By Tanya Marin-Horowitz
When my husband first told me in February 2013 that he was taking a temporary assignment with his company in Stockholm, Sweden, I thought: “Okay, great opportunity, six months I can handle.”
It’s now September 2014, and you guessed it, he’s still there and I moved in February to the capital of Scandinavia to join him. I must have visited him seven times in 2013, which hit me as my airline status quickly approached Platinum, but most importantly I realized moving to Europe was not just a great opportunity for him, but for my business as well.
As an M&A Advisory professional for the past 14 years, I had always worked on cross-border deals, but rarely did I get a glimpse of what is was like on the other side of the water. There are many cultural differences in how Europeans, specifically Northern Europeans, conduct business versus Americans, and this served as a learning experience.
From very different physical actions (and reactions) in a board meeting to learning subtle differences in how decisions are made – for example an in-person meeting to make another meeting – M&A activity is very active here. Where I live, in Stockholm, the people are wonderful; they are welcoming to Americans and very much want to speak English with you so it’s been very hard to learn Swedish because of that.
I think the biggest advantage of living in Europe is how easy is it to get around and to do business. Day trips are the norm and I have been to Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen and London all within two weeks! I’m planning to visit our ACG U.K. colleagues when I’m in London next and I have connected some of our ACG France members with new colleagues of mine in the Nordic region.
I see many emails going back and forth from the U.S., France, the U.K., Finland and Sweden and a lot of it has to do because of ACG connections. We have a fantastic M&A environment here, and many companies are looking to enter the U.S., so please feel free to reach out if you want to know more and expand your network abroad as well!
Tanya Marvin-Horowitz is General Partner at Capital A Partners (www.capitalapartners.com) as well as on the Board of Directors of ACG New York where she heads the International Committee and is a member of Women Of Leadership committee.