www.acquisition-international.com • Issue 2 2022 Supporting the Assessment of Pandemic-Era Academics ExamSoft, a platform that has been lauded as the ‘Most Innovative Learning Assessment Platform’ in 2022 for the USA, has been making a difference in the academic industry by ensuring that remote examinations can be carried out in a reliable manner regardless of modality. The platform has been a helpful solution for institutions and students during the pandemic, bringing continuity to their education and assessments despite lockdowns and the temporary closing of institutional headquarters in which they would usually take their tests.
2 Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 From our Editor Welcome to the February edition of Acquisition International Magazine, bringing you the latest news, features, and success stories from businesses all over the world. As spring is approaching, we see a warm light at the end of the dark and cold tunnel of the winter months. Whether you’ve been tucked up in blankets at home or out embracing the cold weather, there’s always time for reflection throughout this time. We have seen some amazing stories of business success already this year and we’re here to showcase much more. We especially want to celebrate ExamSoft’s success as it wins Most Innovative Learning Assessment Platform in 2022 for the USA. Going from strength to strength, ExamSoft has been changing the way we see remote examinations for students. With incredible insight and innovative ideas, ExamSoft has been working on its platform to create a more sustainable and safe future for exam boards as well as students. Due to the various lockdowns, ExamSoft has developed its ideas quickly and all in good time. With its enthusiasm and desire to succeed, this ground-breaking platform is a leader in its industry. We are pleased to share some exciting stories with you and we hope to see you again for our next issue of AI Magazine. We look forward to learning more about a wide variety of businesses so that we may share them with the world. See you next time. Sofi Bajor - Editor Contents 4 News 6 Supporting the Assessment of Pandemic-Era Academics ExamSoft 11 Most Influential Woman in Capital Markets Law 2022 - Hong Kong Linklaters 12 Most Influential Woman in Technology Law 2022 - Kent Law 365 13 Future Proof Your Warehouse Reesink Logistic Solutions 14 Two Decades of Endless Success Lucion Services No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Editorial Team Sif Brookes, Senior Editor Sofi Bajor, Editor Daniel Long, Writer Gabriel Muers, Writer Rebecca Scotland, Writer Ashley-Francis Cox, Writer Amelia Walker, Writer Design Team Emma Hunt, Creative & Design Assistant Manager Daniela Levinte, Graphic Designer Lauren Baldwin, Junior Graphic Designer 16 A Smooth Transition FP Transitions 18 A Pillar of Metal- Focused Construction Friede & Associates 19 Best UHNW Divorce & Family Law Firm - England & Wales Vardags 20 Redefining Business Advisory Services Occams Advisory Inc. 22 Blockchain Pioneers Secure Success! DynaQuest 24 Fighting With Passion and Fire The Bennett Law Firm, PLC 25 Installations To Stand the Test of Time Installation Services Group Ltd 26 Winners’ Listings
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4 Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 News: from around the world Metaverse: a new way for businesses to connect with consumers? • The metaverse could be a market worth $800 billion by 2024 according to Bloomberg Intelligence. • A new communication channel that breaks with the traditional codes of advertising. • Nike, H&M, Gucci are already investing heavily in consolidating their brands in this virtual world. Although not a new concept and with a long road ahead, the word “Metaverse” has been on everyone’s lips since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta and thus positioned itself as a major player in the new virtual world. Cezar Pereira, Strategic Account Director at Tiendeo, a company that specialises in the digitalisation of the retail sector, kicks off the debate with the following question: Are we facing a fleeting fad or a new world that is opening the doors to a powerful business model? By way of introduction, he invites us to ask ourselves what we think of the metaverse, to enter this world to find out how it is changing people’s lives, the opportunities it offers retailers and brands to connect with the consumer. A whole new universe in the making The Metaverse is a virtual space that we can connect to through devices such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) glasses or helmets and applications that offer the promise of an immersive experience that feels like we are actually there, interacting with other people and objects. In this alternative world, everything will be possible through an avatar: buying goods and services, attending concerts, travelling, playing games and even working. The amazing thing about this universe is that you can teleport from one experience to another without leaving your room. The development of the metaverse seeks to extend the real world into the virtual world by making everyday actions into a spectacle. Of course, it will be necessary to understand a necessarily complex universe, made up of not one but dozens of metaverses. In the United States, for example, there are four major companies competing to be number one in the race to dominate the metaverse: Meta (Facebook), Roblox, Fortnite and Microsoft, as well as other technological giants that will also set the tone for this industry in the coming year. What makes the metaverse so appealing? The great potential of this technology as a business model is what has led several companies to create their own “omniverses”. To be successful they must understand that the user ventures into the metaverse to escape from the real world, because it offers them the alluring possibility of creating their own personality: to show themselves as they “feel” they are and not how they are physically, taking the user experience to another level. This introduces a new form of interaction between consumers and brands through the D2A (direct-to-avatar) model where we will no longer buy clothes for ourselves, but for our representation in the metaverse. The challenge for companies will be to get people to carry out the bulk of their activities in this digital universe, just as we do in the physical world, giving rise to virtual marketplaces that already move large sums of money. This is not so far-fetched in an age where humans are already glued to technology, whether