Braving the Rain at the Credit Summer Event
On Thursday, June 22, 2023, the Bierens Veghel Estate in the Netherlands was abuzz with credit professionals attending the Credit Summer Event (CSE) 2023. Although it was raining cats and dogs, this 2nd live edition after the Covid-19 blackout was living proof that the CSE is a landmark for the community, giving credit experts a platform to discuss important industry topics.
Empowering Credit Professionals to Tackle Industry Challenges
Business environments are constantly evolving. As organizations recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, credit managers often find themselves impacted by a triptych of challenges: the talent crunch, inflation, and supply chain disruptions. With an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, including Annemie Pelgrims, TriFinance's Expert Practice Leader Risk, the CSE 2023 highlighted strategies and solutions to navigate these pressing issues.
Gen Z and the Talent Crunch
Under the expert guidance of chairman Jeroen Smit, the Credit Summer Event kicked off with an inspiring session by Jos Ahlers, Tony Swinnen, and Hannelore Van Meldert.
Jos Ahlers, author of the book Gen Z: Verlangen naar verandering, delivered a captivating keynote, sharing fresh insights on attracting young professionals. Following his session, two Flemish HR Experts, Hannelore Van Meldert, Director Talent Acquisition & Orientation at Acerta Consult, and Tony Swinnen, former SD Worx Talent & Development specialist and now HR Business partner at Almacena Platform, responsible for Global HR, joined the conversation to discuss obstacles organizations face when working with Gen Z and a diverse workforce, particularly in attracting new talent.
Key takeaways included:
- Establish early connections with young individuals to better understand their needs and how both parties can mutually benefit.
- Combine learning with meaningful impact, ensuring young professionals understand the purpose and significance of their work.
- Foster coaching leadership, empowering young individuals to take responsibility and be entrepreneurial, while providing ample support and guidance.
Exploring Risk Dynamics
The subsequent keynote sessions delved into risk, interest rates, and inflation. Han Mesters of ABN AMRO highlighted the dynamic nature of the Dutch economy, emphasizing how external factors influence business performance. "We are a high beta economy. When things go well in the world, we always do just a little bit better. Is it going badly? Then we also do just a little bit worse," Mesters said.
Annemie Pelgrims, TriFinance's Expert Practice Leader Risk, underlined the evolving role of internal audit as a business partner rather than a mere enforcer. "Audit identifies emerging risks and assists companies to address them," she said. "In addition, the view of internal audit has also changed; we are now more readily perceived as a business partner rather than the policeman who comes to rap people's fingers." You can read more about her views in this long-read interview on Risk and the evolution of the Internal Audit mandate.
John Lorié, Chief Economist at Atradius, shed light on the relationship between bankruptcies and GDP growth, emphasizing the need for normalization post-pandemic. "The relationship between bankruptcies and GDP growth has been completely distorted by the pandemic and support measures," he contended. "Now the macro-level expectation is normalization: inflation down, bankruptcy rate up."
Industry Insights and Food for Thought
Han Mesters's thought-provoking statements resonated with the audience, discussing the impact of climate change, organizational culture, and leadership on business success. His insights sparked discussions on the importance of employee-friendly organizations and the need for strong leadership.
Cybersecurity and data security emerged as top risks, as highlighted by the European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditing (ECIIA). Annemie Pelgrims, TriFinance's CFO Services Risk leader, shed light on the risks that credit managers should prioritize, guiding them toward mitigating these potential threats effectively.
TriFinance's co-production with Bierens Incasso Lawyers and Altares Dun & Bradstreet showcases the organization's commitment to providing innovative solutions and expertise in Credit Management. As the industry evolves, TriFinance continues to be a trusted partner for credit professionals