Horizons Corporate Advisory is a unique advisory firm with 30 operatives in-country law firms. The organization provides highly specialized legal and tax solutions that allow organizations to thrive in today’s complex transactional corporate environment. The Managing Partner for the Asia Pacific Region, Roberto Gilardino, is at the helm of the organization’s transactional operations.
Roberto is an Italian with a background in international business and corporate law, with a focus on corporate governance, strategy, and shareholder protection. Fluent in Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, Roberto has a deep understanding of cross-cultural issues in cross-border transactions, and corporate matters, which helps him and his teams provide clients with unique insights and strategies related to difficult-to-read, often behind-the-scenes, nuances in transnational business.
Before joining Horizons, Roberto has professionally served in ministries, governmental bodies, and the private sector, primarily in China. He has gained valuable experience and developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and a shrewd strategist, always finding a way to create win-win solutions in the most challenging of situations.
Recently we got a chance to sit down with Roberto to learn how Horizons Corporate Advisory is safeguarding cross-border investments.
Below are the highlights of the interview.
Q) Please share some details about Horizons Corporate Advisory and how it is helping its clients.
Roberto) At Horizons, we provide turnkey legal, tax, and financial solutions to comprehensively safeguard cross-border investments. Our professionals in more than 30 jurisdictions worldwide serve clients by addressing international corporate challenges through a local, national, and international lens. As a result, investments are comprehensively compliant with all the laws that it geographically touches, and clients have full control of their cross-border investments, despite geographical distance and cultural differences.
We identify ourselves as client-centric professionals. Instead of the same traditional listening- executing- invoicing, my team and I engage clients by building long-term trust and identifying their corporate challenges by delving deep into their business operations. Through this approach, the Firm uncovers the intangibles to formulate solutions that fit these unprecedented times.
Q) What makes Horizons Corporate Advisory different from its competitors?
Roberto) At Horizons, we value the unique strength of collaboration. The team works and achieves by collaborating together rather than individual efforts, this is fundamental in successfully serving clients. We believe that professionals from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences can offer diverse perspectives and know-how in solving corporate challenges. The team tackles challenges from multiple perspectives and generates highly attuned solutions for the ever-changing corporate world.
Q) What is your vision for Horizons Corporate Advisory? And how are you planning to achieve that?
Roberto) Moving forward, corporations must comply with increased worldwide regulation, especially in data security and anti-money laundering With stricter obligations, we are repositioning corporations by developing robust and responsive policies and procedures. Hence companies may comply with existing requirements and swiftly align with upcoming regulation reforms swiftly. I anticipate that there will be more cases of repositioning clients in a post-pandemic world and adapting to the new normal.
Q) What are the major challenges of the industry, in your opinion? How are you tackling those?
Roberto) The challenge for many corporate advisories is navigating clients through multiple jurisdictions in this evolving world. With rapid globalization, many businesses not only need to stay abreast of legal, tax, and accounting changes but also need to understand the various cultural and language gaps to thrive in unfamiliar jurisdictions.
As a result, we positioned ourselves to not simply practice law. Rather the team understands real-world challenges, is committed to conveying legal doctrine with clarity and accessibility, and is sensitive to the language and culture of the client.
Through this manner, Horizons’ team opens dialogues, drills down challenging corporate problems, and ultimately safeguards the client for the present and future.
Q) How do you focus on Diversity and Inclusion in Horizons Corporate Advisory?
Roberto) Diversity and inclusion are the two hot topics across all industries. While various studies have shown that diverse teams outperform in the fourth quartile by 36% in profitability, the consultancy field, such as legal firms, often remains behind in cultivating diverse teams and inclusive workplaces. Specifically, progression from entry-level roles to seniority in minorities and females remains relatively low in the legal field, resulting in a lack of senior management who understand and address the specific challenges faced by such professionals. Ultimately, a lack of diversity at the senior level can lead to inadequate access to mentors and training designated for minority or female professionals.
We ensure career opportunities and mentorships are formulated to match and develop each talent without unconscious bias. In this manner, the Firm strives to go beyond the surface and integrate individuals’ unique strengths to cultivate a multifaced and multidimensional team that can serve clients from all walks of life.
Q) What milestones and achievements are you most proud of?
Roberto) In China, I led negotiations for a large dual-technology acquisition. The case in which Horizons represented the vendor was a watershed moment in China’s technological advancement. The client requested that Horizons expedite the purchase because negotiations had been delayed for more than a year, and the parties were stuck on many conditions. I led changes in the negotiation team to break through the walls generated by distrust, cultural differences, and misunderstanding.
Q) What would you like to be remembered for by your peers and new entrepreneurs?
Roberto) I define success by ‘correct’ professionalism both within and outside of my profession. Regardless of the end result, I wish to be remembered for honoring my commitments and remaining dedicated, productive, and respectful of those around me, building a respectable reputation both within and outside of the firm.