Global Direct Investment Solutions

Corporate Development for a Networked World

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Biographic Profile : Bruce Donnelly

Contact :   TEL   847-304-4655

Bruce Donnelly    (Biography)

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President, Global Direct Investment Solutions

Bruce was the Director of Business Development responsible for North American business relationships and sales for the global business location strategy and incentives consulting practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Based in Chicago, he reported directly to partners in Belgium for five years, and introduced them to many prominent new clients.

Bruce set up Global Direct Investment Solutions in September 2001 after recognizing the unmet need to create a more efficient and effective marketplace to bring top corporate executives, professional service providers, and area representatives together to develop major projects faster and better,  He used the cyclical decline in investment activity during a recession as a networking and research opportunity to prepare the business for support of the next wave of projects.

He invested over a decade of professional experience in this niche, plus two years of new research and relationship development work, to launch the business among professional service providers and area representatives during 2004.

That included the design and development of this unique website as well as  and the internal knowledgebase behind delivery of the new services.  This includes thousands of contacts worldwide, and is designed to scale up rapidly as more organizations choose to participate in these services.

The website attracted 200,000+ visitors in the first year (2004), 320,000 in 2004 (a 60% increase) and was consistently attracting 50,000+ visitors per month by summer 2006 after less than three years.  This already exceeds most specialty magazines in this niche which have been in circulation for 20 - 50 years.

He participates in various professional associations related to the niche of corporate direct investment projects worldwide, such as IEDC and CoreNet Global, and remains a member of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).

Bruce assists top executives and their advisors through the independent referral services of GDI Solutions as corporate growth and relocation strategies and are developed anywhere in the world through the many planning details of major direct investment projects.

Experience : U.S. Department of State

Bruce's international background of more than 20 years literally includes many "war stories" from a diverse range of personal experiences through work and travel in many countries. 

  •  Served as a US Foreign Service Officer (Vice Consul - diplomatic service) in the US Department of State, Pakistan, and Germany during President Reagan's first term in office.  Performed the work of multiple positions normally assigned only to higher ranking officers.

  •  Certificate of Appreciation from Secretary of State Alexander Haig for voluntary service on the Iran Working Group (assisting the officers dealing with the hostage situation at the US Embassy in Tehran) in the Operations Center of the Department of State, 1980-81

Note that it was hard to get volunteers to work in Pakistan under martial law in this "high threat" post after the US Embassy had been burned down by a mob in Islamabad recently.  The war in neighboring Afghanistan created countless refugees, and there were terrorism problems associated with the Iran-Iraq war and other conflicts.  Even in Germany, before reunification, there were many challenges.

Experience : Deloitte & Touche, São Paulo, Brazil

Set up a successful new management consulting business in Brazil for Touche Ross, and merged it into Deloitte & Touche during the era of hyperinflation and the return to democracy after years of military rule.

Academic Background, Languages

MBA in International Business Studies (MIBS) from the University of South Carolina in 1988 (Beta Gamma Sigma honors), including Brazilian Portuguese language study, with an emphasis on international finance and market research.  Now known as the Darla Moore School of Business, MIBS has been rated for many years as the top US MBA program for international business.

Developed sufficient fluency in Brazilian Portuguese to sell and perform professional consulting work. 

Previously fluent in German and Spanish, now largely forgotten for lack of practice.

Computer experience - 30 years before creating this website

I developed this website alone.  It wasn't intended to be flashy, but already offers over 20,000 links to other useful websites, and should be fast and easy to use.  It will be improved as time and resources permit.  A Google search feature was added as planned in 2005 to navigate even more flexibly through the many pages of unique content.  It is attracting visitors at a pace of 300,000+ per year in 2005, and helping many executives and advisors through the open sharing of extensive market knowledge and contacts in this niche.

Think of this website as a rapid prototype during the early launch phase of this business, designed to change quickly and easily as the business evolves through the planned stages of development.  There are plans for many improvements, but these will evolve in response to feedback from users about their interests, and according to the growth of the available financial resources and more active collaboration by those who support our work.

