Zanders Annual Treasury & Risk Seminar, Belgium

Zanders Annual Treasury & Risk Seminar, Belgium

On the 26th of June 2018, the Zanders Belgium Annual Treasury and Risk Seminar was held in Antwerp where more than 45 invited experts gathered in the beautiful Port of Antwerp to discuss the trends in and the future of Corporate Treasury.

The seminar was opened by Laurens Tijdhof, Partner at Zanders, who addressed the trending topics in Treasury. Laurens discussed how we are challenged and enabled by the race towards treasury maturity, the exponential growth in technology, the ongoing trend of centralization and numerous regulatory changes.

Dirk Verberne, former Corporate Cash Manager at DSM, took the floor to discuss the long walk of DSM towards their mature treasury organization. Not only consulting firms, but also banks describe the DSM treasury infrastructure as a ‘state of the art’ treasury. Although labelled as such, Dirk emphasizes the ongoing difficulties faced by the organization when trying to make treasury following their corporate strategy of continuous growth. A constant trade-off between the so called ‘handicap of the head start’ and their willingness to stay state of the art requires thorough management and close cooperation with IT.

Inge Van Dommelen, Leader Cash Management Operations at Equinor, described how Equinor addresses changes in their environment. Their ongoing efforts for ‘making treasury future proof’ result in a very mature treasury and serve as an example for a lot of other companies. Especially their anticipation on an RPA future inspired a lot of the participants of the seminar.

After a short coffee break, Tony McLaughlin, Managing Director at Citi, challenged the audience by triggering everyone to think about the future of money. Is everything that is happening now in the payments landscape a game changing opportunity, or will we afterwards review it as just being yet another digital disruption? Tony convinced us that current disruptions help to accelerate change and drive transformation but emphasizes the huge importance of communication and co-operation between corporates and banks.

Rogier Sterk and Aldo Engels, Senior Tax Advisers at Loyens & Loeff, both highly experienced with transfer pricing, took the final presentation of the day for their account. Rogier started off by clarifying the huge range of guidelines and regulations regarding transfer pricing. He emphasized how clear documentation and a consistent process is key to avoid challenges by tax authorities. Next to that, he shed some light on the division of benefits in notional or physical cash pools. Aldo complemented the presentation of Rogier by sharing the specifics of the Belgian transfer pricing regulations and his experience with Belgian tax authorities.

On top of all the above, the Port House of Antwerp offered the magnificent surroundings for the more informal exchange between the experts in treasury and risk present on yet another successful Zanders Belgium seminar.