professionally, socially or both, and it is speculated that by 2030 we will spend more time in the metaverse than in “real life”. As such, the desire to dominate the new virtual spaces reveals an eagerness to control the way people interact with each other. The Metaverse at the forefront of the retail sector The opportunities offered by the Metaverse are endless, especially in the field of commerce. Technology company Wildbytes estimates that in the next five years, 70% of major brands will have a presence in the Metaverse. By 2023 some companies are already promising to launch a new product while others are already looking at the possibility of creating shopping centres, boutiques and virtual shops where avatars will be able to buy NFT products and pay in cryptocurrencies. The retail sector is one of the most heavily invested in the Metaverse. For example, Gucci has already started selling its own virtual clothing, the Gucci Virtual 25 trainers and H&M has recently launched its first virtual collection through Nintendo’s social simulation game Animal Crossing. Ikea also uses AR technology in its App to allow customers to create their own spaces and see how furniture would look in the physical world using AR technology. There are brands that go even further and have no hesitation about making a clear commitment to the Metaverse. This is the case for Nike, which has gone so far as to create its own virtual universe: Nikeland. A space that offers access to various sporting arenas, as well as a showroom where users can equip their avatars with Nike shoes to take part in competitions. The brand also uses it as a testing ground so that younger generations can experience its new products through avatars before purchasing them in real life. In short, the metaverse revolution holds the promise of a digital experience in which the virtual world and the real world intertwine and merge under a single reality. It is now up to brands and retailers to find their place in it and explore its full potential
Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 5 Binalyze enables enterprises to respond to cyber breaches in real-time which dramatically speeds up investigations and remediation; this funding will expand the platform’s capabilities Friday 4 February 2022 – Binalyze, the Enterprise Forensics platform which enables enterprises to respond faster and more effectively to cyber threats, today announced it has raised $10 million in its Seed funding round. The investment will enable further innovation to define the standard for nextgeneration Enterprise Forensic solutions. It will support the extension of Binalyze’s cloud-native capabilities to enhance coverage in cloud and container environments and enable it to continue to be the fastest and most complete Enterprise Forensics Platform on the market. The investment will also accelerate Binalyze’s expansion in the US, Europe, and other key global markets enabling enterprises, MSP, and Incident Response partners to mount a forensic response to cybersecurity attacks in near-real-time. This minimizes damage and cost to the business. The investment, which brings total funding to date to $11.7 million, was led by European venture capital firm OpenOcean, with participation from Earlybird Digital East which led Binalyze’s pre-seed round last year. Binalyze has grown quickly, with annual recurring revenue multiplying 20 times in the past year alone. It already has an impressive customer roster that includes international brands and Fortune 500 companies including global banks, auditing companies, airlines, and telcos. The platform delivers realtime forensic visibility to the core security stack, redefining how enterprises can use forensics in real-world scenarios and helping them to minimize the extent of the breach and accelerate root cause analysis to ensure it cannot happen again. Cybercrime is of growing concern for enterprises. One report estimates over half of large companies now deal with at least 1,000 cybersecurity alerts every day. There is a growing acceptance that 100% breach prevention is no longer a realistic expectation for most businesses. This is marked by a strategic shift in cybersecurity spending - according to Gartner, detection & response now accounts for 60 percent of enterprise information security budgets, up from 20 per cent in 2015. Traditional digital forensic tools are slow and require technical knowledge that is in short supply. This is why it often takes weeks or even months for an enterprise to understand the extent of a cyber breach. A report from IBM found it took companies 206 days to identify a breach after it occurred and another 73 days to contain the breach. Emre Tinaztepe, CEO and founder of Binalyze said: “100% breach prevention is no longer a realistic expectation. Binalyze secures $10 million in seed funding to develop its real-time enterprise forensics platform Forensic visibility is an integral part of an investigation. Enterprises need to be prepared with the right tools to mount an effective and quick response once a suspected breach is detected. “Speed is of the essence. Cybercriminals work quickly once they gain access to a corporate network. Binalyze is designed to be fast, capturing the most comprehensive forensic snapshot and creating a detailed digital forensics report in less than 10 minutes. It dramatically speeds up all stages of incident response, from identification to remediation.” Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner of OpenOcean said: “Binalyze is a category defining Enterprise Forensics automation solution, enabling enterprises to finally be able to deal with cybersecurity attacks effectively. “In today’s world, companies are facing a vast number of cybersecurity alerts, and response times are painfully slow with consequences for the business. It took 1.5 years to detect that SolarWinds attack was happening. Binalyze’s world-class team, with its highly differentiated product to detect the root cause in minutes rather than days/months – and sometimes years - is best positioned to help a fastgrowing number of customers.” “Traditional digital forensics solutions are lacking the muchneeded automation and cloud capabilities. Binalyze solves the industry’s pain points by increasing the agility of security teams in responding to cyber incidents with greater speed and accuracy” stated Mehmet Atici, Partner at Earlybird Digital East. “We are confident that Binalyze is on its way to becoming a leader in Enterprise Forensics, and we are very excited to continue supporting them in this journey since pre-seed.”
