Horizons Corporate Advisory: Helping Enterprises Thrive in Today’s Complex Transnational Landscape

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Roberto Gilardino, Regional Partner, Horizons Corporate Advisory

Over the last decades, global accounting and taxation landscape has rapidly evolved. Amidst globalisation, regulatory changes, technological advancements, organisational scrutiny, and efficiency expectations, organisations face both national and international complexities in compliance obligations and tax risks.As a result, Horizons Corporate Advisory, a leading full-service consultancy firm was founded in 1983 to serve enterprises going global and empower them to thrive in the transnational corporate environment.

For the first thirty years, Horizons steered clients venturing east and formulated the corporate structures in law, tax, and finance to launch investments in new markets. Acting as the gateway to the east, Horizons primarily navigated European multinationals and corporate groups expanding to China. From the pre-investment to daily investment and winding up, the Horizons team assembled the corporate foundations for businesses to prosper and operate infull compliance. 

From 2000 Horizons increasingly served Chinese outbound investments. With a growing demand for international corporate consultancy, Horizons expanded globally, and the Horizons Group currently operates in 25 countries and regions, including Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Macau SAR, Mexico, Mongolia, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Russian Federation, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, USA, and Zambia.

Effectively Addressing Multifaceted Corporate Issues

Today, the Horizons Group provides corporate expertise in corporate, litigations, and dispute resolution as well as tax, employment, and employee.The global multidisciplinary team tackle transnational legal, accountancy, tax, and financial challenges by bridging local and national compliance obligations with international practices.

Equally, Horizons experts understand that cultural differences between jurisdictions can be significant deal-breakers. Especially on unfamiliar grounds, investors can face challenges in deciphering regional, socio-cultural, political, and religious differences that can directly or indirectly influence the national legal landscape. The international team is equipped with crucial skills to decode cross-cultural corporate challenges and succeed in bridging gaps for clients. 

“By leveraging a worldwide team in over 25 jurisdictions, we remain close by clients and steer them in the comfort of their language and culture. Our process involves designating a local team in the country or region of the client as the primary liaison point, assembling an international team in jurisdictions that the investment touches, devising the corporate framework to connect national and international compliance obligations, and bridging cultural nuances at play. 

Through this one team, one focal point, one purpose approach, we erase language, geographical or cultural barriers, efficiently resolve transnational corporate challenges, and enable shareholders to comprehensively control investments from headquarters,”  says Roberto Gilardino, Regional Partner at Horizons Corporate Advisory, North Asia, and additional countries.

Navigating the Challenges Posed by the Pandemic

COVID-19 and the related variants have restricted international travel – especially to and from China. Such regulations have resulted in many headquarters unable to govern subsidiaries from aboard and making them vulnerable to mismanagement and illegal activities. Realizing this, Horizons has been establishing legal tools for clients to regain control of Chinese subsidiaries. 

“Our strategic negotiation with key personnel enables us to conduct thorough due diligence that red flags risk levels.” asserts Roberto.

“Additionally, we conducted investigations for cross-border mergers and acquisitions, who cannot enter China. By providing multinational stakeholders with comprehensive and unbiased due diligences that delve deep into target companies, we aid decision-makers in deciphering the next steps of the transaction. Since the pandemic, we have inundated with requests to conduct due diligence for over 15,000 companies internationally,” adds Roberto. 

Cultivating Strong Relationships with Clients 

Highly committed to client success, Horizons cultivates a strong client relationship by transcending traditional service providers. Professionals at Horizons do not simply provide services rather the team understands real-world challenges and engages clients to identify their unique corporate challenges. Another key factor that enables the firm to establish trusted client relations is the power of communication. It strives to communicate legal issues in an accessible manner and for the benefit of clients, without any legal jargon.

“At Horizons, we ensure that communication is clear and transparent, and most of all, valuable and effective professionalism when delivering services with down-to-earth results. Our values centres on conveying information and tools with full transparency so clients comprehensively comprehend their choices and the consequent results – and we foster trust,” opines Roberto.

Encouraging Cross-Cultural Communication among Employees

Horizons attribute its success to its diligent team and pride itself on embracing inclusivity and diversity. It deems that varied backgrounds and expertise enables teams to disassemble corporate issues and deliver solutions with a multifaceted approach. Hence, senior management imbues the qualities of cross-cultural communication and understanding among its employees.

“In an international environment, it is imperative for employees to gain cultural sensitivity, and failure to understand and communicate with international clients can lead to cascading problems. Hence, we continuously equip employees with the skills to effectively bridge cultural differences,” affirms Danny Luk, Senior Equity Partner..

Internally, Horizons practices the same dedication to cross-cultural awareness and understanding through regular team-building activities. By collaborating as one team, the team focuses on finding solutions and bridging differences between them. Consequently, the harmonious internal environment allows the team to work nimbly and solve challenges faced by clients without internal conflict.

Developing Services to Better Serve Clients

Backed by winning work culture, client-centric approach, and value proposition, Horizons has garnered a broad global client base. Despite such strong rapport and not resting on its laurels, the Horizons continues to enhance services to better serve clients and address unprecedent movements across the world. Currently, Horizons is developing two additional solutions, global data governance, and anti-money laundering (or “AML”) compliance. Global data governance offers a robust framework for cross-border data transfers, cyber security, data security, and governance. The AML compliance responds to increased global regulation ofwhite-collar crime. 

In the coming years, Horizons will continuously develop responsive corporate solutions. Through consistently monitoring the rapid changes in legal, accountancy, tax, and financial space, Horizons nimbly aligns services with new legislation and international practices.  

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