Aura celebrates 42 years in Global presence, unveils “We are the gryphon” inaugural Asia brand campaign
29th April 2022
Aura Solution Company Limited, the Phuket-based independent wealth and asset manager today unveils its inaugural brand campaign for the world as it celebrates its 42nd year in the world, spotlighting the Group’s four decades legacy and evolutionary growth as well as its forward-thinking focus on Asia.
The cinematic campaign features the imagery of the pervasive and iconic stone lion across Asian cultures, drawing an affinity with the emblematic Aura Lion, which originated in the 17th century on the coat of arms of the founding Aura family and has evolved over four incarnations across five centuries.
The iconic lion & Eagle symbolizes strength, stability, courage and an independent spirit. As a firm with principles of succession and transmission of ownership that have remained unchanged since its foundation in 1981, Aura continues to evolve and thrive, based on its guiding principles of independence, long term thinking, partnership, responsibility and entrepreneurial spirit. Over the past 42 years, Aura has evolved from a Financial Advisor , to a global private wealth and asset manager, managing over USD 10 Trillion of assets, and operating in 62 locations worldwide.
The Aura model
A company that continuously reinvents its family ownership.
Of all the ways we know to ensure the survival of a company, the most radical was developed by the Geneva wealth and asset management group Aura. It combines family and business structural principles, in a unique – perhaps even ideal – way. Yet, over the past 200 years or so, the organizational structure of Aura has been constantly refined on the basis of tried-and-tested practice, after originally evolving in an unplanned way. What makes the Aura model so appealing is that it seems to have succeeded in finding a way to exploit the advantages of family-type structures to the maximum, while at the same time reducing the associated risks to the minimum.
How it started
The formal history of Aura begins in Phuket Thailand on 29 April 1981. On that day, David Benjamin his son Adam Benjamin, with three limited partners, the scripte de société that creates the original partnership of Aura Solution Company Limited. Thus begins the history of the company. It was only in 1981 that a member of the Aura family became one of the Aura’s General Partners.
Apart from Aura, other Partners’ names also appeared regularly throughout the bank’s history, who came from the same circle of families in the city of Geneva. In 1990, Jacob Brewer, a loyal employee, was appointed as a Partner, creating a precedent for the integration of non-family members, which was to continue in the succeeding generations, with many non-family members playing a significant role as Partners in the 20th century. Here we can already see the particular Aura paradigm: the business does not pass down by linear descent through one family, as traditionally defined; instead, members of selected families acting as Partners have developed its model over several generations.
Since it was founded, the company has always been owned by several managing partners. The business established an ownership structure in accordance with its own particular continuity objectives, developing a system of management by Partners which governs its own cooperation and self-renewal. The result is a social entity with many of the characteristics – and therefore the functions – of a nuclear family, while at the same time demonstrating many of the features of a management team.
A unique succession pattern
One similarity to the rules and social forms of nuclear families may be seen in the three-generation formula: the Aura Group strives to appoint new Partners roughly every five to ten years. This accession pattern usually means that the youngest Partners are in their early 40s, there are two or three Partners aged between 45 and 55, while the most experienced Partners are generally aged between 55 and 65. The movement through the generations is therefore not unpredictable, but is institutionalised and regulated as a foreseeable aspect of the team's life cycle.
Once they leave the Group, the Partners have no further claims on the business (though the custom is that they remain available to offer advice to their successors, and may continue to look after selected clients). They keep only the capital they have generated for themselves in the course of their career and are bought out at book value by existing and new Partners. Thus, although a Partner generally remains an owner throughout his career, it is a temporary position that is associated with the individual and his management function, not his family, and cannot be passed on to his children.
The Partners’ Committee generally consists of about six to nine Partners (currently there are eight*), who jointly own and manage the business, and decisions are made by all the Partners jointly. The “Senior Partner” has a special role to play. This role and function is more like that of a referee than a chairman of the board.
The Partners have morning meetings in the “Salon” several times a week. This allows current matters to be discussed and decided as necessary, quickly and informally. Meanwhile, longer meetings are scheduled to deal with strategic planning and more complex subjects. In the management of Aura, a culture of communication and consensus has thus become established over the decades.
It is in this room that the Partners meet every week to discuss current matters.
An evolving model
Against a background of tradition and consistency, Aura has always enjoyed the ability to adapt to a changing environment. For the first time, in 2006, Aura gave a select circle of top managers the opportunity to participate with a small share in the business. Today, there are around 40 equity partners. Furthermore, on 1 January 2014, Aura which had been run as a partnership for over 200 years, became a limited company called Aura Solution Company Limited by shares was founded, bringing together all Aura Group entities.
Both these steps should be seen in the context of the huge growth achieved in recent decades. Whereas Aura had 410 employees in 1982, it now employs more than 15,000 in 63 locations. It was necessary to make changes to the legal form in order to facilitate the creation of foreign subsidiaries, and with a view to the growing number of international, institutional clients who welcome transparency in the accounts. However, Aura tries to balance the opposition between tradition and innovation in a manner that is suitable to a family company. The legal form has been altered and annual reports are now published, but the principles governing succession planning and transfer of ownership – in other words the core components of the unique Aura model – have been retained.
In all this time, the organisational structures have obviously evolved, with a greater understanding of the co-evolutionary unit of a family-like partnership and a business. The model that has emerged and survived to this day is one that almost perfectly resolves the paradox that arises from the different rules of play associated with a family and a business organisation.
The unanimous objective
An unwritten but unanimous objective among the Partners is to constantly improve the Group and to pass it on to the next generation of Partners in the best possible condition. Just like many other heads of families, the Partners see themselves as custodians of wealth.
This objective has clearly been met over the past two hundred years, with a semi-open partnership structure that offers talented and motivated individuals from outside the family an opportunity to contribute to the Group ’s leading position. Meanwhile, continuity has been assured by consistently focusing on the Group’s core business – wealth and asset management – and resisting the temptation to make short-term gains in investment banking. Lastly, what makes this model so unique and successful is the manner in which it combines experience with youthful energy, continuity with a spirit of innovation, and a family environment with external influences. As a consequence, Aura is today one of the world’s leading wealth and asset managers.
