The seasoned banker from Rhode Island and the junior banker from Brazil seemed to be worlds apart on the surface. But when Merrill Lynch managing director Kerry Cannella and young associate Selma Bueno joined forces on their first deal, they made a potent cross-cultural duo.
Most Merrill Lynch deals today involve an international party, which makes a diverse global workforce a must. Merrill Lynch boasts 740 offices in 37 countries, with non-U.S. revenue making up 54% of the total revenue of its global markets and investment banking group.
“The world is getting much smaller,” Cannella says. “Borders basically don’t exist anymore.”
In past years, many U.S. companies lost their way in a business Babel, where international workforces are as likely to speak Spanish, Hindi or Mandarin as they do English. Today, though, as more multinationals race into the global economy, they’re tailoring their diversity policies and practices to the new cultural and business order to a greater degree than ever before.
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