Your trusted partners for cross-border business: the German Business Groups

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The German Business Groups (GBGs) are a global network of German-speaking partners and staff at PwC, who ensure high quality service to our German clients abroad and international clients in Germany. Each GBG offers German technical skills together with deep knowledge of circumstances, culture, language and commercial practice in the countries they specialise in to provide our clients with a truly distinctive service.

PwC Germany’s Markets Leader, Georg Kämpfer, responsible for Industries and Regulatory Affairs, explains in an interview how the GBGs can help:

Dr. Georg Kämpfer

Why is collaboration within the German Business Groups of great importance for PwC?

Georg Kämpfer: Most of our clients operate internationally. Their organisations are almost invariably set up according to country boundaries with subsidiaries all around the world. We need to be able to match our client’s structures and offer international expertise where it counts most – on the seam between parent and subsidiary companies. The GBGs are trusted partners for our clients cross-border, and support our clients with our full palette of services.

In practice, what exactly do the German Business Groups offer to your clients?

Kämpfer: Currently, we have 23 German Business Groups available to serve clients in over 80 countries. Our network of experts supports clients with complex cross-border tax questions, local statutory audits, transactions and consulting services. They support companies in adapting to very different and changing commercial, legal and regulatory environments, which often represent the biggest obstacles for firms operating abroad. The GBGs also help to evaluate market conditions and to overcome cultural as well as linguistic difficulties.

…this implies that partners and staff from the German Business Groups require extensive knowledge about the countries and markets they specialise in…

Kämpfer: That is exactly why we count on the German Business Groups. The GBGs abroad consist of experts originally from Germany as well as local staff with German expertise and language skills. Similarly, we have international staff with specific country expertise in Germany. This enables us to offer our clients specialist contacts who really understand what they need commercially, can communicate with them effectively and in their own language. GBG partners and staff have many years of international experience and have built an extensive international network. This bilateral and multidisciplinary approach allows us to pool cross-border commercial knowledge, best practices, technical skills and cultural awareness. It also enables us to identify risks and opportunities for clients at an early stage as well as suggesting comprehensive and pragmatic solutions.

How to you ensure that you provide a “comprehensive” service? Is there a single point of contact for clients?

Kämpfer: Yes, the German Business Group leaders are the first point of contact for our clients and provide a stable and long-term element to services whilst coordinating the GBG teams in both countries. It is very important to us that our clients have a trusted partner supporting them, especially abroad. Companies that wish to succeed in a foreign market need to plan their expansion carefully, be it in the form of a new subsidiary, a joint-venture or the acquisition of a foreign company, and often years in advance. Stable relationships are invaluable in helping clients ensure their long-term success internationally.