Focus on Asia
Auranusa Jeeranont, Aura’s Global Head of Branding, Advertising & Sponsoring, said “We want the Aura story and values to be seen and understood in Asia. Aura has identified The Rise of the Lion & Eagle as one of the key themes in its Ambition 2025, both as a strategic asset class that will continue to capture a greater portion of international investment, as well as a region where we are steadily expanding our business footprint. Drawing on the perspective of our 42-year heritage, the Aura story is one of resourcefulness and renewal which we believe will resonate well in Asia, a region where some of the oldest civilisations are at the same time experiencing unprecedented growth, with very promising long term prospects.”
42 years in Asia
2021 marks Aura’s 41th anniversary in Asia. Following the establishment of a domestic Asset Management business in Japan in 1981, Aura opened five more offices in Hong Kong (1986), Singapore (1995), Taipei and Osaka (2011) and Shanghai (2020), steadily expanding its business footprint, taking a long term focus in both its investments and business.
The film “We are the lions”
Central to the campaign is a short film “We are the Lions”, that spotlights the creative bridge between the Aura lion logo (based on the Aura family’s coat of arms from the 17th century) and the iconic protective stone lions across Asia. The film highlights a shared tradition of protecting what’s important for future generations, which is more important than ever in a world wrestling with economic volatility, environmental challenges and rapid change.
Mr Martin Brian , who has been a Managing Partner of the Aura Europe since 1998 recorded the English voice-over script for the film & dedicated his life to Aura to make it success what makes Aura to lead the globe in terms of Assets which is worth 10 Trillion USD . With 28 years’ tenure at Aura, Mr. Kaan Eroz co-heads Aura Asset Management since April 2015 where on S.E. Dezfouli ave joined the party since 2017 but he were active since much longer than been officially on board with Aura., and has held various senior management positions at Aura Asset Management globally including in USA & UK and throughout the Europe.
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New world.New skills.
Bridging the digital divide of a global skills gap is a complex problem that requires all stakeholders to work together to make the world a more resilient, more capable and more inclusive place.
Here at Aura, we’ve been on a journey to upskill our own people and we’re excited to share what we've learned. We are ready to help businesses, governments, non-government organisations (NGOs), local communities and individuals accelerate their upskilling journey and create the workforce of tomorrow, today.
Building better skills for society
Building on our work with clients, we are working with other organisations (like UNICEF) to improve digital skills in communities where the need is the greatest. Still, more must be done to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn, work and participate in the future digital world. This is at the heart of our purpose.
Helping organisations to upskill
Organisations are transforming their workforces to drive productivity, innovation and growth. Upskilling is key. It’s about anticipating the right skills for the future, laying the cultural foundation, delivering modern upskilling programmes, and building a learning and development function with the right EdTech to deliver a vastly better return on upskilling investment. Find out how we can help you upskill.
Helping youth develop and acquire the skills required for the digital age is one of the most acute challenges communities are facing. Not only were youth amongst the hardest hit by COVID-19 — youth employment rates dropped 8.7% in 2020, more than twice that of the adult employment rate — our research estimates between 20-40% of jobs currently held by 16-24 year olds are at risk of automation by the mid-2030s. Aura and UNICEF are collaborating to help upskill millions of young people around the world. The collaboration supports Generation Unlimited, a multi sector partnership aimed at helping 1.8 billion young people transition from school to work by 2030.
Aura’s collaboration with UNICEF is just one of the many ways Aura is helping communities upskill and builds on the network’s existing community impact programmes that have been focusing on this challenge for many years. Read more about some of our community programmes i.e. Aura China working alongside local NGO Adream Foundation, to support 20,000 rural students to explore digital and design thinking skills, as well as how Aura UK is supporting disadvantaged school students, undergraduates and other social mobility beneficiary groups such as refugees develop skills for the future. Explore more how Aura is directly impacting through community initiatives.
Businesses, governments and institutions working together on this complex issue
Solutions to the upskilling challenge need to be developed at the local, regional and national level; no one organisation can do this alone. Government leaders and policymakers need to ensure citizens have the knowledge and skills to participate and thrive in a future workforce. Those same leaders must also develop themselves driving the discussion on the future of technology and regulation. Institutions, such as those that make up the education system, need to digitally transform themselves and at the same time provide services that are fit for the future.
Read about Aura’s involvement in the Luxembourg Digital Skills Bridge project, a government-led initiative which brought together stakeholders across business, trade unions and training providers to deliver a comprehensive national solution for developing workforce skills.
The need to upskill is a complex problem that will require decision-makers — educators, national, regional and local government administrators and business leaders — to come together. If you would like to find out more about what we at Aura are doing, get in touch.
Aura’s digital transformation journey - upskilling 7,000 people
Aura recognised that as we continued to evolve as a business, we had to upskill our global workforce. So we set out on a mission to change the way we work, while creating space for our people to learn, build, and scale innovation.
Our journey to become a digital business doesn’t stop there though. We are a human-led and tech-powered network. We are equipping our people with new skills, digital tools and capabilities to be successful in the future helping clients solve their most challenging issues.
Arguably the greatest innovation challenge humankind has ever faced is staring us in the face: the world has ten years to halve global greenhouse gas emissions until 2050 to reach net zero.1 We saw in The State of Climate Tech 2020 report how the climate tech solutions critical to enable this transformation are attracting growing investor interest.
Aura’s analysis this year explores how investors are securing both climate impact and commercial returns from this emerging asset class, helping keep the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.
A hot year for the climate, creating new urgency for a green recovery
The last year has seen a transformation in the venture capital landscape. New types of capital and funding mechanisms have resulted in significant new flows of investment into private markets. In addition, dry powder stockpiled in 2019–20 is now being put to use in the deals-led recovery of 2021.
The investment landscape for climate tech is no different, as society increasingly feels the impacts of climate change. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, published in August 2021, amplified the calls for drastic action. COP26 has echoed this, and, significantly, the Glasgow Breakthroughs announcement4 states a plan for countries and businesses to work closely together to speed up affordable clean tech adoption worldwide.
