ALL OUR CLIENTS HAVE EXTRAORDINARY GLOBAL PROPOSITIONS

All our clients have extraordinary global propositions with a China dimension. By enhancing their team with knowledge, capability and connections, we work with them to improve their global performance whilst managing risk effectively.

The closing date for the Asiability-Hurun SME Partners for Global Growth panel has now passed. Applications are no longer being accepted. All applicants will receive notification as to the status of their application by 26th May 2017


+ASSESS

What are you to China?

Is what you have to offer of interest to investors, customers and philanthropists? Which companies, institutions and people should you get to know and how can you do that?

+STRATEGISE

What are your options?

There are many paths to choose from. Given your proposition, competitive context and resources, which ones represent the strongest return and manageable risk?

+IMPLEMENT

Can you deliver?

Do you have the knowledge, cultural insights and skills to open, negotiate and close deals? And can you make relationships and contracts work over time?

"Never underestimate the role of the trusted intermediary within the team. It's how General Motors wrested SAIC away from Ford in the final rounds of negotiation"

Elizabeth Neidel

Fulfilling the dream

China's GDP is estimated to reach $20trn by 2020, equalling that of that of the US.

Driving China’s surge will be urbanisation, higher domestic consumption of goods and services by a booming middle class, the strengthening of state-owned enterprises and investment in world class sustainable technologies.

"I imagine Chinese brands and Western brands together. They learn from each other, build on their strengths and make up for each other's weaknesses. They represent a partnership between East and West that will benefit us all"

29 year old woman, Beijing, Consumer Citizens of China

A fair exchange

The 'China Dream’ is predicated on the idea of Chinese business champions at home and abroad that can compete with Western Multi-national corporations (MNCs). The significance of the Third Plenum is therefore the nature of the proposal.

The Chinese market will continue to be open to the West.

However, while profiting from the openness of the Chinese market, Western companies will need to play a part in helping domestic companies to become stronger and ascend the value chain. Western companies will need to support China's strategic industries to become more competitive on world markets and contribute, through social responsibility programmes, to the well-being of Chinese society.

For the Chinese leadership, this is a fair exchange.

And one that is increasingly supported by the Chinese consumer.

Managing risk

A series of high profile scandals concerning companies in China have sent MNCs rushing to assess their exposure to risk in the Chinese.

Research suggests that cross¬cultural negotiations fail, not because the scripts and behaviours are different, but because the other party misinterprets what the other party is trying to achieve.

By selecting a respected and appropriate cultural intermediary who can establish personal links between the Western and Chinese group to build the bridges of guanxi a Western company dramatically increases its chances of negotiation success.

"The word of the boss is law. No-one questions that"

"We don't need to play by foreign rules. We are in China and we do things the Chinese way. Foreign companies need to understand that"

KPMG Study, 2012

Exploring options

The Western approach to ‘exploration’ is characterised by direct action, while the Chinese approach continues to be influenced by careful consideration.

Westerners are generally impatient to explore creative solutions that emerge from interest based discussion seeking to unpack suggestions on the spot.

The Chinese generally respond negatively to what they consider to be attempts to control the agenda in unexpected ways. The Chinese will want to take suggestions away for consideration, requiring time to create in-group solutions – and expect to re-introduce such proposals to the negotiating table when they are agreed internally.

Two worlds collide

If you want to understand how important it is to bridge cultural differences - next time you meet a customer from your own background refuse to shake hands.

The omission of such a simple social ritual will immediately undermine trust and relationships.

The five-fundamental contrasting West/East perspectives include:

  • Individualism and collectivism
  • High and low power distance
  • Low and high uncertainty avoidance
  • Direct and indirect style of engagement
  • Short and long-term temporal perspective

Chinese often perceive Westerners as uncomfortably individualistic, direct. impetuous, impatient and short-term.

5 Practical suggestions

Negotiators who prepare carefully from their own perspective and from that of the counterparty more than double their chances of success.

It is suggested that Western negotiators can better prepare for their Eastern counterparts in the following ways:

  1. Be prepared to present issues broadly and not rush into detail
  2. Regard time spent on exploring the big picture at the outset as a positive
  3. Regard positions or offers as opportunities for discussion rather than debate or challenge
  4. Recognise the need of the Chinese counterparty to consult and take time
  5. Prepare for a slow change in positions rather than rapid trade¬offs at the negotiating table

Downloadable guides

In a recent Asiability study, 92% of Chinese executives who spoke English as a second language failed to accurately translate the Children's story "Mr. Muddle" by Roger Hargreaves.

