The Inventus website shows 11 US office locations, plus one in the UK, two in Germany, one in Japan and one in Taiwan. Judging solely by the preponderance of US offices, one might expect it to have a US CEO or, at least, one who is based in the US.
Paul Mankoo is CEO of Inventus. He is English, and based in England. When interviewing him about Inventus's international business, I began by asking him about this expectation.
Paul Mankoo said that more of Inventus's business is outside the US than is inside it, and it offers more services in, and derives more revenue from, non-US locations. With two German offices (in Frankfurt and Berlin) it has a strong presence in mainland EU. This growth is greater in Asia than in the US.
It is important, Paul Mankoo said, to understand the markets and to emphasise that Inventus is not merely a US-centric business. Internally, having a UK CEO avoids giving the impression that one jurisdiction is more important than another. He might have added that London is more convenient in time zone terms for a business which operates at the outer limits of both East and West.
I asked Paul Mankoo if there were significant differences between client expectations in these widely different jurisdictions – the basic tasks of eDiscovery are much the same everywhere, but there are cultural, as well as legal differences between them.
Paul Mankoo said that Asian clients are not particularly interested in standardised approaches. While they remain mindful of international best practices, they are more willing to say what they allow and what they don't allow, expecting a services provider to find a solution which meets their requirements. This does not make the experience better or worse than in the US or Europe, but it means that Inventus has to adapt.