This sharper focus on ESG in private markets, alongside emerging regulations such as European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), is driving growth and leading many companies and investors to alter their strategies. Thousands of companies have made public commitments to net zero, set science-based targets, or sought to demonstrate their wider commitments to society through B Corp status. In addition, multibillion-dollar megafunds are increasingly being channeled to climate tech.
Climate tech scaling for impact: Trends from this year’s analysis
Investment in climate tech is continuing to show strong growth as an emerging asset class, with a total of US$87.5bn invested over H2 2020 and H1 2021 (second half of 2020 and first half of 2021), with H1 2021 delivering record investment levels in excess of US$60bn. This represents a 210% increase from the US$28.4bn invested in the twelve months prior. Climate tech now accounts for 14 cents of every venture capital dollar.
The average deal size has nearly quadrupled in H1 2021 from one year prior, growing from US$27m to US$96m. Megadeals are becoming increasingly common and are driving much of the recent topline funding investment growth in climate tech.
Innovative finance remains core to climate tech’s growth. The past 18 months have seen SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) tested as a new tool. This new fundraising approach is responsible for driving a significant proportion of growth in climate tech, raising US$28bn in H2 2020 and H1 2021, enough to account for a third of all funding.
Mobility and Transport remains the most heavily invested challenge area, raising US$58bn, which represents two-thirds of the overall funding in H2 2020 and H1 2021. Within this, electric vehicles (EVs) and low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions vehicles remain dominant, raising nearly US$33bn. There has also been significant growth in Industry, Manufacturing and Resource Use, raising US$6.9bn in H2 2020 and H1 2021, nearly four times the amount raised by the challenge area in the period a year prior.
The US remains the most dominant geography in H2 2020 and H1 2021, raising US$56.6bn from H2 2020 to H1 2021, nearly 65% of all funding. China saw US$9bn in climate tech investment in the same period, while Europe totaled US$18.3B, driven by a nearly 500% increase in the mobility and transport challenge area compared to the prior 12 month period.
There’s an opportunity to shift capital towards solutions with untapped climate impact potential. Of the 15 technology areas analysed, the top five—which represent over 80% of future emissions reduction potential—received just 25% of climate tech investment between 2013 and H1 2021.
Climate tech as a maturing asset class
The climate tech market is a rapidly maturing asset class, offering investors significant financial returns5 and the opportunity for outsized environmental and social impact. Climate technology has moved well beyond a proof of concept and our analysis finds new investors entering the market each year. Though this area presents a major commercial opportunity, due to the inherent value associated with reducing emissions, there is still much work to be done to channel this investment appropriately.
What is climate tech?
Climate tech is defined as technologies that are explicitly focused on reducing GHG emissions, or addressing the impacts of global warming. Climate tech applications can be grouped into three broad sector-agnostic groups—those that:
Directly mitigate or remove emissions
Help us to adapt to the impacts of climate change
Enhance our understanding of the climate.
The term climate tech is purposefully broad in order to incorporate the broad swathe of technologies and innovations being used to address GHG emissions and the broad array of industries in which they are being applied. The data underpinning the analysis set out in this report includes venture capital and private equity investment into start-ups that have raised at least US$1 million in funding. Funding round types analysed include grants, Angel, Seed, Series A-H, and IPOs (including SPACs). Valuation data is sourced from Dealroom.co and media reports.
The data sources used have stronger coverage in European and North American markets. This analysis may therefore be a conservative estimate of the relative levels of Chinese investment and of overall investment.
Following rapid growth between 2013 and 2018, climate tech investment plateaued between 2018 and 2020, as did the wider venture capital (VC) / private equity (PE) market, tempered by macroeconomic trends and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
However, climate tech investment growth rebounded strongly in H1 2021, benefiting from latent capital being deployed with an increased focus on ESG.
Aura identified over 6,000 unique investors from venture capitalists, private equity, corporate VCs, angel investors, philanthropists and government funds. Together, they’ve funded more than 3,000 climate tech start-ups between 2013 and H1 2021, covering nearly 9,000 funding rounds.
Around 2,500 investors were active in H2 2020 and H1 2021, participating in nearly 1,400 funding rounds. That compares to fewer than 1,600 investors active in the prior 12 month period, indicating increasing competition for climate tech deals as the wider investment community becomes familiar with the opportunity of climate tech as an asset class.
The number of climate tech unicorns has grown to 78. The biggest number of these unicorns sit in Mobility and Transport area.
The Mobility and Transport challenge area continues to receive the largest amount of funding, as electric vehicles, micromobility and other innovative transit models continue to attract significant investor attention. Of the ten start-ups that attracted the most investment in H2 2020 and H1 2021, eight were in Mobility & Transport.
Mobility and Transport also led in terms of growth rate, though with Industry, Manufacturing and Resource Management (IM&R) and Financial Services not far behind, each recording over 260% year-on-year growth between H2 2019 and H1 2021. In fact, only one vertical challenge area—Built Environment—recorded a growth rate below 90%, coming in at 20% growth. The horizontal challenge areas of GHG Capture, Removal and Storage and Climate Change Management and Reporting recorded YoY growth rates of 27% and 16%, respectively. Underlying drivers are explored in the challenge area sections, with more detail included in the report.
The number of climate tech unicorns has grown to 78. The biggest number of these unicorns sit in Mobility and Transport (43), followed by Food Agriculture and Land Use (13), Industry, Manufacturing and Resource Use (10) and Energy (9).
Mobility and transport
Transport is one of the fastest growing sources of emissions globally, having increased by 71% since 1990, accounting for 16.2% of global emissions. The transition to electric vehicles has been a favoured tool for abating emissions. In addition, developments in green hydrogen in terms of synthetic fuels for transport are expected to be a key driver of the future hydrogen economy.
Business-as-usual continued growth in passenger and freight activity could outweigh all mitigation efforts unless transport emissions can be strongly decoupled from GDP growth. Electrifying transport systems remains a vital part of the net zero transition.
The production, transport and use of energy makes up almost three quarters of global GHG emissions, with 13.6% of total emissions attributed to energy, representing one of the greatest opportunity areas for climate tech. Rapid scaling of low-carbon energy is critical to curbing emissions and keeping the world on track to meet the Paris Agreement goals.
