French Insider Podcast Episode 4: Time Management, Customer Service, and Negotiations as a French Business in the U.S. with Aurélie Bessière


Expanding your business to another country is not easy: there are cultural barriers and business idiosyncrasies to learn. In this episode, we’re exploring some of the important steps every French company looking to develop, launch, and grow a business in the U.S. should understand.

Joining host Valérie Demont is Aurélie Bessière, Venture Partner at Otium Capital, the family office of Pierre-Edouard Stérin. Prior to joining Otium, Aurélie was the CEO for Palais des Thés USA, the US subsidiary of Palais des Thés, a French specialty tea company with operations around the world. In her role she led the establishment and growth of Palais des Thés in the US for over ten years.

Valérie Demont is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s New York Office and the Co-Chair of Sheppard Mullin’s French Desk. Valérie focuses her practice primarily on U.S. and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and securities offerings and corporate governance matters. She has been involved in numerous mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and dispositions for corporations and private equity funds in the U.S., Europe and Asia (including India). In particular, she routinely advises foreign companies with the establishment and growth of their operations in the United States.

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What We Discussed in This Episode

  • How to prepare for the launch and growth of a business in the U.S.?
  • What role do customers play in the development of a project?
  • How can business leaders get feedback from their customers?
  • Should sales and marketing be led by a U.S. workforce or the French team of founders, owners, and business developers?
  • When is using a VIE a good idea?
  • The differences between French customers and U.S. customers and how they vary depending on whether the business is B2B or B2C?
  • How do negotiations differ between individuals doing business in France and individuals doing business in the U.S.?
  • Why it is important to speak with other business leaders in a similar industry as yours who have done what you want to do

Contact Information

Aurélie Bessière’s LinkedIn Profile - 

Sheppard Mullin French Desk: 

Co-Chair - Valérie Demont –

Co-Chair: Christine Hoefliger Hourcade -

Thank you for listening!

This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.


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