Business Resilience and Competition
The success of all companies, both those that only operate domestically or are engaged in international markets, is determined by how well they are able to successfully navigate the increasingly rapid changes in risks and growth opportunities that characterize today’s markets throughout the world, enabling them to outsmart their competitors. In a nutshell, resilience in business operations should be at the heart of a firm’s strategy, informing decisions—both short- and long-run—taken by the company’s executive team and the board of directors that oversee them. Which operational corporate strategies have proven to be most effective in balancing the mitigation of risks and the pursuit of growth? What lessons should be drawn from the practices pursued by the most successful companies across a variety of sectors and geographies in achieving agility to outperform rivals? As a veteran business practitioner and international banker with enormous on-the-ground expertise working in numerous sectors and geographies; private equity investment executive; advisor to C-suites and boards; and professor of global corporate strategy, Harry Broadman shares his practical insights on what he is seeing as the most effective approaches today to enhance business resilience.
Investment Opportunities and Mitigating Risks in Emerging Markets
Modernizing Corporate Governance
Just Where Is The Growth in the Global Economy?
The recent global financial crisis and the on-going softness in much of the advanced countries—the EU, Japan and the US--have shaken businesses’, investors’ and policy-makers’ perceptions and confidence of a return to historic levels of stable growth. The fact that many emerging markets have been growing at annual rates 2- to 3-times those of the industrialized economies over the past two decades appears to confirm that the world marketplace is actually undergoing a structural transformation. What are the fundamental sources of these phenomena? Is this a one-time change, owning to a longer than normal business cycle that has yet to run its full course, or is it part of a long-term secular change? What new risks and opportunities are presented? Broadman’s on-the-ground insights about the genesis and implications of these shifts—and his surprising bullish view--will alter how audiences think about the future of the US and the world economies and will most likely shape the prospective decisions they make.
Are You Ready for the New Global Corporate Rivals?
The traditional international business landscape characterized by firms headquartered in the advanced countries facing the most intense competition from rivals from other advanced countries is quickly becoming an historical artifact. As these businesses scour the global for high growth market opportunities, they are being drawn to the emerging markets, where economies, on average, have been expanding twice or three times as fast as the advanced countries. But it’s not just advanced country businesses who are pondering investment in emerging markets. Multinationals out of Brazil, China, India, and South Africa—among many others—are themselves setting up operations across their own geographies. They, too, recognize growth opportunities when they see them. This is only intensifying the competition advanced country businesses are already facing in these markets. Worse still, at the same time multinational firms based in emerging markets are increasingly becoming bona fide contenders for market share in developed markets—posing a whole new set of competitive threats in the home markets of advanced country firms. These two changes are taking place at an accelerated pace, far more than the most sophisticated investors and businesses realize. What does this transformation of competition in the global marketplace mean for business strategy and operations of advanced country multinationals? How should they best confront a host of new risks and opportunities as they aim to compete not only with their longtime rivals from developed countries but also with increasingly world-class emerging market firms? Broadman has enormous on-the-ground expertise on these issues, both as a multinational business executive as well as an advisor to the c-suite of many such businesses, not only in advanced countries but also in numerous emerging markets. He has also counseled many governments on innovative approaches to enhancing their inbound and outbound foreign investment policy regimes, reforming corporate governance regulations and incentives, and designing and executing competition and antitrust laws. Drawing on this wealth of practitioner knowledge, Broadman provides a lively tour of the most critical, emergent factors that will shape the competitive landscape of the world’s marketplace in the coming decade, including new patterns of consumer behavior, changes in the locus of entrepreneurship and innovation, modification of the role of the state in the economy, and the impact of network trade and on the organization of the multinational corporate form. Broadman’s insights will alter the way audiences think about the future of international business competition and likely make market-related decisions as globalization continues to intensify.
Understanding US Trade Policy: Past, Present and Future.
