Proa Global Partners LLC is a boutique international transactional advisory and business investment strategy firm utilizing a state-of-the-art financed-based, but also interdisciplinary approach for calibrating and then operationalizing the opportunity-risk tradeoffs that characterize direct investment in high growth emerging markets.
We are driven to work closely with our clients to search for and exploit new 'opportunities for arbitrage' that arise from significant misperceptions of risks and rewards in these markets—misperceptions, on both sides of the ledger, that are far more common and far larger than conventional tools reveal.
Unlike other transactional advisory and business investment strategy consultancies, who rely on extrapolations of rear-view mirror data often assessed in the aggregate, our expertise centers on unbundling the on-the-ground determinants of prospective investment conditions and the multidimensional dynamics that drive them. This skill derives from our extensive field-level, factory-floor experience working in more than 55 emerging markets across 5 continents for more than 3 decades. As a result, we provide truly pragmatic counsel that is highly operational for investment decision-makers.
Our services are exclusively geared to working hand-in-hand with senior management teams, C-suite executives, and boards of directors. Our clients comprise corporations; private equity and sovereign wealth funds; investment banks; institutional investors, pension funds and endowments; and family offices. And, they cut across varying nationalities, sectors and ownership forms.
Our Market Perspective
Management teams and boards of directors of businesses, whether large, medium or small—particularly those headquartered in advanced countries—are constantly driven to find ways to reduce exposure to risks. It is thus no surprise that the main line of business of most transactional advisory and business investment strategy firms—especially those focused on emerging markets—centers on assessing risks and/or outlining steps their clients can take to decrease risk exposure.
Our experience, shaped over many years of working across a wide array of geographies and industry verticals, however, is that enterprises that have highest rates of performance sustained over the longest periods of time are not those who focus singularly on, or give undue attention to, risk reduction. Rather, their success derives first and foremost from operationally adroit strategies that place priority on the imperative to grow. They are the enterprises that have learned how to focus on seizing new market opportunities while mitigating exposure to risk. This is our raison d'etre.
The Significance of Our Name
A "proa" is a multi-hulled outrigger sailboat, whose design traces back to Polynesia during the First Century. Owing to its unique structure, it has superior stability and remarkable speed.
Today's proas are epitomized by ocean-racing catamarans and trimarans, which hold sailing's speed records and literally fly over the water.
Like its namesake, Proa Global Partners collaborates closely in real-time with our clients as they pursue investments in high-growth emerging markets that generate large risk-adjusted returns.
We partner side-by-side with them to assist in both the design and the execution of operational strategies that provide the agility to quickly identify and exploit 'first-mover' advantages, minimize exposure to risks, and ensure durability of their investments.
Proa Global Partners utilizes an innovative demand-driven approach that is both highly interactive and iterative, operating within specific parameters defined collaboratively. Our overarching objective is to produce engagements that inherently have the flexibility to evolve over time but that necessarily result in building the internal capacity of our clients.
We focus on helping clients discern rigorously and systematically the real drivers of prospective changes in investment conditions at the national, regional and global levels that can fundamentally improve the speed with which successful "go/no-go" decisions can be made on complex cross-border transactions.
There are four general thematic areas on which we work in close partnership with our principal interlocutors to transfer knowledge and strengthen their internal abilities to make such decisions through:
- Developing a concrete set of interdisciplinary analytical tools to identify and robustly quantify unexploited 'first mover' investment opportunities and the principal factors that will shape their perishability;
- Creating a framework to systematically assess the nature and magnitude of commercial, policy/regulatory, product life cycle/technological change and corruption/reputational risks; the determinants of how these drivers will change over time; and developing well-defined markers and roadmaps to calibrate the extent of such changes;
- Devising and helping to execute on-the-ground operational strategies that guide the mode of entry into new markets and deployment of new products or processes (or the exit of such markets), with the agility to keep competitors as well as potential influential political/policymaker 'investment spoilers' at bay; and
- Utilizing bona fide independent assessors to measure the economic and social outcomes of the investments underway to capitalize on and strengthen relationships with local stakeholders and policy makers.
We have a 'menu' of services that allows clients to unbundle and phase-in over time specific forms of engagement.
