My professional career took me to China. There I have been involved in 3 M&A deals with local owners. While discussing the deals I realised that what was obvious for us (buyer) wasn’t for them (sellers). These situations made me become more empathic and face problems in a very different way than I was used, things aren’t black or white but there are different greys. Would be great if you could share with all of us how dealing with targets from different countries and cultures have changed your way to face M&A deals.
Great question! Like you, I have learned how to listen & observe in order to understand & to ask a lot of clarifying questions. In Latin America, business is conducted via a different set of norms & customs requiring, for example, more socialization & “getting to know” the sellers (with sellers wanting to know about the buyers professionally & more personally) than would, otherwise, be customary in the U.S. In essence, have learned to not judge the differences as good or bad, but as the reality in conducting business internationally (unless a legal or moral line is clearly being crossed).
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