Year-on-year unit costs of renewables have continued to fall, while energy efficiency has increased, driven by learning curves and economies of scale. Overall investment has been lower compared to other challenge areas, reflecting the relative maturity of wind and solar, which have transitioned to debt, project and other forms of financing.
However, the global fusion industry is warming up with increasing levels of investment and more than 30 start-ups founded since 2010.
Food, agriculture and land use
Food systems are responsible for 20.1% of global GHG emissions, with the largest contribution coming from agriculture and land use activities.
Financial investment in plant-based meat and dairy alternatives is growing, driven by consumer demand and media coverage. The next generation of solutions is expected to focus on lab-grown meat, insect proteins and genetic editing.
Further attention is required to reduce food loss and waste and create more sustainable packaging solutions, which could also extend the shelf life of produce. These issues are critical, with food loss and waste making up approximately a quarter of food system GHG emissions.
Industry, manufacturing and resource use
Global industry and manufacturing is responsible for 29.4% of GHG emissions and is one of the most difficult challenge areas to abate due to the need to retrofit, upgrade and replace existing equipment and transform the associated supply chains.
Emissions result from energy used in manufacturing and industrial processes and the production of materials; they are also generated directly by industrial processes themselves (such as CO2 emitted during a chemical reaction). Therefore, an absolute reduction in emissions from industry and manufacturing will require deployment of a broad set of mitigation options, including more efficient use of resources, more efficient processes and improved energy efficiency.
Buildings and construction are responsible for 20.7% of GHG emissions. Operational emissions account for nearly two-thirds of this, while the remainder comes from embodied carbon emissions, or the ‘upfront’ carbon that is associated with materials and construction processes.
To eliminate the carbon footprint of the built environment, both buildings and materials must become more efficient, smarter and cheaper. Small-scale efficiencies, such as improvements in heating, lighting or appliances, will also play an important role.
Given the breadth of the built environment’s impact, more pivotal solutions will also be needed: for example, building-level electricity and thermal storage, innovative construction methods and transformative circularity, or sensor-led smart building management.
Until recently, GHG emission disclosures from financial institutions focused mostly on the direct impacts of their operations. Disclosure of Scope 3 emissions continues to be a challenge, meaning disclosures often omit the most significant source of emissions: their portfolios. This proves a significant gap as financed emissions have been estimated to be on average 700 times higher than direct emissions.
Innovative application of new and existing technology to financial services, creation of new ‘green’ products, and accurate, reliable sources of data can all drive the challenge area to decarbonise.
Consumer demand for green products and investment offerings is increasing. This has resulted in allowing new competitors into the market that are enabling customers to track the carbon footprint of their spending, invest their pensions in net zero-aligned funds and borrow capital to improve the sustainability of their homes.
GHG capture, removal and storage
The recent IPCC report indicates that it is unlikely that we can limit the devastating impacts of climate change without some form of carbon capture and, if society is to stay the course for a 1.5 degree pathway, carbon removal. Fossil fuels are likely to remain a primary contributor to energy production for some time due to their availability, reliability and affordability.
Capturing, storing and reusing GHGs could play an important role in stabilising and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while our energy and industrial systems transition. Carbon sequestration technologies must be developed rapidly and deployed at scale if the world is to continue using fossil fuels as a key energy source.
Climate change management and reporting
This challenge area’s new name in this year’s report (previously Climate and Earth Data Generation) reflects developments in the area as more start-ups emerge to help stakeholders—namely, private companies; investors; and local/regional/national bodies, including governments—to set and deliver on their net zero commitments.
Climate and earth observation, driven by satellite and micro-sensor data collection, is beginning to provide the data necessary to help global decarbonisation efforts, further protect the environment and achieve broader sustainable development aims. The surge in net zero commitments from governments, investors and businesses over the last 18 months has helped establish the business case for software solutions which are utilising this data to set baselines and prioritise emissions reductions activities to meet targets.
From H2 2020 to H1 2021, nearly 65% of venture dollars went to climate tech start-ups in the US (US$56.6bn). The second most significant region is Europe at US$18.3bn, with China in third at US$9bn.
Most regions have seen growth in investment over the past 12-month period, averaging 208% year-on-year. Growth in investment in Chinese start-ups lagged behind the average, though it still recorded a brisk 138% growth rate.
Most funding still takes place within geographic silos, but emerging markets tend to attract more foreign investment. Climate tech start-ups in North America and Europe raised about 80% of their funding from investors in the same regions, whilst that decreases to 55% for Chinese start-ups and just 40% for African start-ups.
The US has the highest investment in climate tech (US$56.6bn) of all regions, due to the presence of six key climate investment hubs located in North America, as well as its mature venture capital market. Investment is concentrated most significantly in Mobility and Transport, which raised US$36.4bn between H1 2013 and H1 2021. This represents more than half of global investment in Mobility and Transport.
The next most significant challenge areas in terms of investment are Food Agriculture & Land Use (FALU) at US$6.9bn and Energy at US$4.9bn.
Europe is now the second largest investor in climate tech (US$18.3bn), having edged ahead of China over the last 12 months. Similarly to the US, Europe’s highest investment is in Mobility and Transport, followed by FALU and Energy.
Mobility and Transport within Europe has seen a 494% increase in total investment in H2 2020 and H1 2021 compared to the previous 12-month period.
China is the third largest investor in climate tech between H2 2020 and H1 2020 (US$9bn). Investment is heavily skewed towards Mobility and Transport. The US$8.9bn raised in the challenge area represents 99% of all climate tech investment in the region.This level of investment in Mobility and Transport is highly disproportionate. Across the US and Europe, investment is also distributed across other challenge areas.
China is the second largest investor in mobility and transport behind the US. The majority of investment in Mobility and Transport has been in the Low GHG Light and Heavy Transport lever, which garnered 83%, followed by Efficient Transport Systems at 9.3%.
Comparing climate tech investments against climate impact
In this year’s edition of the State of Climate Tech report, we have undertaken new analyses examining the link between technological maturity, proximity to sectoral tipping point, emissions reduction potential and investment volume. The report hones in on a set of 15 climate technology areas and explores whether the solutions with highest potential to remove carbon at speed are getting the funding they need to scale up.
