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Discover Benelux  |  Business Special  |  Meet the Experts in Asset Management, Private Equity and More

Headquarters United’s headquarters are in the Netherlands — a choice with many benefits. “The Netherlands has a long history of international commerce. In IT terms, it’s one of the world’s most wired countries and home to numerous IT multinationals,” De Groot explains. “Today, Amsterdam is a hotspot for fintech and start-ups in general, while the pension system makes it a hub for large institutional investors. As an EU jurisdiction, it offers a wide variety of legal structures and tax treaties. Plus, the Netherlands is at the forefront of developments in compliance.”

Business mix All United’s offices are a one-stop shop offering the full suite of financial and legal services, but they each have their specialties. “In Luxembourg, fund services now account for 30 per cent of our business,” says Matheis. “In the current low-interest environment, private equity and venture capital funds have become increasingly popular, and a lot of these new funds work with United.” The Netherlands office increasingly supports companies from the US — and in

future, likely also from the UK — seeking an operational hub in the EU. “Another growth niche,” De Groot adds, “is facilitating M&A deals for private equity firms.”

Compliance Core business for United is keeping clients compliant in the face of constantly changing regulations. Matheis gives an example: “The introduction in 2013 of AIFMD (alternative investment fund managers directive) led many offshore funds to onshore their operations in Luxembourg. United responded with a tailored, modular service offering, which has gained recognition and a serious base of loyal clients in the fund space.” The Netherlands, meanwhile, is the most heavily regulated jurisdiction in Europe, and the only country with specific legislation aimed at trust offices, De Groot observes. “The practical implications are challenging, but the clients who come to us know this, and understand that heavier regulation involves higher costs. At its foundation, United made a voluntary decision to adhere to the heaviest regulation in the financial industry, and our success in doing so is certified year after year by a

Marius de Groot.

Big Four accounting firm. Our clients, in their turn, deserve nothing less.”

Advances in IT Asked what trends they see for the years ahead, Matheis replies: “When United was founded, we expected compliance would become key, and we were right. Its importance will only increase going forward. Meanwhile, work processes in our industry are in many cases still very paper-based, so companies will need better IT to operate more efficiently.” De Groot agrees. “When we complete the group-wide IT projects we’re working on at United now – including the implementation of a brand-new AI-based compliance decision platform called Pascal – we’ll have a truly state-of-theart IT infrastructure, speeding up our processes and giving our people more time to spend on personal contact with their clients. That will pave the way for expansion into other jurisdictions and create a solid foundation for our further success going forward.” www.uibt.com

Gérard Matheis.

Issue 74  |  February 2020  |  21

Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Benelux, Issue 74, February 2020  

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