Gordon Brothers Expands Into Latin America, Forms Partnership With Planconsult
Date june 2016
Featured in ABL Advisor
Today, Gordon Brothers Group announced the expansion of its global footprint into Latin America with a strategic partnership with Planconsult, a leading Brazilian appraisal business. ABL Advisor caught up with Rafael Klotz, a Senior Managing Director of Gordon Brothers International who is leading the initiative to find out more about the expansion and the firm’s new partner, Planconsult.
On the international front, Klotz explains Gordon Brothers has been focused primarily on growing the company’s existing business in Europe, Japan and other Asian markets. “We’ve been looking at expanding into Latin America for quite some time and we thought it made most sense to focus on the largest economies – Argentina, Brazil and Mexico,” Klotz explains.
While Brazil has more than its share of political and financial issues, Klotz maintains the country still has all of the elements needed to make it the logical starting point for expansion into Latin America. He says, “For starters, it’s the largest economy in Latin America by a long shot and ranks as the seventh to ninth largest economy in the world, depending where the GDP falls. While there are other countries in Latin America, like Chile for example, where it would be easier to start a business from a structural, legal and commercial point of view, they still don’t hold the promise that Brazil does.”
For Klotz and the Gordon Brothers team, the country’s large population of nearly 209.5 million people, the size of its market, its significant economic influence in the region, its robust retail sector and abundance of industrial opportunities all support entering the Latin American region through Brazil.
Finding the Right Partner
As for partnering with Planconsult, Klotz explains, “As most people know, the asset valuation business has always been an important part of our business. We considered our options when we began researching Brazil. We could have built the business from the ground up or taken the route of partnering with an existing firm. When we looked at Planconsult, which has been in business for 40 years now, we immediately could see the benefits of entering the market through this partnership. Aligning with Planconsult comes with a built-in book of connections, networking opportunities and an intimate knowledge of the market. “In Brazil, you really want to have a local partner that is well established and understands the intricacies of this market. We have found that in our new partnership with Planconsult.”
Klotz also points out that the strategic partnership with Gordon Brothers opens up opportunities that were previously difficult for Planconsult to leverage. He says, “Over the last few weeks, we have been working on a number of cross-border opportunities that involve Planconsult and Gordon Brothers’ international offices. Our partners at Planconsult have already begun to benefit by being part of a global group as opposed to being a Brazilian business only.”
To underscore his point, Klotz states, “That’s what makes this the right people, the right company and the right time to start this business. In the past as situations arose in the region, we had to deploy a number of Gordon Brothers professionals from the U.S. or Europe to conduct due diligence. Today, we have a local and regional partner to manage the process.”
Moreover, Klotz explains that Planconsult and Gordon Brothers Group share important similarities that go beyond the specifics of the appraisal business. He notes that both are family-owned businesses that have grown over the years to occupy leadership positions in their respective markets. “We’ve spent a great deal of time with one another both here in the States as well as in Brazil and everyone across the board agrees that we share similar values and perspectives … and that’s exactly what you need in a joint venture such as this.”
Financial and political concerns notwithstanding, Klotz remains excited about the opportunities that Gordon Brothers’ expansion into Latin America and its partnership with Planconsult present. “We think that in time, Latin America could be as large a market for our business as Europe is today. That’s why we’re putting a great deal of resources, time and effort into this expansion and we’re already seeing results. We have a robust pipeline and we expect to begin announcing deals in the very near future.”
“And we’re hearing great things from the large banks and private equity firms there too. They tell us that no other firm is providing the vast suite of products and liquidity that we are offering in Brazil. We think that this is the beginning of a very long relationship with Brazil and with Latin America, in general.”