I also developed and maintained CRM applications, including the extensive contacts database behind this business, to keep track of thousands of contacts and capabilities worldwide in more detail than can be openly published through this website.

If interested in more of my unique computer background and opinions about the use of such technology, follow this link.  That includes exposure to the PLATO network at a fascinating time, which 30 years later is still relevant to the role today of building an online "virtual community" and global network of personal contacts.  It demonstrated the enormous potential impact as individuals quickly and flexibly share very specialized market knowledge and actively collaborate to continuously develop and improve the quality of services.

Contact Information:


Bruce Donnelly


Global Direct Investment Solutions

P.O. Box 439

Fox River Grove, IL 60021-0439          


(in far NW Chicago suburbs)


TEL 847-304-4655

FAX 847-304-5375


Cell : 847-951-2913

US sales for fDi magazine - Foreign Direct Investment

published by the Financial Times group

In June 2006 Bruce assumed responsibility for growing the US sales of fDi magazine, starting with many personal contacts and marketing work to raise awareness of this leading magazine about the business of globalization.  This was soon followed by event marketing work as a sponsor of the IEDC Annual Conference in New York in September and at the CoreNet Global Summit in Orlando in November 2006.

These events were used to help launch the new 2007 North American Location Guide.  That will become part of the new fDi Atlas feature online in May 2007.   They were also used to call attention to the North American Cities of the Future award, which will be featured in the April issue distributed at BIO 2007 in Boston.

Experience : PricewaterhouseCoopers, Plant Location International (PLI)

During his five years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bruce developed and maintained working relationships with top executives at hundreds of leading US corporations in many industries about their direct investment project plans, and helped to arrange professional support of their projects in countries worldwide by the Plant Location International (PLI) consulting group.  He also maintained professional working relationships with hundreds of partners and managers for other relevant services offered by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Such location consulting work for major projects typically involved :

  •  location strategy and site selection for new, expanded, or consolidated factories, offices, or logistics centers
  •  capital investments of tens of millions of dollars, creating many new jobs per project in the chosen locations
  •  comparative analysis of business conditions in multiple locations to support strategic choices by clients
  •  incentive and tax considerations, political/economic environment, labor practices, costs, productivity, etc.
  •  analysis from a very high level (which country?) down to specific choices (final site negotiations and project implementation)
  •  confidential handling of sensitive project plans (new market entry, plant closures, reorganizations, relocation, post-merger consolidation, etc.)

Experience : Economic Development, Northern England

Before joining Price Waterhouse, Bruce already supported the international investment plans of many leading companies.

  •  Performed North American business development work for a leading British regional development agency for five years to help attract and retain manufacturing and other investment projects by US companies.  This required coordination with the promotional work of the Invest in Britain Bureau and other regional development agencies throughout the US market on behalf of a five county region with a 3 million population.

Examples of professional support of major projects

Even after projects have been publicly announced, it may not be possible to disclose the scope of services provided to support their plans, as non-disclosure agreements or other professional constraints may still apply.

The following is therefore just an illustrative list to show the wide variety of companies which have been supported to various degrees over the years through hundreds of personal meetings about their major project plans.

  •  Amgen
  •  Anheuser Busch
  •  Baxter
  •  Boston Scientific
  •  Eaton
  •  H.J. Heinz
  •  IBM
  •  Merck
  •  Meritor
  •  NuSkin International
  •  Owens-Illinois
  •  Parker Hannifin
  •  Tenneco Automotive
  •  TRW
  •  Xircom


Personal interests and opinions

Our directory of cross-border humanitarian services for development.

We can't just throw money at the world's problems, but we can all do something good.  The cumulative impact of small acts of kindness each day changes the world.

We all benefit by taking daily personal responsibility for trying to make a difference as best we can, rather than complaining about known problems, local or elsewhere, as though they were inevitable, insoluble, or somebody else's responsibility.