Coaching is key

Within 1 hour you forget 50% of what you learn.

Research on the forgetting curve (Figure 1) shows that, on average, people forget 50% of learning within 1 hour. Within 24 hours, they will have forgotten 70% and, within one week, 90% of new knowledge.

Chinese whispers

Western teams often communicate key messages to their Chinese counterparts using western language, not understanding that their counterpart's translators are often under immense pressure to only convey messages their Chinese bosses want to hear.

Coaching and Executive Training

To make deals and cross-border collaborations work over time, your business will require employees in many different functions to have a closer understanding of their Chinese customers and counterparts. Asiability's founding team have unparalleled experience, teaching senior executives at Oxford University and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (Beijing).

Research and Translation Services

With access to our team of over 50 business researchers in China, Asiability research services delivers business intelligence that informs your decision making. Whether you are interested in the identification of customers or potential business partners, or due diligence reports, Asiability's fully Chinese team utilises on-line and off-line research methods to deliver accurate and evidence based information.

Negotiation and Sales

Working as an integral part of your business development team, our bi-lingual negotiators and business development professionals will augment your capacity and capability to progress prospect pipelines and close deals.

Reasons why we think you'll want to work with Asiability

Knowledge

You want to work with proven strategists, business development professionals and fundraisers. But beyond that you want China-market knowledge and expertise.

Networks

Our team have worked with over two thousand high net worth individuals and CEOs from around the world. And we've educated many of them too. We've also worked on fundraising campaign of up to 1.25 billion GBP.

Experience

We've all made mistakes. All our associates have worked for and with Chinese companies and, over the years and along the way, we got some things wrong. We’ve taken time to learn from those mistakes so you don't have to learn the hard way.

Honesty

Our advice and guidances will always be based on what you and your business needs to know -even if it's not necessarily what is convenient to hear -and we’II always be nice with it.

Conscientiousness

We like success and understand that success is earned. We also know that, when our clients are happy, so are our teams!

Humour

Happy people are productive people and we like to have fun when we work. Whilst we take it seriously we don't take ourselves too seriously!


Senior Team

James Richards - Chairman

James was Group Director for China at De La Rue plc from 2010-2013. From 1996-2010, he worked for Rolls-Royce plc, firstly as Director responsible for China, and later as Director of EU Relations and, concurrently, Advisor to the Chief Executive on China. From 1969-1996 James served in HM Diplomatic Service (in posts including Hong Kong, Beijing, Geneva and Brussels). From 1977-1980 he was official Chinese interpreter for HM The Queen, Margaret Thatcher and other British leaders. James is the chairman of the China Association

Oliver Shiell - Senior Partner

Oliver founded Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (Europe) in 2011. CKGSB is China’s leading business school established by Asia’s wealthiest man, Li ka shing. Previous roles include; CEO of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Foundation and Director of Development and Corporate Relations at Said Business School, Oxford University. Oliver served as Associate Director of the University's 1.25 billion campaign. Board experience includes the London Symphony Orchestra and China-Britain Business Council.

Andrew Cainey - Partner

Andrew has thirty years’ experience advising companies and governments with a particular focus on China. Formerly Partner of Tony Blair Associates and Managing Partner of Booz & Company’s Greater China operations, Andrew is a former Senior Fellow with the Fung Global Institute and previously Asia-Pacific Head of Financial Institutions for BCG and an advisor in the Conservative Party Policy Unit. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Cambridge University, Andrew speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, German and Spanish.

Matthew Eades - Director

Matthew brings over 20 years of senior experience across international blue chip and public sector organisations. Formerly Head of Human Resources for the Atomic Weapons Establishment (UK) Matthew has led HR strategy for UK government agencies in the Middle East and change and transformation programmes in the UK Civil Service. Matthew has a strong track record in cultural integration and developing organisational capability to successfully deliver organisational outcomes in a dynamic global market.

