Jelena Knežević, Partner, Leitner&Leitner

Our Vision: The Importance Of Big-picture Thinking

LeitnerLeitner, as a group that encompasses all support segments in the domain of tax, legal and financial affairs, is capable of proactively identifying all risks and proposing optimal solutions to clients, as well as providing full support for timely implementation

The main method to overcome the negative effects of economic crisis is to focus on operational innovations that are best able to help companies remain competitive and adapt to market changes,” notes our interlocutor, before explaining the role of her and her colleagues in this work.

We have left behind several tumultuous years that have been marked by multiple negative impacts on the global economy. As financial risk experts, how have you and your clients handled them?

— A large number of our clients invest significant funds in research and development, in order to create new products that will attract consumers even during times of economic crisis. Innovation helps companies the most when it comes to remaining competitive and adapting to market changes.

Likewise, the crises have compelled companies to diversify their portfolio, but also to invest in staff training and development. Apart from that, mergers and takeovers of other companies have become a noticeable trend, as a form of resource optimisation for maintaining and improving market position.

In the area of tax and financial consulting, innovations are mainly reflected in the advancing of business processes and the digitalisation of operations. The developing of applications for clients also benefits us, as it brings major savings in terms of time required and also simplifies communication. In supporting further development and improvement, we paid special attention to the following areas: a) talents, skills, education; b) emerging technology; c) sustainable and fair transitioning (ESG); d) improving the corporate governance ecosystem; e) developing business reporting; f ) optimising operations and financial structures.

In the area of tax and financial consulting, innovations are mainly reflected in the advancing of business processes and the digitalisation of operations

Does an interdisciplinary and dynamic approach make it easier for you to identify the best strategy for each client?

— It is today trendy to optimise operations in global companies, which often have internal sectors grouped vertically according to function. However, it often occurs in this regrouping that operations are viewed from only one angle, and that’s when we see the importance of consultants who are able to observe the bigger picture and can spot the shortcomings of business models, but also opportunities to improve and optimise operations.

The level of unemployment across the region has fallen below 7%, which is why many industries are facing labour shortages, especially when it comes to high-quality personnel. What is the solution to this problem?

— The issue of a lack of quality personnel is among the biggest challenges at the global level. In order to solve this problem, companies can invest in the education and training of existing employees, in order to improve their skills and abilities, but also to establish cooperation with educational institutions in order to align their educational programmes with the needs of the labour market. Secondly, they can hire foreign workers, which may include breaks in approving work permits or programmes to attract foreign talent. Thirdly, companies can improve working conditions and offer additional benefits to employees in order to attract and retain qualified workers. Moreover, cooperation between the government, educational institutions and the private sector, in which dual education has already been established, could prove crucial to solving labour shortage problems.

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