for PEMCF. “We primarily work with unquoted businesses, for the most part owner managed. We take the time to gain a deep understanding of our clients in order to deliver thoughtful advice that genuinely helps our clients to achieve their goals. “To support this, we have a strong team of experienced and qualified professionals, and our service delivery is based on always putting the same well qualified and motivated staff in front of our clients.” Lake concludes the interview by revealing that PEM Corporate Finance, “plan to continue to grow and develop our practice.”

78 Acquisition International - May 2017

First-Class Clinical Experts 1705AI59

Company: Cardiovascular Advisors Name: Richard Williams-Lees Email: rwl@ Web: www. Phone: +44 (0)7803 376 186

First-Class Clinical Experts Cardiovascular Advisors can provide medico-legal reports for clinical negligence, personal injury and criminal cases within 4-6 weeks of receiving the document bundle. As recipient of the 2017’s Most Highly Regarded Expert Witnesses - North West award, we invited Richard Williams-Lees to profile the firm’s expert advice offered and their exceptional level of customer service. Cardiovascular Advisors is a unique collaboration of first-class clinical experts, offering medico-legal advice on all aspects of injuries involving the cardiovascular system. We offer advice on venous arterial disease & injury, vascular interventional radiology, stroke medicine & neurology, diabetes & the diabetic foot, cardiology & cardiac catheterization, haematology, thrombosis & thrombophilia and cardiovascular life expectancy.


On winning the 2017’s Most Highly Regarded Expert Witnesses - North West award, we are delighted that our medico-legal services have been deemed as ‘highly regarded’ by AI Global Media. 2017 for us has been a very successful year todate as, in addition to securing this award, we have also been awarded Expert Firm of the Year 2017 by The Lawyer Monthly. Both awards are certainly testament to not only the high level of advice offered by our experts, but also our exceptional customer service. In recent years, we have seen a surge in the number of clinical negligence cases, brought about where there has been a delay in the diagnosis of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which has led to limb loss. In

addition, we are starting to see a rise in the number of claims being brought by employees against their employers, where inadequate risk assessments have been carried out before frequent/long-haul business air travel. Owing to confidentiality, we are unable to disclose details of notable cases where we have been or are instructed on. However, we are instructed nationally and internationally in not only clinical negligence and personal injury cases, but in criminal and private law matters too. We have received exceptional feedback from the majority of our clients. In recent weeks, we have been approached by a number of national law firms who want to forge working business relationships based on our reputation to-date. In 5 years’ time, we hope that we will have managed to build on our current practice and have cornered the market with respect to cardiovascular medicolegal advice. In addition to building up the work of Cardiovascular Advisors, we intend to set up other medico-legal advisory companies, offering medicolegal advice on injuries sustained to other parts of the anatomy.

Acquisition International - May 2017 79

An Awesome Advisor 1705AI38

An Awesome Advisor Adrian Ashton has several national reputations and international awards for supporting enterprises of all types across a range of issues and themes, the latest being the Leading Advisor of the Year – UK award. We invited him to talk about his work as a freelance and his thoughts in winning this impressive accolade.

s a freelancer, I offer enterprise advice and support on a consultancy basis. I also consider myself very fortunate in how I can do this, having the political freedom to be able to explicitly lobby national policy and legislation, where I see that it may not be best aligned with the changing needs of the sectors and industries my clients trade and operate within.