It is not just the work of organized charities or governments to develop a better future for us all, starting today.  Our business is for profit, but also has a strong social purpose.

"Exporting America" - outsourcing US jobs, reaction to CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight

Now that the US election is over, it is time for a more reasonable dialogue on the important topic of outsourcing, business investment location decisions, and economic development in the larger context of the sweeping changes to the world in which businesses operate today.

Few companies were ever configured in anticipation of the global market forces, risks, and opportunities which exist today.  They need to make changes to how and where they do business.  This is not national treason, even though it is a very difficult transition period because of so many changes taking place at one time.  More on our views>

Current Projects and Plans

For more background, follow this link about current project work and plans, which will be updated periodically to briefly explain our business development activities.

The details of contacts about the investment plans of corporate executives, and the scope of services provided to them, must obviously be confidential.  Over the years, I personally visited executives at more than 1000 companies to support their direct investment project plans, and talked to over 10,000 such executives for this purpose.

Now that this website has been set up, and various other actions completed to launch this business, my work in 2004 has focused again on personal contact and project support work through relationship development at many companies.  This has involved introductory contact with thousands of executives to make them aware of this service.  The latest website statistics show encouraging progress in this regard, including the patterns of interest in business regions worldwide by our visitors.

In 2005 I look forward to building up a larger professional team to expand our work to support hundreds of leading companies across North America and Europe, while our independent research and referral work introduces many relevant area representatives and professional service providers to executives who would value their assistance to develop investment projects faster and better, anywhere in the world.

Personal philosophy essay - changing our world together through the impact of each person trying to do the right thing with others, even if the challenge seems too great.  Leaders will look beyond the present and work persistently and effectively to achieve what can be attained, rather than accept difficult long-term problems as inevitable and insoluble.

Business "venture" philanthropy ideas - sharing experience, ideas, and skills through creative collaborative work, rather than just by throwing money at social issues.   Many worthy causes need more creative thinking and supportive actions, rather than just money.  Charity is not a value defined by wealth.

Favorite charities - as in the above list of ideas, this is an example of a private school in Chicago with a unique heritage of community service.  New leadership may be changing that charitable direction of the last 90 years, given their own pressing financial needs.

2004 US general election result - shame on both parties for their conduct!

Shame on so many candidates at all levels and in so many places for disgracing our democratic process by their election campaign behavior and conduct in office, and by dragging armies of lawyers into the election process!

Public service in government through free elections should be a great honor and privilege, demanding the very highest standards of personal conduct.  This was a disgrace.

Party leaders on both sides need to reform their own campaign processes and personal behavior, not merely promise to change election laws or campaign finance constraints.  They need to reform their own conduct, which doesn't require any new laws at all.

Children demonstrate better social skills and values.  This election should have been rated as unfit for younger viewers, rather than as a good example of our system at work.

It is no excuse that our laws do not constrain inappropriate conduct.  There is a great need to restore the honor, dignity, and core ethical values of public service, rather than to regard any political tactic which isn't legally prohibited as appropriate conduct.

We need to set a shining example through exemplary conduct and respect for others who do not share our views.  Progress isn't achieved through polarization, but rather by finding common ground and ways to work together responsibly to find acceptable solutions.  Both major US parties need to look in the mirror and promise to do better than just accusing the other of being ignorant, incompetent, misguided and untrustworthy.


Congratulations to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq for your inspirational elections, and to the people of Georgia and the Ukraine for their non-violent "revolutions".

Best wishes on finding your own path to a more peaceful, free, and prosperous future, and may you always find the leaders who are worthy of your great people and cultures, and capable of doing great things rather than inflicting great and needless suffering.

