Menu

TOMORROW'S GLOBAL BUSINESS: OUR PARTNERS' PERSPECTIVES

Forward-looking companies must grapple with an array of new challenges—from structuring their management to respond rapidly to change, to anticipating risk and ensuring compliance in today’s evolving world.

We help some of the world’s most innovative companies navigate the regulatory maze so they can take advantage of opportunities for growth. Hear from our partners on the issues we see as most critical for our clients.

Governance and Regulation
Stay-Awake Issues for the Boardroom
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Tara Giunta
Partner, Litigation Department
Washington D.C.
Boards are facing new risks with increasing frequency and with swift implications for their companies, shareholders, executives, and themselves, particularly given the prevalence of activist shareholders. Risks facing global companies today are evolving, complex, and inter-related in nature. Boards are being called on to assure that management has implemented systems to detect issues before they become crises. Gone are the days when boards could focus exclusively, or even predominantly, on strategic risks and opportunities. Today’s operational risks, previously seen as the domain of management, are also the responsibility of boards.
Given this environment, boards are on the hot seat to assure that management has implemented an effective compliance program.
Given this environment, boards are on the hot seat to assure that management has implemented an effective compliance program and detective controls that permit management (and the board) to assess and rank those risks of most threat to the business. It is advisable for companies to take a comprehensive approach to risk identification, assessment, and mitigation. By considering such issues as product lines, geographic coverage, industry sector, and applicable regulatory environment, they are able to flag those risk areas of most concern, which typically range from cybersecurity, fraud, competition, bribery/corruption, money laundering, and export controls/sanctions, to intellectual property, labor/workforce issues, and whistleblowers, to name just a few. By assessing the company’s existing compliance program and function, as well as its existing controls systems, they are able to better leverage those systems and assure that they are operating effectively and efficiently.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
opinion-test
Partner, Corporate Department
Atlanta
Over the last few years, boards have focused on an increasing variety of issues that affect company operations, including new areas such as cybersecurity and data protection and their impact on everything from regulatory compliance to customer relationships, as well as corporate governance issues, including proxy access, executive pay, and stockholder communications. This diverse set of concerns is being driven by the growing risks most companies face in the marketplace and increasing activism by both traditional activist investors and other, historically more passive, investors.
With additional disclosures expected from the SEC, boards will see enhanced scrutiny of their executive pay decisions.
Market developments will ensure that many of these issues will continue to dominate discussion in the board room. Activist investors are expanding their reach, seeking to force governance reforms as well as shape company strategy. With additional disclosures expected from the SEC, boards will also see continued and enhanced scrutiny of their executive pay decisions. Topics like climate change, the growth of social media, and the increasing need for innovation in the digital age are all affecting business strategy. Each of these issues impacts our clients differently, depending on their business, size, and market position. However, they all offer market-leading opportunities for the innovative and demand that directors stay informed and increasingly focused, not only on their company’s business, but on broader trends in the increasingly interdependent and volatile world economy in which companies must operate.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
opinion-test
Partner, Corporate Department
Milan
For the boards of European companies, the challenges may seem, at first glance, obvious. Europe is wrestling with a series of linked issues: a low growth and low interest rate environment, tensions within the currency zone and, inevitably, the fallout from the Brexit referendum and instances of political populism. Underlying all these issues is an increase in non-compliance and legal risks, linked to the growth of regulation, increased responsibilities for members of the board of directors, enhanced enforcement powers, and investors’ activism. Legal and non-compliance risks are also increasingly defined with regard to their reputational impact, given their potential for putting a company’s future at risk. Prompted by legislative changes, regulatory action, personal liability, and market expectations, boards of directors are increasingly paying attention to risks of this nature, and to the instruments that companies have to identify and manage those risks. Not surprisingly, the 2015 edition of the G20/OECD Principles on Corporate Governance recommends that directors consider giving a company’s general counsel reporting responsibilities similar to those of the head of internal audit.
.
Our Partners' Perspectives
Sam Cooper

Joy Dowdle
Partners, Litigation Department Houston
Boards are facing tremendous pressure from regulators to expand their involvement in corporate affairs. Increasingly, when events go awry, boards come under immediate—and often public—scrutiny to explain how the issue arose, identify remedial action, “punish” wrongdoers, and hold senior management accountable.