Company: Adrian Ashton Name: Adrian Ashton Email: adrian.ashton2@ Web: Address: Office, 6 White Hart Fold Todmorden OL14 7BD, UK Phone: +44 (0)7786 492313

As a freelance consultant, I offer clients several areas of expertise and specialism which currently include: - Impact reporting and planning future services and growth; - Enterprise start-up and growth; - Governance and managing change; - Financial modelling and pursuing investment; and - Enterprise education. On being awarded Leading Advisor of the Year – UK accolade, it’s an incredible encouragement and validation of the approaches and impacts I try and use and create through my work with clients and others. I suspect my mum will also be pleased too. Being recognised as one of the UK’s leading advisors means my clients and other organisations can be assured that they’ve commissioned the right consultant! It will also hopefully enhance my existing brand and reputation further. Supporting clients I support a range of client organisations that include: universities, sector bodies, private firms, charities and social enterprises, co-operatives, national government departments, and funded enterprise support programmes. In seeking to be consistent with the values I try and manifest in my work, I tend to prefer to seek introductions to them or reply to direct invitations. Encouragingly, after 12 years of working hard, people are now starting to introduce me to their clients and contacts in relation to my own specialisms and expertise. In addition, I regularly reflect with clients on their experiences of how drawing upon my expertise has been of benefit to them. This had led to various comments and testimonials that include me being compared to a ‘babel fish’ (able to translate complex ideas and technical jargon into simple to understand terms and concepts); acting as a ‘human google’ (having a breadth and depth of knowledge on a range of subjects); clearly living out personal and professional values that people admire; having high ethical and professional standards, but also being

80 Acquisition International - May 2017

able to be pragmatic; and I also liked the response of one particular person: ‘you’re awesome!’. In terms of the important role that advisers more generally carry out, including myself, I would say that organisations usually tend to focus on systems and procedures as needing to be developed or reviewed. But having said this, I think it’s just as important (if not more so) for the people in an organisation to also be involved in supporting their change and adoption. The use of external advisers who can share objective perspectives and stories from elsewhere can be a very powerful way to ensure people are engaged and supportive of processes and changes being introduced. As a freelancer, I do not directly employ anyone, but do enjoy working with a close network of trusted associates. Through our collaborations, we are able to generate additional perspectives and access to resources of benefit to clients, as well as support each other’s ongoing personal CPD. In terms of my plans for 2017 and beyond, it’s worth highlighting that the impact of Brexit on the UK is still unclear, and I’m also going through some significant changes in my family relationships and circumstances this year as well. Both of these elements are creating significant uncertainty about the future for me both professionally and personally. However, as I’ve always sought to do over the last 12 years, I intent to continue to maintain the standards and approaches with clients I always have, and to involve them where appropriate in helping to shape the future support and services I offer them. Finally, I would like to point out that just as a good advisor can have a powerful transformative impact, I’m concerned that clients sometimes don’t always, or are confident in being able to, manage such support. As part of my own CPD framework, I’ve therefore developed a number of measures to try and ensure transparency and accountability (including being the only freelance consultant to annually and openly report on my impact every year for the last 12 years). I would also always encourage a client organisation to question all the advice they’re offered – regardless of whom it’s from. After all, it’s their organisation, not the advisors.

London Calling 1105AI53

London Calling Company: Prime Estate Agents Name: Mr Kazi Arif Email: admin@ Web: Address: 102 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RL Phone: +44 (0)20 7375 1188

Celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year, Prime Estate Agents is an independent Estate Agent in the heart of East London, boasting a prime location on Brick Lane, perfectly positioned to sell and let properties in East London and London wide. After their success in receiving the Leading Real Estate Adviser of the Year - UK award, we interviewed them to profile their unwavering commitment to ensuring 100% client satisfaction. Prime Estate Agents is an independent estate agent in the heart of East London. Our Brick lane office enjoys a prime location, ideally positioned to sell and let properties in East London and London wide. As an accredited, professional and reputable agent, our highest priority is to ensure satisfied clients at all times. Our hard work and motivation has already enabled us to relocate offices to cater for our growing clientele - and we strive to continue to excel in providing outstanding customer service and care.


