A company's joint ventures have many fingerprints on them.

Dealmakers shape them. Directors govern them. Secondees work inside them. Asset managers and shareholder representatives manage the day-to-day. Suprisingly, very few companies define their expectations for these roles. Even fewer provide anything but the most cursory training. We think one of the reasons joint ventures underperform is that companies do very little to help their people succeed in these roles. 

Water Street helps companies shape and deliver training and development programs. Our services include:


Water Street Partners works closely with its clients to develop world-class JV Board Director Training Programs.

In some cases, we work side-by-side with a company to design and co-deliver a customized JV Director Training program, including multi-day programs. Such a program would include modules that draw on Water Street Partners’ experience, but are specifically tailored to company policies and practices.

In other cases, especially with members of our subscription services, we provide lighter support, acting as a thought partner for the company as it develops its own JV Director Training program. Members are able to leverage our pre-existing content on JV Director roles and practices, tailor this content as they see fit, ask for our feedback on where their draft material could be improved, and invite Water Street Partners to participate as a presenter for 1 to 2 topics.


The great advantage of partnerships – the freedom to combine capabilities of two or more partners in creative ways – also makes many joint ventures and alliances inherently challenging to structure. These partnerships require negotiators to make design choices on multiple dimensions, including asset and value chain scope, contributions, ownership, branding and IP rights, governance, and financial arrangements. Very few companies have sufficient flow of these types of deals to develop proficiency in them.

Water Street works with companies who are looking to improve their deal-making capabilities in a variety of ways, including developing training programs for deal teams.

Using a combination of proprietary frameworks and tools, a database of deals profiles, and direct experience working on hundreds of transactions, Water Street works alongside our client to design and co-deliver training programs. The content draw on Water Street’s Standards of Joint Venture Dealmaking Excellence and includes interactive exercises for the participants.

Members of our subscription service for dealmakers are able to leverage our pre-existing content on dealmaking, tailor this content as they see fit, ask for our feedback on where their draft material could be improved, and invite Water Street Partners to participate as a presenter.


Water Street’s study of more than 100 JVs shows a clear correlation between good governance and sustained financial and operating performance in joint ventures. Yet JVs are prone to getting off track – with Board members not quite playing the right roles, decisions taking far too long, and the real issues not being put on the table. 

The most effective joint venture Boards periodically step back and collectively assess their own performance. This often takes the form of a Board retreat or offsite.

Water Street helps its clients develop and deliver world class, customized Board retreats. These retreats typically combine Water Street’s perspectives on global best practices with an assessment of the current performance of the joint venture’s governance, organization, and strategy. The objective is to enable highly relevant, actionable discussions that help the Board resolve issues and unlock value in their business.

Interested in learning more. Contact us to speak with one of our experts.  

We have worked in recent years extensively with Water Street to professionalize our JV management practices and practitioner cadre. We have found that their external perspectives helped us to drive real value from our JVs.

Nils Bosma
Royal Dutch Shell

As a JV CEO for over 10 years, I have come to rely on Water Street Partners as a prime source of advice for our JV.  Their depth of knowledge and understanding of joint ventures is unparalleled. Our relationship with Water Street has truly had a positive impact on our business.

Jason Mann
Vice-Chairman, LSV LLC