Boards enmeshed in a crisis may face limited options, and often must step forward to address concerns and provide assurance that they are taking the matter seriously and acting aggressively to address it. These new expectations, however, have tempted some boards to become more involved in corporate affairs, even outside a period of crisis. While understandable, increased board involvement requires careful calibration.
Board members should remain mindful that their role is to oversee corporate affairs and not to manage them.
Quite appropriately, boards may wish to enhance oversight, and should ensure that management has in fact identified the company’s specific risk profile and undertaken thoughtful, responsive measures to address it. While doing so, however, board members should remain mindful that their role (and one that provides them substantial protection from personal liability under Delaware corporate law) is to oversee corporate affairs and not to manage them. Preserving this distinction allows boards and management to function in the areas where they are best suited, while maintaining the personal protection afforded directors in their oversight role.
Read More
Industry Convergence and Consolidation
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Ashley Winton
Partner, Corporate Department
London
Cybersecurity
One of the biggest challenges in today’s market is addressing growing concerns about cybersecurity and the escalating (and related) regulatory issues around privacy. So, first, for businesses which prize a large customer base or big data in a target for acquisition, specialized due diligence into the target and its prior acquisitions will be key. Too often we see legacy poor cyber and data practices causing problems for the acquirer years later. There is now much greater regulatory scrutiny of poor cyber and data practices both from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and from Europe, where the regulatory penalties will move to a maximum of 4% of global turnover and quasi class actions will become available for the first time. It is critical that effective specialist due diligence is performed at the outset and before the deal is announced.
It is critical that effective specialist due diligence is performed at the outset and before the deal is announced.
Second, antitrust regulators have woken up to the intangible asset value of big data and the effect that large-scale mergers may have on customer privacy and choice. Navigating merger control rules will become more complex as companies consider what valuation models will work best for their particular situation. Paradoxically, the ubiquitous nature of European data protection law may assist this analysis rather than hinder it.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
opinion-test

opinion-test
Partners, Corporate Department
Washington D.C.
Media
With the proliferation of broadband-delivered media platforms, we are seeing renewed convergence among once-separate media and telecommunications companies. Correspondingly, regulatory agencies are reviewing media and telecommunications mergers with an eye toward the effect of consolidation.

These merger reviews by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice have customarily focused on divestitures that reflect an historic emphasis on intramarket competition for local advertising; there is now an additional potential emphasis on in-market competition for retransmission fees paid by multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs). At the same time, the market pressures propelling MVPD consolidation—as well as technological developments in over-the-top delivery and resulting cord-cutting—raise the potential for downward pricing pressure on retransmission fees and other programming fees paid by MVPDs.
In the broadcast sector, the FCC has liberalized its rules for foreign ownership, opening potential new sources of capital for the industry.
In the broadcast sector, the FCC has liberalized its rules for foreign ownership, opening potential new sources of capital for the industry. At the same time, the Commission has imposed new limits on the use of “joint sales agreements” among same-market stations. Taken together, these developments point to a media-telecom ecosystem in which counterforces among regulators, market dynamics, and technological developments will drive tectonic changes that will reshape the industry landscape.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
opinion-test
Partner, Litigation Department
New York
Technology
Convergence between the tech and life sciences sectors is likely to increase in pace over the next year. Both traditional and start-up tech companies are exploring healthcare via the development of new medical devices, including wearables and tools for diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. These generate more robust medical data requiring processing/analysis, all of which will be supportive of the development of new medicines as well as giving more power to healthcare providers and insurers. This new landscape will thus see both increased competition and new types of partnerships between tech companies, life sciences companies, and healthcare providers.
This convergence between tech and life sciences will produce new opportunities, but ones that require increased awareness of patent, antitrust, medical regulatory, and data privacy laws on a global basis.
From the U.S. perspective, the November elections may have a profound impact on these laws. Potential changes include revised patent litigation venue rules, increased restrictions on “pay-for-delay” patent settlements, revised antitrust enforcement priorities, laws targeted at speeding drug and medical device approval, and revisions to the Affordable Care Act. There is great uncertainty about the direction of these and other relevant laws under the new administration and Congress.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
opinion-test

opinion-test
Partners, Corporate Department
Hong Kong
Real Estate
In the past year, the Chinese government accelerated the liberalization of regulatory barriers to foreign investment, including foreign investment in domestic real estate. As China’s economy matures and growth slows, and as currency depreciation replaces currency appreciation as a macroeconomic concern, we believe regulatory liberalization will continue as long as the government does not face market or political pressure to curtail reform.