6 Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 Dec21558 Supporting the Assessment of Pandemic-Era Academics ExamSoft, a platform that has been lauded as the ‘Most Innovative Learning Assessment Platform’ in 2022 for the USA, has been making a difference in the academic industry by ensuring that remote examinations can be carried out in a reliable manner regardless of modality. The platform has been a helpful solution for institutions and students during the pandemic, bringing continuity to their education and assessments despite lockdowns and the temporary closing of institutional headquarters in which they would usually take their tests. ver the last 23 years, ExamSoft, part of the Turnitin family, has become a key assessment platform in higher learning around the world. Based in Dallas, Texas, ExamSoft has grown its business, its software, and its team to address market needs, building a reputation for being invaluable to educators and students. Its assessment software is highly scalable, meaning it works well for institutions of various size, need, and type, and allows organisations to grow their assessment process to accommodate more candidates. This scalability enables the platform to provide a consistent experience for all learners and academics. In addition to academia, ExamSoft serves a number of licensure and certification entities, bringing a stable test-taking experience to high-stakes exams of various types, both in-person and remote. Operating across a wide range of verticals, ExamSoft puts the power of information into the hands of users – from the test-taker to the marker. ExamSoft provides actionable data that allows educators to better understand their courses, materials, assessments, and students. Gone are the days of a simple letter grade without any meaningful feedback — exam-takers benefit from seeing their areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement. By receiving more detailed reports, students have useful information that can help guide study efforts and instructors have insights necessary to adjust teaching methods and curricula. By providing psychometrics data, ExamSoft allows examiners to improve assessments and questions for future test-takers, supporting the company’s mission to deliver superior assessment solutions that support the learning process for all of its 2100+ programmes. Additional educator benefits range from creating meaningful efficiency in grading to making exam building easier and more collaborative. The Company & The Community Since its inception in 1998 as a digital alternative to paper-based exams for the U.S. Bar, ExamSoft has helped a wide variety of organisations deliver examinations. With clients in fields of nursing, medicine, law, dentistry, health sciences, and many more, ExamSoft has now helped to successfully administer over 90 million exams. In addition to assessment management, ExamSoft provides builtin academic integrity tools from which the exam administrator can choose when creating the assessment. Security features include O limiting backward navigation, locking all other device applications and programmes during the exam session, blocking internet access, and randomising questions. ExamSoft has clients in 35 different countries and an impressive 98% client retention rate. Aspecial offering that many clients enjoy is the annual user conference each summer. While recent conferences have been virtual, ExamSoft users enjoy the opportunity to learn together and share their insights and tips related to education and assessment. (Photo included of an in-person conference in 2019). Clients also build lasting relationships to network and collaborate outside of the conference setting, making ExamSoft a community, not simply a piece of technology. Having changed and grown significantly over the years, ExamSoft is fuelled by client demand and needs – from the successes to the challenges – and a drive to continue making its platform better and better. ExamSoft encourages its clients to share their results, research, and experiences using the exam software, which helps to identify the changes that might best be implemented to improve the experience for students and educators. ExamSoft reviews reactions and feedback from the latest versions and features and acts upon necessary changes accordingly. ExamSoft also provides clients the opportunity to be featured in case studies that detail their successes with their software. The ExamSoft community has also come together during the ongoing health crisis and times of remote exam administration, helping to provide feedback and guidance for assessment providers. Some have published articles, papers, and presentations while others have shared their insights in ExamSoft forums and webinars. The flexibility of the platform has also been essential to success as universities, credentialing bodies, and government organizations pivoted to remote testing as COVID-19 cases increased or new variants emerged. Secure, digital testing has allowed for the continuation of assessment regardless of pandemic-related disruptions or other logistical challenges. The ExamSoft platform supports continuity not just through the consistency of the test-taking experience, but also through the available reporting and data analysis tools, which help instructors
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8 Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 provide individualized feedback to students and support remediation efforts. ExamSoft assessment data gives educators a detailed view of exam-taker performance, including visualisations, which aid interpretations of the results. Educators can review these reports with students during office hours as a way to engage learners with their results and show support in areas where the students are struggling. These Strengths & Opportunities Reports are customisable, so educators can provide students meaningful insights into their exam performance without revealing questions or exam content. ExamSoft’s clients regularly experience increased student retention as a result of these performance reports. Additionally, this depth and breadth of data allows for an enhanced student-teacher rapport wherein understanding of the student’s learning style is prioritised.
Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 9 Supporting the Assessment of Pandemic-Era Academics By keeping its data relevant, individually specific, and meaningful, ExamSoft ensures that professors and teachers have the tools to identify areas of the curriculum where students may need additional support, bringing a more ‘tailored’ way of teaching to the fore. How the Software Works ExamSoft functions via a dual interface, offering two ways to interact with the software as an examiner and exam-taker, respectively. Faculty have a secure, online portal through which they can create, store, and edit their assessments and questions. After creating the exam, faculty push the assessment to students for download. Students then access the exams through the secure testing application, Examplify, which they have downloaded on to their own devices or on the school’s lab computers. The faculty portal enables examiners to tag questions to any type of learning outcome that they would like to measure – such as course, programme, institutional objectives, subject areas, levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, and accreditation standards. Item tagging is useful to reveal performance trends by category, which can further enrich student feedback and better inform adjustments to teaching methods. Using ExamSoft’s item-tagging feature to track coverage of accreditation criteria can help simplify the process for institutions either seeking or maintaining their accreditation status. Running performance reports by category can help institutions identify any gaps in the curriculum and expand content coverage in assessments and instruction. ExamSoft’s automated reports also make it easy to generate the documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance ahead of site visits. Within the portal, examiners can activate various exam security features to increase fairness and safeguard exam content from academic dishonesty, which help to preserve assessment integrity in both remote and in-person environments. These features include prevention of backward navigation, randomising distractors, technology-enabled remote invigilation, and timed examsessions, with the option to allot extra time for students who require accommodation. Examplify, the student testing application, works on multiple device types, including lab computers, laptops, Surface Pros, and iPads. Examplify offers two forms of testing – an online mode and offline mode (through complete device control). Examiners can activate complete device control during the exam session to disallow access to any external applications or programmes, web browsers, screenshots, or screensavers through which a student may be able to find answers or capture valuable exam content. Examplify also offers several features to enhance the exam experience for candidates, including graphing and scientific calculators, spreadsheets, and highlighter tools. Examiners can include question-level attachments, including images, video, and PDFs, to provide any supplemental information necessary for examtakers to answer questions. Examplify also logs information from individual exam sessions, including how long an exam-taker spends on a given question or if the student selected any answers prior to submitting their final selection, providing further insight into the student’s testing experience. The variety of question types available through ExamSoft makes the platform appealing for teaching institutes across fields and disciplines. For instance, medical schools, as well as nursing, health sciences, and dental programs, make frequent use of hotspot items, which prompt students to select specific areas of an image, like an anatomical figure or x-ray, in response to a question. ExamSoft continues to expand on its question types, recently introducing polygon hotspots, select all that apply, and cloze formats. After an exam session is complete, administrators can make informed decisions regarding the exam and its questions, individual students, and the course at large using ExamSoft’s actionable assessment data. Built-in tools for psychometric analysis provide insight into item and exam quality using such data points as difficulty and discrimination indexes, as well as point-biserial correlation coefficient and KR-20 formula. With these insights, examiners can gauge the overall efficacy of an exam and may decide to adjust certain items to an appropriate level of validity or reliability. Course-wide reports – like average scores and performance by category – can also help to identify whether an exam or any of its items require adjustment. Recent Updates ExamSoft’s dedication to providing exemplary customer service is central to its mission, and it attributes much of its success to the brilliance of its team, a group of dedicated and passionate people who truly believe in what they do and want to help and serve institutions and exam-takers. ExamSoft is home to staff who have been with the company for over 20 years and who share its commitment to support higher learning and assessment providers in becoming the best they can be. Having made many important changes and improvements since the start of 2020, some of its newer programme offerings include the launch of auto-identity verification tool, ExamID, remote invigilation solution, ExamMonitor, and its first ever integrations with its sibling platform Turnitin. One such Turnitin integration allows users from both platforms to seamlessly submit exam-taker documents for a Similarity Score, obtained by comparing the document against an industryleading content database to assess the likelihood of plagiarism. With each of these solutions, ExamSoft has been able to support its clients throughout the tumult of the past two years, helping to preserve exam integrity even when in-person exams have been impossible. ExamSoft recently launched Arabic- and Ukrainian-language version of its test-taking application, Examplify, to extended its platform and assessment support services. As part of its ongoing effort to refine platform features and functionality, ExamSoft continues to make software improvements in response to user feedback, upgrading its front-end and back-end technical architecture to make both Examplify and ExamSoft’s platforms easier to use across the board, with new operating systems updates on a regular basis. The circumstances of the pandemic created a surge in demand for education and digital assessment technologies. ExamSoft has been humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to help institutions overcome the challenges of the emergency pivot to remote learning and is more committed than ever to providing solutions that support assessment providers, now and in the future. Included in these support efforts are client usage webinars, hosted by ExamSoft training specialists, that expand awareness of existing platform features and provide tips, tricks, and best practices to help clients use the software to its full potential. As ExamSoft moves forward in 2022 and beyond, it will continue to help new and existing clients develop flexible, sustainable approaches to secure assessment in the pandemic era and discover valuable opportunities to boost efficiency along the way. Company: ExamSoft Contact: Nici Sandberg Website: https://examsoft.com/
