Patrick Van Denzen (TMF Group) : Trends in 2023

TMF Group is the leading provider of administrative services helping clients to invest and operate safely around the world. With 121 offices in 86 countries and more than 9,000 employees, our aim is to make a complex world simple by providing high quality services to our clients.

Can you present your company in few words ?

TMF Group, founded in 1988, is the leading provider of critical administrative services, bringing levels of governance and quality assurance that inspire trust and confidence. We provide the administrative services our clients need to run legal entities compliantly and efficiently. Initially formed as a part of ABN AMRO, TMF’s presence in Luxembourg dates back to 1977, then subsequently taken over by Equity Trust and later merged within TMF Group, making us one of the key actors in the sector. Our Luxembourg office employs more than 300 staff whose expertise serve a wide range of clients such as private equity houses, real estate firms and capital markets. Our offer comprises a full scope of services from Fund administration, domiciliation, directorship, corporate secretarial, accounting to tax compliance, HR & payroll, regulatory services (FATCA/CRS, MDR (Mandatory Disclosure Requirements) /DAC6, Beneficial Owner Register …), AIFM, depositary services, shareholder services …

‘’We went from a predominately transactional activity […] to a more regulated and sophisticated environment’’.


What are the main trends that influence your activity ?

 In the last decade, the way we do business has drastically changed due to national, European, and international legal and regulatory requirements. Indeed, we saw a focus on compliance aspects: the AML/CFT (anti money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism) directives have changed the nature and frequency of the reviews. With regards to tax matters, the action plan on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) defined by the OECD generated directives and subsequent national laws having impact on our daily activities (ATAD, FATCA/CRS, Beneficial Owner Register, DAC6/MDR). We went from a predominately transactional activity where compliance was a small portion of it to a more regulated and sophisticated environment. With these new provisions and linked obligations impacting virtually all our clients, we defined a strong business process around integrating tax and regulatory compliance into our general client services.

How does your company adapt to these new developments? Or how are your customers’ needs evolving?

 While these obligations originate from EU or OECD commitments as well as domestic laws and regulations, a couple of years ago, we established (alongside our core services departments), a regulatory services department which took charge of implementation of new provisions as they were transposed into Luxembourg law. TMF Group actively facilitates communication and exchange between local offices, aligning approaches, providing shared trainings, and launching shared projects, while ensuring local offices create their own expertise and remain informed on domestic developments, with local offices working together for shared multinational clients. In this context we are proud to say Luxembourg plays a central role in this process, not only locally but also on a global level. The approach of linking the local to global is typified by TMF’s continued commitment to producing its annual Global Business Complexity Index further assisting our clients in negotiating complexity worldwide.