Some clients find significant value in a short series of Initial Services that comprise:
Customized Presentations, Roundtables and Workshops for C-suite Executives and/or Board Directors
These are highly interactive discussions focused on broad assessments of the growth and risk dynamics shaping both current and future changes in economic, policy and political market conditions in single or multiple emerging markets/sectors. Lessons from particular case studies are presented and specific implications for key operational decisions are drawn out. Agendas are client-driven and are focused on pre-determined geographies, sectors, or cross-cutting issues/themes.
Most clients then work with us on a set of Core Services that comprise one or more of the following:
Approaches for Competitive Market Intelligence
Equipping clients with cutting-edge techniques to analyze prospective demand-supply gaps; potential competition from incumbents and new entrants; business involvement by the state, whether explicit or implicit; availability of finance, including from MDBs/IFIs.
Optimization of Site Location Decision-Making
Systematic modelling of field-level data across provinces/cities either within/among countries to determine location of project sites that most maximize returns and mitigate risks, including setting up intra-country competition for investment; access to preferential tax incentives; rates for and quality of service delivery from infrastructure providers; trade policies for imports and exports; and investment promotion programs.
Innovations in 360-degree Stakeholder Analysis of Governance and Corruption Risks
New approaches for gauging the relative importance--both pro and con--of in-country and external influencers that could significantly impact the prospects for success (or failure) of a specific commercial venture, including corruption risks (e.g., FCPA and UK Anti-Bribery Act violations).
Forming Strategic Commercial Alliances (B2B Agreements) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
How best to devise mutual operational and investment-related benefits and risks; work programs to achieve joint goals; creative approaches for marrying private and public capital; incorporation of lessons from design flaws in establishing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives; and creation of mechanisms for independent, third-party performance evaluation or audits to assess how well objectives are being met.
Execution and Presentation to Policy Makers of Assessment of Investment Impacts
Innovative methods for clients to engage independent professionals to develop 'arms-length' quantitative and qualitative analysis of on-the-ground multiplier effects of investments. Use of third parties is essential to ensure credibility and to facilitate dispassionate two-way discussions between the client and local parties to advance mutually beneficial objectives.
Past Engagements, By Sector and Geography
- Real-time scenario analysis for large US Metals Company’s newly planned multi-country supply chain strategy of increased exposure to risk of targeted trade policy actions by China charging dumping against the firm’s imports.
- Development of location decision-making optimization framework as well as design of local execution strategy for undertaking a multi-plant investment by a global Agricultural Machine Firm across several of Russia's oblasts and regions.
- Conducted off-the-record one-day interactive workshop for entire C-suite of a very large European-based global Beverage Company on the impacts of dollar appreciation, variability of oil prices, regulatory regime uncertainty and trade policy changes on their planned Western Hemisphere investment, production, distribution, and production strategy.
- Intensive hands-on assessment of regulatory environment, including disposition of competition policy agency, unions, suppliers, and NGOs, for global Retail Mass Merchandise firm's unprecedented acquisition in South Africa and several neighboring countries. Developed and helped execute client’s on-the-ground negotiation strategy with all critical stakeholders.
- Developed financial model and entry strategy for a US Alternative Energy company’s large greenfield production plant in Brazil. Facilitated innovative competitive bidding scheme between several Brazilian states to attract the investment. Also assisted in negotiating financing terms with development agencies.
- Executed extensive field-level reputational due diligence and assessment of corruption risk associated with the largest, highly strategic acquisition target for market entry into Myanmar by an iconic global Retail and Consumer firm.
- Year-long operational and strategic advice to devise, negotiate and implement a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a new freight railway business in West Africa for a global Fortune-10 firm.
- Financial and business model assessment in Indonesia for development and execution of a new ASEAN-wide export-oriented investment in state-of-the-art production plant for a European-based global Industrial Paper firm.
- Development of a new business model for direct sales (rather than through dealers) in LATAM for a Japanese Office Machine firm, including bespoke market intelligence on competitors’ strategies, pricing, and performance.
- Assessment for a large US Machine Tool firm of the market and trade policy risks and acquisition opportunities arising from the Eurozone crisis, based on innovative scenario planning and sensitivity analysis.
- Bespoke research developing original cohort business cases, followed by a two-day workshop, for the C-Suite and Board of Directors of an international State-Owned Oil and Gas Company to develop a 5-year blueprint for major upstream acquisitions of gas supplies in Africa.
- Field-level independent quantitative and qualitative economic and social assessments in six Asian and nine Latin American countries of the socio-economic impacts of a series of investments by a US-based global Consumer Goods firm.
tel: (+1) 202 460 4903