Finance Monthly

Luis G. Ramirez V.

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Luis G. Ramirez V.

Luis Gerardo Ramirez Villela

In the intricate world of legal practice, few have navigated the labyrinth of Corporate law, Banking & Finance, and Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as adeptly as Luis G. Ramírez V. With a career spanning over two decades, he has witnessed seismic shifts in the landscape and adapted to each one, emerging as a trusted advisor for businesses across various sectors. In this candid conversation with Finance Monthly, Mr. Ramírez sheds light on the evolution of these domains, the challenges they present today, and how the pandemic has changed the M&A landscape.

Changing Landscapes of M&A, Banking, and Finance

Luis, how have Corporate law, Banking & Finance, and M&A landscapes evolved over the years in the regions you predominantly operate in?

In general, legal practice has evolved over the years and regions considerably. Now, with the integration of ESG principles and the evolution in the operation of companies due to the pandemic and recession, everything has changed. From the banking and finance perspective, today, it is more complicated to obtain and negotiate financing terms and conditions, while in the M&A market, the impact has been in the reduction of transactions.

Can you share a notable case or transaction in which you played a significant role and the key challenges you encountered?

Recently, I had an M&A transaction where we encountered several issues not only related to the consequences of the pandemic but also due to recent changes in applicable laws, which made me create a different structure for potentially closing the transaction. Since we were acquiring, the key challenges were related not only to the M&A closing with respect to determining the risks derived from the pandemic and changes in the law but also to obtaining the financing for such purposes, which, in this year, is more complicated than before the pandemic.

With global economic shifts and the emergence of new financial technologies, how have client needs and challenges transformed in Banking & Finance?

Clients’ needs, at least in the regions I work with, have not changed that much; however, everyone is challenged by these new technologies, and therefore, structuring loans from the borrower or lender perspective is evolving, and that implicates involving not only on the legal perspective but also on the financial and business perspective to understand client needs and have a successful transaction.

Are particular sectors or industries currently driving the bulk of M&A activities, and if so, what trends are you observing?

Considering that this year, the M&A transactions slowed down, based on the work I have done this year, I definitely would have to say that it all depends on the clients. There are no specific trends from one sector, but that will change for sure in 2024.

Regarding Corporate law, how have changing global regulations and the push for more transparency affected how businesses operate and seek counsel?

Evolution, in general, is making clients implement ESG strategies and, therefore, have a more defined corporate governance strategy, which I am handling right now with several foreign and domestic clients. The need to create an efficient ESG program for all business purposes is doing that clients search for counsel with experience and a general legal background.

From my perspective, in the next two years, corporate work will increase since most of the companies will push for creating a better business strategy not only in compliance with applicable laws but also for purposes of achieving their goals, being competitive in their specific market and standing out for customers and stakeholders.

You’ve amassed over two decades of experience across various legal specialisms. How does your multifaceted expertise give you an advantage in the industry?

Now, it is an excellent advantage to have had a general practice, although I have focuses in some specific areas. As of today, clients prefer having a partner in charge of everything and with general knowledge of legal specialisms, rather than having several partners involved in one single transaction, which might be cost and time effective.

Within Capital Markets, how have you seen the landscape evolve in Mexico, especially concerning global trends?

Unfortunately, capital markets transactions in Mexico have reduced since the pandemic, and except for REITs there is little interest nowadays for companies to be listed in the stock markets or carrying out public or private offerings.

When representing companies in the buying and selling process of shares and assets, both domestically and internationally, what are the common challenges or misconceptions companies might have?

I would have to say that the most challenging part is now the structuring of the indemnification procedures. In Mexico, laws have been changing, and asset transactions may trigger other consequences to be analyzed in detail. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out a diligent process to give a good assessment to clients and determine the best structure for completing the transaction. Besides that part, the negotiation of the indemnification process continues to be challenging as well for both domestic and international transactions.

Finally, with such a notable career, what advice would you give to budding legal professionals aspiring to make their mark in M&A?

I would say that preparing and continuing to study is a basic requirement for reaching goals not only in M&A but in any area in which they would like to be focused. Legal education must always continue, and with the recent implementation of artificial intelligence, it is necessary to keep updated and focus not only on work but also on networking and taking risks in implementing and creating new work structures.

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