Anthony Becher - Senior Associate

Anthony was a Director of a property based family office for over eight years and has been at the heart of London’s prime residential and commercial market for well over a decade, helping advise international UHNW (Ultra High Net Worth) clients source and acquire both residential developments and commercial investments. His impressive network of agents, developers, property funds and private owners across the most exclusive and desirable areas of London ensures the client has access to properties which may never come to the market. Clients value his encyclopaedic knowledge of London, outstanding recall of property statistics and ability to unearth exceptional properties in London’s complex market.

Jackson Ng - Senior Associate

Jackson Ng has over 10 years of experience working in the legal and commercial sector. He read law at the School of African & Oriental Studies and the LSE, graduating in 2005. Since 2010, Jackson has practised law as a Solicitor Advocate of the Senior Court of England & Wales before cross qualifying and being called as a Barrister to Inner Temple in 2015. Jackson has advises on cross border commercial transactions, investments and commercial disputes. Alongside his practice as a lawyer, Jackson also advises on politics and has a background working on political campaigns. A natural negotiator, Jackson’s strengths are in litigation and commercial strategy and is fluent in Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese.

Luke Purser - Senior Associate

Luke has 20 years experience in fundraising and business development. He has an in-depth understanding of the needs and motivations of high-net-worth individuals, philanthropists and investors. He has held senior roles at University of Oxford, the Royal College of Art and English Heritage and has developed and implemented international development strategies, recruited and trained staff and senior volunteers and raised in excess of £100m. Luke works as senior business consultant for Fast Track 100.

Neil Selby - Senior Associate

Formerly Director of Executive Education for Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Neil designed and delivered programmes for European and Chinese CEOs. Previously International Director of Executive Education at Oxford University Neil’s corporate experience includes MD of PepsiCo Foods (Poland) and CEO of D’Arcy during the economic transformation of Poland as it evolved from a communist to a market-driven economy. Neil is fluent in five languages.

Dr. Sara Ward - Senior Associate

Sara has over 20 years experience in strategy, performance and implementation and has worked successfully with business development professionals in London and Oxford. A research scientist by training, she brings an aptitude for analysis and a real appreciation of evidence based policy. Sara has an unusual ability to focus on Board priorities as well as operational details. She has a deep understanding of complex, knowledge intensive contexts where resources are scarce and decision making dispersed.

Strategic Partners




Clients



HAV are the world leaders in hybrid aircraft – these combine lighter-than-air technology with the best of aeroplanes and helicopters to bring brand new capabilities to aircraft. They produce less noise, less pollution, have a lower carbon footprint, longer endurance and better cargo-carrying capacity than virtually any other flying vehicle.

"The team at Asiability have delivered first class knowledge, networks and advice to Hybrid Air Vehicles as we have begun to address the opportunities offered by China. They have been responsive to our needs, flexible and prompt. And, it is important to say, they are fun to work alongside."
Stephen McGlennan, CEO



At Battersea Power Station you will find emphasis on collaborative work spaces, shared social and hospitality facilities with outdoor open spaces and great connectivity in a zone 1 location.

“London is the creative capital of the world and we must do more to ensure that creative people, technology, media and telecommunications companies remain at its centre. We are thrilled to be working with Asiability to strengthen our relationships and connectivity with friends across all of China”.
Rob Tincknell, CEO of Battersea Power Station


Ditchley Foundation


The Ditchley Foundation brings together leading practitioners and experts from around the world to help shape policy on the major international issues of the day. Its unique blend of intellectual rigour, informality and discretion, in a glorious rural setting, promotes new understanding, fresh thinking, and better decision-making.

“Ollie and his partners are helping Ditchley on fundraising strategy. He has excellent contacts and innovative ideas and I am sure a discussion would be helpful to you.”.
James Arroyo OBE, Director Ditchley Foundation



The Hunter Foundation (THF) is a proactive venture philanthropy that seeks to invest in determining model solutions, in partnership with others, to troubling systemic issues relating to poverty eradication and educational enablement.

To date THF has invested circa £50m for the common good and over time we hope to invest a good deal more.


 
 
 
 

Want to get in touch?

Vicky Lin - Client Services Manager. Formerly Executive Assistant to the Chief Representative (Europe) of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, Vicky is fluent in Mandarin and English and is recognised by all as the most talented person we know - so please get in touch with her for any initial enquiries!



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