The Chinese government has accelerated the liberalization of regulatory barriers to foreign investment, including foreign investment in domestic real estate.
Over the past decade, foreign real estate investment has been subject to significant restriction and scrutiny. Foreign investors were concerned about receiving the necessary approvals and—even if deals were likely to be approved—their timing. In a recent regulatory change, now foreign real estate investors are only required to file at the local counterpart of the Ministry of Commerce, except for investments in restricted sectors such as large theme parks and prohibited investment sectors such as golf courses. This is a much more streamlined process, and significantly reduces the time between the execution of definitive documents and transaction closing—from two-to-three months to potentially less than one month. Now, the challenge for foreign investors is increasingly the same one they face in other markets: finding good deals.

China’s outbound real estate investment is subject to the same macroeconomic forces described above, which have somewhat opposite effects on the ability to receive approval to make these investments as the government makes efforts to restrict outbound investments and limit capital outflows. Notwithstanding additional scrutiny of outbound capital flows, we expect Chinese institutional investors to continue to pursue outbound investments. The Chinese pursuing outbound real estate investments are some of the largest institutional investors in the world. As they continue to invest, their level of sophistication is steadily increasing and, with it, their investment appetite is broadening on both a geographical and real estate sector basis.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
Tara Giunta
Partner, Corporate Department
New York
Healthcare
Consolidation in the U.S. healthcare/life sciences space has continued apace through most of 2016. By Q2 2016, there were 460 M&A transactions announced involving U.S. companies valued at approximately $31.6 billion in aggregate. However, the pace of these transactions has begun to slow and this trend is likely to continue. There are two primary reasons for this, both rooted in the U.S. regulatory regime.
A general toughening of enforcement by the Department of Justice has upped the overall enforcement climate for the FTC.
The first is uncertainty regarding antitrust regulation. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the regulatory agency that reviews healthcare and life sciences transactions. The FTC has been intensifying its scrutiny over the past couple of years and is unlikely to lighten its focus. The reasons for this increased scrutiny are: (1) political pressures to provide consumers with greater protection against price increases, (2) the fact that several seats on the FTC are unfilled and the current members are all more “hawkish” on enforcement, and (3) a general toughening of enforcement by the Department of Justice (the other antitrust regulatory agency) has upped the overall enforcement climate for the FTC.

The second is uncertainty regarding healthcare regulation. The Affordable Care Act (known informally as Obamacare) has been stumbling recently, with several big healthcare providers either leaving the regime or threatening to. As a result, there is a low rumble in Washington about the need to make changes to the Act. However, the nature and extent of any potential changes are unclear. The upcoming U.S. presidential campaign has inevitably created a period of uncertainty until the new administration is established and its policies and lead personnel are in place.
Read More
Cross-Border Deal-Making
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Ronan  O'Sullivan
Partner, Corporate Department
London
It is unlikely that there will be much change in the governance and regulation of cross-border deals over the next 18-24 months. For companies contemplating a cross-border deal during this period, a mix of clear vision and steady resolve are essential. The UK is at the start of a complex process of leaving the EU, and both France and Germany are holding elections—both have seen the rise of sizeable minority parties pulling against the mainstream pro-EU consensus. Additionally, there is growing concern in Germany that the country’s renowned manufacturing base is being eroded by foreign acquisition. This has led to calls for the establishment of a European equivalent of CFIUS, the U.S. body that reviews sensitive acquisitions by foreign companies.
The major challenge is how Europe’s regulatory structure will be shaped following the departure of the UK.
Considerable opportunities nonetheless arise for the astute buyer. Europe has continued to develop its wide range of sophisticated industries but the spread of attractive targets reaches up and down the production chain for interested buyers and investors. The UK has invested heavily in fintech and now holds a leading position in the field, along with payments technology and the integrated use of Bitcoin. The major challenge is how Europe’s regulatory structure will be shaped following the departure of the UK, and whether we are likely to see a more liberal M&A regime emerging for transactions originating out of the UK in response.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
John Han Kim
Partner, Litigation and Corporate Departments
Seoul
Korea has recently adopted a stringent anti-corruption law that restricts and prohibits the private sector from engaging in certain conduct with not only the regulatory agencies, but also certain financial institutions, as well as the media. For international clients that are proposing to engage in investments and other commercial transactions in Korea, this law poses significant challenges.