The capacity of ordinary people to exercise uncommon wisdom and do great things, such as to overcome oppression peacefully, is often underestimated as an alternative to the imposition of change by massive force.  A peaceful transition of power is not always possible, as some tyrants will stop at nothing to stay in power, leaving few viable options for peaceful change, because even non-violent opposition can quickly lead to brutal and ruthless repression through the abuse of power.  Real leaders need not fear opposition, because they can inspire and attract willing support of their views, rather than coerce compliance by the threat or use of force against anyone who challenges their views.

The global impact of more effective local economic development

Too often, a violent minority gains power by promising to make tempting changes without any real respect for others or the constraints of a civilized society.  A popular goal is used to justify their unjustifiable actions.  They confuse their capacity for violence with power, and confuse tolerance or respect for others as a potential weakness to exploit.

The great power that is actually granted to real political leaders by the willing consent of their people needs to be used wisely to help create a better future for all, rather than to threaten or actually harm innocent people anywhere.  It is the responsibility of leaders to exceed the high expectations of their supporters, rather than to disgrace their trust.

Those who abuse power, regardless of how they obtained their power, are consistently remembered throughout history as the scoundrels and thugs who harmed others without remorse to achieve personal ambitions for power, while real leaders are remembered for achievements which they helped their entire society to bring to the world around them.

Whether humble or arrogant, real leaders are judged not by what they achieved alone for their own benefit, but by what they inspired others to achieve together, whether the scope of their leadership was within a home or business or community or was to transform a larger part of the world around us.

Leadership and the responsibility for achieving progress is not limited to elected officials or business executives.  Leadership exists whenever two or more people find an effective way to work together to achieve a better outcome than they could by acting alone.  Success is never assured, but leaders persist and find a way to succeed. 

Unfortunately, tyrants and despots can also be leaders who find a way to achieve their own goals by inspiring others to help or obey them, so the world remains a very dangerous place as they will ruthlessly harm or kill their own people or others if it serves their purposes.

Those with the power to influence or stop tyrants, but who choose not to do so, are accessories to their crimes against humanity.  Real leaders don't make excuses for that which is simply beyond excuse, such as the repeated cases of genocide in the world.  Sustainable economic development can transform the world and eliminate the desperate and appalling economic and social problems which have brought tyrants to power for centuries.

The responsibility of true leadership and the burden of power is not to build consensus before every decision, but rather to try to do the right thing each day as best one can at the time.  Millions of people suffer because of "leaders" who make or accept excuses for their ongoing plight, instead of actually doing something effective today to really help them.

Thoughts on the "purpose driven life"

Roughly 25 years ago I concluded that my purpose in life, regardless of what type of work I might be doing at the time, was quite simply to do whatever I could each day to leave behind a better world than I observed around me in 1980 as I joined the US Foreign Service.

Many events over the years have reinforced that basic mission, or altered my ability to take what I thought to be the best direction in my life at the time to pursue that goal, but this business is a reflection of that fundamental premise.

Even if the scale of my impact might be very small and local, and not noticed by others, the basic concept is simply to do something better every day and try to inspire others to do the same, recognizing that we could achieve so much more progress by working together.

If I am sometimes perceived by friends as an unrealistic optimist, or a workaholic, or an impatient perfectionist, it is because there is so much which needs to be done, and so much potential for our world to become better tomorrow than today by doing something now.

This is a for-profit business, but reflects a strong social purpose to contribute to economic development worldwide as one of the most important drivers of freedom, tolerance, peace, prosperity and charity.

Just as "all politics are local", all economic development is local, and each successful capital investment project by a company has a great impact.  If a project takes 6 months too long to develop into a success, that means people are needlessly unemployed for that time, and the potential benefits of a successful investment during that period are lost forever.  The cumulative impact of inefficiency in the flow of capital investment projects is staggering.

Like parents everywhere, I want my children to inherit a better world in which to live, so it follows that it is my job each day to do what I can to help make that better future happen.

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Global Direct Investment Solutions, PO Box 439  Fox River Grove, IL 60021-0439  TEL 847-304-4655  FAX 847-304-5375

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