SERVICE OF A HIGH QUALITY

Panama 2019 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

EY's main focus remains being an excellent service provider for its clients.

Luis Eduardo Ocando B.
BIOGRAPHY
Luis Eduardo Ocando B. is Country Managing Partner & Tax Leader of EY’s Panama Office and Tax Policy Leader for EY’s Latam North Region. He is a member of the expanded executive committee of the Panama, Central America & Dominican Republic firm of EY (EYCA) and member of the EYCA Tax Executive Committee. He is a tax lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Venezuelan and international taxation and has been recognized by International Tax Review as one of the most renowned tax advisors in Venezuela for seven consecutive years.

Why is EY one of the great places to work in Panama?

We believe we are a great place to work because for us people come first. As service providers, the first thing to render services is to have our people happy. In that sense, one of the main drivers we have is to create and develop new office spaces for our people, making sure everyone, no matter their position, has access to windows and views. We try to bring everybody in on the process. We have competitors who separate their managing partners from the backstage staff, who also work to develop client products and solutions. Our secret is to involve all of our staff to be a part of our work.

What expansion plans do you have? What about your portfolio?

Our area of operations is Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic (EYCA) in which we operate as one firm, meaning we share one profit and loss statement in the seven countries. EYCA is part of our Latam North Practice, which is composed of Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia. Our portfolio of clients is diverse and growing. Furthermore, many of our clients search us out because of our reputation; we then retain our clients because we render services of a high quality, which is the way to be present in the market. It is important to add that we are targeting our investments in digital right now, and the EY network is making a great deal of investments in this sector. We have an innovation sector in Costa Rica and Panama, so we will share new technologies and issues with clients. We may not see the effects of this investment in the short term, but there will be benefits in the medium to long term. Hence, we are bringing our clients the same good service as always, and with our investments we will gain more market share.

Who are your main partners, and where do you see growth in Panama?

There is growth in digital. In 2018, we invested in a company of 60 people in Costa Rica that is now working with us. Worldwide 50% of our content relates to digital and Panama is the connection between north and south. Connectivity is important and the challenge lies in how to integrate that airspace and maritime connectivity to create better logistics solutions for our clients and companies seeking to invest in Panama.

How do you engage people and communities to advance in gender equality?

EY has made a massive investment in promoting women in leadership positions. We are trying to establish individuals rather than differentiating genders. Also, we are allowing the work from home commitment for families with children so they can combine their work schedule with their family commitments.

What are your main goals and targets for 2019?

The main goal for EY is to continue being an excellent service provider and increase its market share. We think the banking and service sectors will grow, therefore we will focus on banks, insurance companies, and finance companies to grow together. The financial sector's assets may increase, while the number of institutions will fall. A concentration in the market needs to happen and we will help banks with IT integration and post-merger integration. Additionally, telecommunications and the multinational market are another sectors where we expect a great deal of investment to take place.