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Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 11 Recognised as Hong Kong’s Most Influential Woman in Capital Market Laws, Iris Leung advises international companies and financial institutions in China, Hong Kong and Singapore concerning major corporate and capital market deals. Working at the internationally renowned Linklaters, Iris utilises her vast experiences and professional intellect to advise corporate and institutional clients, private equity firms and international financial institutions on global principal and strategic investments. Dec21450 inner of the Euromoney LMG Rising Star award for 2015 and 2016, Iris Leung provides unparalleled specialist knowledge advising Chinese and Hong Kong companies on outbound investments and capital market transactions. Globally recognised for her excellence, Iris is one of the key members responsible for driving the development of the US/equity market practice in China. Iris is a partner of Capital Markets practice at Linklaters, Hong Kong, and has advised several Chinese state-owned and privately owned businesses and international companies on landmark and innovative listings within the Hong Kong stock exchange, including some of the most high-profile transactions and raising multiple-billion US dollars. Additionally, she counsels corporations and private equity funds on their mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments and corporate governance matters. Iris thrives on helping businesses find their competitive advantages by providing risk-weighted innovative solutions and effective initiatives that help address the needs of fast-growing businesses and create a strong foundation for their sustainable growth. During her internationally acclaimed and professional career, Iris has had various highlights throughout her leadership, including becoming a lead partner for some of the largest HK IPO’s, a key lawyer for the largest re-structuring and mergers in Asia, and a core member for transforming the firm’s development strategies. Working alongside Linklaters, Iris is dually qualified in the US and Hong Kong law with a firm understanding of Chinese and international practices, which supports equal sides of transactions - bridging cultural, practical, and legal differences to complete significant deals strategically. A considerable benefit to Linklaters is brought forward by the Most Influential Woman In Capital Markets Laws – Iris Leung. Recognised as a leading global law firm, Linklaters supports its clients and guides investments to shape their financial futures. By combining its collaborative legal expertise and its innovative approach to navigate its client’s focus, Linklaters can manage the evolving market and regulatory environment for its clients to pursue financial opportunities worldwide without risk. Linklaters is a firm that clients and industry professionals can trust and are committed to investing and empowering teams to become leading individuals globally and within the market. Standing out amongst W competitors, the company forms a core mentality that delivers continuous excellence and stability to its clients and is renowned internationally for its glowing capabilities, professional expertise, and enlightening insight into capital market laws. By developing long-lasting relationships with clients, Linklaters can help support and encourage its clients to pursue the best opportunities. In essence, the firm provides an overall service that is unmatched against competitors whilst putting its clients’ needs at the centre of every approach – a mission that, at its core, is driven by the desire to produce quality work with innovation, efficiency and agility. Linklaters works with some of the world’s biggest companies, financial institutions, funds and governments, implementing significant deals and resolving global differences that can arise internationally—for the firm, providing technical expertise and exceptional client services a fundamental basic service that has allowed the company and its members of staff to flourish in the eyes of the industry. With a combined collective of diverse and responsive team members, the goals of its clients are always met and exceeded in an environment that is created to amplify and enhance creativity and outstanding results. Thus, to continuously provide such services and reach optimum outcomes, Linklaters constantly invests in its systems, technology, and working practices to allow the right solutions and pivotal quality standard of results to be met. For Linklaters, its client’s business success is the firm’s success. Thus, by embracing new, innovative ideas, the firm can proactively identify future trends, which brings a long-term perspective to clients and sets a foundation of understanding so that current and potential needs can be met and shaped for both parties. While Linklaters was put on the map through its innovation and clientcentric satisfaction, Iris Leung is the smoking gun of capital markets law, uniquely collaborating with the firm to ensure both will remain a global and remarkable hierarchy within the industry. Company Name: Linklaters Contact Name: Iris Leung Contact Email: [email protected] Web Address: https://www.linklaters.com/ Most Influential Woman in Capital Markets Law 2022 - Hong Kong
12 Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 Law 365 rior to Law 365, Kim was an M&A Associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP. She has an LLM in International Business and Trade Law, graduating cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, and an LLB (European) from the University of Exeter. A new kind of law firm Law 365 is the realisation of Kim’s vision for a new kind of law firm. All Kim’s lawyers are experts in Microsoft (one is Azure certified) and commercially savvy. In the last 2 years the business has grown from 3 to 26 staff, from 10 clients to over 50, and 2022 will see the launch of its own AI products. Innovative pricing Law 365’s Legal-as-a-Service (LaaS) model mirrors the IT business model SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and has been a great success among Microsoft Partners because it emulates their own way of selling and billing. The subscription model also spares Law 365’s legal team the dreaded time recording that is universally hated by all lawyers. Excellent client service Clients love Law 365’s unique combination of specialization, affordability and client service and the fact that they embrace Microsoft Technologies. Do you know any other law firms that are paperless? Kim’s technology solicitors are also business advisors. The firm structure and culture emulates the start-up SaaS model, so her clients feel at home immediately. She knows that technology businesses don’t want boring, stuffy lawyers. Microsoft Partners are looking for lawyers who are team players, but with deep legal knowledge. Redefining what matters Being a mindful leader is a