This summer, a new Zanders office opened its doors across the Atlantic Ocean, in The Helmsley Building in New York. What opportunities do we see exactly in the US?
Zanders took its first international cross-border steps in 2006, with an office in Belgium. In 2008, a second foreign office was opened in the United Kingdom, followed two years later by a Swiss office. And as we became more global, our portfolio of international customers grew steadily.
Laurens Tijdhof, partner at Zanders and responsible for its international offices says:
“Having solidified our European foundations, we decided to take the next step towards our aim to be a global treasury consulting firm in the corporate market”
But why the US? “Of our corporate clients, more than 40 are US multinationals, which we serve from various European offices in countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the UK, Switzerland and Ireland. Most of our American customers have set up regional treasury centers in these countries and often implemented in-house banks and payment factories, which they operate in Europe and manage from their US headquarters. In order to offer a wider range of services to these customers, our presence in the US is important.”
Viewed from a cash management perspective, many US multinational companies hold their cash positions outside the US They are doing this mainly for tax reasons, Laurens explains.
“For fiscal reasons it’s currently unfavorable for US multinationals to repatriate the cash that they generate in Europe back to their headquarters. Many of these companies have therefore established regional treasury centers in Europe to manage their cash position, intercompany financing and risk management outside of the US In recent years, the total cash position of these companies outside the US has risen to around USD 2.5 trillion.
However, it is expected that this will change in the coming years. The G20 and OECD, through the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) initiative, aim to change the international corporate tax landscape in order to create more transparent tax structures.
This will have an impact on European regional treasury service centers of US multinationals. In addition, President Trump is considering plans to reduce the US corporate income tax rate from 35 to 15 per cent, which would stimulate more cash and treasury management activities in the US.
We therefore expect American multinationals to reorganize their treasury activities in the coming years. Thus, the changing behavior of this customer group offers us opportunity.”
The US market offers us tremendous potential. Of the 2,000 largest companies in the world, more than 500 are headquartered in the US. So what value can Zanders offer the US market?
“We are the market leader in Europe in our field of independent treasury consulting. From our European network of offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland, we already work for the largest global multinationals. With the in-depth knowledge we have built up in Europe, we are now offering in the US our strategic advice in the field of treasury, risk and finance, and the project support for the implementation of our solutions.”
Zanders found the ideal person to shape the expansion to North America: Keith Bergman. “We were looking for the so-called ‘chief cook and bottle washer’ for this role”, says Laurens. “Keith is an American with a strong treasury content background, solid knowledge and extensive experience as a treasury consultant, both inside and outside the US He also has operational experience and the cultural fit needed to bring our business in the US to the next level.”
The address of our US office is:
Zanders US, Inc.,
230 Park Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, 10169