Even as the world continues to labour under lockdowns of various levels of severity, it was encouraging to see that the work of IR Global continues unabated. A recent Zoom roundtable was the latest example of how member firms across the world continue to work together to share knowledge and provide the best to their clients.  

“It was a great chance to re-connect with the IR network again,” said Paul Beare, who chaired a discussion among members looking at a number of different issues, from supporting clients through the pandemic to their forecasts for 2021 and where they see the opportunities for growth as life begins to (hopefully) return to normal.  

“One of the key topics was asking, during these times of upheaval, what fundamental changes IR members are seeing in their own clientele and practices,” says Paul. “That meant asking whether the shortterm measures like furlough and other government support are here to stay? 

The discussion also took in members’ views of how new regulations will impact not only their clients but also their own work. “Of course, since the outbreak of a global pandemic, we wanted to look at how the regulatory environment in various jurisdictions has changed and created any misunderstandings for international clients? How have you resolved these? whether that’s in the tax arena, employment law, or anything else.  

Paul was also keen to gauge people’s expectations for 2021 and beyond, and what business development strategies they plan to put in place to attract new clients in an environment where certain sectors have suffered badly in 2020?  

“We’re really interested in fellow members’ plans for their own growth,” Paul says, pointing to various reasons for optimism in the next 12 months, from renewed opportunities to engage with customers, to a growing sense that clients are ready to pivot into new markets. “There are lots of reasons to be cheerful,” says Paul. “From using digital marketing tools to finding and working in new markets, there is pent-up demand for new business, so that’s encouraging.” 

“It’s certainly been a tough year for most of us and our clients but it’s great to know there’s an appetite to keep going and thrive next year,” said Paul.