Meet Roberto Gilardino, the Regional Partner of Horizons Corporate Advisory is a unique advisory Firm with 30 operatives country law firms. The Firm provides international highly specialized legal and tax solutions that allow organizations to thrive in today’s complex transnational corporate environment.
Roberto oversees the organization’s transnational operations from the head office of Horizons situated at the heart of downtown Shanghai. The team’s skillsets rest in corporate issues and property safeguard and liaise day-to-day with Horizons’ regional offices to serve as the advisory’s global gateway.
Roberto’s background and skillsets lie in international business and corporate law with special attention on corporate government, strategy, and shareholder protection. With a deep sense of cross-cultural issues in cross-border transactions and corporate matters, both Roberto and his team provide clients with unique insights and strategies related to the difficult-to-read, often behind-thescenes, nuances in transnational business.
Before joining Horizons, he served professionally in ministries, governmental bodies, and the private sector, primarily in China. Roberto is an Italian national, he is fluent in Italian, English, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Addressing Corporate Challenges
Roberto and his team at Horizons provide turnkey legal, tax, and financial solutions to comprehensively safeguard cross-border investments. Horizons’ 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.
Most of Horizons’ clients are international companies or corporate groups. The Firm’s employees identify themselves as client-centric professionals. Instead of the same traditional listening- executing- invoicing, Roberto and his team engage clients by building long-term trust and identifying their corporate challenges through delving deep into their business operations. Through this approach, the Firm uncovers the intangibles to formulate solutions that fit these unprecedented times.
Equally, Horizons value the unique strength of collaboration. The team brings a broad range of experiences. With such diverse perspectives and know-how, the Firm tackles solutions from multifaced perspectives which are highly attuned to the ever-changing business landscape.
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Tackling Primary Challenges
Roberto believes, the challenge for many corporate advisories is navigating clients through multiple jurisdictions in this evolving world. With the 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, Horizons Corporate Advisory has positioned itself 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.
Making the Industry Balanced and Equal
According to Roberto, diversity and inclusion are the two hot topics across the 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 remain 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, lack of diversity at the senior level can lead to inadequate access to mentors and training designated to minority or female professionals.
Horizons 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.
Suggestions for Female Entrepreneurs and Lawyers
Roberto says, “The legal world has advanced from the traditional patriarchal industry. Increased visibility of women in law has spearheaded practises such as work-life balance and transparency in gender pay gaps. For young women entering the legal world today, there are more options to improve work flexibility.”
He also thinks Covid-19 has accelerated agile working practices which align with out-of-work responsibilities including raising families. Aspiring women lawyers should not be intimidated by the specific challenges faced by women in a predominantly male-dominated profession. Rather seek opportunities and firms that support female leadership and work-life balance.
Roberto adds, “At Horizons, we encourage our female professionals to speak at events to increase the visibility of women in the legal field. In this manner, we can play an active role in changing the perception of what lawyers are perceived to be and aspire more females to progress into senior roles.”
With a massive experience of more than 40 years in advising both inbound and outbound China investment, the Firm has witnessed the rapid economic growth and changing legal landscape in China. Today, under the leadership of Roberto, the Firm is increasingly assisting consumer goods and high-tech companies to establish entities in China. The growth of technology and the middle-class market around China has generated a huge appetite for foreign companies to seize opportunities. Whilst many manufacturing plants in traditional sectors such as retail are moving operations to South Asian countries or Eastern Europe. Therefore, the foreign direct investments (‘FDI’) in China are swiftly evolving, and China is no longer the low-cost labour and manufacturing country. Rather, FDI in China shall align with national policy, namely the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021- 2025) for National Economic and Social Development Through 2035 published on March 12, 2021.
As a result, Horizons is assisting clients in implementing a new playbook that correlates with national strategy and the domestic market. And excited to play a substantial role in shaping the corporate structure for new clients entering the China market.