critical element in Kim’s success. Kim has started an “Inner MBA” course at New York University, with other mindful CEOs, where she is learning the elements of great leadership. When Kim started a family, she felt there were only two choices available – her career or her family. She works hard to show there’s a third option. Her leadership style demands excellence while at the same time respecting each individual’s right to manage their work/life balance. She encourages taking time for oneself too (with mediation, yoga and gong baths) and our in-house coach teaches the team how to communicate openly, even when there’s something difficult to say. More than a law firm Law 365 started as a Commercial team but now has a thriving Employment practice too, which is not surprising, given the incredible challenges employers have navigated in the face of Brexit, Covid, Settlement Status, IR35 etc. P Established as a specialised commercial and employment law firm in 2014, Law 365 is led by Founder and CEO Kim Simmonds, Kent’s Most Influential Woman in Technology Law. Law 365 is unique because it only works for Microsoft Partners and offers its clients the benefits of an in-house legal team on a monthly subscription model covering all of their commercial and employment legal needs, plus performance coaching to help their businesses succeed. Company: Law 365 Telephone: 01892 313 943 Email: [email protected] Website: www.law365.co Dec21541 This year it will be offering its clients Performance Coaching as well. Law 365’s mission is to help their clients grow with less risk, so it makes sure it does more than draft excellent contracts. With over 20,000 Microsoft Partners in the UK – many of them too small to take on a legal team – Kim challenged her inhouse IT team to develop an AI solution for reviewing simple contracts. The goal is to democratize the legal process and empower their clients by giving them the Artificial Intelligence tools they need to protect their businesses. The challenge was accepted, and Law 365 will soon launch their “Digital Lawyer” – an NDA reading tool. The NDA reader solves a problem that feels ubiquitous. Many business owners think NDAs are straightforward and so opt to save themselves some legal fees by doing them by themselves. This is rarely a good idea. “Law 365’s Digital Lawyer adds sophistication and, dare we say, intelligence, to the template they might have previously been tempted to download online,” explains Kim. “It scans a Non-Disclosure Agreement, flagging important clauses that require attention and adding commentary that the business owner can use to make the right decisions. It will revolutionise the way clients can read contracts - showing them where there’s risk and ultimately providing alternative wording to de-risk their position. Sounds simple but the machine learning capabilities of this is anything but!” The more contracts the AI reads, the smarter it becomes, so Law 365 will be offering it to clients first for a free trial. As the technology is refined, they will apply it to more complex agreements. Law 365 is also about to launch Forever Contracts for to its clients. Have you ever wondered if your existing contracts are up to date with the latest legislation? Well, a Forever Contract is updated automatically when legislation changes. In addition to this, Kim has developed a membership society providing research and networking opportunities to her clients and hosting a popular quarterly book club. Law 365’s innovative technology gets her clients and their businesses in the best shape possible to achieve sustainable growth, which why we think she deserves the title, Kent’s Most Influential Woman in Technology. Most Influential Woman in Technology Law 2022 - Kent
Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 13 Dec21686 Future Proof Your Warehouse eesink Logistic Solutions, a company that has cut its teeth on providing exemplary warehouse logistics solutions, has over 50 years of experience in automation, racking, and software customization behind it. Fundamentally, each of these years of experience has given it the tenacity it currently boasts when responding to the needs and wants of its clients. The RLS group of companies deliver exemplary, state-of-the-art automation solutions for any type of warehouse and any type of storage, responding to the market’s need with a wide range of products, such as AutoStore, AMR, pick-robots, conveyors, shuttles and so on. Reesink Logistic Solutions is the division of Royal Reesink that offers warehouse automation solutions through its four subsidiaries located in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Poland, delivering automation projects with on-field expert teams throughout Europe. As one of AutoStore’s best performing integrators in Western Europe, it has already set up over 100 AutoStore systems. This, in essence, has allowed it to grow an additional dimension of knowledge when it comes to these services, meaning that in 2021 its expansion was able to shift East to cover Central and Eastern Europe, with new subsidiaries in Austria and Poland as the most recent results of its expansion. With a whole team of experts providing a full range of R services, from consultancy to planning and operational use of all the delivered warehouse solutions – whether they are new or refurbished – the Reesink Logistic Solutions division has delivered until now over 850 warehouse projects worldwide. By using its technological solutions, many warehouse operators find that their establishments are easier to manage, for instance with a LogiCS interface in place, designed to make the place an employee-friendly, intuitive, and error free element of the business. Reesink Logistic Solutions also offers its RaaS programme Renta-Robot, dedicated to its AutoStore customers, looking to increase throughput for limited periods of time, and RiCO-bot, the goodspicker collaborative robot. Recently, its brand-new user intuitive interface LogiCS, has been under development by its Dutch team and is gaining further notoriety every day with its e-commerce support solutions, deployed only after significant stress and sensitivity testing. In Spring of 2021, Rent-a-Robot service was brought onto the market in order to make AutoStore even more flexible. In short, Reesink Logistic Solutions has been spending the last few years developing its latest and greatest innovations in order to satisfy the needs of the market and improve warehouse organisation for companies across the board, launching RiCO-bot as another element of this in December of the same year. Company: Reesink Logistic Solutions Contact: Ioana Radulescu Website: reesinkls.com Having received the accreditation for being the ‘Most Innovative Intralogistics Solutions Firm’ in 2022, Reesink Logistic Solutions has secured its position at the top of its industry by being a top provider of automated warehouse logistics. Critically, with over 50 years of experience in its industry, it is putting each element of its depth and length of knowledge to good use in ensuring its client’s businesses are protected with state-of-the-art warehouse automation solutions.
