The Business Year

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MEXICO - Economy

Mónica Vera

Managing Director, TMF Group

Bio

Mónica Vera has dedicated her career to business transformation in several industries, across Canada and Latin America. Currently she is Managing Director at TMF Group, leading global provider of high value business services to clients operating and investing globally, for the Mexico office. In her role, she is responsible for business development and operations. She has experience as entrepreneur in the software related business development. Previously, she was Vice President and Partner for IBM Mexico where she led major digital transformation programs. In other roles, Monica has developed deep consulting expertise in systems integration and application services for retail, pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies. She has led large ERP implementation teams for large, medium and small businesses, including regional projects, both in Canada and Latin America. She holds a Public Accounting licentiate degree, Universidad Católica Andres Bello, Caracas; a Bachelor of Sciences degree, Syracuse University, Syracuse; and Humanistic Studies Master Degree, Universidad Virtual Tecnológico de Monterrey.

TBY talks to Mónica Vera, Managing Director of TMF Group, about key services, opportunities for growth, and the main obstacles facing companies interested in the Mexican market.

What kind of clients are entering Mexico more, and in what kind of industries do they work with?

We are heavily focused on corporate compliance now. Our three key lines of services right now are Global Entity Management, Accounting and Tax, and HR & Payroll. We basically serve corporate clients in industries that either make products or provide services. Our growth plans include increasing our presence and expanding our portfolio in financial services, in particular the Fund Administration and Capital Markets fields. We hope to launch fund services in Mexico in the next few years. Currently, we are in the process of sizing it up and understanding the opportunities for us. It is an extremely exciting moment. We are also in the process of expanding our portfolio in the Capital Markets service line. We provide our clients with the same accounting and tax compliance services or other kinds of compliance for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). We can also act as agents for several kinds of processes in the financial services industry. For example, we can be the collateral agent for a syndicated loan. As we are a non-financial institution, we can work with any bank. And because we have a direct presence in 80+ jurisdictions, we can be a collateral agent for loans that span across one or several regions, with very recent examples of deals that initiated in New York but have collaterals in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, for example.

What main opportunities of growth has TMF Group identified in Mexico?

Our main projects in the next few years include the growth in the financial services space. This is a heavily regulated industry in Mexico and banks and financial institutions in the sector are increasingly not interested in doing the operations behind the funds or trusts; that is what we want to do. We want to become guarantee trust administrator, which is what the regulation in Mexico allows for non-financial companies and provider of fund services. We also find opportunities for growth in the rapidly changing compliance space, where we have the opportunity to understand and evaluate the changes new regulation brings, like last year’s anti-outsourcing reform, and we help our clients implement such changes. However, to sustain any opportunity for growth we need to stay focused on an important pillar to the success of the company and our financial objectives. We need to keep the team engaged in these difficult times of change. We have grown in terms of employee engagement from a score of 70% to 87% in two years, 17 percentage points. At this point in time, Mexico is considered the highest ranked country in all of TMF’s jurisdictions from an engagement point of view. However, it is a challenge. We need to make it sustainable. People are behind the services, no matter how automated or digitized we may be. People are the key to successful delivery of services.

What are the main challenges your clients face when entering Mexico?

Successfully entering the country depends on fully understanding how things work; that is the key. Mexico’s authorities are still very keen to conduct business in person. We have to be there in person in the different establishments with the tax authority, the labor authority, and others. The other side of the businesses is keeping companies compliant. We have a guide or checklist that companies need to fulfill to remain compliant, avoid penalties, or even have their licenses revoked. If companies do not comply with certain regulations, it can have an impact on their reputations and finances.

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