EuropeFides held its 2016 Summer Meeting in Vienna, Austria on 15 and 16 July 2016.
Fifty-five members and guests from 27 advisory firms and 22 different countries met in Vienna on 15 und 16 July 2016 for the EuropeFides Summer General Meeting.
Our half-yearly two-day conference gives participants an opportunity to exchange technical expertise, catch up on recent business developments and network with fellow advisory firms from allover Europe, as well as China and Singapore.
The meeting was hosted by our local members from Bernardini & Co Wirtschaftsprüfung GmbH.
Seminar: Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery Regulations
The meeting started off with our Friday Seminar on the topic of Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-bribery and Anti-Corruption.
Robert-Jan van der Wart of De Clercq Advocaten Notarissen gave an introduction on which aspects to look out for when negotiating Anti-Corruption clauses in cross-border contracts. Amongst other things he highlighted the importance to consider Anti-Corruption legislation such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) or the UK 2010 Bribery Act, which are also applicable in foreign jurisdictions, as well as paying attention to the wording of said clauses.
During the second part of the Seminar, a panel discussion further focused on how to ensure compliance with AML, anti-corruption and anti-bribery regulations in day-to-day business relationships with clients. The panel was lead by Dr. Martin Bernardini of Bernardini & Co (Austria), Ching Mia Kuang of LE YU Corporate Advisory (Singapore and Shanghai), Tatjana Dekleva of Chaldoupis & Partners (Serbia) and Maria Lancri of GGV Avocats à la Cour (France).
The session turned into a lively exchange about the differences in the individual jurisdictions, as well as the pitfalls that business advisors ought to look out for when navigating clients’ interests through local and international regulations.
Brexit and the consequences
Simon Marsh of WSM Partners, London, gave an update on the current developments in the United Kingdom after the Brexit vote. As the UK government is yet to invoke Article 50 TEU to formally start the withdrawal process from the European Union – and reportedly will not do so before the end of 2016 – clients, both within and outside the United Kingdom, are left in uncertainty about the consequences of the vote.
EuropeFides proves to be a valuable asset in such circumstances as our members are coming together to support each other’s clients with their business expertise.
New Connections in Europe and beyond
Since the Annual General Meeting in February, the association has reinforced its presence in Europe with new members from the Czech Republic, France and Italy:
Pavelka Partners, law firm from Prague,
FINEXFI, audit firm from Lyon,
GGV Avocats à la Cour – Rechtsanwälte Paris, law firm from Paris &
Atax - Associazione professionale, accounting firm from Milan and Rome.
EuropeFides continues to expand its contacts in Europe as well as Asia and North Africa. We were therefore very pleased to have three new firms, which are interested in joining our association, introduce themselves to members at the Vienna Meeting:
- Eventus Corporate Finance – financial and legal advisors from Riga, Latvia
- Anil D. Doshi –Chartered Accountants from Mumbai, India
- Majer Consulting – accounting and audit firm from Casablanca, Morocco
Of course a visit to Vienna wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the local culture, food and music.
Members and guests were treated to a performance of a classical string quartet – with our host, Martin Bernardini, proving that he is also an excellent violinist.
As usual there were plenty of opportunities for participants to socialize and network during the Cocktail Reception on Friday evening and the visit to Schönbrunn Palace on Saturday.
The meeting was rounded off by a dinner on the Kahlenberg mountain with typical Wiener Tafelspitz and Apfelstrudel and a spectacular view of Vienna and the Danube.
We would like to thank all members and guests for coming to Vienna and all speakers for sharing their expertise.
Our special thanks go to Bernardini & Co Wirtschaftsprüfung GmbH for their hospitality and for organizing a great networking event.
The next EuropeFides Annual General Meeting will take place on 13 – 14 January 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, and will be hosted by Kocks & Partners.