14 Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 Dec21507 Two Decades of Endless Success A company that is relentless in its devotion to customer service, innovation, and conservation, Lucion Services, in its 20 years of operating, has become a frontrunner in its industry. The winner of Best Risk Management & Environmental Services Firm 2022 – UK has impressed clients across the board, servicing over 1,500 different clients across a selection of industries. However, the company has no plans of stopping, and in 2022 endeavours to enhance and expand its laboratory service, whilst continuing to grow through acquisitions. or the past two decades Lucion Services’ main focus has been the safe management of hazardous materials, a service which it undertakes with great care and enthusiasm. Since its founding it has been essential for the company to consider what it can do to best serve its clients and reduce risks to their organisations, as well as their team and other individuals within their businesses and assets. Indeed, Lucion Services pays great attention to the protection of people and the planet, which is a mission that it decided upon during its early days and has consistently maintained over the years. Serving as the UK’s leading environmental services group, Lucion Services are accredited and certified experts in hazardous materials testing, inspection and management. Henceforth, Lucion Services offers a plethora of solutions, including sulphur testing, asbestos testing, and a full range of consultancy opportunities. Through each, Lucion Services endeavours to support its clients in achieving full compliance with occupational health, safety, sustainability, and environmental regulations both in the UK and overseas. Moreover, as the company operates the largest asbestos testing laboratory with SEM capabilities in Europe, its services are delivered with both quality and efficiency. This, of course, is further bolstered by its skilled scientific and technical teams, who work across a number of sectors and are renowned for their ability to produce work quickly, to an exceptionally high standard. Offering its services to over 1,500 clients across 20 sectors including Utilities, Real Estate, Nuclear, Technology, Marine, Government, Education, Planning, and Development. As the market leaders, the company is trusted to deliver its services to corporate clients who require regulatory compliance to their buildings and/or assets. Through Lucion Services, each project operates seamlessly due to its vast knowledge and abundance of industry expertise. In turn, this provides clients with complete reassurance throughout their project, as the company is able to supply them with real time visibility of all hazardous materials and all risks. In 2019 the company appointed a new CEO, Phil Rozier, who became responsible for the overall strategic direction of Lucion, working closely with the company’s private equity investors, Palatine. With over 17 years in the industry, Rozier initially joined the company in 2005 as a Regional Manager. Furthermore, the Sussex University alumni previously served as the director of the company, setting up Lucion Marine in 2008 and establishing the company’s Singapore office in F January 2013. He is recognised for his expertise and experience and, therefore, he is a trusted industry thought leader. He also speaks at conferences around the globe. Under his leadership, the team has flourished. Rozier has cultivated a like-minded community that harbour the same vision – to protect people and the planet. The team is aware of its responsibility and knows that the work it does has a direct impact on its clients, making a difference in their lives and businesses. Acting swiftly, decisively, and always with social impact at the heart of their decision making, the team is notable for its dedication to client-centricity. Consequently, it is how the company has built long lasting, sustainable relationships throughout its client base. Each decision that the team makes is guided by the company’s core values, and as a result the team repeatedly finds the perfect outcome. Lucion Services is built upon a strong foundation of trust, a force that permeates throughout each branch of the company, as it allows for quality and value to be delivered at all times. Therefore, the company prioritises integrity and honesty, aiming for transparency within everything it does. Be it between employees or with clients, open communication and respect are treated as an imperative. The company is committed to sustainability. Indeed, the company hopes that environmentally sustainable practices are embedded into the work it does for each of its clients and for the communities that it impacts. As a result, the company strives to remain innovative, challenging itself and the way it works. Lucion Services is always looking for new ways to improve and evolve, as it wants to ensure that it continues to make a positive difference to people and the environment. For Lucion Services, the past two years have been a careful balancing act of managing short term pressures against medium and long-term objectives. However, the company, in spite of the challenges it has faced, has continued to excel, and has displayed its resilience, resulting in significant growth. This greatly reflects the loyalty and support of its employees, partners, and clients, but also the importance of first class technical and regulatory services. One key example of the company’s recent growth over the past year alone, is the acquisition of two new companies. Under the umbrella of Lucion Group, the company has taken on Delta-Simons, an established multi-disciplinary environmental and health and safety consultancy that provides trusted advice and solutions for sustainable
Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 15 Two Decades of Endless Success development, and Aberdeen Radiation Protection Services, specialist providers of comprehensive and cost-effective radiation protection solutions. Furthermore, the company has been the recipients of the prestigious RoSPA Gold award, for which it was recognised for its innovative approach to health and safety, leading with a culture of continuous improvement. However, the excitement never ends for the company, and throughout 2022 it plans to unveil numerous achievements and projects. Determined to create a positive change in the landscape of Lucion Services, 2022 will see the company increase its investment in its ‘beyond carbon neutral’ objectives. The overall aim for this project is to offset its current carbon production, but also continue to reduce and limit its carbon production where possible. Moreover, it aims to offset not only what’s leftover, but also an additional 50% of the output. Lucion Services plans to have set this in motion by December. Additionally, the upcoming year will see the opening of its brand new, state of the art laboratory extension. For its clients, both current and new, the laboratory service offerings will grow exponentially. This will further allow the company to offer additional testing services to its clients, without the burden of additional suppliers and their travel and resource requirements. In turn, this will aid in the reduction of its carbon output. Indeed, it is clear that Lucion Services has no plans of slowing down and, instead, it is continuously gaining momentum. The company is deserving of Best Risk Management & Environmental Services Firm 2022 – UK, as it never fails to innovate, evolve, and create, whilst placing the clients at the heart of the business. For that reason it has not only accomplished unprecedented success, but it has become a leader and influencer in the risk management and environmental services industries. Contact: Lucy Armstrong Company: Lucion Services Web Address: www.lucionservices.com
16 Acquisition International - Issue 2 2022 Dec21559 A Smooth Transition FP Transitions is a specialized business consulting firm dedicated to wealth managers and independent financial advisors with over twenty years of industry expertise. Recently accredited as Oregon’s Best Wealth Management Consulting Firm, 2022, FP Transitions offers a full-service concierge approach to supporting advisors during critical points within their business life cycle. stablished in 1999, FP Transitions offers a comprehensive, coordinated approach to wealth management consulting whilst customizing solutions to each client, achieving, and exceeding long-term sustainable business growth. Headed by CEO Brad Bueermann, the company has experienced exponential growth during his leadership. With the impressive industry achievement of personally supervising consulting assignments with some of the country’s largest broker-dealers, custodians, and insurance companies, Brad together with Founder David Grau, Sr, JD continues to lead the next generation of strategies for independent wealth management firms. Brad’s innovative thinking and revolutionary work around building enterprise value and creating sustainable wealth management firms has solidified the FP Transitions name as a leader for the industry. Based in Lake Oswego, Oregon, FP Transitions is built of nearly 60 individualized experts who have grown to specialize in various sectors whilst operating the largest open market for buying and selling financial practices. “We help manage the enterprise value our clients have built over their lifetime in this industry. In addition we work to build enduring firms to ensure the firm provides services to their clients well beyond their need horizon,” states Brad. FP Transitions has led the industry with its decade-long expertise and experience within the wealth management sector. With that, its core services have been noted to provide sheer excellence in standards and quality customer care. FP Transitions has a full-service team of licensed and credentialed lawyers, Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA), Certified Valuation Analysts (CVA), Certified Business Appraisers (CBA) and Certified Financial Planners (CFP) who oversee mergers and acquisitions, enterprise development, transaction support, synthetic equity, succession planning, business valuation, compensation structuring and growth strategies. The company also offers business and enterprise coaching through its proprietary Equity Management SolutionsTM - a membership program built upon real data points from independent advisory firms to help advisors value, protect, and grow their businesses. Specializing in the valuation and analysis of the intangibles that make each financial services practice unique and valuable, FP Transitions has been able to complete more advisory M&A transactions than any other investment banker or business broker in the country. With more than 14,500 business valuations completed since its establishment, E FP Transitions is proud and honoured to have helped thousands of advisors build and grow sustainable enterprises. “We employ strategies that build upon a lifetime of work and trusted client relationships and execute a plan for succession designed to simultaneously realize value for the founder and perpetuate the business for the next generation of advisors,” states FP Transitions’ President and Founder, David Grau, Sr, JD. FP Transitions’ planning process includes expert guidance in areas such as practice valuation, benchmarking, equity management, setting up equity-centric organizational structures, restructuring ownership-level compensation structures to support internal ownership tracks, and the development and design of customized plans centred on sustainable enterprises. Moreover, the company can assist in creating or modifying entity structures to work for multiple generations of owners and cash flow modelling a variety of continuity and Success in Succession Planning™ solutions. “This kind of work takes a talented group of people who aren’t afraid to pioneer the concepts needed to help our clients succeed and to evolve time-honoured approaches to meet the demands of a new century of rules, regulations, and taxes,” explains David. While FP Transitions is notable for working directly with independent financial advisors, the company is also heavily invested in sectors relating to broker-dealers, custodians, and insurance providers. Thus, developing and implementing business transition systems and procedures for field usage. By incorporating these two categories of work, FP Transitions has built a powerhouse team of experts in all facets of the wealth management space. One of its core values is a non-advocate approach to the M&A process, meaning all parties are equally evaluated for deal ‘fitness’ and ensure viability and best interests are satisfied for all sides of the deal. Compared to other businesses within the industry, FP Transitions is considered highly unique with its genius foresight predicting and solving for the industry’s biggest challenges. In the past year, the firm has boosted its bench strength with industry leaders that share an impassioned vision for the future of the firm, and its vital role in the sustainability of this industry, particularly for independent financial advisors. “We believe the future of wealth management depends on independent advisors optimizing their firms by attractingwww.acquisition-international.com