One of the ways we provide exceptional service to our landlords and tenants is through our dedication to ensure their satisfaction. Prime Estate Agents offer so much more than just sales and management; indeed, we act as trusted advisers and consultants with the hope of building long term relationships. We always book appointments to suit our clients, whether it means we are working well into the evening or attending viewings before office hours, if our clients are happy, we are doing our job. Our management portfolio includes hundreds of properties, some of which we have had since opening Prime Estate Agents in 2007, which is proof of our commitment to keeping our clients through the strength of our outstanding service. We are a small but perfectly formed agency and with our personal touch and intimate local knowledge of all the areas we operate in - we strive to give a perfectly tailored service that meets the needs of our individual clientele. Leading Real Estate Adviser of the Year - UK award Prime Estate Agents are now a multi award winning company. In 2016, we were winners of Build awards Best Independent Estate Agents and Firm of the Year. This year, we are honoured to accept the Leading Real Estate Adviser of the Year – UK award. We have been working hard for many years to improve and expand our business, so being recognised in the different aspects of our services is incredible and we owe this success to our dedicated staff and loyal clients. Prime Estate Agents are proud to be independent and free from the restraints of many corporate agents which limit flexibility. It is this independence that gives us our greatest strength and flexibility in our approach to working with landlords. We pay attention to their needs – whether they are a reluctant landlord letting their own home for the first time, or a seasoned investor with a large property portfolio, we will tailor a service solution to suit their needs and with a competitive fee structure. With over 14 years’ experience, we have a unique insight into the property business. We know that our clients expect a high level of service and our goal is

always to meet and exceed these expectations. We use award winning software to make the experience with us smooth and hassle free, whether you are a landlord or tenant. We are also currently in the process of becoming members of the Royal Institute of Chartered surveyors (RICS) and are excited to see what new opportunities this brings us. We understand that many people have an unfavourable view of estate agents and we hope to change this perception through our work ethic and personal care and attention. In an unregulated industry, we have chosen to be licensed members of ARLA, NAEA, RLA, Safe Agent, FSB, NLA, London Rental Standard, National Approved Letting Scheme and the property ombudsman. We also have Client Money Protection Insurance (CMP). The crucial role of real estate advisers Prime Estate agents is located in Brick Lane, in the heart of the British Bangladeshi community. The owner and founder of Prime Estate Agents, Mr. Kazi Arif, wanted to give something to our community, so he set up a free advice service where members of the community could come to our office or call our office. He would give them free expert advice on their property issues and concerns. There was such a huge demand for this support and advise that Mr Arif took it upon himself to do something about the lack of support and advice for those with questions and concerns, and those suffering as a direct result of the housing sector. As these people were mostly of the British Bangladeshi Community he pushed for a slot on Bangla TV appearing live every Thursday evenings 9:40pm10:30pm on Sky Channel 821 where members of the public can call in for free and speak with him live on air, he answers their questions, addresses their concerns and discusses all property related issues with them. Mr Arif is now a pioneer of property talk show having a reputation as a strong and reliable property specialist, with this show running for over three years and being the only one of its kind. Prime Estate Agents also share advice and property market news and updates via our YouTube Channel and through our Facebook and Twitter accounts. In terms of the role that staff play in our success, I would say that many estate agencies change their staff frequently and use competition to motivate. Prime Estate Agents are a very close team of friends; indeed, four out of eight members of staff have been with us from the very beginning. We help each other in all aspects of our job roles and are all ARLA trained. London is a multi-cultural city and here at Prime Estate Agents we are all from different backgrounds and cultures, representing the greatness of our community.

Acquisition International - May 2017 81

Best Financial Planning Firm - Manitoba OS170002

Company: Advantage Wealth Systems Inc Contact: Bill MacKay Email: billmackay@ Address: Unit 2 1749, Portage Ave, Winnipeg, R3J 0E6, Canada Phone: 00204 292-5399 Web: www.

Best Financial Planning Firm - Manitoba Advantage Wealth Systems Inc (AWS) works with business owners who are looking for above average investment returns where the gains can be achieved with tax advantages. We spoke to Bill MacKay to find out more. WS has developed an innovative program that has attracted many exceptional professionals that are now clients. To support them, the firm aims to achieve their financial aims through secured investments that quality can be determined. Bill explains the firm’s innovative offering in more detail.

