KPMG Luxembourg EXCO;

KPMG Luxembourg today announced that living the future today has brought the firm healthy growth in 2018; KPMG’s revenues have risen by 8%, an increase that the firm attributes to having a clear focus on a sustainable future built on smart alliances, cutting-edge technology and empowered people.

Managing Partner, Philippe Meyer, explained “Uncertain times call for bold measures. Our clients understand this, and we are helping prepare their businesses for a changing future. As the momentum builds around digitalization, so too does our agility, our expertise and our dedication to providing the solutions that will survive this era of transformation. By proactively planning our roadmap to navigate this changing world, we are equipping our firm for continued success.”

Frauke Oddone, Head of Markets, explained how innovation and smart alliances are critical for Luxembourg’s digital future “Today’s business environment runs on innovation. It’s not a priority, but rather a necessity for growth. In that context, we have recently finalized a strategic collaboration with Kiana, an AI start-up acquired by KPMG in Germany and forms part of the KPMG Lighthouse. Openness and teamwork are central to keeping up the Grand Duchy’s momentum in innovation, and Lighthouse Germany—a powerhouse in terms of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data and analytics, and other technologies, will only fuel this momentum.

Pascal Denis, Head of Advisory, highlighted how alliances and technology are also integral in helping clients transform their future: “Technology is not only an area where we help our clients transform and digitize, it is also a key element of our own business, and 2018 has seen us combine forces with FinTech to find solutions that complement and even augment our in-house developments and expertise. Our recent alliance with, the celebrated RegTech winners of the 2016 Fintech Awards, is a prime example of how we’re working together as partners to build the technology that allows our clients to outsource regulatory, compliance, risk and tax reporting for funds. Alliances empower us to live the future today. Combining our people’s expertise with top-notch technology from the local ecosystem will certainly be a trend for 2019 and beyond.”

Sebastien Labbé, Head of Tax, illustrated how blockchain technology could one day bring a brighter future by eradicating VAT fraud “As the world gets smaller, discussions around who pays how much tax, and how and when, have intensified. Every year, €50 billion go missing in the EU due to VAT fraud. That’s one hundred euros per European citizen: stolen. Fraud on such a grand scale calls for equally grand ideas like VAT DLT, a new concept from KPMG Luxembourg,” Sebastien continued. “This platform would use state-of-the-art blockchain technology to make sure that all VAT is paid. What’s more, it’s extremely secure. Modern VAT payment already relies heavily on automated business processes, and getting these processes right—with the right tools and team—is crucial in meeting VAT compliance and administrative obligations. VAT DLT would take this disjointed network of processes and put it on a single, secure system. Ultimately, we believe that an inclusive and coherent discussion can address the issues currently shaping taxation, with great speed in a global context.”

Emmanuel Dollé, Head of Audit, further explained how the future is built on people empowerment “Our approach to innovation is very much bottom-up. It starts with people struggling with everyday challenges and frustrations: instead of turning our backs on these problems, we foster an environment where employees are encouraged to invent solutions, and even new tools. We have an innovation hub, where employees are encouraged to come with ideas for new solutions and tools. The hub then chooses the most creative and promising of these and refines, professionalises, and scales them so that the entire departments can benefit from them. The solutions are often technology-based, and geared towards eliminating repetitive tasks. If one solution ends up saving half an hour on hundreds projects, then that’s a huge amount of time recouped, so our people can focus on what really matters. We also develop data and analytics projects that can dive deeply into our clients’ information systems, further growing audit quality and providing better insights to our clients.”

Thierry Ravasio, Head of People, is convinced that the future is people-led, and stated “Digital transformation means people transformation. There will be no customer experience without a people experience. Our clients are still looking for this human-to-human contact to establish that trusted relationship. Therefore we’re investing in our L&D capabilities but in a smart way: leadership, creativity, innovation, people capable of connecting the dots between the people and the processes. These are the qualities we want to see in our people. This is not the future, this is happening right now.

Philippe Meyer, KPMG’s Managing Partner, summarised how technology connects our community “Technology is not everything. It needs to be reinforced by a breadth of courage, boldness, and belief that we are benefitting the community we are living in. We strongly believe that we have a role to play when it comes to supporting our local business communities and encouraging financial education. KPMG has been involved in numerous initiatives supporting this: be it launching our Tax Calculator, our tool for citizens to learn about tax, or working with Jonk Entrepreneuren on a platform for pupils to create their visions of the world and economy of the future. We are also proud to see such passion and diversity in the insight and expertise of our people, who bring added value to our clients and help the Luxembourg community address its challenges and opportunities to build a brighter future.“

Technology is integral to all our futures, but developing these capabilities is only possible because of the strong foundation built by our people and clients,” Philippe Meyer concluded.