International Tax and EMEA Conference 2018: Munich

May 2018

The Russell Bedford International Tax and EMEA Conference 2018 took place at the Novotel Munich City, on 18-19 May in Bavaria’s capital city of Munich.

The conference, which attracted over 100 attendees, comprised of topical sessions and workshops led by several professional industry speakers and included networking and social activities for our member firms from around the world.

From Brexit to new branding

After a welcome from Russell Bedford CEO, Stephen Hamlet, our host Wolfgang Hedel introduced his firm Haas Bacher Scheuer. The conference continued with a lively session on the impact of ‘Brexit from a German perspective’ by Professor Gabriel Felbermayr, Director of the ifo Center for International Economics in Munich.

 (Pictures from left to right) Professor Gabriel Felbermayr, Director of the ifo Center for International Economics in Munich . Delegates at Russell Bedford International Tax and EMEA Conference 2018.

An update of Russell Bedford’s new brand developments followed, delivered by Tony Carey, Russell Bedford board member and managing director of Dublin member, Cooney Carey, and Russell Bedford CEO, Stephen Hamlet.  

The latest member firms to join the network from Belgrade (Serbia), Tunis (Tunisia), Budapest (Hungary) and West Midlands (United Kingdom) all introduced their firms and delivered presentations explaining their motivations for joining a global network of accountants, the history of their firms and their plans for the future as a result of their new membership.

Wolfgang Hedel from host firm, Haas Bacher Scheuer, got the afternoon programme underway, along with Thomas Winkler from Berlin member, DOMUS AG, with a session on ‘How to invest tax efficiently in German property.’

Supporting the development of future generations was next on the agenda, with an encouraging session delivered by, Martin Bissett (Founder of the Upward Spiral Partnership) - ‘Mentoring and developing young potential partners.’ Martin discussed practical ways in which firms can leverage new talent through mentoring and encouraging them to reach their potential. 


(Pictures from left to right) Thomas Winkler, Executive Board Member, DOMUS AG; and, Wolfgang Hedel, Managing partner, Haas Bacher Scheuer.  Martin Bissett, Founder, The Upward Spiral Partnership Ltd.

Day one of conference closed with a panel discussion on ‘How to prepare our clients for Brexit’ with professionals of Russell Bedford International member firms and led by CEO, Stephen Hamlet.













 (From left to right) Dirk Wouters, Partner, Wouters, Van Merode & Co.; Clare Munro, Senior Tax partner, Lubbock Fine; Victoria Willcox-Heidner, Tax Advisor Lawyer, Tomik + Partner mbB and Luca Borella, Partner, Magagnoli & Associati.

Friday’s social programme offered guests a real flavour of Bavarian culture and an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues in a more relaxed setting, with drinks and dinner at a traditional Bavarian bräuhaus located in the city centre of Munich.

The future of the profession

Saturday morning commenced with an entertaining and very useful discussion entitled ‘The 21st Century Accounting Firm: innovative ways of maximising your potential’ by Gordon Gilchrist, 2020 Innovation. Prof. Dr. Hans van den Hurk, Maastricht University, followed with a session on ‘Hot topics in tax: A round-up of current international tax issues.’

To complement their sessions, both Gordon and Hans subsequently led interactive workshops, ‘Profit from a changing landscape’ and ‘A closer look at some hot topics in tax’ where delegates had the opportunity to put into practice what they learned from the previous talks.

After lunch there were some further workshop sessions to choose from, including ‘Man versus machine’ by Julia Penny, SWAT UK, focusing on the future of accountancy and ‘US tax reform: the international considerations’ by Lenny Smith, from Boston member, RBF.

Russell Bedford CEO, Stephen Hamlet closed the professional programme with an update on ‘What’s happening in the network’ where he shared the latest exciting developments within the network and what members can expect in the future.

  (Pictures from left to right) Gordon Gilchrist, Speaker and Writer, 2020 Innovation. Julia Penny, Technical Director, SWAT UK. Stephen Hamlet, CEO, Russell Bedford International.

The final evening of the conference included a sightseeing tour for delegates and their guests through the city centre of Munich and followed with drinks, dinner and music at H’ugo’s Pizza-Bar-Lounge - the perfect close to a busy two days of networking and learning.

Thank you to all of the delegates and non-delegates who came to Munich for this year’s conference, and who made the conference such a success through their engagement and interest in each of the sessions and the interaction with each other that makes Russell Bedford conferences so unique. A very special thanks must be extended to our hosts, Wolgang Hedel and the dedicated team at Haas Bacher Scheuer who put in a huge amount of work in delivering what was a fantastic International Tax & EMEA Conference. A big thank you to you all!

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