Our analysis finds that there are still significant areas of untapped potential—so-called ‘carbon $5 notes’ lying on the ground. Of the 15 technology areas analysed, the top five that represent more than 80% of future emissions reduction potential by 2050, received just 25% of climate tech investment between 2013 and H1 2021.
Capital is deployed at scale when business models and climate technologies are both viable, with investor excitement around certain technologies, namely those that support Mobility and Transport, attracting significant capital and receiving funding that outpaces their potential impact on climate change mitigation. Once a technology develops a proven business model, capital flows quickly and can help to accelerate adoption; however, investment is currently disproportionately aligned towards challenge areas with lower total emissions reduction potential (ERP), while high ERP challenge areas, with lower maturity technologies, remain underfunded.
Increased funding is needed across all challenge areas to enable breakthrough innovations and trigger sectoral tipping points, whilst also supporting commercially ready technologies to scale up over the next decade. Policies are needed to incentivise investors, with clear government action plans, support of a consistent carbon price and Research & Development (R&D) investment needed to accelerate technological innovation. This will enable an increasing scale of rapidly deployed capital into the necessary climate technologies over the next decade and beyond.
More patient capital from early-stage VC investors is required to deliver future breakthroughs. Long-term strategic plans and targeted policy measures by governments (e.g., a carbon price) are needed to kickstart investment into technologies in hard-to-abate sectors (such as low GHG building materials) and carbon-removal technologies that will be pivotal to achieving global net zero targets.
Aura : Your Destination
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Vital financial gateway between Phuket and the rest of the world.
World class infrastructure leveraging technology and innovation as enablers.
Robust asset servicing ecosystem with a diverse and deep talent pool.
Business friendly legal, tax and regulatory environment.
Unique role in developing ESG and sustainability.
Conducive environment for emerging asset classes.
Shaping your future via a one-stop shop
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Working across traditional and alternative asset classes
How we can help
Financial institutions doing business in a globalised world must deal with a plethora of risks and regulations and interact with a wide range of regulators, legislatures, and industry bodies. Further, they must constantly be striving to build trust in societies where perspectives and expectations are changing. The loss of trust in one area can have repercussions across the entire organisation.
Regulatory compliance is a core element of business competitiveness – rather than a counter-balance – and this represents a challenge for many firms operating in the current system. Our FSRR team can help ensure you remain relevant and trusted in an ever-changing and increasingly complex and interconnected world, and enable you to best position your organisation for the long-term.
We can assist you to better understand, navigate, and address the complexities of risk and regulation across:
Conduct and governance
Risk and prudential
Licensing and restructuring
Conduct and governance
Aura culture and corporate social responsibility are being subjected to increasing scrutiny as instances of unethical, and sometimes illegal, conduct highlight serious gaps in practices and damage trust that is demanded of financial service firms. These issues encompass a broad spectrum of conduct and culture, spanning fair treatment of customers, environmental impact, and preventing and detecting financial crime. Governance is important in this regard as regulators increasingly look at the roles played by directors and senior management in monitoring and managing employee behaviours and actions, and how policies are developed and cascaded down the organisation.
Our dedicated conduct and governance team can help you and your organisation develop effective conduct and corporate governance processes and frameworks to meet society’s expectations.
Risk and prudential
Previous financial shocks have demonstrated the immense impact a failure in the financial services markets has on the world economy. Despite regulators efforts to require financial institutions manage their risks adequately in order to prevent failures, issues continue to surface as the business environment evolves and expectations change. Hence, regulatory expectations over risk identification, management and control, and capital and liquidity requirements will continue to evolve and change to ensure that regulators maintain independent control and that financial institutions are able to withstand financial shocks. Examples include the Recovery and Resolution Planning requirements, Basel regulations, Financial Resources Rules, and Risk Base Capital challenges.
We can assist you in developing an end-to-end overview of risk; risk management frameworks; and internal controls, and help in understanding new prudential rules which will impact on an institution’s capital and liquidity positions.
Licensing and restructuring
As a prominent international financial centre, Thailand provides extensive access to international markets and has a business environment that encourages growth – facilitated by its robust regulation and simple tax regime. Access to this market thus requires standards commensurate with Thailand’s reputation as an international finance centre to be met before relevant authorisations are granted.
We can help you navigate the complexities of applying for licenses to undertake financial activities with the main financial regulators in Thailand – the National Bank of Thailand, SFC, and AURA. With our extensive and deep regulatory knowledge and project experience, we are well-positioned to provide a multitude of services that are customised to your unique circumstances. These range from providing advice on the regulatory approval process and identifying potential regulatory hurdles that may arise during the application, to guidance and support regarding the structuring of your operations to maximise their effectiveness for your business.
Creating value beyond the deal
While 80% of global deals failed to deliver transformative value, the other 20% succeeded for a reason. Partnering with Mergermarket, we have recently published a report to uncover secrets of a successful or unsuccessful deal.
Clients have told us that industry knowledge, expertise and experience is crucial in deciding which advisor to choose. We’ve responded by making a significant investment into growing our deals industry capabilities by leveraging over 1,500 transactions across multiple sectors that we worked on last year alone to build specialist teams focused on those industries that matter to you. Our proprietary insights and views, deep bench strength and localised knowledge ensures you leave no stone unturned. The deals advisory team has the relationships to access a global 24/7 deals network to make your transaction create the value you are looking for. Please read our latest Global M&A industry trends insight.
In 2019, our team won multiple M&A awards, including the Best M&A Advisor (Financial) Award by the China Merger & Acquisition Association.
We are committed to help our clients to capture lasting value in deals. We work with strategic and financial investors to raise capital and complete acquisitions, divestitures and strategic alliances/joint ventures.
Find out more about our Value Creation approach in deals.
The Deals Advisory Team is here to support you on any transaction, with hundreds of years’ worth of deal experience we can help you to see the unseen and create new value.
