Happy Year of the Pig! According to Korean folklore, this is the Year of the Red Pig, a particularly auspicious year that happens every 60 years, bringing booming businesses and families. Juicy Pig Year factoids abound, including Chinese muslims, celebrations in Korea and Thailand, Oscar predictions, Justin and Cameron, Jennifer Aniston and Anna Kournikova.
People born in Pig Years fare well. Wikipedia says, "people of the Boar Type are most admired by others", honest, supportive, trustworthy, widely popular but cautious in relationships.
...the Pig type is usually an honest, straightforward and patient person. They are a modest, shy character who prefers to work quietly behind the scenes. When others despair, they are often there to offer support. This type of person is reserved with those they do not know too well, but as time passes and they gain confidence, those around them may discover a lively and warm-hearted person behind that mask of aloofness. Despite those born in the year of pig having a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, they have few close friends who understand them and share their inner thoughts and feelings. It is easy to put trust in pig type; they won't let you down and will never even attempt to do so.
In this Chinese New Year, the Year of Trustworthy People, I want to give a tribute to Cogentia Group, my partners in Hong Kong, and their three principals Vernée Ho, Christina Poon and Bernard Teh. Together, we've looked at deals in music, television, film, online games, real estate, theme parks, sanitary products, search, and mobile information services. It is my New Year wish that you can enjoy business and personal relationships like the one I enjoy with Cogentia.
I believe that if it's on the web, it's instantly global. Any business that succeeds in engaging large, growing audiences in the U.S. needs to consider China as a part of their early-stage growth plan. Because of the particulars of business in China, the primary reason I can do this is through my relationship with Cogentia. Cogentia's principals have over 50 years of collective experience in East Asia markets with leadership positions in companies like Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, Sara Lee, Dickson Holdings and Pepsi International. They have multiple business, economic and engineering degrees from Brown, MIT and Stanford and are fluidly multi-lingual.
Just as I was starting TPP in early 2005, my friend and trustworthy colleague Marc Jacobson recommended me as a financial advisor to a group that was contemplating a diversified set of investments in China. This kicked off a flurry of emails and calls that resulted in our first assignment, advising investors in the largest Western joint venture with the Chinese national music recording agency, CRC Jianian; a proposed joint venture in television production and distribution with the civilian arm of the Chinese satellite agency and Zhuhai TV; a proposed entertainment theme park on Hengqin Island near Macao; and a couple of other entertainment- and media-based real estate development projects. This took us on memorable trips criss-crossing China: Beijing, Guangzhou and Zhuhai.
I believe that a central premise of our partnership is that we share the same values: authenticity, fairness, mutual care and respect, transparency and protecting our clients from the innumerable financial, legal and cultural risks in a new world.
Cogentia's capabilities have been equally applicable on Western projects. Bernie and I sweated through many a conference call connecting Hong Kong, New York, and Berlin for IGA Worldwide, which ultimately lay the foundation for the successful placement of IGA's $12MM Series A raise with Easton Capital and Morgenthaler.
In addition to getting the work and executing it well, Vernée, Christina and Bernie have all been empathetic and helpful advisors on the development of my business.
We are currently working on an exploratory strategic project for a leading Chinese mobile search provider DZD Data Corporation. We are also pursuing endeavors in clean technology with a focused China market strategy.
I am looking forward to this year's July gathering in the Colorado Rockies with Vernée and Bernie and a long and prosperous future relationship with them.
I wish you the same in this auspicious Year of the Red Pig.