Zanders opens in Zurich
New office in Switzerland
Following Bussum, Brussels and London, from 1 April 2010, Zanders will also have an office in Zürich, Switzerland. Sander van Tol, the Zanders partner overseeing the opening of the office, is already very enthusiastic.
“Our Swiss office will provide the powerful combination of local treasury expertise and the typical Zanders approach of working from ideas to implementation.”
Opening a fourth European office is entirely in line with Zanders’ strategy. “We’ve always had a strong ambition to grow,” says Sander van Tol. “We’ve achieved a lot nationally in the 16 years of our existence.
All treasuries in The Netherlands now definitely know Zanders. It’s not such a big world. If you want to do still more, you automatically enter the international circuit. We’ve been speaking for many years at conferences and congresses in Europe and the United States and frequently provide training sessions there as well. The number of contracts from other countries is increasing too.
‘We want to be present in the countries where treasury is practiced at a high level and Switzerland is certainly one of those countries’
“The major multinationals in particular never confine their reference framework to their national frontiers. They want to know what’s happening worldwide in the treasury field. So do we. Indeed, it’s something we must know given our status, in my opinion. Our international offices also offer terrific opportunities for the personal development of our staff .”
Treasury on top
“We don’t want to be a Dutch company with a few international customers, but rather an international company with global clients.” Under this banner Zanders took its first cross-border step about five years ago by opening an office in Brussels.
It proved a success: the team in the Belgian capital has grown in size from three to twelve members. Two years ago a branch office followed in London and shortly there will be another in Zürich.
“We want to be present in the countries where treasury is practiced at a high level and Switzerland is certainly one ofexplains Sander van Tol. He points to the leading Swiss companies and other multinationals that – for fiscal reasons – have offices and sometimes head offices in the Alpine country. “There are companies such as Nestlé, Philip Morris International and Ahold. And don’t forget international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and a variety of international associations.”
The Alpine tulip
The opportunities for Zanders in Switzerland came into even sharper focus in 2009 when the firm won different pitches in the country within a short space of time. “It’s obviously great that we got those contracts, but it immediately increased the need to get to know the Swiss market better. That’s definitely a must if you want to cast yourself in the role of specialist,” explains Sander.
‘First and foremost these men understand the business, they speak the languages and they know the market.'
“We had already set up Project Alps to gain that know-how when we were suddenly approached by three treasury consultants from Zürich: Roger Disch, Liam Ò Caoimh and Sebastian Bodemer (see profiles). It hadn’t escaped their attention that our company had secured those jobs from The Netherlands and they asked whether they could work for us as a cooperating trio.
They even renamed their business plan Project Tulip,” smiles Sander. “A short time later I was sitting with them at Zürich airport exchanging ideas and it clicked between us. It was apparently meant to be.”
Down to work
Sander van Tol has a great deal of confidence in the three new Zanders consultants who will staff the Swiss office. “First and foremost they understand the business, they speak the languages and they know the market. But they also have the kind of hands-on mentality that we like at Zanders. They are solution-focused, creative and bursting with entrepreneurship.
Now we must make sure that they get the real Zanders identity.” For that reason, Sander van Tol will initially spend two days a week in Zürich to supervise the trio intensively and familiarize them with the Zanders working methods, means of communication,
history and customs.
Roger, Liam and Sebastian will also regularly travel to Bussum and will be deployed there alternately in different teams. ”It’s about finding the right balance between growth and control,” says Sander. “It’s also important for Zürich to become a solid office. As much as we might want to grow, it has to be done in a controlled way.”