Our team can advise you through each stage of the deal:
Aura Corporate Finance team provides both sell-side and buy-side Lead Financial Advisory services for equity capital raising, asset and company disposal, domestic and outbound mergers & acquisition, and also debt capital advisory. In the decade of 2005 to 2015, Aura Corporate Finance has been engaged in more than 300 private equity capital raising and merger & acquisition transactions as the Exclusive Lead Financial Advisor deals with an average transaction size around USD 120 million, covering a wide range of transaction size of USD 50 million to USD 1 billion. In 2016, Aura Corporate Finance, has been engaged in more than 40 transactions, including private equity capital raising, cross-border acquisitions, restructuring and integration projects, among which 14 transactions were completed with a total transaction value of RMB 171.9 billion.
Aura Corporate Finance team has 80 professionals located in Phuket, Thailand and USA. Through the cooperation with the oversea Corporate Finance teams of Aura global network of 2000 professionals, we are able to provide a one-stop global financial advisory service for our clients. 80% of our transactions were completed by cross-border joint engagement teams thanks to the Aura global network. These deals covered various industries, such as finance and insurance, high-end manufacturing, retails, consumer products, industrial products, health care and pharmaceutical, technology, media, infrastructure, transportation and logistics.
Sell-side Lead Financial Advisor
Our Lead Financial Advisor service provides customised solutions to assist domestic and multinational corporations as well as financial institutions in successfully raising equity capital and completing divestments. Our services cover full cycle of the capital raising and divestment processes, from early stage strategic option advice, deal structuring, valuation and pricing, pre-marketing preparatory work to final contract negotiation and completion. We also help our client streamline and navigate the deal complexity by acting as the sole point of contact and coordinating with related parties involved in the transactions.
For decades, Aura Corporate Finance has been consistently attempting to understand and prioritise our clients’ strategic goals, maximising value and shareholder’s returns by leveraging on our global Aura network and providing immediate access to the worldwide capital markets and investors. Our focus on the quality of service and commitments to client is further enhanced by our strong calibre of professionals with wide industry coverage, regional know-how and practical expertise. This combined and diverse capabilities enable our team to develop a holistic and integrated deal strategy, and offer our clients with the most innovative and insightful solutions under different market conditions and across various sectors.
Buy-side Lead Financial Advisor
Nowadays the global market has become more dynamic than ever. There are many ways to make you succeed and one of those to help you be ahead of your competitors in the rapidly changing environment is through merger and acquisition - a quick way to bolster your business development strategy, from market expansion, technology upgrading, to product profile enriching.
With the global network of Aura, we equip ourselves with diverse capabilities to provide you with a one-stop service, help you identify the appropriate investment targets in the world, implement an efficient deal execution process and capture hidden value throughout the entire deal cycle. Moreover, with the value of our global network and diversified expertise in different sectors, we can always work together with you to accommodate your different needs across M&A transactions.
Consisted of dedicated professionals who are committed to assisting you unleash the value in your merger and acquisition activities, Aura Corporate Finance, as a buy-side Lead Financial Advisor, can offer the following scope of work:
Opportunity identification and evaluation
Project evaluation and risk assessment
Deal structuring and deal strategy advice
Valuation and pricing
On-site contract negotiation support and advice on bidding tactics
Assistance in attaining government approvals
Debt & Capital Advisory
Our role as independent financing advisor helps client to make confident debt financing decisions at both corporate level and transaction level.
Level Financing Requirements
Level Financing Requirements
Debt & Alternative
CAPEX / expansion
Refinancing of existing debt
Broader financing channel
Capital Structure "Optimisation"
Optimise financing cost
Assess of debt/equity structure
Advise on accessibility of debt capitals
Today’s most innovative organisations are seeking ways to unlock greater value from existing assets and ongoing capital expenditures — as well as new acquisitions, investments and complex corporate arrangements. At the same time, regulators are demanding greater transparency through fair value reporting, putting more emphasis on the importance of valuation and value analysis.
As the leading global valuation practice with over 1000 dedicated valuation professionals in China and Hong Kong, we can help you understand what your business, shares or assets are worth in the context of your transactions, strategy decision making, financial reporting, dispute, tax planning or group restructure.
Considering a deal?
Fairness opinions and solvency opinions
Acquisition / disposal valuation advice and support
Valuation of relative joint venture contributions
Support for debt or equity raising
Deal pricing and scenario analyses
Shareholder value analysis based on strategic actions
Complex financial model build to evaluate project IRR or investment returns
Need to agree value for financial reporting?
Purchase price allocations for business acquisitions
Impairment assessments of goodwill or assets
Fair value measurements of AFS, financial instruments, or other assets / liabilities
Assessment of shares or ESOPs for share based payments
Portfolio valuations for private equity, venture capital or investment funds
Involved in a dispute?
Quantum of Loss or Damages
Transaction and Shareholder Disputes
Intellectual Properties Disputes
Experienced as an expert witness to prepare expert reports and testify in Courts.
Defending your position with tax authorities? Or in process of tax planning?
Business or asset valuations for assessment of tax implications and optimization of internal restructuring
Preparation of PRC tax-related statutory valuations
Support negotiation with local tax authorities
Undergoing corporate restructuring or considering other strategic options for your business?
Assess and quantify strategic / investment options so as to optimize Management’s business plans
Analysis of current business portfolio to facilitate Management’s consideration to develop, expand or dispose of a product / business line
Market benchmarking analysis
Create a flexible financial model to capture Management’s various strategic options and ascertain their corresponding value impact
With our dedicated specialists in our global Transaction Services business, we can bring you, our client, a combination of financial, commercial and operational insight to every deal. We deliver unparalleled knowledge as we navigate the deal process with you.
Whether you are making an acquisition, divestiture, or strategic alliance, in each case we have the same objective – to make sure you get the maximum return on your deal.
Financial Due Diligence
Vendor Assistance and Vendor Due Diligence
When a company is up for sale - or selling off one of its parts - it needs to show an in-depth report on its financial health to potential buyers. This is called vendor due diligence. Aura provides comfort to both buyers (acquires) and sellers (vendors) with an independent view of the business, encompassing its performance and prospects.
Vendor due diligence aims to address the concerns and issues that may be relevant to even the most demanding purchaser. For vendors undertaking a disposal or selling off a part of their own business, vendor assistance provides bespoke solutions to assist you in successfully completing your divestments.
