Russell Bedford Mexico hosts first network event of the year: Ibero-America Meeting in Cancún

March 2022

Hosted by Russell Bedford Mexico at the Fiesta Americana Hotel, the spectacular city of Cancún, Mexico, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, was the location for the first of Russell Bedford’s meetings in 2022: Ibero-American Meeting. This first conference of the year drew almost 50 attendees, representing 16 countries of the region, and featured two days dedicated to the network’s Spanish and Portuguese speaking members.

The meeting was conducted in Spanish and commenced with a welcome from LATAM regional director and member of the global board, Javier Jimenez, explaining how the Ibero-American region had come together, while sharing several new initiatives.

Russell Bedford’s CEO, Stephen Hamlet, opened the sessions with an update on the network, providing a review of Russell Bedford International’s current status, recent achievements and strategic priorities for the future.

Clara Sanchez, Marketing and Member Relations Executive at Russell Bedford International, delivered a presentation on Central Office activities, that support the objectives and priorities for the development of the network.

Russell Bedford’s global board director, Daniel Ryba, talked about the structure and work of the International and Regional Boards, highlighting their importance, along with the work and achievements over the past year. Afterwards, Javier Jimenez delivered a presentation on the latest network statistics from the region.

The next session, delivered by David Merino, partner at Russell Bedford Mexico, focused on technology development in the business consulting industry, looking to 2025. David shared his knowledge and insights on the topic as an expert in the subject.

Audit Quality Control reporting was the topic of the next session, delivered by Enrique Ramirez, partner at Russell Bedford Veracruz, Mexico.

Regional committee presentations followed next, starting with the Ibero-America Tax Committee led by Israel Miñon, Mexico. The next update was delivered by Fernando Velazquez, Mexico, leader of the Ibero-America Transfer Pricing Committee.

Up next was the Ibero-America Innovation Committee update, led by Wilmer Roman from Colombia. Alfonso Milla and Romina Sanabria, from Mexico and Argentina respectively, updated attendees on the Ibero-America Marketing Committee.

The final committee update was from the Ibero-America Financial Advisory Committee, led by Fernando Sanchez, from San Jose, Costa Rica.

After a successful first day of sessions, delegates met for dinner at 'La Cantina' a Mexican traditional restaurant, while continuing to network, building relations and learning about each others’respective firms.

Guest speaker, Director of TLC, Octavio de la Torre, opened day two of the meeting with a session on the market of business consultancy for the services industry in LATAM.

Next, Roger Maciel, partner at Russell Bedford Brasil, shared the firm’s marketing strategies, including an impressive marketing success story by the firm, which featured a staff engagement plan that encourages top-down online brand engagement throughout the firm.

After the session, Saul Encinas, partner of Russell Bedford’s new Bolivian member, Encinas Auditores y Consultores, had the opportunity to introduce his firm to those attending.

Alexandra Arbelález, partner at Russell Bedford RBG in Bogota, Colombia, presented a session about the ‘Russell Bedford Good Standing Report’, a report which details the compliance requirements of the network’s members, ensuring that all firms continue to improve and enhance their practices.

Guest speaker, Araceli Olvera, sales director at Mexico Manpower Group, joined the meeting to discuss ‘Trends of labour market in 2022’. Araceli discussed how the pandemic has affected the HR market, while sharing her predictions for the future, including routes to recruit and retain talent.

The last speaker of the conference was Ana Carolina Franco, partner of Dominican Republic member firm, JBS, who delivered a session on the economic situation in the region for 2022.

Closing the meeting, the regional directors welcomed feedback and questions from the audience. Members expressed their gratitude with respect to being able to attend in-person meetings once more and their excitement for future projects to come, as a united region.

The conference closed in style with an authentic cultural experience, a Cirque du Soleil show called ‘La Joya’, followed by a traditional Mexican dinner, music and good conversation among friends and colleagues.

Global CEO, Stephen Hamlet said “It was somewhat magical to be in Cancun, amongst such a vibrant and positive group of individuals, whom we are proud to call friends and colleagues within the Russell Bedford network. I could not have wished for a more productive and enjoyable event as we return to physical meetings for our regions around the world. I thank all who contributed and particularly our hosts at Russell Bedford Mexico.”

Daniel Ryba, member of the Global Board and Regional Director, said: "This conference has been a total and absolute success, perhaps the best since the creation of COIBE. And why? Because the participants have made magnificent presentations, because of the topics discussed, because of the presence of new firms, because of the excellence of the organisation and, above all, because we were able to meet in person after so long."

Javier Jimenez, host of the conference, member of the Global Board and Regional Director, commented: "At the beginning, we had great doubts about whether or not to hold the conference, our expectation of attendance was low due to the pandemic conditions and the time we would have to prepare it was very limited. Despite everything, we took the risk of doing it, but in the end the results were surprising: almost twice as many delegates as we originally thought attended and everything went wonderfully; especially for seeing each other again in person, the atmosphere that was produced during the work and social sessions was extraordinary and all this made the efforts worthwhile."

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