“What truly sets AWS apart is that our clients are enjoying returns above industry standard which is expected to stay that way. When working with them I always explain the full range of options and what can be utilized to be fully tax compliant yet use what is allowed to provide a long-term tax efficient investment program.”

“At AWS we seek opportunities where management leadership is proven, companies that have demonstrated stability, show capital allocation skill and extend sales over large geographical areas. There is a successful program developed that is non-cyclical and non-correlated to stock market variations, which has low capital expenditure requirements and currently enjoys industry tailwinds.

Looking ahead, despite the challenges the financial market faces, Bill believes that his firm will not face many issues.


82 Acquisition International - May 2017

“Moving forward, we do not expect negative impact from legislative changes or market influences as investment quality will succeed over time and are keen to continue offering our existing clients the very highest standard of service and great results.”

Best Biogas Facility Design Company 2017 OS170003

Company: EcoCorp Inc. Contact: John G. Ingersoll Email: Address: 1211 S Eads Street, Arlington, Virginia, 22202, USA Phone: 00703 979-4999 Website:

Best Biogas Facility Design Company 2017 Ecocorp has extensive, international experience with the design and implementation of biogas facilities and the production of bio methane as a renewable, alternative fuel. We profile the firm to find out more about the range of services it offers.

Founded in 1991, Ecocorp provides fully-automated plants for the anaerobic composting of green waste, food waste, and paper in combination with dewatered sewage sludge and/or animal manure and industrial/construction waste. The firm’s custom designed plants range typically in size from 20,000 to 100,000 tons per year. Plants may be either ECOCORP or customer owned and operated. The firm offers sunder license commercially proven European technology to minimize risk.


The standard Ecocorp facility has an organic waste processing capacity of 50,000 tons per year. It requires one acre of industrially zoned land and provides a fully contained operation with respect to emissions of odors, air or water pollutants to the neighboring environment. The 50,000 tons of incoming waste are comprised of commercial wastes, including demolition lumber and gypsum waste as well as separated green wastes, food wastes and non-recyclable paper and dewatered

sludge. The commercial wastes are presorted at the facility to remove recyclable paper products such as corrugated cardboard, plastics and metals as well as non-recyclable plastics. The usable organic waste is converted into a number of commercial products including: biomethane as an alternative motor fuel; a high quality, pathogen free compost as a soil conditioner and fertilizer supplement or fertilizer partial substitute; carbon dioxide as an industrial gas with a variety of uses; and gray water as a replacement of fresh water for irrigation, street sweeping and other applications. The compost is post processed mechanically to remove undesirable ingredients and is sold in bags and in bulk. The anaerobic process employed in the facility has several unique features that set it apart from other similar processes such as those employed traditionally at municipal sewage treatment facilities as well as aerobic composting technologies marketed by competitors, including a dry anaerobic digestion operation, comprised of a 30% to 40% solid content versus less than 5% for the typical wet anaerobic operation and utilization of thermophilic methanogenic microbes functioning at a temperature of about 140ºF versus the traditional mesophilic temperature operation of under 100ºF. Each standard facility is very compact in size requiring less than one acre of land comprised of 15,000 ft² for buildings and structures and up to 20,000 ft² of other land use. Each facility is totally contained in terms of operations, including odors, noise, as well as air, water and solid pollution. These facilities are ideally suited to service a community with a total population of about 100,000 persons and about 40,000 households and commercial establishments. Drawing on a dedicated team of engineers, scientists and managers the firm has been involved in the realization of over 15 large commercial biogas installations and several smaller ones, has a broad area of expertise, and will tailor the anaerobic digestion process and biogas facility design to meet the unique needs of any project, and moving forward the firm will continue to offer this exceptional service as it seeks to support even more clients on a wider variety of projects.