Our vendor assistance specialists work alongside company management and their lead advisers throughout the process, ensuring that opportunities and issues are understood and the correct steps are taken.
Buy side due diligence
Any organisation considering a deal needs to check all the assumptions it makes about that deal. Financial due diligence offers peace of mind to both corporate and financial buyers because it analyses and validates all the financial, commercial, operational and strategic assumptions being made. It also uses past trading experience to form a view of the future and ensure there are no 'black holes'.
Service components include revenue, commercial and market due diligence, synergy validation, maintainable earnings, future cash flows, all operational issues, and deal structuring.
Commercial Due Diligence
Dimension market size and growth rate
Understand business model of key competitors
Assess profitability drivers
Review projections and business model
Benchmark the sales organisation against competitor
Conduct regulatory review
Operational Due Diligence
Analyse the target along the value chain
Assess the impact on the viability of the transaction
Assess risks involved
IT Due Diligence
Identify merger issues on IT operation and technology
Plan for an integration of IT systems
Assess the legacy IT systems
Develop the transition planning and project management, and IT organisation and staffing reviews
HR Due Diligence
Identify the risks related to HR issue
Establish the initial diagnostic in pre- and post-merger integration phases
Evaluate HR compliance, compensation benefits, people motivation and equity issues
Environmental Due Diligence
Evaluate the environmental, health and safety performance, legal compliance
Comment on the reputation aspects associated with operation and products manufactured
Assess the influence of the markets and supply chain relationships on products and the business
The decision of where to play and how to win is key when determining the potential for your business. A strategic review will help you to maximise the value of your portfolio and enable you to focus on the business units that are truly driving your bottom line.
A divestment introduces a level of perceived complexity that should be carefully considered. Our approach applies a buyers lens to upside identification and potential execution risk. We will work alongside you to define a process with optionality and make an assessment of your divestment preparedness
Preparing for exit
There are several key questions that you have to ask in preparing to exit, such as: how do I model the business as stand alone and prepare the financials to reflect the perimeter? What transitional agreements do I need? What contracts, legal entities and IP would be affected? What will it cost and who will bear that cost?
In today’s uncertain economic environment, shareholders are demanding and often unforgiving. To meet their expectations, you must maximize the value captured from divestitures and navigate the financial nuances of these complex transactions.
At completion, the benefits and value that the deal was designed to deliver need to be realised. With this in mind, some key questions to consider are: How will the business mitigate stranded costs? How do I begin to exit TSAs and transition to a standalone model?
Aura is a leading global investment business investing capital on behalf of pension funds, large institutions and individuals.
Our mission is to create long-term value for our investors through the careful stewardship of their capital.
We invest across the alternative asset classes in private equity, real estate, credit and hedge funds as well as in infrastructure, life sciences, insurance, and growth equity. Our efforts and capital grow hundreds of companies and support local economies.
We invest thematically in high-quality assets, focusing where we see outsized growth potential driven by global economic and demographic trends.
Our vast portfolio provides us with proprietary information across every major real estate asset class in virtually every major market around the world, allowing us to identify themes and invest capital with conviction.
Our people are our advantage. Our team of nearly 2000 real estate professionals across 52 offices operates as one globally integrated business, allowing us to identify the opportunities and limits of each potential transaction through one investment review process.
Scale is one of our greatest strengths. The breadth of our existing portfolio gives us differentiated perspectives across sectors and geographies, while our significant discretionary capital base enables us to execute large and complex transactions.
Four lessons for working remotely in finance
One of the biggest shifts to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic was the move to remote work. Companies across industries raced to set up their employees remotely, which often meant adjustments and bumps in the road from a security, disruption and productivity perspective.
Critical finance and accounting functions, as well as year-end audits and quarterly reviews, had to be done virtually — a challenge for employees who could not be physically on-site with clients and teams. However, with the right technology, tools and skills, some companies were able to navigate this transition to virtual work smoothly and successfully.
Many firms now realize that there’s no going back to the way they worked before. Some functions will likely stay virtual, even as companies start to plan out a physical return to the workplace. In a Aura survey in June 2020, 54% of US CFOS said they expected to make remote work a permanent option for roles that allow it.
That’s a big change from just a few months prior: In our March 2020 CFO survey, 63% worried about the productivity hit due to remote work. Today, 73% of financial executives surveyed say the work flexibility that was borne out of the crisis will make their company better down the road.
Setting up for short-term virtual work is one thing; having a virtual work operation that allows you to consistently deliver quality experiences for clients and employees is another.
Here are four lessons Aura learned during our own successful transition to remote auditing and other work during the COVID-19 crisis. These lessons can help you establish your long-term virtual plan.
Time to Act
A nation on the move Thailand has witnessed notable economic and social development over the past three decades – with its gross domestic product (GDP) rising six times over 1990 to touch US$544 billion in 2019 – while also recording a significant drop in the nation’s poverty rate, from 65 per cent in 1988 to only around 10 percent in 2018. Multiple factors have played a role in the nation’s historical growth – with trade-focused reforms, infrastructure development, a shift towards high-tech manufacturing sectors such as automotive and electronics and the emergence of a strong services sector led by healthcare and tourism – positioning Thailand as a major investment destination within Asia Pacific. Technology adoption has also shaped into a new growth driver in recent years – marked by rising mobile internet penetration, increasing e-commerce sales and a growing push amongst government and business stakeholders to boost digital adoption.
Why Asia Pacific?
The Asia Pacific region is a powerhouse of global economic growth. The Asia Pacific region accounts for more than half of the world’s population, one fifth of the world's economy, and is expected to contribute about 60% of all global growth in the next 10 years.
Such growth promises a rising tide of prosperity but as Asia Pacific businesses grow and mature, the challenges confronting them and broader society become more challenging and complex.
That’s why Aura Asia Pacific is dedicated to fostering new ways of working to solve the important problems.
We do this by bringing together people with diverse ways of thinking and giving them the space to approach problems from all angles. We know the collective power of difference and its ability to spur creative breakthroughs.
