Business advisory and strategic support
We find that clients are best served when their advisers can render advice which is pragmatic […] The fact that most of our team members have worked both in-house and as private practitioners means that we are uniquely positioned to understand our clients’ needs.
The Cragus Group is made up of individuals with a large array of different backgrounds, and skill sets, and whilst we all share a common vision for Cragus, we also rely on our many facets to assist our clients to the best of our abilities.
In particular we find that clients are best served when their advisers can render advice which is pragmatic, and therefore, in this region, it is often the case that even tax advice must also contain elements of accounting, legal, commercial, and ‘doing business in’ the Middle East & Africa (MEA) guidance. The fact that most of our team members have worked both in-house and as private practitioners means that we are uniquely positioned to understand our clients’ needs.
Understanding the business environment of the MEA region and its various countries, with its many nuances and foreign investment limitations, is a key requirement for regional inbound investors.
Firstly, one requires a thorough knowledge of the legal framework and government regulations, from import and export, to tax regimes, business structures, labour laws, and restrictions on foreign capital.
Secondly, having an inside knowledge of exactly how these things work, and how to actually get them done is often invaluable. We offer insight into the region in terms of the local power structure and balancing cultural differences and other areas of sensitivity unique to the region. The MEA region which is currently experiencing massive growth, and as such is in a state of flux, either in terms of evolving its policy or more simply finding the best way to get things done.
Traditionally the two most common ways of doing business in the region are either by joint venture or by agency agreement (using sales or commission agent). Both of these can have dangerous pitfalls which are easily avoided.
Often it is simply a matter of finding the right partner, or ensuring the all the correct considerations have been made prior to any contracts being agreed upon. There are also an increasing amount of trade free zones in the region; whilst they are often not as practical or simple as they might appear on first impressions, they can provide a very viable option for some businesses.
However, not knowing “what to do” and “what not to do”, can be a major handicap to incoming businesses. Even obtaining data, statistics, or business information, can often be costly or impossible, relying on rumour or simply on what some sources tell you - can be dangerous. Having experience in this region allows us to help you negotiate the relevant assault courses to ensure that your business lands on its feet in the safest possible manner.
In addition to our general business advisory in the region, we also maintain two specific service offerings within which we have a wealth of expertise:
Sovereign wealth funds
Cragus can serve sovereign wealth funds (“SWFs”) on a worldwide basis. With a unique network of advisors and former employees of SWFs, we understand the importance of protecting and preserving sovereignty over natural resources, and related wealth. We have assisted SWFs in their design and establishment, ensuring proper governance in achieving their objectives, managing their global taxation (including Section 892, sovereign immunity, and their operations for withholding tax management), understanding of and compliance with the “Santiago Principles”, and similar special projects.
Cragus recognizes that there are companies in North America, Europe and Australia who have developed expertise and experience in the Energy Sector that is of great value to the MEA region. However, those companies are sometimes challenged in finding access to opportunities in the region. Our objective is to identify the needs of the region and match these to the competencies of our clients. Through our exceptional contacts in the Energy Sector throughout the region, we are able to identify opportunities that match the expertise of our clients and facilitate the successful obtaining of new contracts. We can assist our clients with pre-qualification requirements and guide them through the legal, tax and regulatory requirements of doing business in the Energy Sector.