10 Years, and an evening with Sir Richard Branson

This year, 2014, marks the 10th anniversary of ATOZ. We have grown and evolved from small start-up to respected global player over the past decade. As we continue to advance towards the future, we wanted to pause for moment and do something out of the ordinary to thank our trusted clients and business partners.

On 16 September 2014, ATOZ hosted British entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg for an evening of discussion followed by a reception and cocktail.

Our macro theme was entrepreneurship. Mark Tluszcz of Mangrove Capital and I had the great honour of picking the brain of Sir Richard, who had anecdotes, advice and ideas to share with everyone. Many of the points he touched upon resonated with me and got me thinking about our own business and the future that we hope to create for ourselves and our clients.

I asked Sir Richard about his various business ventures, and even his failures. He had the following advice: “There is no point in launching a product unless that product is palpably better than the others”. Ten years ago, we became competition for Big Four and leading international law firms, offering our own set of tax advisory services on the Luxembourg market and globally. We certainly believed that our proposition was “palpably better” than our competitors. Our service was specialized, independent and partner led. This is what has driven us to continually improve and mature as an independent firm.

However, as we spoke, it became clear that Sir Richard has his sights set squarely on the future and does not care to linger too long on the past. For Branson, the future is bright place where innovation, ingenuity and altruism work hand in hand to create a better world for everyone.

Branson’s optimism is infectious; it is something that we all should take to heart. At ATOZ, we are also driven by future possibilities. Never satisfied with the present, we are constantly looking for ways to drive our industry forward and remain leaders in our field. Our clients keep us on top of our game, and our promise to meet or exceed expectations provides our momentum.

With the rewards of a successful business also come broader social responsibilities. We have responded to these by funding a chair at the university and establishing the Atoz foundation. Sir Richard laid down a challenge to any business to identify one or 2 social issues where they can really make a difference and throw the weight of the business behind this. This got me and the Atoz team thinking and we will identify these issues, act and make a difference. As you read this, whatever business you are in, I’d encourage you to do the same.

On the evening, we were surrounded by great clients. As a final note, I’d like again to extend our gratitude to you our clients: those who have only recently entrusted their business to us and those who have been with us from the very beginning. Our clients are our past, our present, but most importantly, our future. Like Sir Richard, we are excited about what is yet to come and we are looking forward to a second decade of excellence at your service.

Keith O’Donnell

ATOZ 10years

Copyright Atoz, Eric Chenal

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