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Empowering expansion: Juraj Gerzeni

The EMEA region is a vast one, encompassing more than a quarter of the human population and countless diverse cultures and nations. It’s a complicated environment in which to manage an organisation, and requires an open-minded approach to dealing with myriad different clients.

Juraj Gerzeni, Head of EMEA of TMF Group

Fortunately for TMF Group, this is exactly what Head of EMEA Juraj Gerzeni enjoys about his duties. “I’m managing a complex multicultural environment,” Juraj says.

“I truly like it when we are able to find new solutions and new ways to tackle certain things. That’s always exciting. Being in the service industry,
you absolutely must like spending time with people, listening to the opinions of others and working with them.”

Across the globe, TMF Group offers business-process services to huge clients, including multinationals, within a €10 billion market. Some decades after being established in the Netherlands, the Group underwent a period of rapid expansion between 2006 and 2009, acquiring companies across the world.

This allowed TMF Group to achieve a wide reach, today working with more than 60% of the Forbes 100 and the FTSE 100 lists. “We have a truly global footprint with locations around the world that align with our leadership,” says Juraj.

“With this service mix and footprint, we have a unique position compared with our competitors. This advantage also allows us to leverage regional knowledge, providing a global service with all the advantages of a local operation, from the ground.

“There is no global organisation today that would not benefit from outsourcing services and processes to organisations like TMF Group. Otherwise, they have to replicate what these companies offer and that, I think, is costly. The biggest advantage is that we can take over these processes and manage them efficiently and effectively for our clients around the world.

“Globalisation continues. More and more companies want to operate around the globe, so they want to unlock opportunities by operating globally or, at least, multinationally. For companies that have an appetite for expansion, TMF Group is an ideal partner to work with.”

Though he now oversees the enormous EMEA region, Juraj joined the company in 1997 as an accountant, operating from his native Slovakia. For a brief spell at the turn of the century, he moved to TMF Group’s headquarters in the Netherlands, while rising up the ranks and gaining a deep insight into the ideals and systems that drive TMF Group.

Since taking on the Head of EMEA role in 2015, he’s developed a clear sense of what makes a good leader: values-based leadership. “You need to have certain principles,” he says.

“For example, how you lead the business or how you behave in certain situations, especially when you’re faced with a dilemma and you need to make big decisions. We have a set of values we follow, which helps me lead with integrity, respect and passion.”

Juraj Gerzeni, Head of EMEA of TMF Group

One of these core values is collaboration. Juraj says it’s crucial for decision-making to be a process open to dialogue, so that leaders can incorporate alternate perspectives.

However, this doesn’t absolve the leader of responsibility. Juraj believes that, ultimately, a leader must be certain a strategic decision aligns with their own set of values and principles. This management style necessitates a careful balancing of independence and cooperation, and is evident in Juraj’s day-to-day work.

“Almost daily, I’m able to facilitate conversations with my entire team, regional division of my team, or a part of my team that’s responsible for a certain support function,” he says.

“I have to do that in a way that we can service new solutions to challenges and make the right decisions to address crucial development areas. I also frequently communicate with my colleagues about the decisions we’re making or strategic directions we’re taking.”

A concise and well-informed strategic direction has enabled TMF Group to become a provider of choice for many multinational corporations. While the company’s success as an international agent can be partially credited to the application of local expertise, TMF Group’s industry status is also
a product of a certain philosophy.

“We have a set of values we follow, which helps me lead with integrity, respect and passion.”

Juraj explains it thus: fulfilling a client’s expectations is only the starting point of a long-lasting customer relationship. “You have to make sure you deliver on the obligations you’ve contracted,” he says.

“That’s the foundation for everything in terms of client satisfaction and retaining those clients.

“Thereafter, you can start building a truly trust-based relationship where, more and more, they see you as a trusted partner they can go to and, with an understanding of the services you provide, can ask you to do more for them.”

It should come as no surprise that TMF Group has maintained such a high retention rate; between 2009 and 2012, it exceeded 90%. Looking ahead, TMF Group plans to leverage evolving digital technology, helping make its output more accessible, while also enabling it to better communicate with clients. Partners, such as software provider Viewpoint, will prove invaluable to this process.

“As we are in the service industry, we need to be able to support our clients around the world. The knowledge that is required in order to be able to do that is essential,” says Juraj.

“Today, knowledge is more of a human factor than a technology factor, but it’s still important to make use of technology to store data and access knowledge. Every organisation now has to be able to implement technology to the point where it can meet the requirements of its customers or product.”

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