Amsterdam ‘Cultural diversity’ Business Breakfast organised by Pedersen & Partners and Law Firm Lexence

September 27, 2019 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Pedersen & Partners’ Amsterdam team and Law Firm Lexence welcomed Dutch and international CEOs, decision makers, and business & HR executives responsible for diversity, transformation, and strategy to an event designed to discuss, debate, and highlight inter-cultural awareness required to build relationships with customers, employees, and external stakeholders across the world. Participants included executives from the e-commerce, Professional Advisory, FMCG, Agriculture, Engineering software & solutions, Insurance, Nutrition and Biosciences, Alternative & Traditional Energy, Financial Services, Logistics, Healthcare, and FinTech industries.

Partner Gautier Vasseur, a multicultural Executive Search professional who has completed hundreds of cross-border leadership assignments across CEE, Eurasia and Asia Pacific, led the discussions on why, where, and how to harness the opportunities arising out of cultural diversity in order to secure its long-term potential. Very often, the culture of an organisation, more than its business strategy, determines how the business grows and transforms. Mr. Vasseur stressed the return of Amsterdam as the centre of global trade flows as a result of the Chinese New Silk Belt Initiative and the connection to 4,4 billion people across Eurasia and Africa, where businesses will find the biggest opportunities for growth in the next decade. This will force global corporations to align their talent management strategies, traditionally based on individual performance, with Eastern values for collective achievements.

Mr. Vasseur also provided a comprehensive overview of the best practices and personal observations on implementing adequate succession plans in companies aimed at infusing their corporate culture and integrating leaders of different business traditions as means of better preparedness for the future.

Ferry van Schoonhoven is one of the founders of Lexence, he advises and litigates in matters regarding leasing, redevelopments, renovations, and sell-and-lease-back constructions. His clients are Dutch as well as international companies. Ferry has an extensive network in the Japanese business community in the greater Amsterdam area. He is the chairman of the Japan Desk of the Amstelland Hospital and member of the board of the Japan Festival Foundation. Drawing upon his long-time personal experience with the Japanese culture, he highlighted to the audience that when doing business in Japan, the first and foremost “nemawashi” is needed. Meaning that within the possible future business relationship the groundwork has to be laid first before action can and will be undertaken.

Annejet Balm litigates and advises in all major areas of employment law, including individual and collective dismissal law, reorganisations, employee participation, and transfer of enterprises. She is specialised in disability regulations, placement, and secondment constructions, as well as privacy and diversity in the workplace. Within the Meritas International Alliance of Independent Law Firms, Annejet is the co-chair of the Employment & Benefits group and a frequent guest speaker at international meetings. During her presentation, she briefly addressed the upcoming labour law changes as per January 1, 2020 and highlighted some case studies analysing specific examples of diverging cultural approaches in legal proceedings.

The discussions and exchanges were moderated by Figaro den Hollander Country Manager for the Netherlands at Pedersen & Partners.

Pedersen & Partners is a leading international Executive Search firm. We operate 57 wholly owned offices in 53 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia & the Americas. Our values Trust, Relationship and Professionalism apply to our interaction with clients as well as executives. More information about Pedersen & Partners is available at

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