To most Americans negotiating and implementing international trade policy agreements is an enigma, which often breeds suspicion if not contempt for the process. The recent standoff in Washington over President Obama’s effort to obtain legislative authorization from Capitol Hill for the Executive Branch to finalize negotiations with 11 countries under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is just the most recent case in point. Yet much is at stake for millions of US businesses, workers and consumers now that international trade accounts for 30% of the US economy, in contrast to 20% in 1990. Demystifying the policy-making process, the institutions, the politics, and the interrelationships among the stakeholders, both within the US and our trading partners abroad, is essential to gain a better understanding of what are the benefits as well as the costs of various trade initiatives—past, present, and prospective. With the overwhelming majority of the world’s customers located outside the U.S.—if not outside most advanced countries—trade is hardly only important to large businesses: small and medium sized companies need to develop a strong understanding of international trade rules and opportunities in order to succeed in a global marketplace. How is trade policy actually developed in the U.S.? Who are the key parties that influence how those decisions are crafted? How likely will a change in presidential administration engender a shift in the stance of U.S. trade policy in such a way that there could be profound impacts on companies, workers and consumers—not just in the US but throughout the world. What are the indicators to look for when trying to determine which direction trade policy is headed—particularly with a change of administrations in 2017? As a former senior-level trade negotiator in both the Bush (41) and Clinton White Houses, as well as a drafter of key trade legislation while a senior staff member in the Senate, Broadman shares, in a lively and illustrative manner, a ring-side seat overview of the decision-making process in Washington behind recent trade policy initiatives, including the negotiation of the NAFTA and the WTO. He also highlights likely trade challenges in the future, for example, with respect to China and other major trading powers. Broadman offers his insights on effective ways to take advantage (and avoid the pitfalls) of trade agreements as businesses operate abroad. In addition, he shares lessons he’s learned about how to negotiate with foreign parties, especially those with significantly different cultural norms than ours.
Do Corporate Social Responsibility Programs Payoff?
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fabric is fraying. It is not surprising. Increasingly, the intended beneficiaries of traditional CSR programs, especially those in developing countries, are finding the deeds are not matching the words. To be sure, many of the targeted groups are made better off; unfortunately, however, some CSR initiatives have unwittingly ratified status quo ante in-country socio-economic imbalances. Worse still, some programs have actually introduced new distortions, pitting one community against another because of an inequitable allocation of activities and resources. At the same time, major CSR sponsors--often large corporates, banks, and private equity funds investing or operating in these markets—have begun to question the net benefits of such programs to their bottom lines. In fact, as a result of ill-thought out CSR project designs and poor quality of execution, sponsors are facing heightened corruption risks—if not criminal charges owing to (sometimes unknowingly) violations of anti-corruption laws, such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)—as well as reputational risks for showing little, if any return, for the money they’ve spent. In the final analysis, is there just fundamental incompatibility between the ‘profit motive’ and CSR objectives? Or can they in fact be reconciled? If in the past, traditional CSR initiatives delivered what was intended, what has changed in recent years to upset the balance? Broadman presents a lively diagnosis of the sources of these tensions, punctuated with several real-life examples of what has worked and what has not. He digs down deeply into both the sponsor and beneficiary sides, drawing concrete insights on ways to better align expectations, revamp organizational decision-making, and infuse CSR programs with innovative approaches to ensure robust checks and balances and mitigate corruption risks. Sketching out a ‘CSR 2.0’ paradigm, Broadman will leave an audience energized and with the confidence that ‘doing well by doing good’ is indeed an attainable goal, now more than ever.
Managing Overseas Corruption Risks.
