Art Of The Deal

A Special Feature by BMW
26 Feb 2018

Power, control, and handling. These are attributes shared between business deals and automobiles — two areas in which M&A expert Goh Bock Seng thrives

If there’s anyone who can see value behind the veneer of facades, Mr Goh Bock Seng is that man. The chief executive of Dealmakers International set up his mergers and acquisitions firm 18 years ago and built it into a powerhouse focussed on the hospitality, finance and service industries. As such, he knows a thing or two about managing power and control.

Aside from putting together deals where the end result is greater than the sum of their parts, he also loves cars, BMWs in particular. So it was with great eagerness and glee that an impeccably acoutred Mr Goh arrived early and visibly excited for a test drive of the latest BMW 730Li.

“Let me tell you a story,” he says, “as a young boy about 40 years ago, I saw somebody driving a BMW, and I said, ‘That’s my dream car.’”

Spending a considerable part of his career analyzing companies and how they function has given Mr Goh a keen eye in understanding the things that matter. Judging a car’s performance is little different.

“It looks like the previous models went to the gym and shed a lot of weight, and came out looking lean and mean.”

As Mr Goh puts the 730Li through its paces, he admits that the latest rendition leaves little to be desired with its 1998cc inline four-cylinder petrol engine that is capable of churning out 258 horses in power and a healthy torque of 400Nm.

He would also be the first to attest that power is nothing without control.

Through the Driver Experience Control, the BMW 7 Series offers drivers a choice of sportier handling or more comfort. And the newly included ADAPTIVE mode gives an added option that matches the vehicle set-up to the current driving style and route profile.

Mr Goh would agree that choosing a car is much like assessing a company. What meets the eye is important, but committing to a purchase requires closer analysis.

“The new 7 Series is very aerodynamic looking and has beautiful lines,” he professes. “It looks like the previous models went to the gym and shed a lot of weight, and came out looking lean and mean.”

The BMW 7 Series is now up to 130kg lighter than its predecessor, given the new Carbon Core chassis technology used. And the eye-catching outward-curving surfaces further give the car a more dynamic profile. On top of that, the Design Pure Excellence package that comes standard imbues chrome elements in many aspects for that added touch of luxury.

Impressive looks aside, a car is only as good as it drives, and in that, Mr Goh has no reservations about the BMW 730Li’s performance. “It stuck to the road like glue,” he remarked after his drive. “The BMW 730Li has incredible traction.”

For the first time, Executive Drive Pro is offered in the BMW 7 Series (optional). Amazingly, the technologically advanced system is able to analyze driver style and, using data from the navigation system, provides drivers with a more comfortable and safer ride by reducing rolling movement regardless of how or where the vehicle is driven.

But sometimes it’s the little things that matter, and in that, Mr Goh was also suitable impressed. “Even though the wheelbase is longer, the BMW 730Li has an incredibly small turning radius,” he let on. “Thanks to the clever four-wheel steering technology, it can make a U-turn just like a much smaller car. I was very pleasantly surprised at this.”

While the first BMW that Mr Goh owned was back in 1998, he is currently considering upgrading to a new BMW 7 Series model. If anything, his philosophy in running his business will also lend itself to helping choose the right one.

“In a company, the managing director decides where he wants to go. In a car, it’s the driver,” the seasoned financial professional articulates. “Marketing is the engine pushing the vehicle forward, and the other departments provide the operational and safety. By buying a BMW, I as the 'driver', have no fear in going as 'fast' as I want, knowing that all 'departments' will respond to get me there safely and on time.”