Looking back at the FinanzSymposium in Mannheim, Germany, organized by SLG | Pieter de Kiewit

25-05-2022 | treasuryXL | Pieter de KiewitLinkedIn |


We at treasuryXL consider it our task to inform you about all that’s interesting in Treasury. Last week Schwabe, Ley & Greiner organized their FinanzSymposium for the 33rd time. One of our partners, Pieter de Kiewit of Treasurer Search, volunteered to go and check it out. This is what he came back with.

Covid taught us a lot. Also, that networking and information exchange can be done remotely. treasuryXL shows us on a daily basis how. Now, shortly after restrictions are taken away, we can appreciate the value of personal meetings again. Both information flows are complementary, we of course missed the personal so this event was a breath of fresh air after too much Zoom/Teams and other video stuff. I consider my experiences in treasury events pretty thorough but learned the Germans and Austrians can take this game to another level. Informing you about each element would make for too long an article, let me take you through my highlights.

To start with the obvious: Gründlichkeit (being thorough) is a German invention. Getting to the venue was easy by car and train. Enough parking spaces and hotels. Entering through an old facade and being welcomed in high architecture by many staff members who hand over your badge, inform you about the event app, and point you to many machines brewing great coffee. Smooth sailing! Enough space to breathe in an atmosphere you like being in. A keynote by a famous speaker in a hall that can hold 2000 and so many parallel sessions all supported by modern techniques and professional staff. Over 2000 people, 100 exhibitors, 150 sessions, a gala and more. Very impressive!

This being THE event for the German-speaking market, as a visitor with a focus on the sessions you have to be able to speak German. As a (potential) exhibitor, it is not an issue if you do not speak German as the audience is happy to listen and speak English. Personally, I enjoyed the German spoken sessions most. Especially the discussion panels and prominent speakers brought excellent new insights and opinions. My favorite quote, being a recruiter, was from the first speaker: “The war for talent is over; talent won”.

My favorite quote, being a recruiter, was from the first speaker: “The war for talent is over; talent won”.

Especially for those browsing the market and looking for specific solutions, the many providers organized relevant parallel sessions, often accompanied by clients. An old but proven concept. Also very amusing (sometimes hilarious) were presentations by my fellow Dutchmen, creating a new language using Dutch, English and German in one sentence. All (German) listeners politely smiled and (I think) understood.

Many well-known treasuryXL friends were, of course, present: Cashforce, Cobase, Kantox, Kyriba, Nomentia and TIS. Next year we are sure the list will be longer.

Where do I see opportunities? The event is one of the best of its kind, in my humble opinion. There are related topics close to my heart that I would love to hear, see and experience more about. They are about the treasurer as a person and how team members interact. I think about personal development & training, how to select & motivate staff, how innovation & impact can be stimulated and how treasury people from around the world can better work together. With my background, you will not be surprised I mention this, but I sincerely believe there is a lot to gain and we should get these topics higher on the agenda. Perhaps I can/may contribute.

Looking back on the event, I am very happy that I was allowed to visit and definitely like to return next year. In a few months, Eurofinance will be in Vienna and I will do a further comparison. Going out and having meetings is such a blast so I hope to see you out there.