Corruption has become one of the most pervasive and pernicious risks facing corporations, banks, private equity funds and other investors in the international marketplace. Not only can corruption add sizeable costs to the bottom line and engender damage to reputations and brand images for many years, it can also result in very serious criminal penalties, including imprisonment, and very large fines. Despite the fact that an increasing number of governments have been either strengthening existing sanctions against corruption or establishing wholly new anti-corruption regimes, rarely, it seems, does a month go by without the appearance of a news headline about a firm being charged with involvement in corrupt activities. At the same time, businesses often complain about the fact that because their rivals are not being held to the same corruption standards, unfair competitive advantages are being created; or that anti-corruption authorities don’t understand that for some cultures, certain business practices are not deemed as corruption but as traditional ways to carry out commerce. Drawing on his considerable experience counseling businesses on structuring corruption de-risking strategies as well as advising governments on the design and execution of anti-corruption reform programs, Broadman shares his insights on the “dos and don’ts” and best practice approaches to mitigating the risk of corruption in foreign markets. What are the various laws, regulations and enforcement institutions both at home and in key markets abroad most pertinent to corruption issues? What are the most effective strategies for combatting incipient corruption? What options are available to deal with competitors who are seemingly immune to corruption sanctions? How should a business’s compliance practices be designed and implemented? How can individuals or entities who are likely to present corruption vulnerabilities be systematically identified through due diligence at the very outset? What are the most effective responses to the discovery of corrupt activities? Which remedial steps are likely to have the largest payoffs? In dealing with such questions, Broadman offers a window on the trends in the incidence of and responses to corruption in key foreign markets, e.g., China and Russia. He also brings to bear recent innovative approaches being used to build in-country alliances to help inoculate against corruption risks. By punctuating his presentation with real cases of what has worked and what has not, audiences come away with a much better understanding of how to successfully operate in the international arena.
Is China Really Destined to be an Economic Powerhouse?
The conventional wisdom on Wall Street, inside the Capital Beltway, in the union hall, and throughout the shopping mall is that it is inevitable that China will soon dominate the global economy. While at present, doubts are voiced due to the current slowdown in China’s output and the bubble in its real estate sector, at the fundamental level those concerns are widely seen as temporary speed-bumps in China’s inexorable march to be the world’s economic captain. A deeper understanding of the underlying structure and functioning of Chinese banks and enterprises, the framework governing policy-making in Beijing, the arc of the Communist Party’s stronghold over the economy, and the nexus of environmental, health, and social challenges affords a different perspective. What are China’s real economic and policy risks? What role does the absence of democracy in the country play in China’s economic fortunes? How much has the Chinese economy in fact changed since the advent of reform in 1978? Where are there opportunities for China’s long-term growth? Having extensively worked throughout China at the field level since 1993, Broadman offers a fresh perspective on the trajectory of China’s economic destiny. His views on the economic future of China will stimulate you to re-think the conventional wisdom.
Is Putin Recreating the Soviet Empire?
Twenty-five years have passed since the formal disintegration of the Soviet economic bloc that had been dominated by Russia. For 70 years before then, with the formation of the bloc, Eurasian continent’s long economic history of international commerce with much of the rest of the world was interrupted, largely isolating almost half a billion people from the modern global marketplace. Under Vladimir Putin’s rule over the past decade and a half, two new regional economic blocs have been emerging. One, comprised of Eastern, Central and Southern Europe, has tended toward integration with the advanced countries in Western Europe and have generally enjoyed relatively high national incomes. The other bloc, comprised of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) of the former Soviet Union, is significantly poorer, and has been pulling back toward a Russia-centric economic sphere. Its economies are still dominated by commodity trade, and risk non- or very limited participation in a modern global economy. As we enter the latter half of the second decade of the 21st Century, what are the economic, political and policy drivers of this seeming return to the status quo ante Soviet Union? Is it actually a return, or was there not much of a change—in any facet—to begin with? Is foreign investment in the CIS a fool’s errand at this juncture? Have Putin’s extraterritorial geopolitical actions in Ukraine and elsewhere, coupled with the West’s sanctions, sowed the seeds to his downfall? Broadman delivers a unique perspective on the current and prospective state of affairs in Russia. Colored by his hands-on experience at the front-line of the formulation and implementation of Russia’s economic reforms and the subsequent economic crisis during the 1990s and stretching for almost a decade, Broadman sheds a bright light on the sources and the sustainability of the country’s political economy risks. But perhaps uniquely, Broadman also shares his insights as to where and when new market opportunities could well arise in an emergent Russia.
Why the Sudden Interest in Doing Business in Africa?