Acquisition International - May 2017 83

An Eye on the Future 1705AI36

An Eye on the Future Company: C&C Search Name: Lucy Chamberlain Email: Web: Address: 1st Floor Birchin Court, 20 Birchin Lane London, EC3V 9DU UK Phone: +44 (0)203 475 5039

Following their success in winning the Leading Recruitment Consultant of the Year – UK award as part of Ones to Watch in Recruitment 2017, Lucy Chamberlain of C&C Search shares the secrets of the company’s success.

ounded by brother and sister Ed and Lucy Chamberlain, C&C Search is a London based recruiting and consulting firm who specialise in support staff recruitment. With a focus on innovation and excellence, we have quickly become leaders in our sector. A highly experienced and dedicated team are at the very heart of the organisation, and our unique approach to business has enhanced and created countless careers across many different industries.


We are also passionate about giving back, and helping other people find rewarding new roles! We love our jobs and want to see others feel the same energy and fervour as we do. We give a significant percentage of our profits to Tomorrow’s People, a charity which helps support people to find meaningful employment. We have worked with many different companies from small start-ups to global organisations and our personalised and tailored approach has proven results. We are so excited to be selected as Ones to Watch in Recruitment 2017! Receiving the confirmation that what we are doing is having an impact on the industry makes us very proud. C&C Search was born out of a desire to change the face of the support staff recruitment sector, and create an innovative new model which would benefit both clients and candidates. We are constantly evolving as an organisation and always have an eye on the future. As Ones to Watch in Recruitment we feel we are being recognised for the huge amount of work that has gone into us being innovators in our sector. Both Ed and Lucy had extensive experience within the recruitment industry before setting out on their own with C&C. As a graduate employee, Lucy became the youngest ever equity partner at age 28, having built and led the largest and most successful division in the company. Ed has a highly successful history in the recruitment sector and a proven track record in founding successful companies. Having drawn on this rich set of experiences, it is so exciting to now be driving change within an industry in which a shakeup was highly overdue!

We are proud supporters for the people that ensure a company runs smoothly from the ground up. The executive and personal assistants, administrators, co-ordinators and other support staff cannot be an afterthought if a company is to be successful. Even the smallest of tasks can have a huge impact on results. Our candidates are hand-picked then extensively tested and reviewed, which ensures that they are only placed in the positions which best suit their qualities. We also support our candidates to excel in their career ambitions by giving them the tools they need to really shine. Whether a position is temporary, contracted or permanent we give the same amount of dedication and expertise. All our consultants are highly experienced and able to offer intelligent market insight and additional relevant information at every stage of the process. We take the time to really build relationships with our clients. This indepth knowledge helps us to suggest candidates which don’t just work brilliantly on paper, but also fit seamlessly within the company ethos. And our work doesn’t end when we place a candidate, we assist our clients in retaining quality staff too. Great staff aren’t always easy to find, and we reward those that want to excel in their chosen career. We support our candidates by helping them manifest a successful career and nurture their ideas to help them reach their aspirations. We are passionate about offering full guidance, support, learning and development opportunities, so that our candidates are fully prepared and raring to surpass expectations. We set a bench mark for quality within the recruitment process, leaving no stone unturned! We are non-industry specific and have experience recruiting for everyone from the tiniest start-up through to household named global organisations. We have become synonymous with quality and excellence and, as a result, most of our clients come to us through personal recommendations. Our dedication to quality staff begins right on our own doorstep! Our staff are passionate about showcasing our company vision and are afforded the same high level of support as our candidates. We celebrate individuality and nurture our team through diligent training, guidance and learning opportunities. Encouraging our staff to pursue their career goals is at the core of our approach to ensuring that our staff represent exactly what we seek in candidates: excellence in every area of their work. 2017 is an exciting year for C&C Search! We are aiming to continue our impressive growth to date, and double in size. We are also promoting our passion project, which seeks to inspire the next generation to excel, through female founders sharing their life and business hacks. We have a secret but exciting launch of a C&C community programme in the pipeline, more news will be coming about that shortly. Watch this space!