Many activities that are routinely permitted in the major industrialized countries are subject to prohibitions in Korea. Consequently, international clients considering investing in Korea should ensure they have a thorough understanding of the scope of permitted activities under the new anti-graft law prior to proceeding with business activities in Korea.
Our Partners' Perspectives
Tara Giunta
Partner, Litigation Department
Shanghai
On the enforcement front, companies should expect the uptick of enforcement actions from the first half of 2016 to continue well into the second half of 2016 through 2017. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) unit chief, Kara Brockmeyer, announced in February 2016 that there would be a resumed enforcement focus on the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell announced in April 2016 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has doubled the size of its FCPA unit with the addition of 10 new prosecutors. Moreover, the pace of enforcement has picked up. In the first half of 2016, the SEC and the DOJ collectively brought 12 FCPA enforcement actions, the same as the total number of actions brought in all of 2015.
It is increasingly critical and resource intense for pharmaceutical companies operating in China to meet compliance requirements.
In contrast to being the subject of enforcement actions by government authorities, companies are encouraged to self-report potential FCPA issues. The FCPA Enforcement Plan and Guidance pilot program was announced by DOJ on April 5, 2016. This program intends to provide more clearly defined incentives to encourage self-disclosure of potential FCPA issues. On the flip side, the pilot program also includes fairly rigorous requirements on making the self-disclosures in order to receive cooperation credit. As such, the net effect of the pilot program remains to be seen.

Of the nine SEC cases against the healthcare industry from July 2015 to September 2016, seven were related to China. It is increasingly critical and resource intense for pharmaceutical companies operating in China to meet compliance requirements.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
Tara Giunta
Partner, Corporate Department
Paris
With the next French presidential election in April-May 2017, and the German election likely to be held in the late summer, political as much as economic events will be influential in shaping client sentiment toward deal making. The fallout from Brexit, and uncertainty as to the final settlement with the UK, is part of this, but France and Germany also have issues around bank capitalization and the distribution of credit in the economy. There are a host of regulatory issues that will be affected by the outcome of the elections.
Private debt has become increasingly interested and active in European finance, and this is a trend that is likely to continue for the right opportunities.
To date, private debt has become increasingly interested and active in European finance, and this is a trend that is likely to continue for the right opportunities. Similarly, interest in cross-border deals which further cement brand values and market presence has slowed but not stalled—there was more volume heading out of the region than within it. EU outbound deals accounted for 44% of all cross-regional M&A value in Q3. Deals from the EU into North America saw record values with US$105bn from 121 deals, an increase of 32% year over year. Cross-regional EU inbound deal volume, however, fell by 24% compared to Q3 2015.
Read More
Growth Markets
Asia
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
Hong Kong
Greater China
Chinese investors and businesses operating in China have been facing challenges from the slowing Chinese economy, recent stock market turmoil, and devaluation of the yuan, as well as unpredictable regulatory interventions. Domestic market uncertainty has driven Chinese enterprises to accelerate their investments abroad to diversify risks. Chinese companies are aware that in today’s international low growth environment, competition for quality investments is intensifying. Nonetheless, we see increasing outbound opportunities in the next 12 months as the government continues to ease investment restrictions in line with its long term strategy to nurture private enterprises and encourage them to invest abroad.
 
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Litigation Department
Washington, D.C.
CFIUS / Chinese Investment in the U.S.
The pace of Chinese outbound M&A is clearly accelerating, with the U.S. remaining the most stable and desired destination for Chinese companies looking to hedge against domestic asset devaluation and support business and technological growth. This aligns with government policy to prioritize and support development of certain sectors, particularly technology.
The more sophisticated the target, the more likely a CFIUS filing will be warranted and entail a lengthy and searching review.
Increased Chinese investment in U.S. industries that are seen as “sensitive” or “critical” has also resulted in an uptick in CFIUS reviews of Chinese deals, leading to greater focus by deal parties on how the CFIUS process affects their timing and outcomes. The more sophisticated the target, the more likely a CFIUS filing will be warranted and entail a lengthy and searching review. In some cases (such as Fairchild Semiconductor’s recent rejection of a bid from China Resources Microelectronics and Hua Capital Management), U.S. firms are actually walking away from lucrative Chinese offers out of concern that the takeover might not survive CFIUS review.

