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May 18, 2009

Kimmitt picked to lead Deloitte cross-border investment initiative

(FREE) Deloitte Global has set up a new
centre to provide advice to member firms on the business, financial
and public policy aspects of cross-border investments.

Former US Deputy Secretary of Treasury Robert
Kimmitt has been appointed as chairman of the Center for
Cross-Border Investment (CCBI).

Kimmitt will advise Deloitte professionals on
the execution of cross-border mergers, acquisitions, divestitures
and other transaction-related activities of clients, including
private equity investors, strategic buyers, hedge funds, sovereign
wealth funds and state-owned enterprises.

He said the aim is to provide an “unvarnished”
view of the facts, which includes the pluses and minuses. The types
of transactions where the centre can be of particular assistance
are those where the public policy component is every bit as
critical as the business and financial component, he added.

“The idea behind it was to help demonstrate
the benefits to the global economy of open investment regimes, to
try to work with governments on keeping their investment regimes
open, and then to draw on the resources of Deloitte to assist
clients in how best to approach cross-border transactions,” Kimmitt
told the International Accounting Bulletin.

“My view is that any time you do any
cross-border transactions you need to do good due diligence, not
only around the business and financial component of the deal but
also the public policy component. This aspect can pick up a whole
range of issues from regulatory to political risk, tax, accounting
and so forth.”

Deloitte has hundreds of specialists around
the world that focus on services related to cross-border
transactions. The centre will allow a more coherent and
co-ordinated response to issues around these activities.

Kimmitt observed that cross-border activity
has slowed as a result of the global economic downturn but there is
still plenty of life in the sovereign wealth fund market. He said
investors are now starting to look at opportunities in markets such
as the US as signs of recovery emerge.

John Marry, a Deloitte global services
director, said the network is building transaction advisory
capabilities in the Gulf and Asia-Pacific regions to service the
demand generated by sovereign wealth funds.

“Notwithstanding that some of the investments
by sovereign entities have proved less than spectacularly
successful over the past 24 months or so, there is still a huge
amount of capital that is not going to do anyone any good unless it
is put to work,” Marry explained.

As part of his role, Kimmitt will also
advocate support for free and constructive cross-border capital
flow. His diplomacy skills and experience make him an ideal
candidate for the role.

Kimmitt has operated at the intersection of
business, finance and public policy for more than three
decades.

He was the Deputy Secretary of Treasury from
August 2005 until January 2009 and a core responsibility of this
role was steering US investment policy.

He was involved in drafting the Santiago
Principles, which provided rules to ensure sovereign wealth funds
were being invested for commercial and not political reasons.
Kimmitt was also instrumental in negotiating last year’s US
government and EC trans-Atlantic investment agreement.

He has also been the US ambassador to Germany;
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; General Counsel of
the Treasury; and Deputy Assistant to the President for National
Security Affairs at the White House.

Kimmitt has served as a member of the panel of
arbitrators of the World Bank’s International Centre for the
Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Before his most recent stint with the US
government, he was a senior international counsel in the law firm
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

Kimmitt was also chairman of the international
advisory council of Time Warner, where he served as the executive
vice president of global public policy from July 2001 to February
2005.

Deloitte’s global managing partner of services
Jerry Leamon said: “His perspective will be invaluable as we
continue to monitor and evaluate the activities, policies and
business strategies of government-controlled financial entities;
the impact of actions taken by the US Treasury and foreign
governments in response to the global financial crisis and
recovery; and other international business trends and
developments.”

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