Case study 17

Where should a company place its European HQs? How should it structure affiliates underneath it?

Company Q had an opportunity to design its European HQs and affiliate structure from scratch. The company wanted to find a HQs location that is tax advantageous and where there was a good supply of talent. Equally, it needed to meet regulatory and business requirements to be allowed to operate in the European Union. Finally, it wanted to design an affiliate structure in a way that would be low cost and tax advantageous from the supply chain and commercial money flow point of view. Company Q put together a cross-functional team of legal, supply chain, regulatory and commercial professionals that are familiar with European rules and business practices. The company decided to set its HQs in Switzerland while maintaining an EU business hub in the Netherlands and locating some of the key functions in Amsterdam. The corporate structure and supply chain network were decoupled to optimise the efficiency.