Over the past several years, interest in Africa as a destination for investment has been growing at a startling clip. A few niche private equity firms were the first to make serious inroads into the continent more than a decade ago. But only more recently have a growing number of multinational corporations and the largest private equity firms, as well as a variety of other institutional investors, “discovered” Africa. Still, too few business leaders and policy-makers in the US, the EU and other advanced countries are aware that for the past two decades, much of sub-Saharan Africa has been enjoying a relatively uninterrupted period of robust growth, where, on average, there’s been an annual increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of more than 5 percent over those 20 years. Moreover, while most investors, economists and policy makers forecast that Africa would suffer the greatest economic damage from the recent global financial crisis, the exact opposite was the case: pound for pound, the continent proved to be the most resilient region of the world economy. What’s behind the excitement over Africa? Is it a real opportunity; or just the investment de jure? How are investors coping with the risks? And how do those risks compare with other regions of the world? Given the vast size, the large number and the heterogeneity of the countries on the continent, how do businesses and investors determine which ones are the stand-outs, and which are the ones to avoid? Having spent time in more than half of the number of African states, Broadman speaks authoritatively about the prospects for Africa’s long-term growth, the use of innovative approaches for mitigating risks, and how to assess and capitalize on new market opportunities on the continent. Broadman reveals pivotal developments and trends taking place in a number of African countries that disrupt long-held views about doing business in the region. Audiences come away surprised to learn that this is ‘not your grandfather’s’ Africa; indeed, the changes are happening so quickly and in unanticipated ways that this is not even ‘your father’s Africa’.
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Harry G. Broadman in the news
With 36 years of first hand experience in critical business and policy decisions on global finance, international investment, foreign trade and domestic regulation, HARRY G. BROADMAN is an authoritative source of information and insights for media outlets. Catch his latest media appearances here:
2.1.2020 Beyond Brexit | The Africa Report
Harry G. Broadman, International Business Columnist
With vast experience in global business strategy, international finance, and economic policy, HARRY G. BROADMAN's words are a must-read for survival in our complex and ever-changing world. Dr. Broadman currently writes monthly columns for Forbes, Newsweek (International), and Gulf News on global business growth strategy and innovation; international finance and cross-border investment transactions, both private and sovereign; and innovative approaches towards risk-mitigation, anti-corruption compliance and corporate governance.Read his latest columns > >
At the vanguard of his generation 36 years ago, Harry Broadman began a career focused on investment opportunities and risks in emerging markets. Today, he’s globally known as a venerable practitioner of the design and execution of novel ‘first-mover’ strategies in such markets to achieve rapid business growth and rigorous risk-mitigation—strategies that focus on building durable cross-border trade and investment transactions, potent strategic partnerships, agile supply chains, robust corporate governance, tough financial compliance and anti-corruption controls, and incentives for sustained innovation.
Re-inventing himself multiple times across greatly differentiated senior roles in the private sector as a CEO, private equity investor, expert witness, management consultant and board director—interspersed with stints as a high-level White House trade negotiator and economic official and Senate committee professional staff member—he emerged as an authority on the fundamental drivers of the transformation world markets experienced (and continue to do so) long before the term "globalization" was ever uttered.
Harry has worked on the ground in more than 80 emerging markets across 5 continents, including China, India and the rest of Asia; much of Latin America; in Russia and almost every other Former Soviet Union state; across Eastern & Central Europe; the Balkans; Turkey; most of Africa; and much of the Middle East.
He’s advised entities such as GE, IBM, Coke, CEMEX, Canon, Exxon, TPG, Valmet, KIA, ITW, Carlyle, Corning, Heineken, Merck, Mahindra, Walmart, Deere, Mars, Avon, Canadian Pension Bd, Intel, PPG, AU Future Fund, ADIA, ICANN, Temasek, Berkshire Hathaway, McCormick, SunEdison, Westinghouse, Dow, Siemens, Standard Chartered, Microsoft, Apollo, Tyco, Caterpillar, Nike, Pfizer, Hilton, Blackstone, Jaguar As a speaker, Harry brings to audiences a unique combination of fundamentally insightful views and operational lessons about the ways is which market and policy dynamics will impact C-suites, boards, managers and workers as well as suppliers and customers, and how they’ll alter business fortunes.
Harry has the rare ability to frame such effects from a genuinely prospective vantage point rather than conventional rear-view mirror extrapolations, and through a prism incorporating intrinsic non-linearities of market changes. And, all done in a highly entertaining mode, infused with his infectious sense of humor.