AESC 2014 European Conference, Madrid

13 November 2014

Viva España!

As a sponsor to the AESC, PHOENIX attended the annual European conference on 13 November 2014, this time held in Madrid.

The tone was set through a great program which has given us a better know-how on how Spain is faring. The good news is that Spain is getting out of its long recession and has been able to come to terms with the difficulties it has been phasing over the last 6 years. Spain is a great gateway for South America and has therefore become the European hub to be able to do business with fast growing countries such as Brazil but also Peru, Ecuador, Argentina …Other European countries now depend on their know-how of the continent, its culture and business needs.

It is true that due to the failing economy quite some talent left Spain in search for better career and life opportunities. This means that there are many Spanish people abroad who are now international, speak 2-3 languages, are able to work in an international environment and adapt to different cultures. This makes Spanish candidates attractive for international companies in and outside of Spain. For those who decide to return to Spain, they are coming back with an enriched experience which will help the country and its economy forward.

Speakers were of high quality amongst them the Secretary of State for Commerce, the High Commissioner of Spain – responsible for putting Spain back on the map, CEO’s of Globalvia and Aena Aeropuertos. Open minded and highly international.

What made the day of incredible interest and being therefore highly inspirational were top Spanish women panelists like the CEO of Siemens Spain, Partner of the international law firm Dechert and an Executive Board Member. Three well spoken, intelligent, ambitious and very attractive women, who made it to the top and were able to give their view on trendy topics such as Board Effectiveness, Women on Board, what is needed to be of value and what they are looking for themselves in talent and diversity.

For all these women it is clear that to be of value, you need to have a certain expertise and be inspirational by being exemplary.  Gender is not the most important thing. In a board it is important to have a variety of people with different skills. These people should be independent and therefore not earn a board salary of over 20% of their own annual salary – meaning their salary should not depend on their board income. They should dare to raise issues during board meetings and challenge the executive team on their management skills and strategy how to grow the company of which they represent. Bravo España to have such brilliant women at Top Management level.

Last but certainly not least it was the farewell dinner of Peter Felix, another exemplary leader. It has been great to have been able to work closely together with Peter and his team over many years. Many thanks Peter for all your support, we certainly keep in touch.

Many thanks AESC team to have organized a truly inspiring event.


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