Inaugural XLNC Autumn Conference | Madrid 2018

The first XLNC Conference took place in Madrid, Spain, during 14-16 September 2018. We were delighted to welcome over 60 participants from all over the world. The intimate setting at the InterContinental Hotel in Madrid made this event a very special one, and getting to know fellow XLNC colleagues made it a valuable one.

The Conference started on Friday afternoon with an optional VIP tour to the Madrid Palacio Real, which included a few areas in the palace not open to the general public. This was followed by a Welcome Cocktail Reception and Dinner, which allowed our delegates to mingle and network in a relaxed environment.

On Saturday morning, Richard Kleiner (Gerald Edelman, UK), Chairman of the XLNC Steering Committee, provided a warm welcome before introducing our Keynote Speaker, H.E. Dr Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Her impressive biography has already been included in a previous issue of the XLNC magazine.

Ferrero-Waldner, in her speech on ‘Refounding Europe?’, discussed the necessity for the European Union (EU) to reposition itself at this important moment, to become more united, stronger and a real political actor. She also talked about migration, as well as the technological revolution and digitalisation which are creating new working conditions. In light of increasing populism and nationalism which has seemingly undermined democracies, Ferrero-Waldner highlighted ideas and proposals to move forward in the EU during these challenging times.

The next part of the morning session proceeded with an introduction to all XLNC member firms participating in the event, as well as all the candidate firms in attendance. After the break, there was an open discussion involving all members and candidates, highlighting information about the structure and functioning of XLNC as well as any other issues highlighted by the attendees.

In the afternoon, there were four separate Focus Group meetings, during which experts from all over the world exchanged technical knowledge, while exploring opportunities for future joint business projects: the Tax Focus Group, chaired by Graham Busch (Gerald Edelman, UK) and Dr Benjamin Cortez (Schlecht und Partner, Germany); M&A and Corporate Finance, chaired by Dr Barbara Fasoli Braccini (MFB Partners, Italy) and Carl Lundberg (Gerald Edelman, UK); Marketing & Business Development, chaired by Nishi Chundee (Gerald Edelman, UK); and Technology, chaired by Gerald Paolilli (Paolilli, Jarek & Der Ananian, LLC, USA).

After a most interactive day, the Conference ended with a dinner and flamenco show at El Corral de la Morería.

For those not too tired from the night before, an additional day-trip was organised on Sunday morning. Only 30 minutes away from Madrid, the delegates were taken to visit the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, one of the best reflections of the ideological and cultural aspirations of Spain's ‘Golden Age’, as expressed through the unique blend of Italian and Flemish artistic styles favoured by Philip II in the 16th century and one of the most important heritage sites to be found in Spain.

It was a wonderful Conference, providing a fantastic opportunity for XLNC members to meet and get to know one another. We are now already looking forward to the next XLNC Conference, which will take place in Vienna during 17-19 May 2019.


XLNC MAGAZINE | No. 02 | November 2018

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