To address these issues, Chinese investors are exploring non-U.S. companies with a strong tech or engineering base. But this has its limitations. First, the U.S. is still home to a substantial number of companies undertaking cutting-edge R&D in technology and related areas. Second, even acquiring a non-U.S.-based company can generate CFIUS risks if the acquisition has U.S. business operations. This was the reason why CNOOC’s acquisition of Canadian company Nexen triggered a major CFIUS review—the target had operating assets in the Gulf of Mexico. Chinese outbound investors must be aware of the full range of potential CFIUS exposures in assessing potential deals.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Litigation and Corporate Departments
Seoul
Korea
On the corporate side, the major challenge facing Korea is to find new growth engines and markets in response to slowing growth in domestic and global economies. Korean companies are exploring new high-growth industries, such as biotech, electric cars, internet and mobile services, and renewable energy, in response to the slowing demand in traditional industries. Korean companies face difficult strategic decisions regarding these new businesses, primarily whether they should grow them organically or through M&A, and how to raise capital for these new businesses. At the same time, Korean companies also face the challenge of restructuring their existing businesses that are not competitive in the global markets. In the event that Korean companies engage in or pursue vigorous restructuring, there may be investment opportunities for our private equity clients or advisers who work with businesses to restructure distressed assets.
Our clients face challenges and opportunities to take proactive measures.
On the litigation side, we expect Korean companies to continue to face the risks of international patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation lawsuits. Given the risks of adverse outcomes, which include injunctions barring exports of the infringing products, our clients face challenges and opportunities to take proactive measures. These include eliminating or reducing legal risks by invalidating competitors’ patents using PTAB proceedings, and establishing and implementing enhanced compliance programs, including a document retention policy.
Read More
Latin America
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Tara Giunta
Partner, Corporate Department
Sao Paulo
Brazil
Brazil is undergoing a political and economic crisis, which is creating unique challenges and opportunities. A critical issue for the interim government (which could turn into a permanent government if President Rousseff is impeached) is how to rebuild investors’ confidence in the country’s economy.
We believe there will be even greater opportunities for new project work, a revival of entrepreneurism, and support for business innovation and reform.
President Temer is addressing this issue by building a strong and reliable cabinet, and launching programs such as the Investment Partnership Program (IPP), focused on developing new projects and on privatizing a large number of assets. We are seeing a lot of opportunities in the M&A area, not only those related to distressed assets or to the favorable exchange rate—which have been trends over the last year—but also those resulting from strategic local divestments and from the announced government privatizations.