84 Acquisition International - May 2017

Winners’ Directory

CEO of the Year – London Business Executive Awards 2017 Company: ADVFN PLC Name: Clem Chambers Email: Web Address: Address: 26 Throgmorton St, London, EC2N 2AN Telephone: +44 (0)207 0700 909 Business of Distinction Company: Octal Info Solution Name: Umesh Palshikar Email: Web Address: Address: 4283 Express Lane Suite 317-890, Sarasota FL 34238 USA Telephone: +1 817 717 1793 2016 Businesses of Distinction Lancashire Company: The Foxley Docket Ltd Name: Matthew Fairhurst Email: Web Address: Telephone: +44 (0)1772 910 511 Business Executive Awards 2017 CEO of the Year - Spain Company: Zeta especial S.A Name: Dotty Escolà de Bruijn Web Address: Address: Avda. De las Olimpiadas, 79 – Polígono Industrial Can Rosés 08191 Rubí (Barcelona) Spain Telephone: +34 935 88 7677 2016 Global Excellence Awards Most Outstanding Project Forwarding Logistics Management Company Sudan Company: Blue Water Logistics Name: Mr. Wail Dagash Email: Web Address: Telephone: +249 183 214 771/2/3 Khartoum Office: Badr Street, Al Taief Block 22 Building 687, 2nd Floor, P.O. Box 11606 Khartoum, Sudan Port Sudan Office: Port Sudan Branch Office: Stevedores Building (Old Market) 6th Floor, Flat 2, P.O Box 500 Port Sudan, Sudan

Acquisition International - May 2017 85

Private Equity M&A Company: Bureau van Dijk E-Mail: Web:

In keeping with overall mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2016, both the volume and value of private equity (PE) deals declined when compared to 2015, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. However, 2017 has started fairly positively; the $111,926 million invested in Q1 marks an improvement on the $76,425 million injected over the corresponding timeframe in 2016.

here have already been plenty of significant PE transactions announced during 2017. All of the year’s top 25 to date are worth in excess of $1,000 million and two deals have actually broken the $7,000 million-barrier.


These incidences of investors digging deep to get the companies they want have resulted in a positive result for Q1; the $111,926 million invested between January and March, while still slightly lower than the $117,545 million injected in Q1 2015 (which went on to be an extremely impressive year in terms of activity), is otherwise the highest value for a Q1 period since Q1 2007, when $224,194 million was recorded, prior to the onset of the global financial crisis. This gives plenty of cause for optimism for the year ahead and means it will be particularly interesting to see how Q2 stacks up against the corresponding period of 2016. Since the start of April, some 328 PE deals worth a combined $42,014 million have been announced. In the second quarter of 2016, $128,487 million was injected across 1,538 transactions, meaning there is still some way to go if value is to reach such heights again this year. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the largest PE deal of 2017 so far has occurred during the second quarter; JAB Holdings and BDT Capital Partners have lodged a $7.50 billion bid to acquire Missouri-headquartered eat-in bakeries operator Panera Bread. This deal alone accounted for 17.9% of total value invested via all PE deals announced since the start of April.

86 Acquisition International - May 2017

Other large PE deals signed off in Q2 include a $5,627 million buyout of German drug researcher and developer Stada Arzneimittel by Bain Capital and Cinven and Bass Pro Group’s $5,000 million bid for US outdoor equipment retailer Cabela’s. These deals are evidence of the continued appetite for large transactions and a few more on this scale would go some way towards boosting aggregate value significantly by the end of June, when we will have a better indication of how 2017 is stacking up against last year. In terms of world regions, North America has attracted the most investment in Q2 to date, having been targeted in deals worth a combined $22,812 million. It was followed by Western Europe with $14,233 million, while the Far East and Central Asia placed third with $3,240 million. Interestingly, the latter tops the volume rankings for Q2 so far with 105 transactions, while North America and Western Europe followed with 100 and 90, respectively. This again shows the impact a single large deal can have; although it was targeted in more deals, the Far East and Central Asia was a long way behind North America by value, largely due to the fact that it featured in fewer of the period’s most valuable transactions. In conclusion, 2017 has started promisingly in terms of PE investment levels, but those watching the markets will be keeping an eye out for more large deals in the coming months in the hopes that Q2 can build on this positive start. A failure to surpass Q2 2016’s results will be a disappointment and could have a big impact on how results for the year as a whole shapes up once December rolls around.