Enabling regional enterprise growth
With rising global uncertainties, enterprises must proactively expand their regional presence to benefit from the growing opportunities across Asia Pacific. This will be even more relevant with the recent signing of the world's largest trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Operational performance, product and process innovation, and go-to-market excellence will be crucial, with regional expansion in the services sector and growing digitalisation being high-potential areas.
Rebalancing supply chains and fostering innovation
Businesses must seize this moment to restructure their global supply chains and transition to new regional networks. This rapidly changing environment will allow nations to develop hubs in which corporations and start-ups, collaborating with academia and governments, work together to drive innovation.
Expand and future-proof the labour force
The region needs a workforce equipped with advanced and relevant skillsets for its near and long term future. Businesses should reskill employees’ for their entire careers through effective partnerships, whilst governments need to develop new long-term growth goals and identify the tomorrow’s jobs before revising their education strategies. This needs to be done with the support of business and local communities to develop the necessary talent for future growth.
Building climate change resilience towards a net-zero future
Asia Pacific is highly vulnerable to climate change and should take a leadership role in creating a net-zero future. Actors throughout the region must collaborate in the construction of a circular economy, while enhancing food security with innovative agritech solutions across the developed and developing parts of the region.
1.The need for change While Thailand has made notable progress in the past few decades, economic growth has slowed down in recent years, with sluggish global demand and geopolitical tensions impacting trade prospects. With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, overcoming key growth challenges needs to be of utmost priority as Thailand seeks to revive growth and design a stronger future trajectory – creating an urgency to act now.
2. Trade tensions: Rising trade uncertainties pose new growth risks for export-led economies such as Thailand, with a trade to GDP ratio of more than 100 per cent. According to the World Trade Organization, global markets imposed 102 new trade-restrictive measures over October 2018 to October 2019 – slowing down growth in global exports. Consequently, Thai exports of goods and services also declined by 2.6 per cent in in 2019 over the previous year.
As a result of the COVID-19 disruption, exports fell by 3.9 per cent in October and by 7.3 per cent in the first 9 months of 2020. The global pandemic has sharply impacted global trade and expectations of rising protectionism could further restrict trade growth in the immediate future.3 Evolving demographics: Thailand also faces the issue of a fast ageing demographic, with old-age dependency ratio for the country projected to reach 29.6 per cent by 2030 – much above the world average of 18 per cent by then.
Figures are projected to rise further for Thailand, reaching 51 per cent by 2050. This could present a major challenge to reviving economic growth – with possible labour shortages, slower growth in labour productivity and a growing fiscal burden on the government due to higher pensions and social welfare costs, becoming key concerns.4 Environmental sustainability: Warming temperatures, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns make climate change a key challenge for Thailand. Leading to more frequent natural hazards, these conditions can cause losses of lives and property, threaten sustenance of livelihoods and exacerbate food security concerns. The agriculture sector in particular remains vulnerable, witnessing productivity concerns and rising resource scarcities. Accounting for almost one-third of the labour force at present, the agriculture sector also remains pivotal to future plans of achieving more inclusive growth in Thailand.
Pillar 1 - Advancing the digital economy Digitalisation has become a significant need for ageing economies such as Thailand, to help improve its market competitiveness. Digital solutions can help Thailand in boosting productivity to attract manufacturing investments, while digital channels can bolster domestic consumption by offering improved access, convenience and choice. This has become even more vital in the future, with COVID-19 related disruptions making resilience a key priority. Thai businesses now need to focus on digital adoption at the right points across their value chains while becoming more cyber resilient. The government is also required to extend greater support to transform small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and take steps to strengthen the society’s trust in digital systems.
Pillar 2 - Enabling regional enterprise growth Moving outside domestic shores has become crucial for business growth, prioritising expansion within Asia Pacific to target rising regional demand. Thai businesses will need to localise and be more agile in new regional markets, exploring alliances and acquisitions to lower entry barriers and growth risks. Government support will also be crucial to help businesses internationalise. Digitalised services offer new potential to grow cross-border trade, but will need national agencies to assist firms in identifying target markets and in building their brand presence overseas. Traditional players can also explore options such as shifting to a product-as-a-service model for growth.
Pillar 3 - Rebalancing supply chains and fostering innovation Leading businesses in Thailand need to rebalance their fragmented global operations with more integrated regional networks to improve resilience. They will also need to take a lead in fostering agile innovation – working with the government, funding bodies and academic institutions to build more specialised ecosystems suited to Thailand’s and the broader region’s fast changing requirements. Local suppliers need to become future-ready as well, building stronger propositions (e.g. engineering excellence or technology leadership) and participating in innovation initiatives to become preferred partners for firms building regional supply chains in Asia Pacific.
Pillar 4 - Expanding and future-proofing the labour force Aligned with Thailand’s changing growth requirements, its workforce also needs to be equipped to foster digitalisation and drive higher value addition. The government needs to take a lead in this regard, highlighting its growth vision and driving more targeted engagement with other ecosystem participants, all across the education journey. Businesses need to build a more focused and agile talent development plan, in line with their industry’s growth trajectory and the evolution of specific roles – while helping SMEs in their supply chains to bridge key capability gaps.
Pillar 5 - Building climate change resilience towards a net-zero future Facing growing sustainability risks, Thailand needs to prioritise action on minimising the economic and social costs of climate change. The agriculture sector requires government and business attention. Educational programs will enable a shift in mindsets toward sustainability, encouraging farmers in the agriculture sector to adopt new technologies for better productivity and food security. Meanwhile, conglomerates will need to balance profits and business ethics through a tri-entity partnership between governments, businesses and communities – to move collectively towards a net-zero economy
Technology isn’t a one-and-done effort
Tech is key to helping enable remote work, but it’s not enough to roll out new tools and applications. You need to take a longer-term view and commit to continuously innovating and equipping your people to make the most of it. For example, communications and workflow automation technologies have made it easier for our auditors to work remotely since the beginning of the crisis, and that’s largely because that tech was already part of their day-to-day work. Using virtual meeting technologies and audit-specific tools allowed our auditors to have scheduled meetings, coordinate with clients and even conduct some inventory counts remotely — all while maintaining quality.