Proa Global Partners LLC ("Proa") is a boutique international business strategy advisory firm focused on calibrating opportunity-risk tradeoffs of investment in high growth emerging markets.
Unlike other strategy advisors, our expertise is providing pragmatic counsel that is highly operational for decision-makers. Moreover, our services are exclusively geared to working hand in hand with senior management teams, C-suite executives, and boards of directors.
Our clients cut across varying nationalities and sectors. They comprise corporations; private equity and sovereign wealth funds; investment banks; institutional investors, pension funds and endowments; and family offices.
Businesses around the world—whether large, medium or small—have, of course, always sought to reduce risk. Our experience over the past three and a half decades working across a wide array of geographies and industry verticals, however, is that the best performing enterprises do not focus singularly on, or give undue attention to, risk mitigation. Rather their success derives first and foremost from operational strategies that place priority on the imperative to grow. They have learned how to seize new market opportunities while minimizing exposure to risk.
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 collaborates closely with our clients as they pursue investments in high-growth emerging markets that generate large risk-adjusted returns. Proa partners side by side with clients to assist in the design and execution of operational strategies that provide them with the agility to quickly seize 'first-mover' advantages, withstand exposure to risks, and ensure durability of their investments.
Proa utilizes an innovative client-driven approach that is highly interactive within rigorously well-defined programs. Our overarching objective is to build the internal capacity of our clients through the systematic sharing and candid exchange of views on commercially-related insights on activities at the field-level of major market participants--both in-country businesses and policy-makers. We generally focus on discerning the drivers of change in investment conditions at the national, regional and global levels that can fundamentally improve the probabilities for successful of "go/no-go" decisions on complex cross-border transactions. There are four specific thematic areas on which we work in partnership with our principal interlocutors (and ultimately their staff) to transfer knowledge and strengthen internal abilities and capacity:
· Develop a concrete set of analytical tools they can use to identify 'first mover' investment opportunities;
· Create a framework to systematically assess the nature and magnitude of commercial, political economy, corruption and reputational risks, and the determinants of how they will change over time;
· Devise and help execute operational strategies that guide entry into new markets and deploy new products or processes, with the agility to keep competitors at bay; and
· Empirically measure the economic and social outcomes of their investments to capitalize on relationships with local stakeholders and policy makers.
Some clients find significant value in a short series of initial engagements that comprise:
Customized Presentations, Roundtables and Workshops for C-suite executives and 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 emerging markets. 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.
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/or among countries for determining location of project sites that most effectively 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.
Conducted off-the-record one-day interactive workshop for entire C-suite of a global beverage company on the impacts of dollar appreciation, lower oil prices, and trade policy changes on their Western Hemisphere investment, production, distribution, and production strategy.
Bespoke research followed by a two-day workshop for C-suite oil company executives to develop a strategy for upstream acquisitions of supplies in Africa and Latin America.
Scenario risk analysis for large US metals company’s supply chain strategy of exposure to risks of trade remedy actions by China against the firm’s imports.
Development of location decision-making model and implementation strategy for an investment by a global agricultural machine firm across several of Russia's regions.
Field-level assessment of regulatory environment for global retail firm's acquisition in South Africa. Developed and helped execute client’s negotiation strategy with regulators and unions.
Developed financial model and entry strategy for a US energy company’s large greenfield production plant in Brazil. Facilitated competition among several Brazilian states to attract the investment.
Executed field-level reputational due diligence on a large, highly strategic acquisition target for market entry into Myanmar by a global retail and consumer firm.
Hands-on strategic advice to devise, negotiate and implement a 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 entry strategy by a global industrial paper firm.
Development of a new business model for direct sales in LATAM for a Japanese office machine firm, including bespoke market intelligence on competitors’ strategies, pricing, and performance.
Assessment for a US firm of the market risks and acquisition opportunities arising from the Eurozone crisis, based on scenario planning and sensitivity analysis.
Field-level independent quantitative and qualitative economic and social assessments in six Asian and nine Latin American countries of the impacts of a series of investments by a large US retail & consumer firm.
tel: (+1) 202 460 4903