The advisory activity we have developed and the services we offer have, at their core, a significant element of trust based on personal relationships. It makes this activity an exceptional opportunity to develop human and professional interaction.
If there is one thing I have learned from the advisory business, it’s that it takes special people to accept that recognized names, be it investment bankers, lawyers, accountants or consultants, often have their own agenda. Many companies or governments prefer to look to an adviser for validation of their righteousness and well-being. What honest advice aims to do is help think independently and “out of the box.” Good advisors recognize the company’s or the client’s strengths and weaknesses, and look with open eyes at the challenges and opportunities.
This is one of the primary reasons for which the advisory business continues to struggle to establish itself as a valuable service. I believe, however, that smart and honest advisory from experienced independent professionals can be essential to successful businesses and leadership. It is this belief that has driven me to do it for the past twelve years. Lateral thinking might, at first glance, seem like a perilous exercise. However, those who have entrusted us know the value it has brought. Their recognition is our pride. Here are some of the most important advisory assignments of the past years.
- When Ratan Tata decided to take on a substantial internationalization of the Tata Group, he asked me to advise the Group’s holding company, Tata Sons, in its internationalization. This project and relationship eventually led to additional assignments for TAJ hotels and palaces, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and many others.
- A few of the most significant assignments have included the creation of the financial services subsidiary of the Group, Tata Capital, the US developments of TAJ Hotels, the Pierre Hotel in New York, the former Ritz Carlton, (now TAJ Boston), and the European Investment Bank financing of Tata Motors. Most importantly, the development of this unique relationship has been the backbone of these exceptional ten years — a time during which India has blossomed.
- Tata Consultancy Services is probably the most successful IT Company in the world, and certainly in India. Being associated with its international strategy, business development and management, is a continuous source of challenges and exceptional opportunities. Galileo Global Advisors would not be what it was without the support of its two successive Managing Directors, Subramanian Ramadorai and N. Chandrasekaran.
- Formerly called GDF Suez and now renamed Engie, our advisory assignments were a natural fruit of the relationships I built as CFO of Societe Generale de Belgique – a position I held after Suez took over in an epic battle against Italian tycoon, Carlo de Benedetti.
These three assignments, and many others, are a constant source of pride and define who we are at Galileo Global Advisors. As the advisory field continues to become increasingly diverse, we are able to advise on strategic, managerial, financial and international matters.