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In conversation with… Viasat

In the next installment of Mercator® by Citco’s (Mercator) ‘In conversation with…’ series, we speak with Stacy Nguyen, Senior Paralegal at Viasat, about Viasat’s experience moving to one service provider following their acquisition of RigNet and Mercator’s role in ensuring that their growing entity portfolio remains in compliance.

Viasat took over RigNet, Inc. back in 2021 and the RigNet entities were already being serviced by Mercator. Tell us about your experience when joining the first call with the Mercator team and your initial experience having one point of contact, overseeing all the entities in the various jurisdictions?

A: In April 2021, we acquired RigNet, which included numerous additional subsidiaries in multiple countries where Viasat had no subsidiaries. Although our team was excited, we were also nervous, and overwhelmed by the volume of increased responsibilities.

At the same time, we were eager to start working with Mercator – we had been reviewing Mercator’s offering and service model for some time and were excited a relationship already existed with RigNet. Our first call with Mercator assured us of their knowledge, competence, and ability to help us integrate. The Mercator team were easy to work with, organized, and open to providing information.

What are the 3 major advantages you could easily see when having one service provider when compared to having various local partners?

A: The three significant advantages of one service provider compared to various local partners are the one point of contact, consistent relationship, and reliability. With one point of contact, there is no need to search our directory for the correct firm; Mercator can always help.

Additionally, having one point of contact helps integrate knowledge across entities and countries. We can count on the Mercator team to know our preferences, how we like to work, and issues we’ve had in the past. Our customer service team has been consistent over the years, which helps with historical knowledge, working relationships, and trust. Having one service provider increases reliability and time management. We trust Mercator will respond and perform consistently with accurate information. Mercator’s expertise has also a wider impact within Viasat, in that; our Finance Team also confidently relies on their advice.

How helpful was Mercator during the transition period? What are the services which Viasat avail themselves of and how crucial were those to ensure a smooth transition?

A: During our transition period, Mercator was extremely helpful to the process, and they continue to be an essential partner. We opted to do health checks on the subsidiaries already in the Mercator portfolio, which helped our team validate the information we received during the RigNet acquisition. We confirmed our data and added additional knowledge and background to our files. Accessing Mercator’s historical information on our newly acquired subsidiaries was crucial in easing our integration and concern about a more extensive portfolio.

Over the years, Mercator has also started servicing Viasat entities and the portfolio of entities keeps growing. What are the 3 main reasons for choosing Mercator as your preferred service provider? What makes us stand out from other service offerings?

A: Over the last few years, we have significantly increased our portfolio with Mercator. The main reasons for choosing Mercator as our preferred service provider are our trusted relationship, quality of work and reliability, and service coverage.

We appreciate the consistent quality of work the Mercator team provides. Each project has accurate due dates, reliable response deadlines, well-written documents, quality advice, and quick turnaround. We have had trouble finding a single provider who can cover multiple regions of the world. Mercator can reliably provide services in those areas.

We also find the regular legal updates helpful to keep us abreast of the latest changes in the relevant laws and regulations, which enables us to take prompt actions as appropriate.

Viasat has a growing operation in Africa and Mercator ensures that all the African entities comply with all applicable local laws and regulations. What are your views on our service proposition in Africa?

A: Mercator’s offering in Africa is extensive, servicing our entities based in Mozambique, Chad, Congo, Uganda, Senegal, Zambia, Rwanda, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania and Morocco, among others. Previously, we had trouble finding providers who could adequately cover this area.

We have been pleased with the quality of work, and the services Mercator can provide in this region, and we feel they have sufficient knowledge and responsive providers. The Mercator team’s expertise and knowledge of the various procedures in the different countries enables us to complete our projects in a timely and efficient manner.

Other articles in this series:
In conversation with… CIBT Visas
In conversation with Palico Millé, Senior Partner at Estudio Millé Abogados

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