7Pillars Global Insights
Navigating the Complexities of Today's Challenges and Tomorrow's Opportunities
Individuals and businesses operating in global environments face an array of challenges as well as opportunities. Navigating existing and future challenges, and positioning to take advantage of emerging opportunities, require an understanding of a set of constantly shifting domestic and international landscapes as well as an appreciation of the inter-relationships of disparate developments and underlying trends.
Mark S. Bergman
The seven pillars represent the cities I have lived in. My formative years as a third culture kid followed by years overseas in professional services have shaped my views of the world and the ways in which one can most effectively navigate across cultures and borders. Ultimately the key to that navigation has been insight: countless insights about a multi-dimensional world, framed by a lifetime of identifying and bridging differences in history, culture, language, perspective, circumstance - of being sensitive to the differences, while seeking out the similarities among those differences.
In July 2021, I stepped down as a partner of the New York City-headquartered international law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Over 39 years, I managed and executed complex capital markets, financing and other corporate transactions. Beginning in the mid-1990s, I led the firm’s global securities capital markets practice.
I take pride in being innovative. I frequently wrote articles and participated in industry conferences, as a practitioner and thought-leader. I wrote, and advised on, issues ranging from Brexit and climate change, to the impact of US-China tensions on listed companies. I was a founding member of the Paul, Weiss Climate and ESG Practice Group (and a principal author of the firm's ESG alerts). I was also one of the firm’s two points of contact on Brexit-related matters and EU regulatory matters.
Drawing upon 170 conversations that I hosted with members of Congress and others in the Democratic ecosystem, as well as my participation in countless conversations as a fundraiser and member of the National Finance Committee of the Democratic National Committee, I provided briefings over the course of five years (beginning in 2015) on the political landscape in the United States and the global implications of domestic US politics, to business leaders, business intelligence firms, communications firms and professional service firms across Europe and in Hong Kong and Beijing.
I continue to write, and I continue to brief.
I am a member of Chatham House, and a supporter of its US and the Americas Programme. I am also a member of the International Advisory Council of the Crisis Group, a member of the Development Board of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, one of the leading authorities on radicalization, extremism and the weaponization of hate. I am also a member of the Leadership Now Project, a group of business and thought leaders focused on sustained and strategic engagement in support of democracy.
All told, I have spent more than half my life outside the United States. My father was a US foreign service officer and my mother a foreign correspondent. I grew up largely in Europe (Paris and Vienna) and Africa (Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) and Addis Ababa). With Paul, Weiss, I served twice in the firm’s Paris office and, in 2001, I opened the firm’s London office. I served as managing partner of the London office until August 2020. Much of my work at Paul, Weiss was, in a word, “cross-border.” I represented clients across Europe, in Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa, travelling extensively, and I worked across different legal and financial systems as well as different cultures. In the context of cross-border transactions, success meant addressing legal, regulatory, governance and market-driven challenges (including during the global financial crisis and, more recently, the pandemic), while managing the myriad other differences inherent in cross-border work.