The main areas for M&A would include the energy, agribusiness, technology, education, health, and aviation sectors, as well as airport, road, and railroad privatizations and regulated markets. We also expect to continue to see a strong focus on restructuring, dispute resolution, and compliance activities. Finally, as Brazil continues to be a huge market with immense potential for growth, there is an acute need for large infrastructure development. Given that investment into Brazil has continued over the past few years, we believe there will be even greater opportunities for new project work, a revival of entrepreneurism, and support for business innovation and reform.
Read More
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
New York
Mexico
In recent years Mexico has enjoyed the healthiest economy in Latin America, with a GDP growth rate higher than the U.S., a middle class that is developing at a historic rate, and a good degree of political stability. The Mexican government is also making promising structural economic changes, such as allowing international investment in the energy sector for the first time in over 70 years. Over the past decade, Mexico has become more integrated with the rest of North America, helping to form a NAFTA economic block that is able to compete with the Asian economies as an efficient production center.
With both commodity prices and currency rates remaining volatile, Mexican companies, together with their advisors, must be ready to react to these rapidly changing circumstances.
In addition to massive investment expected to flow into the energy industry, the creation of the REIT structure in Mexico revolutionized real estate investment. Mexico has produced some of the world’s largest real estate companies in just six years since REITs were introduced. Whether it be real estate, consumer goods for Mexico’s burgeoning middle class, or the fast-growing aerospace and automotive industries, Mexico may now be the world’s most attractive emerging market for international investment. Nevertheless, many economic challenges remain. Global uncertainties have led to plummeting oil prices, and many companies have been hit by the sharp devaluation in the Mexico peso versus the U.S. dollar. With both commodity prices and currency rates remaining volatile, Mexican companies, together with their advisors, must be ready to react to these rapidly changing circumstances.
Read More
Raising Capital
Technology
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
New York
What are the most significant ways in which technology is impacting the way companies raise capital?
Private companies have unprecedented access to capital, particularly at later development stages, which reflects a profound shift in how companies—particularly tech companies—are raising money. Founders (and early-stage investors) can use this access to capital to capture a larger share of the returns associated with growth, making listing less compelling. Funders and founders may also prefer to avoid listing to maintain greater control of strategic direction. The big question is whether this represents the “new normal” or whether public equity markets will again become attractive vehicles for financing growth.
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
London
What are the most significant ways in which technology is impacting the way companies raise capital?
Today’s financing market has been fundamentally reshaped by technology. Fintech has enabled the creation of new financing platforms for both retail and institutional investors in many markets, including in P2P and B2B investing and lending. Technology has also facilitated the sharing of in-depth market data and instantaneous communication, increasing the efficiency of cross-border financing. This places a premium on professionalism and experience throughout the deal-making cycle: all parties to a deal must be exceptionally prepared. Technology has been both a deal enabler and accelerator.
Regulation
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
New York
Looking at the U.S. market, what are the essential regulatory issues for investors to consider as part of their capital raising process?
With the recently enacted FAST Act amendments, the JOBS Act “on ramp” provisions will provide more flexibility to IPO candidates. The amendments confer more control over roadshow timetables and eliminate the review of financial statements that will be excluded from the disclosure package at pricing. The regime governing private placements and crowdfunding has been fully implemented by the SEC and FINRA and we can expect continued innovation in capital formation, as witnessed by Fundrise’s first E-REIT marketed under the Regulation A+ offering regulations. Early-stage enterprises can now pursue growth capital in the publicly solicited private capital market, through regulated funding, portal-enabled crowdfunding, and reduced disclosure format mini-IPOs, an array of alternatives almost unthinkable a few short years ago.
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
Washington D.C.
Looking at the U.S. market, what are the essential regulatory issues for investors to consider as part of their capital raising process
There was uncertainty about foreign investment in U.S. broadcast and media entities until 2013. Then, in late 2013, the FCC clarified that it would permit aggregate indirect foreign investment in broadcasters to exceed 25%, but did not provide guidance on the specific criteria it would use to evaluate requests, indicating that it would consider this on a case-by-case basis. Until the FCC gives greater clarification of the factors it will consider, foreign investors may still hesitate.
Structuring
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
San Diego
What are the key issues to consider when structuring deals?
Every deal has a unique set of issues—regulatory, geographic, and political—but great deal structures still depend on having the right fundamentals. These include securing the best price and financing arrangements; establishing and communicating strategic and organizational objectives; and having clear processes to manage key operations. Getting these right ensures that the key players can stay focused on critical issues, the business remains focused and motivated, and the end result is delivered successfully and without surprises.
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
New York
What are the key issues to consider when structuring deals?
The hallmarks of a successful private capital raise, particularly at the early-stage level, are aligned expectations for both the company and investors as well as flexibility for the company’s future needs. Among the structuring considerations that are often used to achieve these goals are milestone-based financings, protective provisions that balance the need to raise capital in the future against new investors’ expectations, and sensible redemption rights.
Innovation
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
Palo Alto
When looking to raise capital to fund innovation and R&D, what are the most important options for companies to consider?
Companies seeking capital to fund R&D need to consider which investors can provide not just money, but expertise on how best to develop their products and technologies. These can be “angel” investors with experience starting companies, venture capitalists with experience taking companies through important stages of growth, or the R&D arms of larger entities that are industry leaders, able to provide access to potential customers and other important strategic relationships.
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
Los Angeles
When looking to raise capital to fund innovation and R&D, what are the most important options for companies to consider?
Innovation is the lifeblood of a growing company; protecting it is vital for future growth. A key question that a company should ask a potential investor is: How well can we work together to build a sustainable funding platform that supports R&D as well as necessary IP protections? The best investors are those who can help the company seamlessly translate the “real” value of the business into a commercial proposition.
Markets
 
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
Hong Kong
What are the most significant differences between emerging and established markets in terms of accessing funding?
Privately owned businesses in emerging markets face more challenges in accessing funding than their peers in established markets. Bank financing is often reserved for state-owned enterprises and politically-favored industries, and creditors and investors are deterred by concerns about governance issues, inadequate legal protection, market volatility, and currency risks. To navigate these challenges, businesses use more creative financing methods—for example, structuring hybrid instruments and adding credit enhancement features to make their products more appealing.
Our Partners' Perspectives
Partner, Corporate Department
New York
What are the most significant differences between emerging and established markets in terms of accessing funding?
Risk assessment is the most significant difference. Most emerging markets credits are of a lower risk profile, which is reflected by rating agency ratings. Additionally, execution risk is very high. Not only do transaction structures change and evolve to reflect local markets, but volumes also are frequently lower. However, these jurisdictions are also evolving. Their volatility confers a nimbleness and creativity distinctive from developed markets—necessity being the source of invention