M&A Deals Q1 Round-Up

Number and Aggregate Value (mil $) of Private Equity Deals Globally: 2006-2017 YTD (as at 25 April 2016)

Number and Aggregate Value (Mil USD) of Private Equity Deals Globally by Target Sector: 2006 - 2017 YTD (as at 25 April 2016)

Deal Number half yearly value of deals (Announced date)

Aggregate deal value (mil $)

Zephus classification (target)

Number of deals

Aggregate deal value (mil $)

Q2 2017



Personal, Leisure & Business Services



Q1 2017






Computer, IT and Internet services


Q4 2016

Banking, Insurance & Financial Services



Industrial, Electric & Electronic Machinery












Transport, Freight, Storage & Travel Services








Q3 2016



Q2 2016



Q1 2016



Q4 2015



Q3 2015



Q2 2015



Q1 2015



Q4 2014



Q3 2014



Q2 2014



Q1 2014



Public Administration, Education, Health Social Services

Q4 2013



Property Services



Chemicals, Petroleum, Rubber & Plastic



Q3 2013



Q2 2013



Q1 2013



Hotels and Restaurants



Q4 2012



Mining & Extraction



Food & Tobacco Manufacturing



Q3 2012



Q2 2012



Number and Aggregate Value (Mil USD) of Private Equity Deals Globally by Deal Type: 2006-2017 YTD (as at 25 April 2016) Deal type

Number of deals

Aggregate deal value (mil $)

Institutional buy-out



Minority stake Acquisition Capital increase Management buy-out

33,341 2,527 885 1,523

884,603 592,290 65,195 61,310

Management buy-in



Number of Private Equity Deals by Region: 2006 - 2017 YTD (as at 25 April 2016) World region (target) Far East and Central Asia

Q2 2016

Q3 2016

Q4 2016

Q1 2017

Q2 2017






North America Western Europe Oceania Middle East

529 482 15 20

448 414 27 31

391 451 25 26

430 462 22 21

100 90 9 9

Eastern Europe South and Central America Africa

47 20 30

29 26 29

36 17 22

44 23 22

6 4 3

Financial Services M&A in May 2017 has started impressively in terms of the volume and value of M&A deals featuring targets in the financial services sector. According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there were 3,320 deals worth a combined $202,741 million announced during the first quarter of the year, representing the highest value for a first quarter since 2009. Q2 is only just underway but there have already been quite a few transactions announced in the sector. So far, $27,409 million has been invested across 750 deals, meaning there will need to be plenty more activity if results are to come close to the levels recorded in Q1, which was particularly notable in terms of the value invested. As already mentioned, the $202,741 million-worth of deals signed off between January and March has not been surpassed during a Q1 period since the opening three months of 2009. Volume was also rather impressive (3,320 deals) and although Q1 2016 was higher (3,611), the result is otherwise the largest for a first quarter on record within the industry. Western Europe has so far attracted the most value of all world regions within the industry, having been targeted in deals worth $91,626 million. It was followed by the Far East and Central Asia with $65,721 million and North America with $42,286 million. Despite Western Europe’s position at the head of the value rankings, it was topped by North America (1,229 deals) by volume and placed second with 1,078 transactions. Its strong value position is largely due to a number of significant individual considerations - the three largest financial services deals of 2017 to date all featured Western European targets. To sum up, 2017 is well and truly underway for the financial services industry and significant levels of deal making have been recorded, with Q1 having generated particularly impressive investment levels. Now it is a question of whether this flying start can be maintained in the coming months.

Acquisition International - May 2017 87

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